Basic Pancakes

Cover Recipe-  EveryDay Food,       Basic Pancakes: Sept. 2006

I think pancakes are something that everyone desires to make (or eat) on a weekend morning.  They presents themselves as something special enough to warrant a good dose of maple syrup, something that is not likely daily fare for many folks.  Pancake “mix” is something simple enough to buy in the breakfast aisle, but would it be nice to be able to make your own… with ingredients that you already have in your pantry?  That’s what EveryDay Food is showing the home cook with this recipe for Basic Pancakes– that they’re easy to make your own, and you can even make an abundance of mix from which to scoop from on those special weekend mornings.

Included along with the basic recipe are instructions on how to freeze and re-heat pancakes (see below), as well as several pancake tips:
*Use a very thin spatula for flipping pancakes- makes them easy to flip without tearing.
*To keep pancakes tender, don’t over mix the batter- small lumps are fine.
*Use very little oil in the pan.  A quick wipe with an oiled paper towel is enough.
*For thinner or thicker pancakes, add more or less liquid, respectively.
*For silver dollar pancakes, use 1 to 2 Tablespoons of batter per pancake.
*To add extras, such as blueberries, sliced bananas or peaches, chocolate chips or nuts, sprinkle on pancakes before flipping.

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Basic Pancakes

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 4 min

If you have four really hungry people, you may wish to double the recipe... this recipe turns out pretty normal-sized pancakes, not restaurant-sized pancakes


1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
assorted toppings such as butter, maple syrup, confectioner's sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup


1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees F; have baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg.  Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are just fine).
3.  Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium.  Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.
4.  For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 Tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into around (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
5.  Cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more.  Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven.  Continue with more oil and remaining batter.  (You'll have 12 to 15 pancakes.)  Serve warm, with desired toppin


Make and store extra mix:
Whisk together 3 cups flour, 6 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp. salt; store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (this makes enough for 12 servings of 3 to 4 pancakes per person).  To make 4 servings from this mix, place 1 1/4 cups mix in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter or oil, and 1 large egg; add to dry mix, and whisk just to combine.  Proceed to step 3 of the basic pancake recipe above.

How to freeze pancakes:
Stack cooled pancakes between squares of waxed paper; place in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container.  Freeze up to 3 months.  Reheat on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree F. oven or toaster oven.  (Avoid reheating pancakes in a microwave as they tend to get rubbery.)

Pancake variations:
  In step 1, add 1/2 tsp. baking soda to dry mixture.  In step 2, replace milk with low fat buttermilk.
Yogurt:  In step 1, add 1/2 tsp. baking soda to dry mixture.  In step 2, replace milk with 2/3 cup plain low fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.
Whole Grain with Yogurt:  In step 1, replace the flour with 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup each of cornmeal and wheat germ, and 1/2 tsp. baking soda.  In step 2, replace milk with 2/3 cup plain low fat yogurt and 1/3 cup milk.

EveryDay Food, September 2006

The results:

These pancakes turned out very fluffy and light.  It’s a delicious, basic, family-friendly recipe. We added banana slices and blueberries into the pancakes before flipping them. I doubled the recipe to make a bunch of pancakes, then I used the instructions for freezing them.  We like to have pancakes around for quick school-morning breakfasts.  My son is old enough to take them out of the freezer and pop them into the microwave himself.  Yes, they’re a little rubbery when re-heated in the microwave, but kids don’t seem to mind.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Absolutely!  The topic of the cover is, “Foolproof Family Favorites,” and this is definitely one of them.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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One Response to “Shrimp Club Salad”

  1. 1

    Mrs. L — May 25, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    I actually have been thinking about making the cover recipe ever since I got the mag in the mail. I’ll remember to add some extra lemon!

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