The Easies ways to make pancake — how to make pancake meals

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Pancakes are often considered a weekend-only treat, but there’s no denying that the other five days would be substantially better if they, too, started with a warm short stack. To make this an actually feasible option on hectic mornings, you have a few options. You can make and freeze pancakes in advance (or even freeze the batter), or you could master this one-bowl recipe that requires just six pantry ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes or less.

Everyday Pancakes Designed for Weekday Mornings

I’m of the mind that every home should have two pancake recipes: a lofty one for weekends and an easier, more straightforward recipe for weekdays (and I’m not just talking about breakfast, either). These are my basic everyday pancakes that I’ve been making once a week ever since I became a mother seven years ago, and I’ve learned a lot along the way.

What makes these extra-easy is that the batter is mixed up in just one bowl, which means faster prep and cleanup. There’s no fussy steps like sifting flour or separating eggs, and all of the ingredients are ones you likely keep on hand.

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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

4 Tips for Better Basic Pancakes

  • Use your pantry! I often have buttermilk on hand (my husband is a born-and-bred Southerner), and I don’t mind whisking the occasional egg white for lofty pancakes, but on a Tuesday morning at 7:10 a.m. with an internal countdown to the minute the school bell rings, I am not reaching for either. These pancakes rely purely on kitchen staples: all-purpose flour, a little sugar, milk, eggs, and baking powder. The baking powder is responsible for these pancakes’ rise, so it helps that you aerate the batter well with a whisk and that you let the batter rest before cooking.
  • A single bowl is perfect for mixing. There’s no need to dirty multiple bowls. Simply whisk together the dry ingredients first, then add the milk, oil, and eggs and whisk to combine.
  • Always rest the batter. After mixing, be sure to rest the batter for about 10 minutes. This gives the flour a chance to properly hydrate and the baking powder time to activate. Refill your coffee and pull out your favorite pancake pan, and by the time you return the batter will be ready to go.
  • Use cast iron for cooking. Cast iron is my skillet of choice for pancakes, because it heats well and browns the pancakes without an excess of butter. A nonstick pan or a griddle can be used, too.
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Cooking and Serving the Pancakes

On harried weekday mornings, my kiddos eat these about as fast as I can make them, so I don’t fuss with holding them in a warm oven. This recipe makes 18 (3-inch) pancakes, which perfectly serves four or six on a weekday. Maple syrup is usually my go-to, but a dusting of powdered sugar can keep kiddos from leaving for school with sticky fingers and is just as delightful.

Tester’s Notes

I am 100% here for any recipe that will help me get pancakes on the table more quickly. Unfortunately, a handful of you noted you had trouble with this recipe — your pancakes were thin or gummy, and too small to feed a family of four. We heard you, and we’ve re-tested and updated the recipe accordingly.

The original recipe called for shaking the batter in a jar, which I believe may have led to overworked batter and ultimately rubbery, rather than fluffy, pancakes. The new recipe below has you whisk everything in one bowl instead — you still only have one dish to wash, and it will prevent you from overworking the batter. I’ve also doubled the ingredients to ensure you have plenty of good-sized pancakes to feed the entire family.

— Sheela, May 2020

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Credit: Joe Lingeman
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Here’s how to make the easiest pancakes ever.

How To Make the Easiest Pancakes Ever

YIELDServes 4 to 6, Makes 18 (3-inch) pancakes

PREP TIME15 minutes

COOK TIME24 minutes


  • 2 cupsall-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoonsgranulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoonsbaking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoonkosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cupsmilk
  • 2large eggs
  • 2 tablespoonsvegetable oil, plus more for cooking
  • Powdered sugar or maple syrup, for serving
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  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large cast iron or nonstick frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Whisk


  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Add the wet ingredients. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 large eggs, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Whisk until almost smooth, a few small lumps are fine.

  3. Let the batter rest while you heat a pan. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

  4. Fry 3 pancakes for 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add 2-tablespoon portions of the batter to the pan, cooking 3 at a time. Cook on the first side until bubbles appear on the surface, the edges begin to look dry, and the bottoms are golden-brown, about 3 minutes.

  5. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes. Cook until the second sides are golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a warm oven or plate. Repeat using more oil and cooking the remaining batter.


Storage: Pancakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Meghan Splawn


Meghan is the Food Editor for Kitchn’s Skills content. She’s a master of everyday baking, family cooking, and harnessing good light. Meghan approaches food with an eye towards budgeting — both time and money — and having fun. Meghan has a baking and pastry degree, and spent the first 10 years of her career as part of Alton Brown’s culinary team. She co-hosts a weekly podcast about food and family called Didn’t I Just Feed You.





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