Best Breakfast Pancakes

4.5 stars based on 43 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

  • 5 stars

    Tried this recipe for my daughter´s 15th birthday “breakfast-in-bed”. It was a school morning so I was rushed for time and had planned to use (gasp) Bisquick. When the mix was too old, I had to take a chance on finding a “quick” recipe on the internet. Sooo glad I found THIS recipe! I was hoping for good pancakes, but these were perfect. They looked and tasted like the best breakfast cafe pancakes I have ever had. More importantly, my daughter loved them! Will be making these again. You saved me, Jenn – thank you!

    - Katie on November 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe turned out really nicely. Great fluffy texture, buttery flavour and just the right amount of sweetness. I may even reduce the sugar slightly next time.

    - Sandy Avvari Nayani on November 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have a question regarding the Best Breakfast Pancakes recipe. I have made these for my family and we love them! I have also noticed they are great re-heated the next day but I was wondering do they freeze well and if so how would you recommend we freeze/thaw them?
    Thank you

    - Carla on November 4, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Carla, You could thaw them in the fridge overnight but I usually just cook them straight from the freezer. Simply place the frozen pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until hot.

      - Jenn on November 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Best recipe ever, thank you so much. Really couldn’t fault them. Make them at least once a week for the family. I also like how I can make slight variations on flavor (extracts, choc chips, etc) and it doesn’t have a negative effect on the pancake. Fluffy and soft; PERFECT EVERYTIME!

    - Mama on October 11, 2015 Reply
  • 2 stars

    Really didn’t care for this recipe. These were way too dry and needed flavor. Prefer a more spongy pancake. I used all new ingredients.

    - Angel O'Connor on September 18, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    mmmm delicious! the taste and texture are interesting, feels like a mix between american pancakes and european style crepes. I might add a bit less milk next time so they are thicker. I added chocolate chips, for even more tastiness. Enjoy!

    - Henry on September 13, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I will never get all those Saturday breakfasts back when I used a boxed pancake mix. Thank goodness I have found this recipe and can make better pancakes for my kids. This recipe is superb!

    - Janice R. on August 31, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    this is the best pancake recipe ever, and we are making this recipe every Saturday now, it is like a tradition :) thank you

    - deniz on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My 11 year old has started to make these pancakes. This is such an easy way to make delicious pancakes.

    - Meg on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These are the best pancakes I have ever made – wow. So fluffy. I added a small bit of Nutella to the centres and they were amazing.

    - Christine on August 3, 2015 Reply
    • Like that idea!

      - Jenn on August 3, 2015 Reply
  • 2 stars

    Waaaaay to salty! Throwing out entire batch, won’t use again! Also, don’t beat eggs just wisk or they will turn out very spongy.

    - Heather on July 18, 2015 Reply
    • There’s not very much salt in the recipe. Perhaps you added baking soda instead of powder? Or maybe table salt?

      - Kevin on August 18, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great recipe. I just made these for my office this morning! Recipe was easy to follow, I actually tripled the recipe and made the batter last night. All I needed to do this morning was add some additional milk to it!

    - Gloria Kantor on July 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These turned out great. They were easy to make, the instructions were clear and easy to follow, and it’s just the right portion size.

    - Abby on July 1, 2015 Reply
  • 1 stars

    These did not rise and barely browned. I made a double recipe for father’s day. Oh well.

    - katrina on June 21, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      Wow that’s really interesting – I have made them many times now- it has become my favorite pancake recipe. They are very talk and fluffy when I make them but I have never doubled the recipe. Maybe the baking powder was aging? I always let them rest while the pan is heating and I add a splash of vanilla.

      - Betty on July 3, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      I bet your baking powder was stale. Also I use melted butter in the pan to cook the pancakes, not only do they have a better flavor, they turn a beautiful golden brown and have the most marvelous crispy edges.
      I too, add a splash of vanilla.

      - Linda on August 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious pancakes! Easy to make and easy to cook. I practically have this recipe memorized now that I make them almost every morning. I usually can only make 4 large pancakes though, but it’s enough for 2 people. Best pancakes recipe!

    - Melissa on June 20, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      I agree with the serving only 2 people and they are not huge pancakes. I find I double it for more than 2. Love everything about this recipe!

      - Linda on August 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    What is the best temperature for cooking them? I almost burn some of mine and even in mid to low temp. They cooked to fast and got black on the edges….
    But these were by far the best pancakes I’ve ever made!

    - Laura on June 9, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Laura, I find medium to med-low is best, but you may have a hot stove. Just adjust the temp as necessary :)

      - Jenn on June 11, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I think these pancakes were really good nice and fluffy and buttery but in stead of 2 table spoons of sugar I added vanilla extract it came out really good thanks for the recipe I loved it!

    - Christina Perez on June 2, 2015 Reply
    • Can I keep the batter overnight. My pancakes were not as fluffy. What do you think is the problem?

      - Elyssa on August 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great pancakes. I used whole wheat flour, almond milk instead of cow milk and coconut oil spray to cook. Really yummy!!

    - Plant Powered Pediatrician on May 24, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Absolutely loved these pancakes!! I work at an iHop do I’m always eating their pancakes but these are soooo much fluffier and I’m so proud that k cooked them myself! I’m a young college student and learning how to cook on my own and I plan on using this recipe forever. Definitely give it a try!

