Lifetime Pancakes

My sister's pancake recipe, perfected over many years. She started off with a tiny batch for making pancakes for just one or two, then expanded the recipe to fit her growing family with a large recipe for a tableful of hungry pancake lovers. It's a recipe that can cross a lifetime! Move over Taco Tuesday, let's Make Tonight a Pancake Night!
Lifetime Pancakes ♥, light, fluffy pancakes scaled from a tiny batch for one or two to a large batch for a big family or hungry teenagers. Rave reviews!

  • "… fantastic. … loved the flavor … really fluffy! Definitely a keeper!" ~ Mrs. FussyPants
  • "… the very best pancakes I have ever made!" ~ Karen
  • "… the only [recipe] I use [for] pancakes" ~ Susan

The Circle of Life, the Pancake Chapter

Once upon a time, a young newlywed relied on a Cooking for Two cookbook, a gift from her sister. Straight off, she loved the cookbook’s pancake recipe, a tiny batch of light and fluffy pancakes just enough for two on lazy Sunday mornings.

As her family grew, first one baby boy and then another, her recipe grew too, expanding to feed more mouths and in short order, growing appetites. When her boys were little, a medium batch was enough. When little boys grew into hungry teenagers, it took a large batch.

But life circles round, doesn’t it?

Those boys are nearly grown now, not often home on weekends. But she still makes pancakes, returning to the original tiny batch, just enough for two.

Then last week, she got lots of "likes" on Facebook when family gathered for Memorial Day and a high school graduation. "My pancake recipe has evolved over the years to fit the different sizes of family groups," she wrote. "This morning I had to DOUBLE the biggest recipe to feed three hungry teenagers, two kids, and two adults."

The Family Pancake-Maker

Truth be told, the lifetime pancake-maker behind this family-flexible recipe is my sister Adanna. She’s talked about it for years. Many weekends, one of her boys will sign off, “Gotta go, Auntie Al. Mom’s making pancakes.” But until recently, I’d never tasted one. Whoa – my sister makes great pancakes, right up there with My Mom's Pancake Recipe, but thicker and lighter.

My sister Adanna mixing Lifetime Pancakes ♥, light fluffy pancakes scaled from a tiny batch for one or two to a large batch for a big family or hungry teenagers!

HAVE GRIDDLE, WILL TRAVEL My sister packs her pancake griddle for visits! Two days in a row, she made pancakes for my dad, his companion Olga and me. All dreamy-eyed with her light and fluffy pancakes, I fantasized a moment to ask, “Would you ever open a pancake restaurant?”

She grinned and answered with certainty. "I’d call it Adanna’s Pancake Emporium." In the pancake restaurant of her dreams, she would dish up the pancakes, everyone would choose their own pancake toppings, a few bits at a time.

For now, there’s no Adanna’s Pancake Emporium in the real world, except the popup place each of us can open up right in our own kitchens. Make pancakes at home, for breakfast, for supper, for one or two, for a tableful or for a crowd. Add toppings. Sue’s Pancake Emporium. Laurie’s Pancake Emporium. LeAnne’s Pancake Emporium. Barb’s. Lynda’s. Sharon’s. Peggy’s. Laura’s and Diane’s and Michele’s. All of us, we can each open our own place.

That’s the beauty of my sister’s Lifetime Pancakes.

Savory Pancakes

These days, a-a-a-l-l-l the best food photos of pancakes are dripping with melted butter and sugary syrup. Yum!

But around here, some of our favorite pancake meals are "savory pancakes". In the morning, it's a small pancake or two plus an egg or two, fried, poached, soft-boiled, whatever sounds good.

Then one night, I topped last-minute, supper-saver pancakes with pulled pork, diced juicy tomato, a little lime crema and a few Spiced Pickled Red Onions. Just gorgeous!

To make savory pancakes, just leave out the sugar and double the baking powder. After that, proceed as usual.

Pumpkin Pancakes: A Fall Favorite

Pumpkin Pancakes ♥, light and fluffy, spiked with pumpkin spices, one variation of Lifetime Pancakes.

I just love how my sister's Lifetime Pancakes recipe is so easily adaptable! Here's how I treat sweet little boyzz to pancakes in the fall. Grown-ups love 'em too! See Pumpkin Pancakes!

Tools of the Pancake Trade

Adanna uses a non-stick griddle that cooks about eight pancakes at a time. I've got my eye on a large griddle, I like how it's got a tilt function to drain off the bacon grease cooked before the pancakes, also that it's dishwasher-safe. There's also a smaller electric griddle that might better fit into kitchen cupboards. Update: I did indeed purchase the larger griddle, it cooks pancakes so evenly, even the first ones are perfect. I don't use it for bacon, however, since we love the convenience of Baked Bacon.

Father's Day gift, anyone?

