Best Breakfast Pancakes

5 stars based on 8 votes


Adapted from The New York Times Cookbook, these pancakes are fluffy on the interior and crispy on the exterior. Once you try them, you’ll wonder about all those boxed pancake mixes — these hardly require any more work and they’re twice as good. Plus, I’ll bet you’ve already got all the ingredients on hand.

Best Breakfast Pancakes

Servings: 6-8 large pancakes
Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking


  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat the egg and milk together in a bowl. In a different bowl, add the milk mixture to the melted butter, stirring constantly with a whisk to blend.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just enough to moisten the flour mixture. It should look a little lumpy. (If you overwork the mixture, the pancakes will be tough.) This is a thick batter but if it seems too thick, add a bit more milk.
  4. Heat a griddle or nonstick pan over medium heat and coat it with vegetable oil. Drop the batter from a large spoon (about 1/4 cup) and cook until the first side is golden brown, or until the top surface bubbles and is dotted with holes. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown. This happens quickly so peek after 30 seconds and watch carefully! Adjust the heat setting if necessary. Wipe the griddle totally clean with a paper towel between batches. Serve immediately.

Reviews & Comments

  • Can I use non fat milk in this recipe

    - michelle on March 3, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Michelle, Yes, nonfat milk will work.

      - Jenn on March 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were honestly the best pancakes I have ever made. Wow! I will be sharing this recipe with everyone I know!

    - CM on January 13, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    If I’m using a pan on a stove how many degrees do I set it to? Thank you for your help (:

    - silvia on December 27, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Silvia, Heat should be set to medium.

      - Jenn on December 28, 2014 Reply
  • I love your recipes!!
    Can I use butter, instead of vegetable oil with the pancakes?
    Or will it taste vastly different?
    Thank you!

    - Laura on December 25, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Laura, Thank you! Butter on its own will burn, which is why I call for vegetable oil. You could do half oil/half butter without it burning but you’ll probably have to wipe the pan clean between batches, as the butter will still brown.

      - Jenn on December 26, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Those were the most amazing pancakes ever! I added some vanilla aroma but the important part was the consistency and the fluffiness. I just had them right now and I’m thinking about when to make them again. BEST PANCAKES EVER!!!

    - Beste on October 9, 2014 Reply
  • Can make this the night before for breakfast

    - Al on September 28, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Al, Unfortunately, this recipe needs to be made fresh. But you could combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet in another to give yourself a head start.

      - Jenn on September 29, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great recipe! I made it vegan by subbing the egg for applesauce, used almond milk and Earth Balance vegan butter. They turned out great! I also added huckleberries, so good!!

    - Kenna on September 3, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made the Best Breakfast Pancakes today. They are, by far, the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten, either homemade or in a restaurant. They are amazingly fluffy on the inside. Thank you for the recipe!!

    - Debbie K on August 29, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    You’re right. This is easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand. Delicious!!

    - Suzan on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow, these were amazing! Perfect with real Maine maple syrup!

    - Rebecca on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fantastic! My mom said these were better than the pancakes at her favorite local breakfast joint. I folded in blueberries at the end and a couple teaspoons of vanilla to the egg and milk mixture. This will be my go to pancake recipe!

    - Sandy on July 4, 2014 Reply
  • These were the best pancakes I’ve ever had!! The batter made 4 big ones and 2 small ones, and that was fine!! I made them for my brother and myself and we both could only eat 2!!! Sooooooo good! If making for a family of 5 or 6, double the recipie!!

    - Sarah on March 30, 2014 Reply
  • we love these pancakes! my 6 and 4 year old can make them and it has become our saturday morning tradition. thanks for creating such a simple yet super delicious recipe!!

    - mallory on January 18, 2014 Reply
  • BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    - Helen Browne on December 14, 2013 Reply
  • Another Once Upon A Chef recipe that is going into the family recipe book. I make this once a week.

    - Melinda on November 10, 2013 Reply
  • Amazing, fluffy pancakes! We added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and we cooked them in coconut oil, which is my FAVORITE way to make pancakes. Delicious.

    - Joe on October 26, 2013 Reply
    • Sounds delicious, Joe. I’ll be sure to try that next time :)

      - Jenn on October 26, 2013 Reply
  • Holy crow! I am a picky pancake connoisseur. Those are without a doubt the best pancakes I have ever eaten.

    - Timma on October 7, 2013 Reply
  • Unfortunately, this didn’t work out with gluten-free flour. I had heard that you can substitute gluten-free with regular flour in recipes depending on what you’re making. However, the strawberries and whipped cream helped!

    - Andrea on August 8, 2013 Reply
  • Best pancakes ever!! I add almond extract.

    - Julie on July 22, 2013 Reply
    • Like that idea, Julie…I love almond extract in anything :)

      - Jenn on July 22, 2013 Reply
  • We loved how fluffy these pancakes were. My 2 year old devoured them.

    - Amy on March 12, 2013 Reply
  • This has become my favorite pancake recipe, I usually add blueberries……Yum!

    - MsLola on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • I had never made or tasted homemade pancakes till I saw this recipe! They were just AMAZING! ;D
    Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

    A hug from Dominican Republic!

