How to Make Pancakes: 8 Recipe Ideas + 3 Tips
Pancakes are one of the most popular dishes for breakfast in the United States. That makes mistakes during preparation all the more annoying. In this article, we’ll give you valuable tips on how to successfully make pancakes yourself. We also have tips for avoiding common baking mistakes and easy recipes ideas for you.
Depending on the method of preparation, you can prepare pancakes as a sweet or savory dish. Classic good old-fashioned pancakes are normally topped with syrup or sauce and fresh fruits such as bananas or fresh berries.
What Pancakes Are
Pancakes are a type of flat cake made from a batter of flour, eggs, milk, and butter, which you make in a pan. The sweet egg dish is typically served for breakfast or brunch.
For many years, pancake has been made in different ways in different cultures. That is why today it cannot be proven beyond doubt where the pancake originally came from. The ancient Romans prepared similar flat dishes with seasoned eggs, but without flour.
In addition, pita bread could also be a possible origin, as it is also prepared as flat as a pancake. However, researchers suspect that egg dishes have their roots in medieval Europe, since some evidence suggests that people in the Middle Ages seem to have had baked pancake-like dishes.
Healthy Benefits of Pancakes
Depending on how you prepare it, pancakes don’t necessarily have to be unhealthy. If you swap out some unhealthy ingredients for wholesome alternatives, you’ll benefit from the healthy ingredients.
For example, you can opt to use a sugar substitute like erythritol instead of sugar. Erythritol has 70 percent of the sweetening power of regular household sugar.
Unlike sweeteners, erythritol, as a sugar alcohol, is not suspected of causing diabetes. On the contrary, it has no effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels.
In addition, the sugar alcohol has hardly any calories: Only about 20 kilocalories per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). When choosing flour, you can also go for healthier types of flour with a higher mineral content.
For example, these can be the following flours:
- Coconut flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Almond flour
- Buckwheat flour
As for the topping, it doesn’t always have to be high-calorie syrup, vanilla sauce or whipped cream either. Chopped apple pieces, applesauce, or blueberries would be the healthier and lower-calorie alternative here.
Blueberries come to a calorie content of just 42 kilocalories per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). They also contain phytochemicals that can boost your immune system and fight inflammation.
Different Types of Pancakes
In different countries, there are different names for pancakes and different ways to prepare them. We have collected several types of pancakes from different countries in this section.
German Pancakes (Dutch Baby Pancakes)
Dutch baby and German Pancakes are basically the same thing.
The two different names exist because an American restauranteur mispronounced the word Deutsch (the German word for "German") and it sounded like "Dutch". The dish has its origin in Germany.
Moreover, it is similar to a large Yorkshire pudding.
One big difference between American Pancakes and German Pancakes is their appearance. German Pancakes have a thick, custardy base and a tall, crispy rim. Moreover, the German version is baked in the oven.
Pancakes from Japan are thicker, more fluffy and much higher than the ones which are normally made in any American household. Moreover, they contain a slightly custardy center.
Japanese pancakes are also known as souffle pancakes or fluffy pancakes.
That is because the popular dish from Japan is made with a batter that contains whipped egg whites, which gives them a fluffy consistency.
With these high "pancake towers" you are guaranteed to impress at the next brunch.
Pancake Recipes: Healthy Combinations
The popular dish doesn’t always have to be bursting with calories and packed with unhealthy ingredients. You can give the pancake a healthy twist by considering the merits of each of the few ingredients and making substitutions as you see fit..
How to Make Pancakes From Scratch
In this section, we have a simple and quick basic recipe for you, with which you will succeed in making delicious pancakes.
The classic batter consists of eggs, flour, butter and milk. You can create your own variations with this recipe – whether sweet with applesauce or even savory with vegetables.
You need the following ingredients:
- 200 grams (almost 1 cup) of flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 10,14 liquid ounce(1 1/4 cups) whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 8 grams (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 2,02 liquid ounce (1/4 cup) of sparkling water
- Oil for baking
First, stir the flour, milk, eggs, salt and sparkling water with a hand mixer to a smooth batter – until it bubbles. Then let the batter rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Afterward, heat your stovetop on high and add the desired amount of oil to the pan Try starting with one Tablespoon.
The pan should be wetted all over with the oil. Turn the stovetop to medium. Now, using a large ladle, add a ladleful of batter to the pan and spread it around. Follow up by waiting to flip until the bottom of the pancake is browned and firm.
To flip it, you should use a spatula for best results. Once the pancake has turned a golden yellow color, you can top or spread it as you like.
If you want to combine your pancake with healthy fruit, crisp apples are a great choice. Apples are 85 percent water, yet they have readily available carbohydrates that promptly give you energy.
The high content of fiber makes the apple particularly beneficial for healthy intestinal flora. It also contains vitamins and folic acid – although the content varies depending on the variety. In addition, apples contain the following minerals:
To prepare the apples, you peel them and then cut them into small slices. Then you fold them into the pancake mixture.
Fluffy Eggless Pancakes
Even without eggs, you can succeed in making tasty pancakes. Next, you’ll find a recipe for four servings:
- 300 grams (1 1/4 cups) of flour
- 16,9 fluid ounces (1 cup) of milk
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ Tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 10 teaspoons vegetable oil
First, whisk the milk together with the salt, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Then add the flour and baking powder and let the dough rest for a few minutes. Then heat a frying pan and add a teaspoon of oil. Bake each pancake for about one minute per side. Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the pan for each additional pancake.
To make egg-free pancakes, you can also use the basic pancake recipe and replace the eggs with plant-based foods. For example, ground flaxseed and chia seeds are suitable as egg substitutes.
This is because they have the binding properties of eggs. So, you can take a tablespoon of each of the seeds and mix them with water. Let the seeds swell for about 15 minutes. This forms a kind of mucilage, which holds a batter together.
Cooking starch is also a great egg substitute. It can bind and thicken pancake batter. One tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with three tablespoons of water is the equivalent of one egg.
Vegan Pancakes Without Milk
Pancakes without milk can also be moist and taste delicious. They don’t have to require any animal ingredients at all.
Instead of using cow’s milk, you can use alternatives such as soy milk or cashew milk.
Below you will find a recipe for twelve pancakes without animal milk:
- 400 grams (2 1/2 cups) of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 13,5 fluid ounces (1 1/2 cups) of vegetable milk
- 13,5 fluid ounces (1 1/2 cups) of sparkling water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- Vegetable oil for baking
The choice of vegetable milk is entirely up to you. If you want a subtle nutty flavor for your pancakes, you can use cashew milk or hazelnut milk. Rice milk, on the other hand, has a natural sweetness and is great for allergy sufferers. Oat milk for its part scores high with its many healthy ingredients. It contains valuable omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is also rich in calcium and iron.
Lupin milk has a neutral taste and contains neither lactose nor milk protein. The most popular alternative is soy milk. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and also contains many important vitamins.
Low-carb pancakes are the perfect way to feast without a guilty conscience. By following a keto diet, you can lower your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. In addition, your metabolism also benefits from the special diet.
Other benefits include:
- Increased concentration ability
- better digestion
- fewer cravings
The pancake recipe below includes some healthy ingredients such as psyllium husks. This fiber, in particular, stimulates the movement of your bowels, softens stool, and loosens intestinal buildup. Psyllium husks are also known for their tremendously high fiber content (80 grams per 100 grams).
Fiber strengthens your immune system and prevents obesity. Another ingredient in the low-carb pancake is chia seeds. The superfood is characterized by a high protein content (17 grams per 100 grams) and many minerals.
Now, to prepare five servings of low-carb pancakes, here’s what you’ll need:
- 40 grams (about 5 Tablespoons) of coconut flour
- 6,7 fluid ounces (1 1/2 cups) of vegetable milk
- 80 grams (2/3 cup) of cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 40 grams (about 5 Tablespoons) erythritol
- 10 grams (1 Tablespoon) of psyllium husk powder
- 10 grams (1 Tablespoon) of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
First, you mix together the coconut flour, erythritol, chia seeds, baking powder and the psyllium husk powder. Then you add the plant milk, cream cheese and eggs and let the batter swell for about five minutes.
Hearty Pancakes With Bell Pepper, Potatoes or Mushrooms
Pancakes also work well as a full, hearty dish. When choosing a filling, many healthy options exist.
For example, bell pepper is a popular vegetable for pancakes. It has large amounts of potassium, magnesium and zinc. For high levels of vitamin C, you should reach for the red bell pepper.
Peppers also provide a variety of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent oxidation processes in the body by neutralizing free radicals. Thus, they protect your body from oxidative stress and strengthen your immune system.
Besides peppers, champignons are also good as a filling. They are considered very healthy because they provide vitamins D and B2, for example. In addition, mushrooms contain minerals such as:
Moreover, potatoes can be a healthy ingredient for your pancakes, as they are a nutrient-rich vegetable that provides important vitamins and minerals.
Potatoes are a good source of fiber as well. So they can regulate digestion and promote the feeling of satiety.
They are also high in potassium, which is important for healthy blood pressure and heart function. In addition, potatoes contain vitamin C, which supports immune function, and vitamin B6, which is important for brain function and red blood cell formation.
When used in pancakes, mushrooms, bell peppers, and potatoes can add a delicious taste and texture while providing a number of health benefits.
Tip: For example, herbs such as parsley and chives are suitable as toppings for your pancake.
Pancakes Without Flour / Gluten-free Pancakes
Flour is a classic ingredient of pancakes. Nevertheless, it can be replaced with other foods. For example, instead of flour, you can use cottage cheese.
This would make your pancakes suitable for people with gluten intolerance. In addition to the cottage cheese, you can also use bananas as a flour substitute.
For four servings of a flourless banana pancake, you will need:
- 3 bananas
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
If you want to eat low-carb and high-protein pancakes, then the following recipe is made for you. Protein pancakes go well with a related diet or a bulking phase.
