Basic Pancakes

Pancakes are so easy to make from scratch that you should never have to buy a box of pancake mix again.

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When making perfect pancakes, it’s important to have the pan at just the right temperature. Using an electric skillet for this is ideal, because once you’ve found that right temperature, the pan will keep the temperature even and you won’t have to adjust the heat. The right temperature pan will cause the pancakes to rise slightly as they cook, but won’t burn the outside before the inside is cooked. Once you have the right temperature set, you can rest assured that when you see bubbles starting to pop in the batter, you are ready to flip the pancakes and the underside won’t be overcooked.

4 pancakes on a griddle with bubbles in the batter read to pop.

Many recipes for pancakes include buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use milk and lemon juice instead. While it’s not exactly the same as buttermilk, it’s a good substitute, and you won’t be saddled with three leftover cups of buttermilk, which you’ll throw away in a couple of months when you find it in your fridge chatting with the open can of tomato paste on the top shelf at the very back!

I like to add a little butter to the pan before each batch of pancakes. The butter gives the pancake a lacey browned pattern on the top and crisp edges. You may prefer a solid browned pancake, in which case you may not need to butter the pan in between batches of pancakes.

4 pancakes, cooked on one side with a lacey pattern on top.

If your goal is to make beautiful fluffy pancakes, try separating the egg yolk and white. By beating the egg white to soft peak stage (when the egg whites can almost stand up on their own when you lift the whisk out of the bowl) and then folding it into the batter, you can incorporate air into the pancake, which will make it light and airy.

Pancakes on a white plate on a wooden table with coffee, maple syrup and butter.

Watch The Recipe Video

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Basic Pancakes

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 30 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
  • butter or oil for greasing the pan


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine the egg, milk, lemon juice and oil or butter, and whisk together in a separate bowl or glass measure. Beat well to incorporate air into the mixture.
  2. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the two are just combined. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.
  3. Pre-heat a non-stick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil or butter and lightly coat the surface of the pan. When the butter no longer sizzles, and a droplet of water splashed into the pan does sizzle, it is ready to make the pancakes.
  4. Pour batter in the pan, making pancakes of whatever size you wish. Do not disturb the pancakes until you see many little bubbles on the uncooked surface of the batter – about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until equally browned. Remove and repeat for next batch.
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Comments (7)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    If u wanted to use buttermilk instead of the milk and lemon juice, would u just substitute 1 cup of buttermilk?

    1. Yes – I would substitute 1 cup of buttermilk. The batter will be thicker, but super tasty and a little puffier (which to me is a good thing).

  2. Chef – I’m new to your videos. Already a fan of the professionalism quality of the videos, as well as your ease on camera and clear instructions.

    I suspect you’d want to know that the spoken version of the pancakes recipe speaks of baking soda and then salt, but the written overlay references baking soda twice (but not salt, at all).

    Keep up the good work. I’m sure I’ll use you as a reference for future efforts !

  3. 5 stars
    Hello Jean, how could any recipe that you so generously give out not be the best. In my book you are the ultimate chef and a Michelin star is well overdue for you. The way you explain how to cook or bake is a gift in itself. YES I have made your pancakes and they came out
    incredible. I loved them so much I made another 18 so that I can freeze them for a later date.
    Thank you again. Jacqueline . Stay well always.

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