    - Alex on December 28, 2012 Reply
  • Family and friends all adore these amazing pancakes. They are such a delicious treat either plain or studded with dark chocolate chips, blueberries or little pieces of strawberry. Yum!

    - Val on October 3, 2012 Reply
  • What makes these pancakes turn out so fluffy? I never see pancakes like this.

    - Lauren on October 2, 2012 Reply
    • Lots of baking powder and not too much liquid :)

      - Jenn on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I like to add a little bit of almond flavoring to pancakes and waffles……

    - Karen on July 7, 2012 Reply
  • Ive never made homemade pancakes from scratch before until I came across your recipe. My daughter just loves pancakes! So for her cooking girl scout badge, I helped her make these. Literally the best pancakes… So big and fluffy! Both my daughter and I love the crispy edges. I’ve also added chocolate chips and blueberries…. Dee-lish!!! I’m never going back to box pancake mixes. :)

    - Crystal on June 21, 2012 Reply
  • This recipe is what my husband follows when I want pancakes! Spoiled, I know :) The only change we’ve made is to the flour. We do 1/2 c. whole wheat and 1/2 c. all purpose flour. Sneak some whole grains in there.

    - Dani on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Best Pancakes!

    - Arnold on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • These have become my go-to pancakes now. I have these several times a week.

    - Ndlela on June 14, 2012 Reply
  • Will never buy pancake mix again! My boys love these.

    - Julie Backas on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Made these Sunday morning. Chocolate chip for my daughter and blueberry for my wife and myself. It was great to hear my 10 year old daughter say that thet were incredible, amazing, and best ever. I’ll never make pancakes out of a box again.

    - Mike on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Made this and drop some blueberries in it , absolutely delicious!

    - Mrs Macaulay on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I made these this morning because I didn’t have to go to work until 11….

    ….HEAVEN! I usually just use the out-of-the-box pancakes. These had so much more to them!

    avalenti6936 at yahoo dot com

    - Amanda Valenti on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I used Splenda instead of sugar, and added a bit of vanilla, and – secret ingredient – nutmeg! – a contribution from my 24-year old son. How’d he know?! DELICIOUS!

    Tip: Buy whole nutmeg instead of ground. It’s a cinch to grate with a microplane, and wow! the flavor really pops. Whole nutmeg never loses its potency.

    - Lisa S. on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I made these last weekend and the first bite I took I thought, wow, now I know I’m not going to eat the box stuff ever again. I keep vermont maple syrup in the freezer wich was the perfect icing on the pancake! The dry ingredients can be made ahead and left in container of plastic bag, which makes preparing them even quicker an easier.

    - tawni on February 29, 2012 Reply
  • I will never buy boxed pancake mix again. Made them this am & the kids loved.

    - Robyn on February 5, 2012 Reply
  • This was delicious! I added half a teaspoon of vanilla and let the batter sit a couple of minutes to thicken up before pouring in the skillet sprayed with Pam. I poured the batter in a glass measuring cup so I can easily pour it out. The batter made four 6 inch pancakes. I would make this again!

    - Lanikazi on January 13, 2012 Reply
  • My family LOVES this recipe! I was wondering if you could use it for waffles too? Thanks, Carol

    - Carol Herndon on November 7, 2010 Reply
  • I wasn’t convinced that homemade was worth the effort… until now. These pancakes were simple, quick, and like silk in my mouth. Delicious recipe and I’ve already thrown the box mix in the trash. I’m officially a fan. Thanks for the great recipes! Keep them coming!!

    - Uncorked2 on November 1, 2010 Reply
  • Home Economics taught my son a buttermilk pancake recipe which is similar to Todd Johnson’s recipe and just a yummy as the one you have…….who knew that the 13 year old could love to cook. He also enjoys your blog and looks forward to sampling/trying the new recipes you come up with.

    - Tammy Bane on April 19, 2010 Reply
  • Yummy! This receipe makes a perfect pancake!

    - Candi on February 20, 2010 Reply
  • Made these for my kids this morning and added chocolate chips…they loved them! then again, who wouldn’t??!!

    - J.C. on November 14, 2009 Reply
  • Jennifer, I love your webpage. I am a pancake guy-aren’t we all? So accordingly, I wanted to share the Buttermilk Flapjack Recipe. Please try this one out. The recipe is from a country store in New Hampshire.

    2 cups flour
    2 tbsp. granulated sugar
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. fine salt
    2 cups buttermilk
    4 tbsp. melted butter
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 beaten eggs

    1. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

    2. Whisk together buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together until just combined to make a thick batter. (For tenderer flapjacks, don’t overmix the batter.)

    3. Heat an 8″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. butter and heat until the butter’s foam subsides. Ladle in about 1⁄2 cup of the batter. Cook the flapjack, turning once, until deep golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate; keep warm. Repeat process with additional butter and remaining batter to make 8 flapjacks in all. Serve hot, topped with butter and maple syrup and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

    Enjoy, your neighbor Todd Johnson

    - Todd Johnson on October 2, 2009 Reply

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