These are the best pancakes you will ever make. Period. This is the pancake recipe you have been searching for, the holy grail, the chosen one. Disclaimer, it will ruin all other pancakes…
So, this is my recipe for thick, fluffy American pancakes – and yep, I’m British. But fear not, they are hands down the best you can make. I’ve made 100’s of pancakes over the years, and I’ve tried countless recipes from different blogs / famous chefs and nothing has ticked all the boxes. It’s not until I came across a method utilising some classic French techniques to generate a really light and airy batter did I find what I was looking for (Thanks Steve from NotAnotherCookingShow). Once you try this you will not go back – I promise you.
MUST READ: Important notes for making the best pancakes.
- The SECRET to making these pancakes light as air, fluffy as anything and devouringly moreish is – Meringue. Now, to the beginner cook this may sound daunting, be I can assure you it’s really quite simple. All you need is a whisk, a bowl and a strong arm (or a hand mixer if you’re willing to splash the cash). I will break down exactly how to do this within the recipe card. One of these days I will get round to making a video. Hey, perhaps I already have when you’re reading this…
- Add the meringue mixture in last, and fold it in carefully. Use the technique whereby you spoon in half the meringue mixture to the batter and then fold the spoon through the batter under the meringue and fold the batter over the top of the meringue. One of these days I will shoot a video with steps on how to make these and you can follow that! Repeat this for the second half of the meringue.
- Combine the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients in separate bowls. Reserve the butter in a third dish. Meringue in a forth.
- When making the batter (excluding the meringue) use a whisk to combine, but try not to overwork it. What I mean is, don’t use a hand mixer and mix the hell out of it – all we need to do is combine the wet and dry ingredients until it’s smooth. Just go easy on it – patience is key. The more it’s overworked the less fluffy it will become. As soon as it’s smooth, stop.
- Have your pan on a medium heat – we don’t want it too hot. For my current kitchen I am using a halogen hob and I put it on level 6. If your pancake comes out too brown on the top just adjust the heat for the next ones – turn it down by 1 level, or a small twist and take the pan off the heat to cool a little before going ahead, about 10 seconds should do it.
- When buttering the pan, take your block of butter and just rub it around the pan to create a small layer. This provides enough grease to prevent sticking and to generate a nice crust, but also stops the pancake from being too greasy. No need to add a knob of butter in the pan for each pancake.
- Melt some salted butter and put in a separate dish. When all the pancakes are cooked, using a cooks brush, brush each pancake with the butter. Then, with your syrup of choice, brush that on as well. It’s life changing.
- To keep the pancakes warm whilst cooking them, pre heat a grill on a low heat, place the cooked pancakes on a plate and loosely cover with foil and place under the grill – put the tray in the grill as low down as possible, we don’t want them to actually cook.
- When pouring the batter into the hot pan, use a normal sized ladle and fill it almost to the top. Spoon the batter straight into the pan and let the ladle create the pancake circle – give it a helping hand by drizzling the batter where needed to ensure perfect circles. Do not use the ladle to spread the batter directly, it will lose the height. Let gravity do the work.
This recipe makes roughly 6 pancakes that are about 4/5 inches in diameter. I find that on those Sunday mornings this is more than enough to feed 2 hungry adults. If you’re cooking for more, for example 4 people, just double the recipe – it all works the same.
I can assure you, these pancakes are going to be your new family favourite. Your kids, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, flat mate, nan, neighbours will all be begging you to make these not only on a Sunday, but every day. Anyways, enough waffle, let’s get into the recipe shall we.
Ultimate Fluffy American Pancakes
- Whisk and/or Hand Mixer
- 2x Mixing Bowl
- Non-Stick Frying Pan
- Cooks brush
- 2x Small bowl
- 200 g Plain Flour, sifted.
- 4 tsp Baking Powder, sifted.
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp Icing Suger
- 1 tsp Caster Sugar
- 1 Whole Egg Separate the white from the yolk. We will be using both.
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste Vanilla Extract is jsut not as good. But use it if that's all you can get.
- 280 ml Gold Top Jersey Milk Blue top, full fat will work, but it won 't be quite as good. Fork out if you can get gold top. Most UK supermarkets stock Graham's gold top.
- 50 g Melted and slightly cooled unsalted butter. Use the best quality you can. I find President Unsalted Freench Butter to be the most rich and creamy. Save some butter for greasing the pan, but keep that butter in the block/stick and in the wrapper.
- Melt Butter, either in a pan or a microwave and heat until fully metled. Place in a small dish and set aisde to cool.
- Combine the some of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl - the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift them and stir them to combine.
- Combine some of the wet ingredients in a jug - the milk, the egg yolk and the vanilla bean paste. Give it a quick whisk.
- Make a meringue (either using a hand whisk or a machine). Combine the egg white with the caster and whisk these into stiff peaks. To tell this is done, stab the whisk into the mixture and pull it out. If the peaks hold their shape well it's done. Once done, carefully fold in the icing sugar. Do this by using a table spoon or spatula and folding the spoon under the sugar, and back over the top in a round motion so as to "dump" the egg white over the top. Keep doing this until just combined.
- Add the milk, egg and vanilla mixture to the dry ingredients. Do this half at a time. Using a whisk, combine the first half until smooth. Add the second half and combine untiul smooth. Be careful at this stage, we don't want to over work the mixture. Be gentle with it, but make sure there are no lumps. An overwokred mixture will not be as light.
- Stir in your cooled melted butter.
- Fold in your meringue mixture half at a time. Using a spatula (not a whisk!) fold this in gently. Fold under and over, and do this until the merignue is only just combined - there should be no lumps of merigune. To tell you have done this right, dip your spatula into the mix, pull it out and let the mixture run off back into the bowl. Does it have lots of air pockets? If yes, you're good to go. That's how we get the lightest, most delicate pancake.
- Get you non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. (Pro Tip - I have been using a Halogen hob and set it to level 6. I sometimes remove the pan from the heat when I am plating a pancake and buttering the pan).
- When your pan is up to temperature (Pro Tip - Hold your hand over it, there should be a good amount of heat coming off) grease it with butter. Keep the block in the pack (assuming foil wrapper here) and peel back the wrapper, rub the butter around the pan until all the surface is covered. This should bubble a little right away.
- Using a medium sized ladle, fill it almost (but not quite) to the top with batter and tip the ladle into the middle of the pan. Just let the batter fall into the middle and it should create a ncie circular pancake. If not, use the ladel whilst pouring to pour it into a circle. DO NOT use the ladle to spread the mixture in the pan - it will lose the height and airyness.
- Keep an eye on the heat, you can normal smell if a pancake is overdone on the bottom. The first one might not come out perfect, just adjust the heat as you go. The panckae is done when there are lots of little bubbles on top, these bubbles will turn into craters - when this happens flip them. Once flipped they need exactly 5 seconds on the other side. Plate them straight away. (Pro Tip - be patient, don't try and cook them too fast, and don't try and do more than one in a pan - unless you have a MEGA pan!).
- To keep the pancakes warm, you can put them on a plate loosely covered with foil and place them under a grill heated to a low setting. Leave them here until ready to serve.
- Plate on the packaes by brushing each one with melted butter and maple syrup. Stack them high, top with a curl of butter and a dowsing on maple syrup.