Pancake Squares: Round up the family for a good square meal

Do you, being of a certain age, remember when McDonald’s first started serving breakfast?

I certainly do. It was a pretty big deal back then, and for our small family it was considered a real treat.

I remember for us it was reserved for Sundays only, and we would go after church, still in suits, ties, and dresses. My parents didn’t need to be warned that the coffee was hot, and we kids didn’t need to be warned that we still needed to act like we were in a restaurant, not a fast food joint.

My breakfast of choice was always the hotcakes. They came in a squeaky Styrofoam container that you could easily puncture with your plastic knife to make patterns with your “maple syrup”. The butter atop the pancakes was a little scoop, not a square pat and you could swirl it around and around before eating the last little bit off of your fork.

These days my Mickey D’s visits are few and far between and most Sunday mornings you can find me merrily answering baker’s hotline calls from my desk at King Arthur Flour. Quite often I wish I could have that hotcake breakfast again though (minus the frilly dress and bows in my hair; no, I will not share pictures).

Thanks to Pinterest, that giant bulletin board of ideas in the cloud, I now have a way to share pancakes without standing at a griddle, or standing in line for takeout. I’m sure plenty of you have been doing this for years, but for me… a revelation.

Behold the pancake square.

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That’s right, pancake batter baked in a rectangular pan then sliced into squares. So simple, it plumb evaded my notice for years.

I know you all don’t need a step by step tutorial and can figure it out, but here’s a few photos for the curious.

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My all-time favorite pancakes are blueberry pancakes from a mix. Toss everything in a bowl, blend it up well and pour it into a greased 9″ x 13″ x 2″ pan, or for thicker cakes a 7″ X 11″ baking dish.  You can, of course, use your favorite mix or scratch recipe.

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Bake at 350°F for 22 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a cake tester tests clean in the center. At this point the whole house will smell like pancakes, and you’ll be wondering why your back isn’t smarting from standing over the griddle for the last 25 minutes.

Keep in mind if you add fresh fruit or frozen fruit, the baking time may be slightly longer.

For the full breakfast experience, why not add a tray of bacon to bake at the same time? PJ’s blog makes bakin’ bacon a breeze.

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You can serve the squares plain to cover with (or dip into) syrup, or you can make a simple glaze with 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, and enough milk to make a smooth, spreadable glaze. I like to add just a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness, but that’s just a personal choice.

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A pastry brush is the best tool I’ve found for spreading the glaze over the warm pancakes before slicing.

Cut your pan full of goodness into squares and serve warm.

If you’re feeding several hungry mouths, you can make as many trays of pancakes as you need. You could even fill the pan with batter the night before and then bake straight from the fridge in the morning. Leftovers can be stored well-wrapped at room temperature for 2 days, or frozen in individual servings.

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Happen to have one of our burger and pie pans for making individual pieces? I found it was perfect for making large pancakes. Make a stack of these at the beginning of the week and everyone can choose their own flavors each day. Hot breakfast for the win!DSCN1773

Delightful, and perfectly portable. And nary a hair bow in sight!

So, how late am I to the pancake square dance? Is this something you’ve been doing at home for years, or are you a newbie like me? Only the comments will tell.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Emily

    What would cause the baked pancake to resemble cornbread a little? I used cashew milk and added 1 tsp more baking powder to the SIMPLY PERFECT PANCAKES recipe that was suggested. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Emily. Usually if a pancake or even regular cake comes out with a cornbread-like texture, the culprit is over mixing. Try whisking your ingredients just until they’re combined and you should have smoother, fluffy results. Happy baking! Annabelle@KAF

  2. Kelly

    I think KA sparkling sugar would be a nice touch on the top. Mine came out crispy around the edges and the sweetness with crunch would be perfect.

    Reply
  3. Paula Jordan-Gluck

    I saw this recipe idea, decided that might be good for upcoming brunch, but had to test it first –did so this morning. I used a WW blend mix. Put a few Glazed Cinnamon Pecans on top, baked 25 minutes in a 9″ square (10-13 pancake portion.) Baked perfectly! The glaze was too soupy, but I dumped it on anyway. Tasted like a pancake–but still needed butter and more syrup in my opinion. After that addition, it was delicious and will make for the brunch! The texture was excellent, I’m sure that will vary with your mix or recipe. Was going to add a picture, but how?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for taking this recipe out for a test run, Paula! Our website doesn’t currently support photo sharing, but we’d love to see a shot of your bake and hope you’ll consider sharing it on our Facebook page or by using #kingarthurflour on Instagram or Twitter. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      To prevent the pancake squares from sticking to the pan, you’ll want to spray it with a bit of non-stick spray. This will give you a better release than greasing and flouring the pan (which tends to create a bit of a paste). Kye@KAF

  4. Suzane Burkhart

    I’m anxious to try the baked pancakes. Do I need to grease and flour the pan like a regular cake? About how much batter would I need for a 12” iron skillet? Thanks for the help. Suzane

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Suzane. Grease your skillet but don’t flour it. Fill the skillet with enough batter to make it 1/2″ to 3/4″ deep. Susan

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