I’ve been kind of obsessed with pancakes over the last year, so I’ve decided to write a post about it. We are in a pandemic after all so why not write/read about something delicious and happy like pancakes?
I’ve always loved pancakes but was never the type to make them at home. If I did it was always from a box. Pancakes were just one of those things I’d only really eat when someone else made them or when I’d go out for breakfast/brunch.
I think it’s when I became a mom two years ago, or rather, when my child began eating solid foods, that I set out on this path to make the most healthy versions of foods that I could find. For me healthy means minimally processed foods and recipes with limited amounts of refined sugar.
Eventually, as I introduced my child to the world of food, pancakes came onto the breakfast scene. And I desired to make my own rather than use a box. Nothing wrong with feeding your kid boxed anything, by the way. Not that you need me to tell you that. I try to limit processed foods in my own diet not just my kid’s, but it’s near impossible to have a perfectly clean diet, especially as an exhausted working parent.
Fast forward to present day and I am now a self-proclaimed certified from-scratch-only pancake maker. Yes, I’m hooked to making my own pancakes. I’ve tried a ton of different recipes (thank you, food bloggers!) and I’ve decided to compile my favorites here so you too can enjoy the joy that is pancakes made from scratch. So simple, so easy, so quick, so joyful! I’ll never go back to boxed pancakes ever again. There’s really no need if you have all the baking staples readily available in your kitchen.
So there are many different ways to pancake and my favorite three that I alternate are:
- Banana pancakes
- Buttermilk pancakes
- Regular pancakes
All three are delicious and have their rightful place in your morning breakfast routine depending on what your taste buds are craving. When I first started on my pancake journey (did I just put pancake and journey in the same sentence?), I started out with banana pancakes.
I’ve tried all sorts of variations from those two-recipe banana pancakes that call for only bananas and eggs to three-recipe banana pancakes to other simple recipes, including gluten-free, that use oats or almond flour and the like. Basically, “healthy” stuff… because like I said, that’s what I was on the hunt for. Healthy but also easy. Honestly, I didn’t really love any of those banana pancake variations. They were good, but I always felt like they lacked something inherently pancake about them. It was fun experimenting, but I never came across a recipe that I felt like I really wanted to make again.
Enter Once Upon a Chef’s banana pancakes.
This quickly became my go-to pancake recipe. I would only make these when I wanted pancakes. It was just too easy and too good.
The only thing I do differently when I make this recipe is omit the sugar. In fact, I’ve never tried this recipe with the sugar. And I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing because these pancakes always taste amazing. The way I see it, the maple syrup I pour on top is plenty sugar for me. And the bananas themselves are the sugar, so, long story short, you can choose to add or not add the sugar depending on your preference, and you’ll still enjoy a delicious batch of pancakes.
Another thing I do to this recipe from time to time is add berries. This makes it a truly fruity delicious pancake with just the right amount of delicate natural sweetness.
I love this recipe because the pancake texture comes out perfectly fluffy and moist with just the right amount of crisp on the outside. They’re just great pancakes.
So then one day I thought to myself you know what, I have a taste for some good old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes. Buttermilk, after all, is supposed to be the secret ingredient for the perfect pancake. Also, I became such a natural at making Once Upon a Chef’s banana pancakes that eventually I was just in the mood for a change. For a different type of pancake. Therein began the hunt for the buttermilk pancake recipe of my dreams.
A few things to note about buttermilk:
Buttermilk is not one of those things you normally have sitting in your fridge on any given day (at least not in my house). What I do have in my fridge on a pretty regular basis though is plain yogurt. And I discovered that you can make your own buttermilk by mixing yogurt and milk (3/4 yogurt with 1/4 milk to make 1 cup of buttermilk).
You can also make buttermilk by mixing milk with a squeeze of lemon juice or vinegar. Pretty cool, huh? I love these alternatives because I dislike having to buy an ingredient that I know will just sit there in my fridge forever until it goes bad after I use the small amount I need for a recipe. So now whenever I have a craving for buttermilk pancakes, I just make my own buttermilk. The yogurt + milk concoction (recipe here) is my favorite.
Back to the pancakes. I tried a few recipes and finally settled on this one by Tastes Better From Scratch.
I know I said earlier that I prefer to omit sugar from recipes but for this one for some reason I decided to only decrease the sugar rather than omit completely. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons and I’ve only ever made these pancakes with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Still, they taste stupendous.
I think I kept a bit of the sugar because I figured there’s no banana in here to add some sweetness and I worried the pancakes would be bland without said hint of sweetness. Maybe next time I make these I will try the recipe without any sugar at all and see how it goes. I have a feeling they’d be perfectly fine.
I’ve made these buttermilk pancakes a few times now and always with my own homemade buttermilk and they are heavenly every time. The last time I made these I doubled the batch and barely had any leftovers after five adults and one toddler got through them. So good.
Do not be deceived by the adjective here. Regular does not imply plain or ordinary. Regular here means the original OG of pancakes just the way they are, without any special sauce (buttermilk, banana, etc.). Although, of course you can always add whatever mix-ins you want to any pancakes regular or not (think chocolate chips, a dash of Nutella, berries, cinnamon, hey even nuts…. go crazy, have at it)… Anyway, these pancakes are a good base for all of that and whatever else your heart may desire.
Well, one morning my heart desired pancakes (ha, again) and this time I thought well, I don’t feel like mixing up buttermilk and I’m out of bananas, so how about I just make some regular pancakes? I mean, those are the ones you make out of the box, right? So off I go again in search of another kind of pancake recipe.
And the one that became my go-to regular pancake recipe is this Everyday Pancakes recipe by NYT Cooking. It’s… fool proof.
So, again with my alterations. I’ve made this recipe a few times now and every time I’ve omitted the sugar AND I’ve used both white flour and whole wheat flour (1 cup white, 1 cup whole wheat since the recipe calls for 2 cups total). I don’t know why I mixed the flour; I just did. I think it was because my whole wheat flour was about to expire so I wanted to use some of it up. This change rendered the pancakes a little denser but I actually really enjoyed them that way. Another change I made was add 1 teaspoon of vanilla because why not. Vanilla is a fantastic addition to pancake batter in my opinion.
For the Love of Pancakes…
I hope you’ll try these three recipes some time to bring some pancake joy to your life. If you do, let me know what you think. And if you have recommendations for other pancake recipes I should try, please do share. One thing I forgot to mention is that except for the buttermilk recipe, I’ve tried different types of milk in these pancake batters (cow, oat, almond) and all milk subs work wonderfully well.
Lastly, please note I am sharing these recipes for the love of pancakes and not because I’m getting paid to advertise these food sites (although, that would be nice). I also just believe in giving credit where credit is due when you enjoy someone else’s recipe.
Now, go make some pancakes!
Banana Pancakes by Once Upon a Chef
Buttermilk Pancakes by Tastes Better From Scratch
Everyday Pancakes by NYT Cooking