Thick Fluffy Pancakes For Beginners
American Style Pancakes
Here's my thick fluffy pancakes for beginners' recipe. Learn how to make this easy & quick dessert or breakfast. Full process shots & video provided, so what's stopping you?
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What Is The Difference Between Pancakes & American Pancakes?
This is my recipe for thick fluffy pancakes. Pancakes can take many forms, in different countries across the world. In the UK we are used to large thin pancakes, very similar to french crepes. Scottish pancakes are smaller & thicker and closer to an American-style pancake. American are slightly larger and thicker and often include melted butter in the batter.
Name For Thick Fluffy Pancakes
Thick fluffy pancakes are usually called America-style or American Pancakes.
How American-style Pancakes Rise
They are made thicker and fluffy with the addition of baking powder helping them rise.
How To Make Thicker, Fluffy Pancakes
The batter is also a thicker, and less runny batter compared to crepes. This coupled with not spreading the batter when pouring on to the pan, makes for a thicker fluffier pancake.
In The Pancake Video
In this recipe video below, I made some thick pancakes free-hand, and also some using a large metal cookie-cutter (11cm or 4 1/4″). Using the cookie cutter, the batter was of an even depth at the edges and kept it from spreading naturally in the pan, so made for a thicker, more even pancake.
What To Serve Pancakes With
There are so many possibilities of what to serve with your thick pancakes. Sauces like honey, maple syrup, Golden Syrup, chocolate or caramel sauce (try my recipe for Easy Salted Caramel Sauce). All go really well, as does whipped cream, and fresh fruits.
Blueberries are a favourite for many (and you can add some lemon zest or extract to your pancake batter to go with that). Strawberries & raspberries are also popular and go really well with the whipped cream.
You can go the whole hog and have sauce, cream & fruit (some even serve with butter but I am not a fan of that). Our Scottish pancakes I like to eat with jam or chocolate spread on top & cut into little triangles. Home-made lemon curd, Fig Anise Curd or Plum & Orange Jam would be great too.
In the UK, we like to make thinner pancakes, and add lemon juice before sprinkling on some sugar! See photo above. They are also not particularly sweet (the toppings provide that), so could easily be served with something savoury.
Blueberry Browned Butter
Add some more flavour by browning the butter, and adding some blueberries. You can also add slightly more vanilla extract (make your own Vanilla extract), or add some lemon extract or zest.
Brown the butter, (see my article or video on browning butter), being sure to add the residue from the bottom of the pan, before adding in with the eggs, milk & sugar mixture. Then gently fold the blueberries in once your batter is formed. Approximately ½ – ¾ cup (100-125g) blueberries per 8 pancake batch.
Savoury & Chocolate Versions
I do also have 2 recipes for a chocolate & vanilla swirled pancake, as well as a savoury version, made with mature cheese (sharp cheddar). Look out for these recipes to come.
What Are Pancakes Made Of?
So what is in a pancake? What are the ingredients? They are simply made of flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, melted butter, egg, milk & vanilla extract.
Notes On Flour & Baking Powder
For these pancakes I usually use UK Self-raising flour and you can also use US Self-rising. Alternatively, use Plain/A.P. flour and add the additional baking powder as noted. But remember to add the 2nd listed amount too.
These pancakes use Vanilla extract (not essence), and it’s so easy to make your own Vanilla extract.
Sugar & Salt
There is a tiny amount of salt included just to balance the flavours and not much sugar either. The sugar is there just for added structure and for the pancakes not to go bad as quickly. Use any sugar you like.
Egg & Milk
I use medium to large egg, but note that US equivalent is Large to Extra Large. As for the milk, use any you have on hand or have to use for health reasons. Buttermilk will work too.
You can also use a little less milk if need be, as the liquid amount you add to the dry ingredients can’t be exact, since different flour, where and how it’s milled, results in different amounts of liquid it will absorb. So just add enough liquid till the correct consistency (see video for reference).
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: easy, beginner.
Or try the pancakes with my new Fig & Anise Curd recipe, that makes use of frozen or no-so-fresh figs. Photo below of the curd on top of Scottish Crumpets by Aldi UK. Most ingredients and products from Aldi UK or Lidl UK, Blue/green plates from Dunelm & patterned side plate & Easter/Spring decorations from TK Maxx.
