pancakes with panache: Take a walk on the wild side

Ah, pancakes – how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

I love thee for thy crust and texture light,
I love thee for thy flavor – buttery bright,
I love thee purely, syrup on the side,
I love thee with a passion only you provide,
I love thee…

Oh, heck. My apologies, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. There’s a better way for me to list The Top Ten Reasons I Love Pancakes:

1. They’re not HOT or COLD, but pleasingly warm, perfect for any season.
2. They’re soft, moist, and a gentle way to get your appetite in gear for the day.
3. Pancakes remind me of being about 9 years old.
4. They’re the ideal vehicle for melting butter and maple syrup.
5. You can scale them up or down, according to appetite or diet: single, short stack, tall stack.
6. There’s no flavor combination quite so fine as salty bacon and syrupy pancake.
7. You can make a whole-grain pancake that’s out of this world. Really.
8. A superior diner pancake is one of God’s gifts to hungry humans.
9. They’re a special treat when you serve them at dinner. Unlike a bowl of oatmeal.
10. There are so many ways to gussy them up, you wouldn’t have to eat the same pancakes twice in a month of Sundays.

Witness these gems:


OK, not winning any beauty contests, granted.  But tasty? Well, as they say in Maine – Mmm-MMM, I tell you, Mr. Man, these are SOME good.

And, if I still lived in Maine, I wouldn’t have wasted all this time waxing eloquent about pancakes when I could have gotten out my flour and eggs and milk and butter and whipped up a batch.

So enough with the palaver. Let’s make pancakes with panache – Pancakes Gone Wild.


Malted milk powder is the secret ingredient in these pancakes. It adds that certain something…


…as do all of these cool things you can add! Here we have (front to back) chocolate mini chips and cinnamon Flav-R-Bites; candy-coated chocolate chips and toasted coconut; butterscotch chips and crystallized ginger mini bits; and cappuccino chips and diced walnuts.

If you choose one add-in, you’ll need about 2/3 cup. For multiple add-ins, just lay out a selection, and let everyone select one (or more) to sprinkle atop their cakes as they cook.


Start by whisking together 1 large egg, 2/3 cup milk, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


Whisk in 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 2 tablespoons malted milk powder (or 1 tablespoon sugar).


If you’re using just one add-in, stir 2/3 cup into the batter. For two types of pancakes, divide the batter in half, adding 1/2 cup chips, nuts, etc., to each half.

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes, while you heat your griddle to medium-high, about 350°F. Or, if you don’t have an electric griddle, heat a frying pan over medium heat.


Dollop the batter onto the hot, greased griddle. A scoop works very well here. A cookie scoop will make kid-friendly (or diet-conscious) 2 1/2″ to 3″ cakes. A muffin scoop, full-sized 4″ to 4 1/2″ cakes.

If you’ve stirred in “enhancements,” you may need to use the back of the scoop or a spoon to spread the pancakes a bit.


Let the cakes cook for about 90 seconds, or until they start to show a few bubbles on top. Check the bottom to see how brown they are; if they’re browning too quickly (say, in under a minute), reduce the temperature of the griddle or pan. If they’re taking longer than 2 minutes to brown nicely, increase the temperature.


Here’s one of my cinnamon Flav-R-Bite pancakes. I’ve just flipped it; what a nice color!


Now, here’s what happens when you add candy-coated mini chips to pancake batter. The color runs, and you get PURPLE PANCAKES! Kids might enjoy these, but they were a little too funky looking for my taste.


If each person wants to add their own enhancements, have them sprinkle a tablespoon or so on top of the pancakes, as soon as you pour them onto the griddle. (Since the batter without add-ins isn’t as thick, the batter for these cakes will pour, rather than needing to be scooped.)


Flip the cakes over when they’re brown on the bottom.


Pile on a plate. Put them “goodie side up” to identify what’s in each pancake. Drizzle on the syrup; butter, too, if you like.


Here are the pancakes with mini chocolate chips stirred into the batter, rather than sprinkled on top.


