Recipe: Fat, Fluffy American Style Pancakes

Sundays are my fun days.  It’s a day to get up late, read on the couch and stroll to the market later, but most of all it’s pancake day!

It can be hard to get fluffy, light pancakes and before developing my own recipe I did a lot of searching online for recipes that didn’t involve 101 ingredients.  I’m not a fan of baking powder as it leaves an aftertaste, and besides, I might want pancakes, but I sure don’t want to have to work too hard for them, especially on a Sunday.

After a lot of experimentation I hit upon a recipe that I think works, it’s certainly tasty and very easy.  The best part is, these don’t suffer for waiting in the oven for the rest to cook, or go soggy, so you don’t need to rush.  It’s all part of the lazy Sunday breakfast philosophy!

I specify American-style as most pancakes in Ireland are thin, crepe-style pancakes.  I have no problem with crepes, in fact Gar makes the best thin pancakes I’ve ever had, but sometimes you just want feather light, super fluffy, syrup sucking American pancakes!

If you’re serving these fellas with bacon, sausages or rashers this recipe will easily stretch to four when making six inch pancakes, but on their own or if you’re making big pancakes you may need to increase the quantities.  This is also a great chance to get rid of any fruit that might be aging a bit before it goes off completely.  Those speckled bananas taste much better than they look when mashed onto a warm pancake with a drizzle of honey!

American-Style Pancakes

Sundays.  Oh, I love Sundays.  Sometimes I love them so much I have them during the week, just because!
Sundays. Oh, I love Sundays. Sometimes I love them so much I have them during the week, just because!

Time: 20-25 minutes, including preparation and waiting

Serves 4   Approx. 424 calories per stack, without syrup or toppings

You will need:

  • 2 cups organic* self-raising flour
  • 2 duck eggs (you can of course use chicken, I like the richness of duck)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup semi skimmed milk
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or any other mildly flavoured vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 100*c (212*F).
  2. In a large jug or bowl with a pouring spout, combined the flour and cinnamon.  Make a well in the centre of the flour.
  3. Combine the two eggs, vanilla and oil in a separate bowl.  Pour into the well in the flour.
  4. Add the buttermilk and half of the semi skimmed milk.  You may not need the whole amount of semi skimmed milk and you don’t want to add more than necessary.
  5. Using a fork or strong whisk, combined the flour and wet ingredients but stop as soon as the batter is combined.  The idea is to get as much air into the batter as possible and over-mixing will give you flat, lifeless pancakes.  The batter will be lumpy, that’s absolutely fine as the lumps will cook out.
  6. If the batter is too firm, add milk until it’s looser, but stop before it becomes runny.
  7. Now, have a cup of tea and let the batter sit for 10 minutes to allow the buttermilk to work its magic.
  8. When the batter has little bubbles on the surface, it’s ready to cook!  It will look a bit “gloopy”.
  9. Heat a pan over a low medium heat and coat with cooking spray, oil or a little butter.  Pour enough batter onto the pan to make the size pancake you would like.  Cover it with a see-through pot lid and keep an eye on it.  The pancake will swell up immediately.
  10. When there are little bubbles forming in the top of the pancake and the batter around the top edges looks “matte”, carefully flip the pancake.  You don’t want to slap it down in the pan as this will knock some of the air out.
  11. When cooked, tip the pancake onto a plate in the oven to keep it warm.
  12. Repeat until there is no more batter.

Tip:  I’ve seen a lot of people stir the batter between pancakes.  You don’t want to do this with this recipe as every time you stir the batter you thin it out.

I love to have these pancakes with nothing more than butter and syrup, but they are also great with fruit, honey, peanut butter, jams and cream.  They’re an excellent platform for all things sweet and nutty.

*In response to a recent question about my recipes, I use organic wherever possible, but if there is not a local organic option I go for the local commercially produced version of what I am looking for, to save air miles.  This recipe works just as well without organic ingredients but I would always encourage you to shop locally!

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