Easy Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch
How we make the best homemade fluffy pancakes. This easy recipe makes pancakes that are light and fluffy and only calls for a few simple ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. Jump to the Easy Fluffy Pancakes Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make them.
How to Make Fluffy Pancakes
We love simple, no-fail recipes and this recipe is just that. It’s quick to make, and we’re willing to bet you’ve got everything you need to make them right now.
In the past, we called on boxed mixes. Not anymore. Boxed mixes are great, but everything needed to make delicious pancakes already sits in our kitchen. We said goodbye to the boxed mix and haven’t looked back since.
This recipe is easy! The pancakes aren’t too sweet and are lightly scented with vanilla. They are delicious AND they are easily adapted to what you have in your kitchen. Let’s do this!
Flour: Use all-purpose flour or whole wheat. A combination of the both is nice, too. For pancakes without all-purpose flour, use your favorite gluten-free flour blend or try buckwheat flour (here is our buckwheat pancake recipe for you to take a look at).
Sugar: We use granulated sugar, but you could experiment with brown sugar. Brown sugar will make them a little moister.
Baking Powder: Baking powder makes them light and fluffy. If you’d like to make pancakes without baking powder, I’ve shared tips in the frequently asked questions below.
Salt: We like to use 3/4 teaspoon of coarse salt (or 1/2 teaspoon of fine salt). It balances the sugar nicely and brings out lots of flavor in the pancakes. If you are using salted butter, you may want to reduce this.
Milk: We usually stick to reduced-fat milk, since that’s what we have in the fridge, but whole milk or skim milk will work, too. For pancakes without dairy milk, 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. For buttermilk pancakes, take a look at our Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes recipe.
Melted Butter: You can’t beat the taste of butter for this, but we’ve found that melted coconut oil is delicious. We use unsalted butter, but salted butter will work as a substitute. If you do use salted butter, you might want to reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe below. For pancakes without butter, substitute melted coconut oil.
One Egg: The egg adds structure and helps with how light and fluffy they become. I’ve shared tips in the frequently asked questions below for making pancakes without egg. (You might also enjoy our recipe for vegan pancakes)
Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds sweetness and depth of flavor. You could try other extracts, too. Almond extract would be pretty delicious.
Our Step-by Step Method For The Fluffiest Pancakes
These simple pancakes come together fast! They are perfect for kids (if you scroll through the reviews so many our of readers makes these with their kids and 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
Here’s the secret to the fluffiest pancakes: Mix dry and wet ingredients separately at first then combine just before cooking. You can mix the dry ingredients as much as you want and do the same for the wet ingredients, but 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.
By the way, these tips apply to waffles and muffins, too. We use this same strategy when making our favorite blueberry muffins as well as our favorite waffles.
When we are ready to cook, we combine the two mixes with a fork or whisk. I like to stir until I no longer see dry clumps of flour. There can be some small lumps, though.
The recipe makes 8 pancakes, so depending on how many you eat at one sitting, this recipe could serve 2 to 4 people. If you have some leftover, you can freeze them! I love this trick for when just one of us wants pancakes in the morning. Check the frequently asked questions below for how we freeze them.
This is our basic pancake recipe. We use it often as is, but have used it as a base for other recipes. Add what you love. Here are a few suggestions:
- 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 spiced, buttermilk and banana pancakes)
- Add lemon zest or spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice (see our cinnamon-spiced fluffy pancakes with a cinnamon roll glaze)
- Try replacing some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour (see our easy fluffy whole wheat pancakes).
- Add a few spoonfuls of flax seeds, oats, or reduce the sugar.
What Our Readers Are Saying
There are lots of things you can do to make these your own. If you’d like, come back and share what worked for you. We’d love to read about it. In fact, here’s what our readers have been saying about the recipe:
“I’ve never made anything from scratch, and I was scared to death they wouldn’t turn out right but, these were the best pancakes ever!” – Stephanie
“Best pancakes we’ve made so far. Delicious!” – Leigh
“This was an amazing recipe! I make homemade pancakes with my kids and they always come out flat and rubbery, these are fluffy and my kids keep asking for more!” – Ebony
“Pancakes from heaven! So light and fluffy. I had to make a second batch, no one could stop eating them!” – Kimberly
“These are by far the BEST pancakes I have ever eaten!” – Kayla
Since posting this recipe, we’ve had some frequently asked questions. Here are the most common:
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make pancakes without baking powder? Yes, absolutely. 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 1/4 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 egg? For pancakes without egg, we use a flax egg. To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed) with 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Set it aside for about 5 minutes to thicken then use to replace the egg in the recipe. We also recommend that you look at our Vegan Pancakes Recipe.
Can I make the pancakes ahead of time? Can I freeze the pancakes? Yes! These are perfect for freezing and reheat nicely. This way, you can have pancakes for one, two or more any day of the week. 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). 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 into a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
Recipe updated, originally posted September 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Easy Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch
- PREP 10mins
- COOK 20mins
- TOTAL 30mins
These pancakes are light and fluffy and made entirely from scratch. They’re not too sweet and are scented 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.
Makes 4 servings, 2 pancakes each
You Will Need
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder, see notes for substituting baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea or table salt
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk, dairy and non-dairy both will work
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and the salt in a medium bowl.
Warm milk in the microwave or on top of stove until lukewarm, not hot (you should be able to keep your finger submerged for 10 seconds).
Whisk milk, egg, melted butter, and the vanilla extract until combined. (By warming the milk slightly, the melted butter mixes into the milk instead of turning into small lumps).
Heat 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.
Make 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. (The batter will be on the thicker side, see video)
Lightly brush skillet with melted butter. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto skillet. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle.
When 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
- When measuring your flour, before you scoop the flour into your measuring cup, fluff or stir the flour in the container (or bag) first. This aerates the flour and makes the measurement more accurate. Alternatively, you can stir the flour in the container, and then scoop it into your measuring cup. Then when the cup is full, use a straight edge to scrape away the excess flour. Doing this prevents adding too much flour to the batter, which causes the dough to be too thick.
- 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 1/4 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.
Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 2 pancakes / Calories 353 / Protein 9 g / Carbohydrate 46 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 10 g / Total Fat 15 g / Saturated Fat 9 g / Cholesterol 83 mg