And here are the cakes with cinnamon Flav-R-Bites. Pause a moment, and imagine with me just how good these taste. Warm pancake, a touch of syrup, soft pockets of cinnamon. Ahhh…

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Pancakes Gone Wild.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Little House of Pancakes, Pigeon Forge, TN: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, stack of 3, $6.95

Make at home: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, stack of 3 full-sized cakes, 82¢

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Lish

    These look fantastic. Last fall we all went to Pigeon Forge and had pancakes at the place you mentioned in the cost comparison. If these pancakes compare to those then I think I found my new go to pancake recipe! I have never liked pancakes from a mix, except for the homemade whole grain mix you mentioned at the start of your blog. These sound even more awesome! I now have to pick up some malted milk powder. My kids would probably eat the whole batch themselves, as they love good pancakes! Thanks for a great blog, as always!

  2. Chuck

    The sound good, but what about a savory pancake? Maybe some cooked, minced bacon, or cooked crumbled sausage, or Italian sausage, hot or mild, or some minced ham, and or a little onion, etc. Add the PURE maple syrup and eggs, scrambled or fried. Sounds like Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch or Dinner to me.
    Okay Chuck, sounds good to us too. Let us know when you plan to come make breakfast for us. I’ll bring the mimosas ;). ~ MaryJane

  3. marielle

    Around here nothing beats your whole grain pancake mix recipe. Seriously delicious and even my whole grain averse husband declared them better than anything he’d ever had.
    Isn’t it amazing how that recipe has so much flavor and just hits the right chord? Enjoy ~ MaryJane

  4. Jules

    Do the flav-r-bites need to be stirred in to get that 15 minute rest? I would think that if they were sprinkled on top, they wouldn’t soften enough to work well. I love them and use them whenever I can. Oh, and is there a chance to get the maple flavored bites back? I loved those as well.

    Yes, Jules, they’re better if you stir them in – good point. I loved the maple ones, too – we’re still looking to get an all-natural version. Let me check with our merchandising team, see what the progress is – PJH

  5. wren

    Thanks Chuck, you were the inspiration for breakfast this morning — savory pancakes with add-ins of minced bacon, scallions and mushrooms with a dab of Greek yogurt on top.

  6. Keri

    hah! I just finished eating pancakes for supper. I have my favorite buttermilk pancake recipe and decided to mix in some dry oatmeal and a bit of wheat germ, cinnamon and nutmeg. Served with chopped peaches, blueberries, strawberries and real whipped cream and maple syrup. Sausage on the side.

    Sounds good, Keri – I’ll be over later… PJH

  7. Tanja

    The good thing about banana pancakes – the ones where you put the batter on the griddle and then add the banana slices on top – is that they caramelize when you turn the pancake, which tastes really nice.

    OOOOOH, Tanja, great idea! I guess if you sprinkle with sugar they’d stick though, huh? Maybe they don’t even need the sugar to caramelize? PJH

  8. Sandy

    Oh yum….adding the Cinnamon Flavr-Bites in the mix sounds wonderful. I have several bags of them in my cabinet…love them! Since it is still peach season here in NC, adding peaches to the cinnamon flavr-bite pancakes would be really tasty…almost like a peach pie!

  9. Kimberly D

    I have used spelt flour in my pancakes after years of using all purpose flour and found that I and my family liked spelt flour pancakes and Michigan maple syrup. I also add a cap full of vanilla extract and if I have them blue berries. And also use ice cream scoop for the batter. Any suggestions for what else I can use spelt flour for? I am kind of new to it. Thanks for your great blogs love the pictures showing step by step.

    Hi Kimberly – Try these spelt recipes. And we have a good number of spelt recipes in our Whole Grain Baking book. Check it out sometime! PJH

  10. Karen

    I have to agree that your whole grain pancake mix is the best. It has spoiled our taste buds forever! We’ve tried 2 others when we ran out of our mix, and those leftovers were fed to the ducks behind our house. I can’t wait to try these!!!