Thick Fluffy Pancakes For Beginners
Thick Fluffy Pancakes For Beginners
- Scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Medium Bowl
- Baking spatula
- Non-stick frying pan/skillet or pancake pan
- Cooking spatula/turner
- Stove top/hob/burner
- ¼ Measuring Cup (or ice-cream scoop)
- Butter or cooking spray for cooking
- Kitchen paper/paper towels
- Large Metal Cookie Cutter/Pastry Ring (Optional – I used a 11cm/4¼" one)
- 188 grams Self-raising Flour ( 6½ oz, 1½ cups Self-rising Flour, or Plain/A.P. flour plus 2¼ tsp Baking Powder)
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 2¼ tsp Baking Powder (in addition to also adding if using A.P./Flour flour)
- 1 Egg, medium to large (US large to XLarge)
- 30 grams Butter, unsalted & melted (1 oz, 2 tbsps)
- 1½-2 tsp Vanilla Extract (Make your own home-made Vanilla Extract)
- 1½ tbsp Sugar
- 250 ml Milk (Any kind, 8½ fl oz, 1 cup – note you may need slightly more)
Prepare The Batter
- Begin by adding the flour, salt & baking powder to a large mixing bowl and whisking together till combined. Set aside. See Photo 1.
- In a medium bowl, add your egg and beat well, before adding in your melted butter, vanilla & sugar. Mix again to combine. See Photo 2.
- Finally, add the milk to this wet mixture and whisk well till fully incorporated. See Photo 3.
- Now add about half of this wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together. Then gradually add in more of the wet to the dry, mixing with a spoon to begin, followed by a whisk. Add enough of the liquid, to make a thick but pourable batter. You might not need all the liquid. But if you need more, just add in tsps of milk. See Photo 4 & the video for an idea of the thickness the batter should be. Set aside.
- Prepare your area to work and have a plate with some kitchen paper/paper towel on top for the cooked pancakes. I used a ¼ measuring cup for the amount of batter needed, but you can also use a large ice-cream scoop worth. Better to use one of these than a smaller spoon and have to keep adding to the pan, as they would not cook evenly. Even a ⅔ full soup ladle would also work. Have a cooking spatula/turner near by too, butter cubed or spray cooking oil for greasing.
- Heat your non-stick frying pan/skillet on a low-medium heat, and then add the butter or cooking spray just before adding the pancake batter. (See video). Pour in the batter and only move the pan enough just to get a rough round shape. Don't let it spread out too thin like a crepe. See Photo 5 above & the video.
- Leave to cook for a few minutes. Bubbles will start to appear on the surface of the pancake when it's nearly ready to turn. (See Photo 5 above). After the first few appear, use your spatula to lift just one edge up to see the underside. You want a nice browned surface. If not browned yet, or feels too soft to turn over, leave a little longer. You want to make sure the top side is setting enough so that when flipped over it doesn't splash everywhere. See Photo 6.
- Use your spatula to lift up the pancake while you use the opposite hand to grease the pan again if needed. Then flip the pancake over and let the other side cook. This will take less time so keep checking. Once happy with the colour, remove and place on the prepared paper lined plate. See Photo 7.
- Use some paper to wipe clean the pan before greasing again and adding another amount of pancake batter and cooking as before. After doing 1 or 2 pancakes, you might want to lower the heat to the optimal level for your stove top.
- ALTERNATIVE – You can also choose to use a large metal cookie cutter to shape the pancakes, making them all the same size and in my experiment, they were thicker too. I used an 11cm/4¼" metal cutter. Make sure it's metal that's going to be touching the heat (mine has a plastic coloured top end). Be sure to well grease the cutter – I found using a cooking spray worked best and used it each time after wiping the cutter. I recommend FryLight cooking sprays for this and for lining cake pans. When using the cutter, just pour into the middle and let it cook. Once the bottom is done, you should be able to easily remove the cutter, (be sure to be careful of your hands). You can also just flip the whole thing over, and in doing so, let the pancake fall onto the frying pan, releasing itself from the cutter. Continue cooking the other side till ready. You can also use smaller shaped cookie cutters like the heart one below in the photo, but I found the round much easier.
- Repeat and you will get about 8 x 11cm/4¼" wide, thick pancakes.
- Eat when ready, with cream, maple syrup, honey, blueberries, chocolate spread, fresh fruit, whatever you like.
- Left-over pancakes can be kept in the fridge or somewhere cool for 1 – 2 days. Don't store stacked as they will stick together – use baking/parchment paper in-between if stacking and cover with cling film/plastic wrap. You can re-heat slightly to take the cold-edge off, by heating for 30 seconds in the microwave, or on a dry pan on the stove-top on a very low heat until just warmed.
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