Ruby Goss

Editor at Kitchen Stories

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When I think pancakes, it’s a stack of golden medallions slathered in butter and dripping with maple syrup that immediately springs to mind. But besides your fluffy, American-style pancakes, there’s a whole world of recipes to be discovered. Whether stuffed with a filling like a South Indian dosa or used as a friendly base for toppings like a French crepe—if it’s more-or-less flat and round, it’s going on my list. Let’s flip the script together and add the world’s best pancake recipes to our repertoire. But before we embark, is your technique up to scratch? Let's breeze through some pancake basics first:

Quick tips for fluffy, golden pancakes:

1. (Don’t) beat it: Overbeating your batter toughen up your pancake mixture. Rubbery pancakes are not what we’re looking for here, so mix the ingredients just to combine—lumpy batter is okay.

2. Let it rest: For the lightest, fluffiest interior, you’ll need to let your batter rest so that the flour is fully hydrated and there's time for the gluten to develop. A minimum of 30 min. is the rule of thumb, but any time is better than no time, so don’t punish yourself if breakfast hunger pangs force you to move a little quicker.

Basic crepes

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3. Grease, don’t coat: Use paper towels to grease the pan, be it butter or oil, which will help your pancakes cook until they’re evenly golden and prevent them from burning before they’re cooked through. Before you add the fat to your pan (make it a non-stick one), make sure it’s well heated, and don’t worry if the first pancake in the pan looks a little lackluster, the universal truth that’s the first pancake never turns out is actually not a bad thing—simply save it to nibble on while the rest of the batch flips its way onto plates.

4. Flip it good: Stick to medium-heat and only flip your pancake once the entire surface is dotted with telltale bubbles.

5. Stay warm: Rather than chaining one person to the stove to flip endless pancakes, if you’re entertaining, or would actually like to enjoy your breakfast while it’s hot and fresh, put your oven on low or warm and place the pancakes on a plate in the oven as they’re ready. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel to keep them from drying out, and they’ll be as good as new once the entire batch is ready to hit the table..

Our best and most fluffiest pancake recipes

1. All-American pancakes

Get the maple syrup at the ready! American pancakes get their height and fluffy interior from the addition of baking powder—making them the perfect sponge for maple syrup to seep into and my excuse to pour on ever more.

All-American pancakes

All-American pancakes

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2. Buttermilk pancakes

When did buttermilk meet pancakes? It’s a three-part story here: firstly, it acts as an extra leavener alongside baking powder (and/or soda) to give extra height to your stack. It’s also said to break down gluten and make for fluffier pancakes, plus, it adds a little welcome tanginess into the mix. Give them a try:

Fluffy buttermilk pancakes

Fluffy buttermilk pancakes

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3. Oladi pancakes

In this recipe for Russian oladi pancakes, submitted by one of our community members, a touch of acidic vinegar, rather than buttermilk, is added. The batch are cooked as smaller, thinner medallions that stack beautifully.

Oladi pancakes

Oladi pancakes

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4. Extra fluffy Japanese pancakes

Nothing rises quite like a Japanese-style pancake—soft and soufflé-like inside and crispy on the outside, these are sure to earn points on your brunch menu.

Japanese pancakes

Japanese pancakes

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The very best fruit pancake recipes

5. Banana pancakes

Love banana bread? Pancakes, too? This is a great 2 for 1 recipe for the indecisive and a fun spin on regular pancake-y fare.

Banana bread pancakes

Banana bread pancakes

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6. Dutch baby

I just couldn’t write about this pillowy fruit vessel of a pancake without looking up the etymology first, because frankly the term ‘Dutch Baby’ has always vaguely disturbed me. On my way to find clarity, things got even more confusing. The internet told me that, in this use case, ‘dutch’ is likely a corruption of ‘deutsch’ and that the recipe itself stems from German ‘Pfannenkuchen’ or ‘pancakes’. True or false, we’re going to let our taste buds lead us here, so here’s our favorite recipe for the puffiest of pancakes:

Dutch baby

Dutch baby

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7. Apple pancakes

Caramelized walnuts and apples plus pancakes equals, well, a pretty good breakfast. These apple pancakes are especially notable for those who find pancakes a little one note in the texture department.

