Once you learn how to make pancakes from scratch, you can delight your family with homemade pancakes of every variety.
Truth be told, pancakes are among kids' most-requested breakfast foods, especially when they have friends sleeping over. And our pancakes never fail to satisfy the kids! Depending on the season, you may even want to try pumpkin pancakes for a whimsical twist.
Follow these tips, and you'll know how to make perfect pancakes every time.
Dos for Making Perfect Pancakes
- Even though it's a pain, it's important to mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in separate bowls before combining.
- A griddle with a temperature control is the best tool for cooking pancakes. We like to use an electric skillet because as Alton Brown says, it's not a uni-tasker (one-trick pony kitchen tool). Set the temperature to 375 degrees F when preheating, then turn it down to 370 or 360 F once you start to cook the pancakes.
- If you don't have an electric skillet or griddle, use a heavy cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Let the batter rest 5 to 15 minutes before cooking.
- For really light and fluffy pancakes, separate the eggs. Add the egg yolk(s) where the recipe calls for eggs to be added in. Beat the egg white(s) separately, and fold in at the very end.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make nice-sized pancakes that are consistent.
- Flip at the right time: Look for bubbles on top and light browning around the edges.
It's okay to peek to see if they are browned on the bottom. If the pancakes are too floppy to flip, they aren't cooked enough. If they are getting brown before they're ready to flip, turn down the heat.
- Try making one test pancake first to see if the griddle or skillet is the right temperature. Invariably, the first pancake ends up being the worst one anyway.
Don'ts for Making Perfect Pancakes
- Don't overmix the batter. This will cause the pancakes to turn out tough.
- Don't let the griddle or skillet get too hot! This will cause the pancakes to burn before they're cooked through.
- Don't add the butter or shortening until after the griddle or skillet has been preheated.
- Don't go overboard with butter or shortening. One tablespoon is enough for 12-16 pancakes, or leave it out entirely.
- Don't press down on the pancakes while they're cooking.
- Don't overflip. If you let the pancakes cook until golden on the first side, there's no need to flip multiple times.