Mixing batter for Lifetime Pancakes ♥, light, fluffy pancakes scaled from a tiny batch for one or two to a large batch for a big family or hungry teenagers. Rave reviews!

  • Any bowl will do, of course, but for mixing pancakes, I turn to a wedding gift, this pretty cherry-red LeCreuset Batter Bowl. Pancakes makes the people at the table smile, this pretty bowl makes me, the cook, smile too!
  • If you have a kitchen scale, no need to dirty up measuring cups and spoons!
  • The larger non-stick electric griddle, also useful for making multiple grilled cheese sandwiches simultaneously, also heating up a few tortillas at the same time.
  • The smaller non-stick pancake griddle
  • This non-stick spatula is great for pancakes, it's thin but strong, slightly flexible but not droopy, strong but not stiff. It's been my only spatula since, hmmm, let's say the mid 1990s! I have had to replace it once or twice, it doesn't do great with a super-hot cast-iron skillet, say.
  • My Disclosure Promise


Hands-on time: 5 minutes to mix
    Enough for 1 or 2
  • 1/4 cup yogurt, preferably low-fat vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 65g
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    Enough for 3 or 4
  • 1/2 cup (115g) yogurt, preferably low-fat vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (112g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (21g) vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    Enough for 5 or 6 or 1 hungry man and 1 bottom-less pit teenage boy
  • 1 cup yogurt (130g), preferably low-fat vanilla
  • 1 cup (225g) water
  • 3 tablespoons (30g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 250g
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    Enough for 7 or 8 or four hungry teenagers
  • 1-1/2 cups (345g) yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cup (335g) water
  • 1/4 cup (42g) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 375g
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Toasted nuts, small bits of fresh fruit (strawberries, apple, banana, raspberries are very good), frozen blueberries, sausage crumbles, bacon bits, mini chocolate chips

Heat a skillet on medium to medium high or an electric skillet on 350F/180C. Brush very lightly with oil.

While the pan heats, whisk together the yogurt, water, oil and eggs in a bowl. Separately, stir together the remaining ingredients, then gently stir into the yogurt mixture, just until mixed.

About 1/4 cup at a time, drop pancake batter onto the hot surface. If using, sprinkle a few toppings on top. Let cook, without touching, until the bottom edges begin to get crispy – okay, go ahead and peek, lift the corner of a pancake with a spatula to see if the bottom is brown. Once it is, turn over and cook the other side for just a minute until the bottom browns.

Serve hot with butter, warm maple syrup and Baked Bacon.

ADANNA’s TIPS Stick to all-purpose flour for these pancakes, whole wheat flour, even whole wheat pastry flour just doesn’t work. For fun, use strawberry yogurt for pink pancakes, blueberry yogurt for, yep, blue pancakes – or plain yogurt and a little food coloring. A skillet works fine for pancakes for one or two but a non-stick electric griddle is handy for cooking pancakes for a family, letting everyone sit down to the table for hot pancakes all at once, maintaining even temperature throughout.

  • This recipe keeps evolving! Adanna and I both continue to make Lifetime Pancakes again and again, adjusting the recipe to fit our lives. I’ll keep the notes here, more ideas for others.
  • LIGHT VANILLA YOGURT KEEPS (Adanna) The yogurt will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. If the yogurt turns pink, it's gone bad and should be thrown away. If the whey (that's the liquid) separates but is clear in color, just stir it back in.
  • BUTTERMILK (Adanna) Adanna has switched from non-fat yogurt to buttermilk nearly all the time. (Alanna) Buttermilk is my dairy-liquid of choice as well, using either grocery-store buttermilk (it keeps for weeks) or Homemade Buttermilk.
  • SOUR CREAM or GREEK YOGURT (Alanna) Sour cream or Greek yogurt can be substituted for low-fat vanilla yogurt. Just add a half teaspoon of vanilla and stir in an extra tablespoon or two of water, to loosen the batter.
  • WHOLE-WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR (Adanna) Adanna now uses 2/3 whole-wheat pastry flour. (Alanna) All whole-wheat pastry flour is too much, it really affects the color and the taste.
  • WEIGHT vs VOLUME (Alanna) If you own a kitchen scale, just measure the ingredients into the bowl, no measuring cups to wash later! I'm adding weights as I make the different-sized batches.
  • PUMPKIN PANCAKES (Adanna) For pumpkin pancakes, add a “glop” of canned pumpkin purée to the batter and use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. Want more detail and a printable recipe? It's here on A Veggie Venture, see Pumpkin Pancakes.
  • LOW-CARB DIETS (Adanna) To limit carbs, Adanna no longer makes “pancakes for breakfast” but instead goes for “eggs for breakfast with pancakes on the side”. Even for three, including two male adults, the Tiny Batch is plenty when served with eggs.
  • GRIDDLE TEMPERATURE (Alanna) I set the electric griddle at 325F/160C.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per pancake, based on tiny batch of 3 pancakes: 155 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 71mg Cholesterol; 259mg Sodium; 18g Carb; 1g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 5 & Freestyle 5

Apparently, We're a Breakfast Family ;-)

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

My Mom's Pancakes Gashouse Eggs Homemade Egg McMuffin Cooked in the Microwave
~ more breakfast recipes ~

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ yogurt ~

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. 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 this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. I cannot thank you enough for posting small, medium, and big batches! I always try to re-measure and do that myself and it never works. These pancakes sound wonderful and I can't wait to try them.