    - Kacey on May 14, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were absolutely amazing! I’d never had fluffy American-style pancakes before, but now I think I’ll make these all the time. I used butter to cook them instead of vegetable oil and I used a soup ladle to scoop them into the pan. I managed to get five large pancakes and a small one, so I’m not sure if this recipe is really enough for 6 to 8 pancakes (but perhaps I made mine too big). They were absolutely delicious and really fluffy and not too sweet at all. I usually don’t put any sugar in my pancakes and crepes, but I did this time, since the recipe demanded it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t know how people manage to eat stacks of them, though. They are so satisfying that I only managed to have two of them. I served them with fruit (bananas and strawberries).

    - studentbaker on May 10, 2015 Reply
  • I made your pancakes like 10mins ago..well! Well! husband and son can’t get enough. .your pancake recipe is the bomb..thanks for sharing love it

    - Kim on April 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I had been meaning to try these for so long (I found it on yummly) & finally got around to making them today. I’m an amateur in the kitchen but these were sooo easy to make & tasted so so good!! So crispy on the outside & soft on the inside. Definitely the best homemade pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Thank you so much for this.

    - Trace on April 22, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I needed a quick pancake recipe for dinner and these hit the spot, they were so light and fluffy (which I love) and I was tempted just to eat them on their own. My husband and kids loved them too! Thank you for a great recipe, I’ve tried so many and this is the best yet!

    - Rachael Prebble on April 19, 2015 Reply
  • 2 stars

    First comment is that it is unnecessary to usr 3/4 and 2 tablespoons of milk when you will be saying ” if batter too thick add milk” – no point. Second the batter was way too thick and i had to modify it by adding more milk and souring it with vinegar and to get more fluffiness so it reacts with baking powder as well. I definetly had to not work it too much. Not as fluffy as my other recipes. Will have to get a rating from my kids.

    - Janusz on April 17, 2015 Reply
  • Hey I know it says 6-8 pancakes, but the ingredients look quite small in the sense of amounts. Does anybody know if it actually makes 6-8?

    - Sumaiyah on April 14, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      I find that I get 4 to 5 pancakes from he recipe. I make them in an 8″ omelet pan so they are not huge, either. It is a small amount of batter, so I double it when serving four people.

      - Linda on August 4, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    These were really good. That is high praise from me; I am not a big pancake fan, unless they come from Original Pancake House (best I have ever had.) I have tried about a zillion scratch recipes, and this is the only one I have liked to date.

    These are the closest to OHP so far and I will definitely make again. But if you could make an OPH copycat recipe…. that would be awesome!

    - Betty on April 11, 2015 Reply
  • 1 stars

    These pancakes were so lumpy, they didn’t cook all the way at all. They burned faster than they could cook. I have made pancakes so many times before and these were just a failure. Do not waste your time on these – I feel like I wasted a bunch of ingredients.

    - Sydney on April 2, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sydney, Sorry you had trouble with the pancakes. Sounds like they weren’t mixed well enough and your heat was too high.

      - Jenn on April 2, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      I think you should give them another try, Sydney. I’ve been making pancakes for 45 years and these are by far the best I’ve ever made!

      - Debbie on April 2, 2015 Reply
  • 1 stars

    These were not the best pancakes. I think I’ll stick to my buttermilk pancakes recipe.

    - mommylx on March 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I first stumbled upon this site as I was looking for pancakes-from-scratch recipes in my Yummly app one evening about a year ago. My husband and I loved the end result and these are now the only pancakes we have in our house. Since then, I’ve tried many of your recipes and have never been disappointed.

    These pancakes are perfect with Vermont maple syrup.

    Of note, the first time I did these I didn’t have baking powder at home and instead used 1 tsp baking soda. This worked well, however I just went ahead and bought the baking powder for subsequent occasions.

    - Sara on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a fabulous pancake recipe! Very easy to whip up and so much better than any boxed batter! Just follow the steps and you will love the end result. You may even want to double the recipe because you’ll love the cakes so much!

    - Julie spencer on March 21, 2015 Reply
  • Tried your pancake recipe.
    It was delicious, and the whole family loved them.

    - Lisa on March 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love em love em love em!! I burned some and they still were sooo effing delicious.

    - Tina on March 12, 2015 Reply
  • Can I use salted butter and remove the salt from the dry ingredients?

    - Dawn on March 8, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Dawn, Yes, that’s fine, although I would probably not remove it entirely. Maybe cut by half.

      - Jenn on March 9, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My husband made these pancakes for breakfast this morning and they are TO DIE FOR!!! Something you would get in a restaurant. This will forever be our pancake recipe. Thank you for sharing it :)

    - Kerry-Ann on March 7, 2015 Reply
  • 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

Add a Review or Question

Hungry for More?

Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter — where I share new recipes and seasonal menus for every occasion.

Your email address will never be used for any other purpose.
Curious? See a sample newsletter.

I proudly support The Children's Cancer Foundation, Inc., whose mission is to improve the lives of patients and their families through Facilities, Research and Programs impacting pediatric cancer.

Together, we make a difference! Join me in the effort to eliminate pediatric cancer!