Fluffy apple pancakes

Fluffy apple pancakes

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8. Stuffed pancakes

Roll up, roll up—the Swedes are at it again. These elegant, bite-sized pancakes are rolled and stuffed with banana and melted chocolate and make a great prep-ahead addition to a brunch spread.

Banana and chocolate Swedish pancakes

Banana and chocolate Swedish pancakes

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9. Pumpkin pancakes

OK, I realize it’s not quite a fruit, but can is there any other ingredient that has as much sweet to savory versatility as pumpkin? Trusty pumpkin puree gives this recipe texture and flavor with all the usual spices to dial up the flavor—and if you need any more convincing—there’s also bacon.

Pumpkin pancakes with bacon and blackberries

Pumpkin pancakes with bacon and blackberries

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Pancakes for all! Our best gluten-free, paleo, and vegan pancake recipes

10. Vegan pancakes

This recipe uses almond milk, coconut flour, whole wheat flower, amaranth, and a pinch of cinnamon to pack in more flavor than your usual pancake batter—so whether you’re vegan or looking for something a little different, this one’s for you.

Wholesome pancakes

Wholesome pancakes

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11. Gluten-free paleo pancakes

Who said gluten-free meant a winding list of ingredients? These simple 3-ingredient paleo pancakes are a go-to recipe easy enough to commit to memory!

3-ingredient paleo pancakes

3-ingredient paleo pancakes

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Sweet enough? Try these delicious savory pancakes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner…

12. Scallion pancakes

A favorite starter that flies off the plate at Chinese restaurants worldwide has to be the scallion pancake. So why not recreate the joy and try your hand making them at home?

Scallion pancakes

Scallion pancakes

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13. Zucchini pancakes

Some might argue that we’re hedging into fritter territory, but in the spirit of showing just how much you can do with a simple pancake batter, I’m leaving this recipe for zucchini and parmesan pancakes right here. If you feel like more, try their Romanesco cousins, too.

Zucchini-Parmesan pancakes with dip

Zucchini-Parmesan pancakes with dip

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Romanesco pancakes with herb dip

Romanesco pancakes with herb dip

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14. Potato pancakes

Crispy, oniony potato pancakes are a savory dish that can be skewed sweet—try pairing them with smoked salmon and horseradish or even a dollop of applesauce.

Potato latkes with applesauce

Potato latkes with applesauce

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Simple potato pancakes

Simple potato pancakes

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15. Chickpea pancakes

Chickpea flour pancakes, also known as socca, are the perfect foil for savory toppings and make a filling meal any time of day. I love the nutty flavor the chickpea imparts and the recipe below, with crunchy fennel and olives, really hits the mark. Plus, the whole dish is as simple as 5 ingredients.

5-ingredient chickpea pancakes with fennel and olives

5-ingredient chickpea pancakes with fennel and olives

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16. Duck pancakes

One of the most fun recipes for communal eating has to be build-it-yourself duck pancakes. There’s just the right amount of crunch and chew in every mouthful and for condiment lovers, any opportunity to dip into loads of hoisin sauce is a good one—isn’t it?

Duck pancakes with cucumber, pomegranate, and hoisin sauce

Duck pancakes with cucumber, pomegranate, and hoisin sauce

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17. Masala dosa

Made with rice and lentil flour, dosa are thin, crispy pancakes popular in Southern India and Sri Lanka. They can be enjoyed alone with a range of delicious dipping sauces and chutneys or stuffed with fragrant fillings that range from potato to meat, and even paneer cheese. Try a twist on the classic here:

Masala dosa with minty yogurt sauce

Masala dosa with minty yogurt sauce

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Have we satisfied your appetite for pancakes? Let us know your favorite kinds or your secret tips in the comments! If you have a winning recipe you’d like to share with the Kitchen Stories community, send it to community@kitchenstories.com for your chance to be published.

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