Some of the best homemade pancake recipes are also the simplest. All on one page, find our best buttermilk, whole-grain, special-diet, and flavored pancakes, including our ”master pancake” recipe, which can be flavored in many ways.
Pancakes have been loved for their delicious simplicity for hundreds of years, and they are famous throughout the world.
Depending upon what part of the world you hail from, those flat, round cakes so popular for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dessert may be called pancakes, hot cakes, buckwheats, stacks, flannel cakes, flapjacks, fritters, or griddle cakes. Read more about the history of pancakes at the end of this article, following the pancake recipes below.
Just one classic buttermilk pancake recipe can go a long way. Adapt this “master recipe” with your favorite add-ins and toppings. This recipe includes instructions for apple pancakes, banana pancakes, blueberry pancakes, and chocolate chip pancakes.
Classic Buttermilk Pancakes. Photo by Stockbyte/Thinkstock.
These thin, crepe-like pancakes are distinctly Swedish due to the key ingredient: lingonberry preserves. In case you can’t find any, you can use berry jam instead—but we recommend that authentic international flavor.
Morse’s Swedish Pancakes. Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein.
Don’t worry, we know—crepes aren’t pancakes! But it’s a nice change of pace. Be sure to dress up this basic strawberry crepe recipe with a variety of fillings!
Crepes and pancakes are very similar, but many people like to eat their crepes rolled up with different fillings.
Whole-Wheat, Rye, and Gluten-Free Pancakes
It’s easy to make your favorite breakfast a bit healthier by using different grains. White flour isn’t always the best option, and most people know that whole-wheat varieties can be more beneficial. If you’ve never experimented, we would suggest replacing no more than 1/4 of the original flour for a different type of grain (like buckwheat or coconut flour). If you’d rather stick to a specific recipe, here are options for whole-wheat pancakes and a gluten free pancake using cornmeal.
In Greece, where pancakes originated, the Athenians made them of barley and water, and Plato called them “griddle cakes” or “noble cakes.” From the ancient Greek church derives the custom of eating pancakes on Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday).
In England since 1634, Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday, which ushers in the solemn season of Lent) has been called “Pancake Tuesday” or “Fat Tuesday,” because with 40 lean days ahead, it was a day of fun and feasting. The Shrovetide Pancake was described as follows: “There is a thing called wheaten flour, which the cookes do mingle with water, eggs, spice and other tragicall, magicall enchantments, and they put little by little into a frying pan of boiling suet, where it makes a confused dismall hissing, until at last it is transformed into the form of a Pancake, which the ignorant people do devoure very gredillie.” In England, the “pancake bell” still rings at 11:00 a.m. on “Fat Tuesday.”
Across the sea in America, the ladies of Liberal, Kansas, which calls itself the “Pancake Hub of the Universe,” run an International Pancake Race. Visitors are attracted by a six-foot cement stack of pancakes and a variety of pancake novelty shops.
The “Fat Tuesday” custom is an old and pleasant one, worth preserving, but pancakes are a welcome change any time of year. Most pancakes can be prepared ahead for later use. Fold, roll, or stack them. Cover and refrigerate or freeze them to be reheated later in a toaster, oven, or microwave oven, or heated in butter in a skillet or chafing dish over medium heat.
What’s your favorite pancake recipe or pancake topping? Share it with us in the comments below!