My Mom's Pancake Recipe

Perfect for Pancake Tuesday (that's Shrove Tuesday on the Christian calendar) or Sunday breakfast or Pancake Night, this is my mother's recipe for light and fluffy pancakes, either buttermilk pancakes or sweet-milk pancakes. Especially for new cooks, the recipe includes lots of pancake tips and tricks.
My Mom's Pancake Recipe ♥, light and fluffy homemade buttermilk pancakes or sweet-milk pancakes. Lots of tips & ideas for new cooks.

  • "Awesome recipe! ... So nice and fluffy!" ~ Anonymous

Pancakes for Supper, An Annual Tradition

On Mardi Gras calendars, the Tuesday before Lent is "Fat Tuesday". On Christian calendars, that same Tuesday is "Shrove Tuesday," the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, the day that we plant Lenten Grass.

But on culinary calendars, that Tuesday is "Pancake Night" – the one night a year when tradition moves pancakes from the breakfast nook to the supper table.

A Weekly Opportunity?

We're agreed, right, that pancakes deserve a place at the table more often? So, you know, how about Pancake Thursday?! Any night of the week, Let's Make Tonight a Pancake Night!

Pancakes are just so quick and easy to make! They're made from pantry ingredients so they're cheap too. For dinner, you might want to add a little protein like eggs or Canadian bacon – or for something indulgent, smoked salmon, say, or something prosaic, pulled pork, say.

One night, we got home not only late but hungry. (Sound familiar?) Inspired by the proverbial mother-of-necessity, I dug out the pancake griddle then scrounged for something dinner-ish. Heaven on a plate in about 10 minutes? Hot pancakes topped with pulled pork, a little crema and a few strands of Spiced Pickled Red Onions.

But no matter, fire up the griddle, people, it’s time for supper and pancakes it is.

Incredible, Edible ... Pancakes?

Pancakes are like eggs, there are dozens of different ways to make them!

Blueberry Pancakes – Drop a few fresh or still-frozen blueberries onto the top of each pancake when first put into the griddle.

Poppy Seed Pancakes – Add a splash of vanilla and a tablespoon of poppy seeds to the batter.

Pancake Gashouse Eggs – Remember Gashouse Eggs? At lunch yesterday, a friend mentioned how his mother made Gashouse Egg Pancakes. She'd put the pancake batter in the skillet, clear out the center a bit and drop in an egg. Voila! Gashouse Eggs made with pancakes!

Pancake Mix – My dad reminds me that in later years, Mom relied on Hungry Jack as her favorite pancake mix. It's a funny story, how she came to this, it's here with the recipe for these light and rich, low-carb and protein packed Cottage Cheese Pancakes.

Pancake Family – Turns out, we're a pancake family! My sister has perfected her recipe for many years, especially developing tiny, small, medium and large batches for different sized family groups. I think you'll love her Lifetime Pancakes.

Tools of the (Pancake) Trade

Make homemade pancakes on a whim with nothing more than a bowl and a fork (for mixing the batter) and a skillet (for cooking). Easy, eh?

My Disclosure Promise

PANCAKE GRIDDLE But once you get into pancakes, or pancakes for a crowd, you'll want to invest in a non-stick electric griddle that throws off pancakes by the pileful. The large, smooth surface heats evenly, something that's less likely in a skillet on a stovetop.

A GOOD SPATULA This is the one and only spatula I've used for something like twenty years. It works on both non-stick and regular pans. It's got some give but isn't too bendy. It's also thin enough to slip beneath a tender pancake.

This Recipe Is Perfect for First-Time Pancake Makers

This recipe includes lots of tips and extra detail to help new cooks produce light and fluffy pancakes the first time and every time. Don’t worry, pancakes are as easy as pie – hey wait, pancakes are "way easier" than pie. You’ll learn how to make them in no time.