You’ll need the following ingredients for eight protein pancakes:
- 75 grams (1/2 cup) of tender rolled oats
- 5 egg whites
- 25 grams (1/4 cup) of whey protein powder
- 90 grams (3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons) of low-fat cottage cheese
- 50 grams (6 Tablespoons) erythritol
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
The low-fat cottage cheese in particular scores with lots of protein and few calories. It keeps you full and can strengthen your bones and teeth.
Moreover, the rolled oats will win you over with their nutrient balance. They contain a lot of fiber, minerals and vitamins. Of all the cereal grains, oats have the highest content of vitamin B1 and B6.
Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). BCAAs play a crucial role in muscle growth as well as recovery from strength and endurance training.
You can fill your protein pancake with healthy fruit, for example. One type of fruit that is rich in protein is guava. Per 100 grams, the fruit has a protein content of about two grams. It also provides a lot of vitamin C and zinc as well as fiber and some more important minerals.
For the savory version of the pancake, avocado makes a good filling. It also impresses with two grams of protein per 100 grams. In addition, avocado provides vitamin K1, folic acid and healthy fats.
How to Make Pancake Mix
Don’t want or have time to make your pancake batter from scratch every time? No worries. There’s an option for all the cook newbies and busy people, too.
You can make a convenient pancake mix from the basic ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, store it, and then use it to make batches quickly later on.
All you have to do on stressful mornings is add liquid ingredients like eggs and milk.
Moreover it is possible to buy a pancake mix in the store. However, if you do so, you should be aware that some pancake mixes may contain added sugars or preservatives. Therefore, it is important to check the ingredient label before purchasing.
We would recommend that you make your own pancake mix, as it is easy and can then be stored for up to six months.
Tips on How to Make Pancakes
To make your next pancakes a complete success, we have provide some tips for you in this section.
Use the Appropriate Flour
Many types of flour are suitable for preparing egg dishes. For a classic pancake, you can use commercial white flour, pastry flour, or all-purpose flour.
These flours are primarily characterized by a mild taste and good baking properties. In addition, they are particularly finely ground and are therefore also suitable for baking cakes and cookies, for example.
So if you prefer to enjoy your pancake sweet, white flour is recommended. If, on the other hand, you use wholemeal flour for your egg dishes, they will be significantly darker and taste more intense.
For this type of flour, the whole grain is ground. Thus, you also get more organic substances than with normal household flour – they provide, for example, good digestion.
In addition, pancakes baked with wholemeal fill you up faster. If you want a slightly sweet tasting batter, you should use spelt flour. If you want to give your pancakes a slightly nutty flavor, you can use buckwheat flour.
Fry With the Right Oil
To make sure your pancakes turn out the way you want them, pay attention to your choice of frying fat. For frying pancakes, butter and oil are the most popular. Use vegetable oil in particular if you want to store your pancakes in the refrigerator.
The light film of fat keeps the individual pieces from sticking together. Canola oil such as rapeseed oil is one of the most popular oils for baking. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and does not have a strong flavor of its own.
Butter is also suitable for frying the sweet pancake varieties. However, you should be careful, because butter burns faster. It only remains stable at temperatures up to 170 (338 degrees Fahrenheit) degrees Celsius.
Above about 175 degrees Celsius (347 degrees Fahrenheit), it burns and forms harmful substances. In addition to butter and oil, you can also use clarified butter (ghee). It has approximately the same properties as butter, but is much more heat-resistant.
Let Your Batter Rest
As a rule, your batter should consist of flour, eggs and water, among other things. It is important, that the individual components have time to combine with each other so that the batter is stable. Also, the gluten network of the flour takes time to develop.
So let the pancake batter rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour. If you use baking powder, however, you must use the batter as soon as possible, since the baking powder will lose its leavening power over time.
Common Mistakes when Making Pancakes
As you can see, pancakes are quick to make and contain only a few ingredients. However, you can still make some mistakes during preparation, some of which will make your pancakes inedible. In this section, we have summarized four common mistakes for you.
In order for you to bake the perfect pancake, the choice of cookware plays a very important role. Ceramic or Teflon pans are the most suitable. In addition, you can also use cast iron pans with a patina as a non-stick coating. With uncoated pans, the risk is again higher that the butter burns, the batter sticks, and your pancake cracks.
Pancakes that are too hard are a sign of an unbalanced ratio of your batter components. So, for example, your batter could be too thick – that is, you’re using too much flour and too little liquid in proportion. Likewise, the problem may be with the baking, that is, if the pancakes are left in the pan too long.
Make sure you take them out of the pan in time. Eggs pose a third problem. Too many eggs can make your pancakes hard because they bind liquid. So don’t use more than one egg per 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of flour.
When baking several pancakes, the first couple will get cold while you are cooking the others. Cold pancakes are annoying, but can be avoided. To do this, preheat your oven to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit and store the finished pancakes in it.
You can put the pancakes in the oven on a large plate with paper towel – so excess fat can be absorbed by the paper.
A common and very unfortunate mistake is a pan that is too hot, which will cause your pancake to burn. If you bake them at too high a temperature, the pancakes will be burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. While you can heat the pan on high, you should turn your stove back to medium afterward.