How we make the best homemade pancakes. This easy recipe makes pancakes that are so light and fluffy. You only need a few simple ingredients, and I bet you already have them in your kitchen right now!
Watch the video
⭐️ Try these easy blueberry pancakes with lots of happy reviews!
#1 Secret for the best fluffy pancakes
The secret to light and fluffy pancakes is baking powder. Our easy pancake recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and for good reason! The baking powder reacts with the heat of the pan and helps the pancakes rise. For the best results, use double-acting baking powder.
Say goodbye to the boxed pancake mix. Everything you need to make delicious pancakes is probably sitting in your kitchen right now. This recipe is easy! The pancakes aren’t too sweet and have the perfect amount of vanilla. Below, find our recipe an a list of ingredient substitutions, so you can make these right now. Let’s do this!
Key ingredients for pancakes
Use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or a combination of the two. For gluten-free pancakes, your favorite gluten-free flour blend should work in our recipe. We’ve shared a few different variations of this pancakes recipe, see our whole wheat pancakes and these buckwheat pancakes.
Baking Powder makes these pancakes so fluffy. Be sure to use fresh (new) baking powder for the best results. The USDA recommends keeping opened packages of baking powder at room temperature for 3 months. For pancakes without baking powder, I have shared tips for using baking soda below. If you are sensitive to the flavor of baking powder, use aluminum-free.
You can’t beat the taste of butter when making pancakes. We use unsalted butter, but salted butter will work as a substitute. If you do use salted butter, reduce the amount of salt by 1/4 teaspoon. If you need a plant-based option, melted coconut oil or melted plant-based butter work in this recipe.
Sugar, salt, and vanilla make the pancakes taste great. We use granulated sugar, but other sugars like coconut sugar, raw sugar, or brown sugar will work in the recipe. I’ve also used honey and maple syrup. Vanilla adds a bit of sweetness and flavor.
Whole milk, reduced-fat, and even skim milk will work in this recipe. For dairy-free pancakes, substitute non-dairy milk — like unsweetened almond milk or homemade oat milk. I’ve also used orange juice in place of the milk before and it worked nicely. If you’d like to use buttermilk, take a look at our recipe for buttermilk pancakes.
One egg adds structure, flavor, and fluffiness. I’ve shared tips in the frequently asked questions below for making pancakes without eggs– we use a flax egg or just leave it out like in our vegan pancakes recipe.
Quick overview. Making pancakes from scratch
These easy pancakes come together fast! They are perfect for kids. Read through the reviews, many of our readers have made this recipe with their kids. Sometimes the kids even make them! To make them follow these easy steps:
- Whisk dry ingredients together
- Melt butter and warm milk (we use the microwave)
- Whisk wet ingredients together
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients
- Cook on a hot buttered skillet
⭐️ When mixing pancake batter, mix dry and wet ingredients separately at first then combine just before cooking. When the two mixtures come together, use a light touch. Over mixing the batter is a common mistake — it makes them heavy and flat, not fluffy. We use this same strategy when making our favorite blueberry muffins and these light and crispy waffles.
When to flip pancakes
Flip the pancakes when the edges look dry, and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top surfaces of the pancake. The pancakes will cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
A nonstick skillet or griddle is helpful when cooking pancakes. I like using a 1/4 cup measure or if you have one, a large cookie scoop to scoop the pancake batter into my skillet.
You can see from our photo that we add a bit of butter to the pan — I love how the butter adds crispy edges! If you’re using a nonstick surface, the butter isn’t 100% necessary, but you will lose out on those delicious crispy edges.
Here’s a photo of a pancake after cooking. Look at how fluffy it is in the middle! I love how thick and fluffy these turn out (and remember, it’s all thanks to that baking powder).
One pancake recipe, endless variations
This is our basic pancake recipe. We use it all the time and love using it as a base for other pancake recipes. Here are a few of our favorite variations:
- Sprinkle a handful of berries, nuts or chocolate chips into the batter. (We love adding fresh blueberries or mashed and sliced banana)
- Layer a few thin slices of strawberry or banana onto the wet batter once added to the skillet. Then, flip. We added a banana to these banana pancakes.
- Add lemon zest or spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice — see our cinnamon roll inspired pancakes.