  2. My sister makes pancakes for family every Sunday after church. Sending this to her, great idea.

  3. For your cooking challenged cousin -- what does "fluffed to aerate" mean? Is this the Muppet's Swedish chef version of just fluffing the flour with a fork and try to keep it all in the bowl?

  4. Jessica ~ You are so welcome, I do think you'd be most pleased with my sister's pancake recipe.

    Ali ~ Thanks for spreading the word!

    Barb ~ Hey, cuz. :-) But yes, you've got it, just fluff it up with a fork or spoon. Here's the 'official' word.

    Fluffing the flour is my favorite baking trick. Always fluff flour before measuring it. You see, when flour sits, it settles. As you stir the flour for just a few seconds, you'll add air and actually feel it lighten. By fluffing the flour first, you'll use as much as 25% less flour, by weight. The result is that all your baked goods will turn out noticeably lighter -- pancakes, muffins, cakes and cookies. I keep a spoon right in the flour canister, so I never forget and rarely, rarely get out the flour sifter, which performs much the same function. It's a miracle tip!

  5. I make multi-grain pancakes. Adanna’s would work at the beach. We use thawed frozen apple juice concentrate as syrup.

  6. well now I HAVE to have that griddle, I saw the reviews, people claim you can make a whole package of bacon at once. . . I see breakfast in 1/4 of the time. . .

  7. I am so proud of the woman in this issue, she is my Sunday pancake maker and breakfast companion.

  8. I just made these for the family, and they were fantastic. I used plain yogurt as it's all I had, but I added a few teaspoons of agave nectar and vanilla to sweeten that up a bit. I loved the flavor, and even though the batter might make you think they are going to be dense and heavy, they are really fluffy! Definitely a keeper! Thanks for another great one!

  9. moo - I've got that 'recipe' in my head, won't budge itself. Can't wait to try them!

    Teresa ~ I've been lusting after that griddle since my sister did her pancakes for all of us a few weeks back, haven't yet taken the plunge but, yes, it's inevitable. ;-) BTW I cook a whole pound of bacon in the oven, see Baked Bacon.

    Ted ~ Lucky man, you! (Lucky Adanna, too, it's nice to see her so happy.)

    MrsFussyPants ~ Mrs Fussy Pants' Pancake Emporium, it has a real ring! So glad you loved the pancakes, me too!

  10. I have that griddle. It is a wonderful size, easy to clean and the tilt feature is okay. It's a tight squeeze, but you can fit a whole package of bacon on it. The tilt does need to be tightened occasionally, but it's easy enough and only requires a screwdriver or a wrench. After a couple of years of use, the non-stick coating has held its own. Oh ya, the pancake recipe looks great. I can't wait to try it.

  11. I made the "Lifetime Pancakes" this morning. Uncle Ed came and sat down, and proceeded to help himself. He didn't say anything, and then after starting into his second cake asked, 'Are these Adanna's pancakes?' I said yes and no more. Upon starting his third cake, he commented on how different the texture was compared to other pancakes and wondered what I had put in these. I told him what was in them and upon reciting the recipe to him discovered that I had left out the vegetable oil.

    At any rate, they are perhaps the very best pancakes I have ever made! I made the tiny batch and it was perfect for us. I had two and Ed cleaned up the other 6!

    This will be my pancake formula from now on. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Love, Auntie Karen

  12. I received my first email from you today and somehow I knew that I should check out your sister's "lifetime pancake recipe." It turned out that it's my lifetime recipe, too ! Almost 40 years ago, I received that cookbook as a wedding shower gift. I probably have made only one or two recipes from it, but the pancake recipe is the only one I use when I make pancakes. The only adaptation I've made is to replace at least half of the milk with club soda - yum. And I add thinly sliced apples to the batter -- double yummm!! That apple pancake recipe is the one that I'm known for in my family and among our friends. Years ago, I even used to make them on our boat -- measured out the dry ingredients at home, put them in ziplock bags and transported everything to the boat. All I had to do, then, was to add the other ingredients when it was time to make the pancakes. This would work for camping, too, I imagine. Apple pancakes and bacon -- nothing is more tasty !

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my experience with's like a step back in time .....

    I hope you have a great day !


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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