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.
Best Homemade Pancake Recipes
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.
Flavored Homemade Pancake Recipes
This recipe is perfect for the lactose-intolerant folks in your house. These pancakes have no dairy but still pull off a delicious taste.
Fluffy, golden, and tender thanks to the addition of sour cream, these pancakes will make breakfast your favorite meal of the day (assuming it isn’t already)!
Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes. Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein.
Zucchini is famous in zucchini bread recipes because it adds moistness (and many people do not even spot the vegetable!). See how zucchini works in pancakes!
Once fall roles around, most people start craving pumpkin everything. These delicious pumpkin pancakes are an interesting autumn twist, and they taste delicious with a generous serving of maple syrup.
Pumpkin Pancakes. Photo by vm2002/Shutterstock.
Who doesn’t love a good puffy pancake recipe? Though you can make a simple apple pancake recipe above with the master recipe, these pancakes offer even more flavor and will simply melt in your mouth.
Apple and Cranberry Puffed Pancakes. Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein.
The German pancake, which is also known as a “Dutch baby,” is an old classic, especially if you’re of German heritage. You simply can’t go wrong with this easy but delicious pancake recipe.
German pancake. Photo by Sam Jones/Quinn Brein.
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.
A Little Pancake History
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!