Pancakes (Recipes Kids Should Know How To Cook Before Leaving Home)
It’s time for another Recipes Kids Should Know How to Cook Before Leaving Home post. This month we are learning how to make pancakes from scratch.
When I started writing for Alpha Mom and proposed working on this series to my 11-year-old daughter Cate, she was totally on board but a little nervous. Of my three kids, Cate has actually been the least interested in cooking…until now! Teaching her these recipes each month has really lit a fire and she loves cooking now (Cate has tackled omelets and grilled cheese so far). It’s been awesome to watch the transformation. And since pancakes are one of her favorite foods, she was especially excited this month.
Pancakes are a great basic recipe everyone should know how to cook. They make for a delicious, classic breakfast, of course, but pancakes are nice in a pinch at dinnertime, too! Pancakes are also fun because you can take the basic recipe and have a little fun with it by adding different flavors and mix-ins.
Since Cate and I conducted our pancake tutorial a few days ago, she has made pancakes three times already. I think it’s safe to say she’s glad to know how to make pancakes! When she taste tested the first batch she said (with a twinkle in her eye), “Mmmmmm. Compliments to the chef! Oh wait, that’s me. Nevermind!”
Basic Pancakes (made from scratch)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes: Ten 4-inch pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (If you want to make whole wheat pancakes, use 1 cup whole wheat flour instead)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk (Buttermilk helps make the pancakes fluffier, especially if you use whole wheat flour. See Step 1 below for a simple buttermilk substitute if you need it.)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil, like canola or vegetable oil
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, start off by putting 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into your 1-cup measuring cup. Fill the cup the rest of the way with milk. Stir gently then set aside while you mix the other ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (When measuring the baking powder and baking soda, measure them into your hand first, then press out any lumps in your hand using the back of your measuring spoon. Scrape the powder from your hand into the bowl with the edge of the measuring spoon.) Whisk all the dry ingredients together well and set aside.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, crack the egg into the bowl. Whisk the egg until it is well beaten and looks uniform in color. Add the buttermilk and oil and whisk well.
- With a mixing spoon, make a well (hole) in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and mix carefully. You want to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated evenly together but the batter is still lumpy. You want lots of lumps! When you reach the point of just mixed and lumpy, set the bowl aside to rest for a few minutes.
- While the batter is resting, place a large frying pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium, which is halfway on the stove dial. Let pan fully heat before cooking, about 5-10 minutes.
- Using a pancake flipper, also known as a spatula, place about 1/2 tablespoon of butter into the pan and spread it around with your flipper to coat the entire pan. The butter should be bubbling and sizzling – that’s when you know the pan is hot enough to cook the pancakes.
- Give the batter one more gentle stir. If there are very large lumps, break them up with the back of the spoon, but leave the smaller lumps alone.
- Using a large cookie scoop with a 2-tablespoon capacity or a 1/4-cup measuring cup and filling that cup only halfway (so you are measuring 1/8 cup, which is 2 tablespoons), pour the batter into the pan, spacing out the pancakes in the pan. Your pan will probably be able to cook 3 or 4 pancakes at a time. If you want to add in any mix-ins like chocolate chips or blueberries, this is the time to add them. As soon as you pour the batter on the pan, place your mix-ins on the pancakes directly, evenly spacing the mix-ins.
- Cook the first side of the pancakes for about 3-5 minutes, until there are bubbles across the whole surface of the pancake. The bubbles should start to pop and the holes formed by the bubbles should stay open and not fill back in with batter. The edges should also look a little dried. At this point flip the pancake over and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until the bottom has browned.
- As you cook the pancakes, the pan may get hotter over time. Reduce the heat slightly if the pancakes are browning too quickly before the bubbles have formed as described in step 9.
- You can serve the pancakes as you go, but if you want to serve all of the pancakes at once, do the following: Before you start making the batter, turn the oven on to 200º F. Place an oven-safe plate in the oven. As you cook the pancakes, place them on the plate in the oven. Once all the pancakes are cooked, remove the plate carefully using oven mitts (also known as hot pads) and serve the pancakes all at once to your family!
Published January 21, 2016. Last updated May 12, 2018.