Simply perfect pancakes: guaranteed to please

Perfect pancakes.

Fact, or fiction?

For such a simple dish – flour, milk, salt, butter, eggs, and leavening – there are certainly a plethora of recipes out there. And not just variations (read: blueberry, chocolate chip); but hundreds and hundreds of recipes for just… plain… pancakes.

And it seems no one is content with the recipe they have. It’s a big game of musical chairs out there: Let’s go round and round and round on Google, and when the music stops – grab a recipe, any new recipe!

Maybe that’s why our guaranteed Simply Perfect Pancakes is one of the top recipe landing pages on our online recipe site.

To mark today’s launch of our newly redesigned site, I decided to determine the recipe with the most customer “hits” that hadn’t yet been blogged.

And this is it: pancakes.

Simple, everyday pancakes.

Maybe we never blogged it because we figure everyone knows how to make pancakes, and already has a favorite recipe. But given the number of people searching this site for “pancake recipe” – well, we must have figured wrong.

So here it is: yet another pancake recipe. But this one is for “perfect pancakes” – Simply Perfect Pancakes.

And what’s the secret to these particular pancakes?

The perfect balance of ingredients: King Arthur Flour for body, baking powder for rise, eggs for structure, butter for richness, and milk to bring it all together.

Plus a certain “secret ingredient” –

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Malted milk powder, a richly flavored sweetener that gives these cakes a certain diner-style je ne sais quoi.

Still hunting for the ultimate pancake recipe? Well, the music has stopped; grab a chair, and give this recipe a try. Your long search may finally be over.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk*

*Start with just 1 cup milk if you’re baking under hot, humid conditions, or if you’re going to let the batter rest longer than 15 minutes. Use up to 1 1/4 cups milk in cold, dry conditions.

What’s the difference? Depending on the amount of milk used the pancake batter will be thicker/thinner, and thus the cakes will be thicker/thinner.

In summer, or when it’s stored in hot, humid conditions, flour acts like a sponge, soaking up moisture from the atmosphere. Thus you’ll usually use less liquid in your recipes in summer, more in winter.

And how about resting the batter? The longer it rests, the more it thickens, as the flour gradually absorbs the liquid.

Bottom line: If you prefer thicker pancakes, go easy with the milk. You can always thin the batter with more milk – but it’s hard to use less milk once you’ve already added it!

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Beat the eggs and milk until light and foamy, about 3 minutes at high speed of a stand or hand mixer.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Whisk together the following:

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar OR 1/4 cup malted milk powder

Stir into the milk/egg. Don’t beat; some lumps are OK.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Add 3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil. Stir it in.

Note: If you read our online recipe for these pancakes, it tells you to add the melted butter/oil to the milk/egg, prior to adding the dry ingredients. I use melted butter (rather than oil), and when I add warm butter to cold milk/egg, it coagulates into little globules that, in my opinion, don’t blend into the batter very nicely. Thus I add the melted butter at the end, when the room-temperature flour has warmed the batter up a bit.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Notice how this batter drips off the spatula in a narrow stream; it’s pretty thin. I’m going to let it rest for at least 15 minutes, while my griddle is heating; it’ll thicken slightly.

Even after a rest, though, the batter will be fairly thin, and the pancakes I make will be on the thin side – which is the way I like them.

Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat, or set an electric griddle to 375°F. Lightly grease the frying pan or griddle. The pan or griddle is ready if a drop of water skitters across the surface, evaporating immediately.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle.

Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, about 2 minutes.

SimplyPerfectPancakes-13

Then turn the pancakes and cook the other side until brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Turn over only once; lots of flipping will yield tough pancakes.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Serve immediately. First comes the butter…

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

…then the maple syrup. I prefer Grade B maple syrup, for the best, most assertive flavor.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Look at that lovely interior! Nice and light.

Simply Perfect Pancakes via @kingarthurflour

Anticipation…

Can’t you just taste these warm, buttery pancakes, with their drizzle of sweet maple syrup?

The weekend’s here – bookmark this recipe on our new site, and give it a try.

Then add your review – we’d love to hear what you think.

Want a hard copy right now? Print the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

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!

comments

  1. Mark. B

    Have you tried substituting “King Author Cake Flour” for the All-Purpose Flour? Try it… you just might be amazed. Also, try substituting Whole Buttermilk for the Milk.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That shouldn’t be a problem at all, Bryan — a 1:1 swap will be fine! If you’re ever curious whether or not a dairy-free substitute will work in a recipe, we encourage you to check out our dairy-free blog series. Happy baking! Annabelle@KAF

  2. Paulpato

    I enjoy light fluffy pancakes. What I don’t like are pancakes that fall apart when butter and syrup are added. How does one get a fluffy pancake that has a nice sturdy texture that isn’t tough.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden

      Great question, Paulpato. We have just the post for you! How to make fluffy pancakes is now featured as part of our personalized pancakes series. In this article, we outline five simple tips that can make your pancakes light and rise high. If you’re looking for pancakes that can hold up to being doused with maple syrup or other toppings, be sure to use King Arthur All-Purpose Flour in your batter. This flour has just the right protein content to ensure the pancakes hold together without being too tough. It’s 11.7% protein content hits the mark for pancakes that are fluffy but sturdy. Give it a whirl in our Buttermilk Pancakes recipe following the tips to make them fluffy. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  3. Heidell

    Great recipe!!!I just made it this morning to make a tower for my dads birthday… they kids and everyone loved it!!

    Reply

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