Pancakes recipe & video

To feed a larger group, double the recipe and keep pancakes warm in a 250° oven between batches.Alex Lau
Yes, everybody makes basic cooking mistakes. Like, say, something as simple as overcooking mushrooms or toasting grains and spices. Below, reader Adrianne Edwards confesses to lớn making her pancakes more cakey than pan-like lớn associate food editor Rick Martinez. Here’s Martinez's advice for making sure it never happens again. Welcome to lớn Effed it Up.

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Dear Rick, master of the pancake, I tried making pancakes for one và they puffed up into these tall, round, cakey balls. Did I use too much baking powder? Too much flour? Not enough liquid? Please help!Thanks,Adrianne

Dear Adrianne,

Puffy, cakey pancake disaster! We are going lớn get khổng lồ the bottom of this. Pancakes, like most baking, are a giant science experiment, a chemical reaction made up of starch, protein, water, fats, binders, chemical leaveners, và heat. All of these things come together khổng lồ create something really delicious—or something really horrible. Don’t feel bad, we’ve all had our cốt truyện of baking catastrophes. But, as with any science experiment, we observe, learn, & try again until we get it right.

Without having seen the recipe và tasted the finish pancakes, it's hard for me lớn say exactly what happened and where you went wrong. But here are a few tips lớn help solve the cakey mystery (and any other pancake missteps you've experienced).


Flour and liquid create the structure in any dough. Mixing the two together develops gluten, the protein that gives elasticity to dough. When making bread, gluten is a good thing; it allows the bread to lớn hold its structure và supports the formation of the gas bubbles created by the yeast. Without gluten, bread would not be able lớn rise.

However, gluten in quick breads, pie crusts, cakes, & pancakes is not good. You want these baked items khổng lồ be soft và tender with a delicate crumb, & that means as little gluten as possible. Over-mixing pancake batter develops the gluten that will make the pancakes rubbery & tough. For light, fluffy pancakes, you want khổng lồ mix just until the batter comes together—it's okay if there are still some lumps of flour.

Fat (melted butter) makes the pancakes rich and moist. Adding too much fat will make them seem more lượt thích pound cake; they'll have smaller bubbles and won't rise as much. On the other hand, too little fat will make them dry và crispy—almost cracker-like.

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With little gluten, pancakes rely on eggs to provide the additional structure necessary khổng lồ hold the bubbles & allow the pancake lớn rise. The fat in the yolk also provides richness and flavor. Too much egg, however, will make the pancake dense và custard-like; not enough will make it drier & more biscuit-like.


Baking powder & baking soda are the chemical leaveners typically used in pancakes. They are responsible for the bubbles in the batter, and for making the cakes light và fluffy. Baking powder (double acting) provides two rises: The first occurs when the baking powder comes into contact with a liquid, the second when it's exposed lớn heat. Too much baking powder will create a very puffy pancake with a chalky taste, while too little will make it flat and limp.

Baking soda rises only once when exposed to an acid (like buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt). Baking soda also controls the browning of the batter in the pan. Not enough soda will result in a blonde, flat pancake. Too much will result in a tall, dark, soapy-tasting pancake.


Pancakes should be cooked on medium heat. Cast iron griddles are best, but a wide heavy skillet with low sides will work too. Always make the first pancake as your demo cake or “chef’s snack,” to make sure that you have the heat just right.

Lightly brush the griddle with oil before you pour the batter (a third to half a cup per pancake is standard). Cook pancakes until bottoms are golden brown and bubbles are forming and bursting in the center, about three minutes. If the pancakes are getting too dark but the bubbles haven’t started khổng lồ burst, lower the heat. If they are still blonde but the bubbles are bursting, increase the heat. Flip and cook until cooked through và other side of pancakes are golden brown, about two minutes longer.

Adrianne, now that you know the ins and outs of pancake making, grab your butter and maple syrup & get griddling!