How To: Make Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy, airy, and slightly sweet, these anything-but-basic pancakes are perfect for weekend mornings... especially when served with thick pats of butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

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You know what I realized recently? As someone who prefers to eat eggs with toast and pancakes on most days of the year, I talk about my "famous" pancakes a lot. I usually mention them on Instagram on the weekend, when I'm trying to treat my family to a special breakfast. Or I'll post a picture of them on snow days, when I'm bribing my kids so they'll leave me alone long enough for me a take a shower.

Growing up, my mother made pancakes all the time. She'd reach for that yellow box of Bisquick and make batches of pancakes that were... well, just okay. While they tasted fine, they were awfully thin. You'd have to eat a stack of four or five of them to feel like you had two fluffy pancakes on the plate in front of you.

Could this be the reason why I choose the savory options at breakfast rather than the sweet?

It took quite some time for me to discover the pancake recipe to replace the stuff in the yellow box. And it took even longer for me to perfect my technique. Now I'm finally ready to share my best tips for making perfectly fluffy pancakes at home.

Be warned, though. Once your family tastes these pancakes, they're going to ask for them all the time!

Best Tips for Making Fluffy Pancakes

  • Don't over-mix the batter. When adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients in pancakes, it's best to stir until just incorporated. Stirring helps develop the gluten found in flour, and over-mixing will result in pancakes that are tough or rubbery rather than fluffy and light.

  • Allow the batter to rest. Before scooping your pancake batter onto your hot griddle or into your hot pan, allow the batter to rest for a minute. See those bubbles in the batter in the photo above? Those bubbles mean those pancakes will be light and airy. Just what you're going for when you're making fluffy pancakes.

  • Make sure your skillet is hot. You want to make sure your pan is hot enough before you add your batter. If you use butter, then it should be foaming. If you use vegetable oil (like I do), then it should be shimmering a bit. This means your pancakes will start to cook as soon as the batter hits the pan, thus creating those deliciously crispy edges. If your pan isn't hot enough, then the batter will spread too much and won't be as thick or fluffy.

  • Have patience. It took a long time for me to realize I was turning my pancakes over too quickly. Because I was so worried about burning them, I opted to flip my pancakes before they were ready. You want to look for the air bubbles. When you see several bubbles forming in the center of your pancakes, then go ahead and flip' em.

  • Give a little tap. My mother has taught me a lot of things, but how to make fluffy pancakes was not one of them. She used to cut into the center of her pancakes to see if they were finished cooking. For a while, that's how I used to do it, too. Now, I just give the pancakes a little tap with the tip of my finger. If the pancake springs back, then it's ready to serve. If my fingertip leaves a little divot in the pancakes, then it needs a bit more time.

Use these tips and the following recipe to make your fluffiest pancakes yet!

Breakfast, Brunch, Pancakes
Breakfast, Brunch
Yield: About 16 4-inch pancakes
Author: Taste As You Go // adapted from Joy of Cooking
Best Fluffy Pancakes

Best Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy, airy, and slightly sweet, these anything-but-basic pancakes are perfect for weekend mornings... especially when served with thick pats of butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 13 MinTotal time: 23 Min


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil or butter


  1. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl and whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. If you notice any small clumps of baking powder, then break them up or remove. The clumps will those bites of pancake a metallic taste.
  2. In another bowl, add the milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix them together thoroughly to break up the eggs.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Using a whisk or rubber spatula, quickly mix all the ingredients together until the flour is just incorporated. Small lumps are okay!
  4. Set the batter aside and allow it to rest as you heat the vegetable oil or butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. You want the oil to start to shimmer or the butter to start to foam before you add the batter.
  5. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, pour the batter into the hot pan, making sure to leave enough room in between the pancakes so you can flip them over easily.
  6. Allow the pancakes to cook until bubbles begin to form in the center of each pancake. When you see bubbles, then flip the pancakes over with a spatula and cook for 30 seconds or so longer. You'll want the pancake to spring back when you tap it with your fingertip.
  7. Remove the pancakes from the skillet and place on an oven-safe plate or platter and keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes.
  8. Serve warm with your favorite toppings!

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What's your favorite way to serve pancakes? Butter and syrup? Whipped cream and strawberries? Let me know in the comments!

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