- Try replacing some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
- Add a few spoonfuls of flax seeds, oats, or reduce the sugar.
Can I make pancakes without baking powder?
Yes, use baking soda and swap the milk for sour milk or buttermilk and use 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
If you do not have buttermilk, you can make homemade buttermilk or “sour milk” by stirring 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into the 1 ¼ cups of milk called for in the recipe and setting it aside for 10 minutes. The addition of sour milk is required because, unlike baking powder, baking soda needs acid to work in the recipe. If you go with the baking soda/sour milk combination, they will be just as fluffy as the original recipe.
How to make pancakes without eggs?
For pancakes without eggs, we use a flax egg or simply leave it out. To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed) with 3 tablespoons water. Set it aside for about 15 minutes in the refrigerator to thicken, and then use to replace the egg in the recipe.
Can I make the pancakes ahead of time?
Yes, store cooked and cooled pancakes in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.
Can I freeze these pancakes?
Yes, pancakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. To freeze them, cook the pancakes, and then lay them out in one layer on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes (or until they are hard). Then divide them between freezer bags with a sheet of parchment or wax paper between them (so they don’t stick to one another).
How to reheat pancakes
To reheat, use the microwave or oven. To microwave, place them onto a plate and microwave for 20 seconds for one pancake or longer for multiple pancakes. To reheat in the oven, package them in foil then place them into a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
What should I serve with pancakes?
Our family loves topping pancakes with fruit, but serving alongside a simple fruit salad is a nice idea, too. Bacon or sausage is classic, here’s our favorite way to cook bacon, and I’m more of a savory breakfast girls, so I love adding some scrambled eggs on the side.
Easy Fluffy Pancakes
These easy fluffy pancakes are made from scratch. They’re not too sweet and are flavored with vanilla, making them extra delicious. These are easy to adapt — try adding a handful of berries, nuts, or chocolate to the batter.
*We call for unsalted butter in the recipe. You can use salted butter, but you may want to reduce the amount of salt used.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 ½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour, see tips below for how to measure flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder, see notes for substitutes
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea or table salt, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon if sensitive to salt
1 ¼ cups (295 ml) milk, dairy or non-dairy
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make Batter
1Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and the salt in a medium bowl.
2Warm milk in the microwave or on top of the stove until lukewarm, not hot. You should be able to keep your finger submerged for 10 seconds.
3Whisk milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract until combined. (By warming the milk slightly, the melted butter mixes into the milk instead of turning into small lumps).
- Cook Pancakes
1Heat a large skillet (or use griddle) over medium heat. The pan is ready if when you splatter a little water onto the pan surface, the water dances around the pan and eventually evaporates.
2Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour milk mixture into the well and use a fork to stir until you no longer see clumps of flour. It is okay if the batter has small lumps – it is important not to over-mix the batter.
3Lightly brush skillet with melted butter (this is optional if you have a high-quality non-stick pan). Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto the skillet. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle.
4When edges look dry, and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top surfaces of the pancake, turn over. This takes about 2 minutes. Once flipped, cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle. Serve immediately with warm syrup, butter, and berries.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Measuring the flour: Mismeasuring flour can cause this recipe to fail. Either measure by weight (grams) or fill your measuring cup, fluff up the flour in your canister or bag and then spoon the flour into the measuring cup. When the cup is full, use something flat (like a butter knife) to scrape the excess flour off the top of the measuring cup.
- Baking powder: For the fluffiest pancakes, use baking powder. We use quite a bit to achieve that fluffy middle (I know it seems like a lot, but trust us). I like aluminum-free baking powder (Rumford and Bob’s Red Mill are examples) since they prevent that tinny flavor that can appear when baking powder is used in higher quantities (like in this recipe).
- Substitute for baking powder: To use baking soda instead of baking powder, you will need to swap the milk for sour milk or buttermilk and use 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda. If you do not have buttermilk, you can make homemade buttermilk or “sour milk” by stirring 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into the 1 ¼ cups of milk called for in the recipe and setting it aside for 10 minutes. The addition of sour milk is required because, unlike baking powder, baking soda needs acid to work in the recipe. If you go with the baking soda/sour milk combination, the pancakes will be just as fluffy as the original recipe.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.