    Not deep fried, Mickey; these are fried with just a touch of oil to keep them from sticking. Are they healthy? Depends how much you load them up with butter and syrup. I wouldn’t term them unhealthy; exchange half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, to add fiber and minerals, if you like. PJH

  12. Kristine in WA

    Mmmmmm… these looked so good yesterday I made breakfast for dinner last night with these pancakes as the star attraction. My 2 year olds hummed through their two pancakes. (And eating two of these beauties is quite a feat).

  13. Linda J

    Assuming I get some malted milk powder are there other recipes on site that would use this ingredient? They look delish and as always, great job on the tutorials! TIA.

    Linda, just search on “malt” – here’s the link. Have fun – PJH

  14. emily

    Cinnamon Flav R Bites? Wait, what? I’m completely entranced. I absolutely love cinnamon (chip?) scones that Whole Foods makes, but I always wondered how you got little cinnamon ‘chips’ in there. I’m assuming it’s something like these. But I’ve never seen these in stores here in NYC. Are they in the baking aisle?

    Emily, I have never seen these in the baking aisle, in my travels around the US. Frank @ KAF.

    So far as I know, we’re the only one selling Flav-R-Bites. They’re much more cinnamon-y than cinnamon chips; caveat is, they need to be used in wet batters, or soaked for 10 minutes or so first, otherwise they’re pretty hard/crunchy. PJH

  15. Kay

    These look wonderful! My kids absolutely love my sweet potato pancakes, but maybe they would like some of these. I wonder if the malted milk powder would work with the sweet potatoes…
    If you are interested, here is my sweet potato pancake recipe:
    1-1/4 c mashed sweet potatoes, 1-1/2 c whole wheat flour, 3-1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs-beaten, 1-1/2 c milk, 2 Tblsp melted butter
    In a medium bowl mix together flour, spices, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl combine potatoes, vanilla, eggs, milk, and butter. Blend the potato mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter. (Can refrigerate or freeze at this point for later use). Preheat a lightly greased griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter mixture onto griddle by heaping tablespoonfuls and cook until golden brown, turning once when surface begins to bubble.
    The kids really like the pancakes to be “silver dollar” sized.

    WOW, these sound super, Kay – thanks so much for sharing. Bet they’d be good with cinnamon chips… PJH

  16. RisaG

    Boy do these look good. I make pancakes OR waffles every weekend. Usually I add either chocolate chips OR banana slices. I’ve also used blueberries when in season. I think the addition really adds something to the pancakes. My son adores my banana chocolate chip pancakes. Some of your additions look really good. Giving me ideas…

  17. Dana


    Thanks for a wonderful blog, I love reading it, and learning things (eg differences between the yeasts, or kosher versus regular salt), and getting inspired! A quick question though – between a few days ago and today, the recipe for the whole grain pancakes seems to have disappeared from your site. The link in this entry takes me nowhere, a search of the KAF recipe site brings me to a summary page, if I click on the link there, it again takes me nowhere… Any chance of getting it back?

    Thanks for a wonderful blog, and for taking me along on great baking adventures, Dana

    This is an ongoing problem recently, Dana – recipes just “up and disappear.” We’re trying to figure it out. In the meantime, thanks for letting us know, and I’ll get it back when I get into work this morning- PJH

  18. dick

    My mother used to make an Amish savory pancake when I was a kid. She woudl crumble crisp bacon and then quickly saute fresh corn in the bacon fat just to get a little color on the corn. Then she would pour out the pancakes and the sprinkle the corn and bacon and sometime little bits of onion onto the pancakes. A little butter and a little syrup and heavenly. Even better if you heat the syrup a wee bit. Haven’t made them for years.

    Boy, doesn’t THAT sound good, Dick. I think you’d better break out the bacon and corn this weekend… PJH

  19. Lynne

    Can you substitute NON DIASTATIC MALT POWDER 1# for the Malted Milk powder? Thanks!

    Yes, Lynne – slightly different flavor, but it should work just fine. PJH


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