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How to make pancakes: the original recipe and all the variations

American pancakes

American pancakes are an overseas breakfast classic, an easy to make and truly delicious recipe: traditional or original, here's how to prepare them.

Today we are preparing pancakes, a quick and easy recipe for a fantastic American-style dessert! These soft disks are ideal for starting the day with a touch of deliciousness , but also for a tasty snack. Many believe that they are difficult to prepare, but the truth is that they are really quick and very simple. Don't you believe it?

Then follow us in the kitchen, we'll see how to make them and discover what the best combinations are! We will explain how to make pancakes (original recipe) in the traditional way but also with the thermomix or in a bottle. And then a series of variations: for those who don't like eggs, for those who want to avoid butter and for those who prefer them salted.

American pancakes
American pancakes

How to make pancakes: the original recipe

  1. Take a bowl and pour in the well-sifted flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Separate the eggs, and begin to work the egg whites in another bowl, whipping them until stiff with an electric whisk.
  3. Pour the egg yolks into a glass and beat them lightly with a fork.
  4. Add the milk to the flour and beat with a whisk or fork.
  5. Add the beaten egg yolks and the melted butter and mix again very well.
  6. Now add the baking powder, a pinch of salt and the whipped egg whites and incorporate them with a spatula, using delicate gestures and working from bottom to top.
  7. Let's now move on to cooking. Take a small non-stick pan and put a small piece of butter in it. Melt over the heat, stirring to grease the entire bottom of the pan. Using a ladle, pour some of the batter into the pan and rotate so that it covers the bottom: compared to, for example, crepes they must be much thicker.
  8. Cook the American pancakes over medium-high heat for about a minute . When bubbles begin to form on the top surface of the pancake, turn it over with a spatula and cook it for another 30-40 seconds. Continue until you run out of butter and batter, and you're done!

Pancakes in a bottle: the recipe

pancakes in a bottle
pancakes in a bottle

A slightly innovative and more fun version of this recipe is the pancake in a bottle . The ingredients are the same, but the difference lies entirely in the process, for which you need a bottle.

Ingredients needed for pancakes in a bottle

  • 120 g of 00 flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 20 g of butter
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 100 ml of milk
  • 1 pinch of salt

Using a funnel, put all the ingredients into a bottle. Cap and shake vigorously for a few minutes until the mixture is nice and smooth. Then cook the pancakes in a hot, greased pan, pouring the mixture directly from the bottle. After 30-40 seconds, turn them over to the other side.

Pancakes with the Thermomix: the recipe

pancakes with the thermomix
pancakes with the thermomix

If, however, you own the legendary Bimby, everything is even faster. To prepare pancakes with the Thermomix (for models with the TM31, TM6, TM5 here is the recipe you must follow.

Ingredients for pancakes with the Thermomix (4 people)

  • 120 g of 00 flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sachet of baking powder
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 100 ml of milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • butter to taste

Place the sifted flour, sugar, milk and egg into the Thermomix bowl. Add a pinch of salt and the yeast and mix at speed. 6 for approximately 1 and a half minutes. For cooking, also in this case, you will have to move to the stove: melt the butter in a pan and add a ladle of dough at a time. The pancakes should cook for about 1 minute per side at most.

Pancakes: recipes and variations

You won't think it's over here! There are many other pancake recipes that you can make and we will show you them below: there are the light ones, the banana ones, the Japanese version… you can make them all with the traditional method or in a bottle: if you are ready, let's get started!

1. The light pancake recipe

light pancakes
light pancakes

For those who want to have a healthy and light breakfast, but without giving up a treat, we leave our recipe for light pancakes . What is different from traditional ones? Simply put: they are pancakes without eggs, yeast (you can use bicarbonate of soda instead) and butter.

Ingredients for light pancakes (4 people)

  • 200 g of 00 flour
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 250 g of milk
  • half a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda

To make light pancakes, combine flour, sugar and a pinch of bicarbonate in a bowl. Add the milk slowly, mix to obtain a mixture without lumps. Heat the pan (choose an absolutely non-stick one, without using butter) and pour in the mixture with a ladle. Wait for bubbles to appear and flip your pancake. Serve this dessert piping hot.

2. Perfect vegan pancake? Here is the recipe

wholemeal vegan pancakes
wholemeal vegan pancakes

Even those who follow a vegan diet must not give up this sweet treat, which we also propose below in its vegan recipe therefore without eggs and butter and with vegetable milk . Furthermore, the flour is wholemeal.

Ingredients for light vegan pancakes (2 people)

  • 150 g of wholemeal flour
  • 20 g of brown sugar
  • a pinch of yeast
  • 150 ml of vegetable milk
  • 1 pinch of salt

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, yeast and pinch of salt. Add the milk without creating lumps. Then proceed with the classic pancake cooking in a non-stick pan.

3. The recipe for protein pancakes

protein pancakes
protein pancakes

Protein pancakes are perfect for those who follow a protein diet or simply want to try a different recipe than usual.