One recipe for both buttermilk pancakes and "sweet milk" pancakes
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 9 medium pancakes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup "sweet milk" (see TIPS)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable, canola, coconut or another neutral oil, that means no olive oil)
  • Oil or butter for the griddle or skillet, just a touch

In a medium bowl, use a wire whisk or a fork to whisk the egg until frothy. Whisk in the buttermilk or milk and the oil. Measure the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda or baking powder onto the top of the egg mixture but don’t mix them in. Then, with a fork, mix these ingredients together, just by fluffing them around a bit, but still without incorporating into the egg mixture. Now whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture, but just until combined. Don’t worry if some bits of flour are visible, better to not overmix.

While mixing the pancake batter, heat the griddle or a large skillet on medium heat. (If using a nonstick electric griddle, set at 325F/160C.) Lightly brush with just a little oil or butter. When the fat is hot (it should sizzle when drops of water are flicked off your fingertips into the skillet), fill a quarter-cup measure and drop onto the griddle, spreading the batter a little if it doesn’t flatten out by itself. Repeat until the griddle is full, leaving space between the pancakes to allow for spreading.

Without moving the pancakes, cook until the first sides are golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes. (How to tell if the pancake is getting brown, if you can’t move it to look? The edges will get slightly crispy. And see those bubbles that form in the batter? When they "pop", the pancake is ready to be turned. Or, okay, okay, gently lift a corner with a spatula to see for yourself, no harm, no foul.) Flip the pancakes over and cook another minute. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with syrup and dig in!

  • "Sweet milk" is what regular milk is called, distinguishing it from buttermilk or sour milk. If you like the flavor and lightness of buttermilk pancakes but are out of buttermilk, just add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of sweet milk. This is called "soured milk". If you have extra buttermilk on hand and are looking to use it up, check these recipes calling for buttermilk.
  • I’ve made pancakes with 100% white whole wheat flour. It works fine but do add another tablespoon or two of milk and know that the color will be slightly off.
  • My mother always used dried milk powder to make the milk. Just mix 1/3 dried milk powder into 1 cup of water.
  • No pancake griddle? Use two or three skillets at once, two pancakes per skillet.
  • If you like, transfer the pancakes onto a serving platter to keep warm in the oven. That said, really, there’s nothing like the fluffiness of a pancake straight from the skillet so maybe on Pancake Night, people need to eat in shifts!
  • If the skillet’s not hot enough at first, the first one or two pancakes will look pale but taste fine.
  • Hot plates keep pancakes hotter! Two of my favorite cooks insist on warming plates in the oven and I’m beginning to see the light. Before making the pancake batter, put the plates in the oven on the lowest-possible temperature. Be careful – chances are, you’ll need a hot pad to remove the plates.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Pancake: 124 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 25mg Cholesterol; 230mg Sodium; 15g Carb; 0g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS: WW Old Points 3 & WW PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 4

More Favorite Pancake Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)
Cornmeal Pancakes with Blueberry Compote Lifetime Pancakes Cottage Cheese Pancakes
~ more breakfast & brunch recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Spinach Pancakes ~
~ Carrot Buttermilk Pancakes ~
~ Pumpkin Pancakes ~
~ more breakfast recipes with vegetables ~
from A Veggie Venture

More Cooking Lessons

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)
Cinnamon Sugar Cookies Easy-Easy Chocolate Sheet Cake Flaky Tender Pie Crust
~ more cooking lessons ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ more buttermilk recipes ~
~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make Mom's recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. are we sisters separated at birth? First your dad's recipe for "gashouse eggs" (what I call "Eggs in a frame") and now this recipe for "My Mom's pancakes"! We had these growing up too. Mom would invite people over after mass on Sunday and make these. So many good meals and memories!

  2. Ha! I'll check. Yes, I'm on a breakfast kick for a bit. One more in a couple of weeks! I think you'll like it! PS I am so charmed by your mother inviting people over for pancakes - we get so hyped up over food anymore, it has to be a twenty-course meal. Aren't pancakes enough?!

  3. Anonymous6/27/2009

    Awesome recipe! I doubled it and had to substitute some some condensed milk for one of the eggs but they turned out perfect! So nice and fluffy! Thanks for the recipe!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna