Best Homemade Pancake Recipes

How to Make Homemade Pancakes from Scratch

Beatrice H. Comas
Pancakes with Raspberries

Some of the best homemade pancake recipes are also the simplest. One easy buttermilk pancake recipe can be adapted to a banana pancake recipe, a chocolate chip pancake recipe, or many others.

Other delicious pancakes, especially those with different grains or which adjust for dietary restrictions, might work best with a specific recipe.

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

Homemade Pancakes: The Master Recipe

Buttermilk Pancakes
Just one easy buttermilk pancake recipe can go a long way. With this recipe, you can either have classic buttermilk pancakes or spice them up (figuratively speaking, we hope) with your favorite add-ins and toppings. This recipe includes instructions for apple pancakesbanana pancakesblueberry pancakes, and chocolate chip pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes. Photo by Stockbyte/Thinkstock.
Classic Buttermilk Pancakes. Photo by Stockbyte/Thinkstock.

    Flavored Homemade Pancake Recipes

    Orange, Whole-Wheat, and Blueberry Pancakes (No Dairy)
    This recipe is perfect for the lactose-intolerant folks in your house. These pancakes have no dairy but still pull off a delicious taste.

    Zucchini Pancakes
    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!

    Pumpkin 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 Shutterstock.
    Pumpkin Pancakes. Photo by Shutterstock.

    Apple and Cranberry Puffed Pancakes
    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.

    Crème Fraîche Pancakes
    The distinct crème  fraîche  flavor makes these pancakes just delectable, so be sure to pick up some the next time you’re at the supermarket!

    Morse’s Swedish Pancakes
    These 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.

    German Pancakes
    German pancakes are an old classic, especially if you’re of German heritage. You simply can’t go wrong with this easy but delicious pancake recipe.

    Basic Crepes
    Don’t worry, we know—crepes aren’t pancakes! But it’s a nice change of pace. Be sure to dress up this basic 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. Photo by Crestock.

    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 ¼ 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 some options for whole-wheat pancakes, rye 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 is described by a native son 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!


    Parts of this article originally appeared in the 1982 Old Farmer's Almanac.

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