Ingredients for protein pancakes (4 people)

  • 150 g of egg whites (about 4 medium eggs)
  • 50 g of oat flour
  • 150 g of Greek yogurt
  • 5 g of yeast
  • 50g protein powder (optional)

First of all, you need to separate the yolks and whites: you will only use the latter. Add Greek yogurt, oatmeal and baking powder and mix well. At this point proceed with cooking the pancakes.

4. The recipe for Japanese fluffy pancakes

Japanese pancakes
Japanese pancakes

Beautiful, tall and soft, Japanese pancakes are undoubtedly the most spectacular on the list. Not to be confused with dorayaki , also of Japanese origin, which are actually two pancakes filled with anko (the typical red bean jam).

Ingredients for Japanese pancakes (4 people)

  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g of sugar
  • 40 g of flour
  • 20 ml of milk
  • 3 g of baking powder
  • maple syrup to taste
  • icing sugar to taste

How to make? The secret seems to be all in the whipped egg white, combined with a pinch of baking powder which, thanks to the help of a pastry cutter , helps to give the pancakes their puffy and fluffy appearance.

5. How to make banana pancakes

banana pancakes
banana pancakes

Do you have any ripe bananas to take out? Use them to make delicious banana pancakes . This fruit also gives the dessert a softness and natural sweetness!

Ingredients for banana pancakes (4 people)

  • 300 g of flour
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml of milk
  • 30 g of sugar
  • 1 sachet of baking powder

To obtain a more homogeneous consistency instead of mashing with a fork, we recommend using a mixer (especially if the bananas are not already very ripe). Then add the dry ingredients and then the liquid ones. We advise you to let the dough rest for half an hour before proceeding with cooking.

6. The recipe for savory pancakes

spinach pancakes
spinach pancakes

And for lovers of continental breakfast, savory pancakes couldn't be missed! The ingredients for the batter are not too different from the traditional version, as is the preparation procedure. In this case we propose spinach pancakes, the vegetable to add to the dough.

Ingredients for pancakes with spinach (4 people)

  • 200 g of fresh spinach
  • 300 g of flour
  • 350 ml of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 sachet of instant yeast
  • Salt to taste
  • oil to taste

For the savory pancakes with spinach recipe, combine eggs, milk and spinach in a blender. Then transfer to a bowl, add flour, yeast and pinch of salt and mix with a whisk. Now you can proceed with cooking.

7. Pancakes “without”: how to replace eggs, butter, milk, yeast…

Do you have an unstoppable desire for pancakes but have you noticed that you are missing one of the ingredients? Let's see, case by case, how to fix it and the substitutions you can make without having to run to the supermarket!

  • Eggless pancakes may seem difficult, but in reality the secret of these pancakes lies in the fact that the eggs are simply replaced by increasing the amount of liquids .
  • The recipe for pancakes without butter is light and a little less caloric than the traditional one. With two tablespoons of seed oil in the dough you won't need to add butter!
  • Perfect for the lactose intolerant, our dairy-free pancakes are also butter-free. The ingredients? 130 g of 00 flour, 80 g of sugar, 2 eggs, 60 ml of water , 1 sachet of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of honey, icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of seed oil and 1 pinch of salt.
  • Yeast-free pancakes are prepared with beaten egg whites and bicarbonate of soda : the combination of these two ingredients will not make you miss the classic leavening agent at all!
  • Gluten-free pancakes are proof that celiac disease does not mean giving up a delicious dessert! The ingredients are the same (just check that it says "gluten-free") but the 00 flour is replaced with rice flour : it's simpler than that!

How to season pancakes

pancakes with Nutella
pancakes with Nutella

According to tradition, the pancakes should be stacked on top of each other, as if to form a tower, and then served in a single dish from which everyone gets their own slices. But what are the best combinations?

If we want to stay classic, there are no pancakes without maple syrup! Pour it over and add some fresh seasonal fruit, which will give an extra edge to the dish.

If, however, you want to try other delicious versions, you can add some whipped cream, or make fantastic pancakes with Nutella and icing sugar : all you have to do is alternate a little spreadable cream with each one… and give yourself a moment of pure enjoyment!

Pancakes: history and curiosities

Although the pancake recipe is rooted in American and Anglo-Saxon culinary tradition, to get to its origins we have to go much further: to Ancient Greece.

It seems, in fact, that the Greeks and Romans already loved a dessert that they called Alica Dolcia , completely similar to what we call pancakes today. Their version, however, was still missing one detail: a leavening agent , which would be added many years later.

In the fifteenth century , the term pancake appeared for the first time and throughout the Middle Ages each country continued to create its own variant; the one that comes closest remains the Dutch one ( pannekoek ).
At this point the USA comes into play: they deserve credit for adding yeast among the ingredients!

Curiously, the day before the start of Lent (what we call Fat Tuesday), in many Commonwealth countries is called Pancake Day. Why? because it is the day before the period of fasting and penance that leads to Easter.

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