How to make pancakes

Article by: Allrecipes staff  |  Picture by: foodfanatic
How to make pancakes
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Learn how to make pancakes with these foolproof step-by-step directions and photos, and you will never be defeated by a pancake again! Served with sugar and lemon, these pancakes are a favourite on Pancake Day or anytime.

We used a basic pancake recipe that serves 4 to 6, which can easily be halved:
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 500ml milk

You'll also need butter for frying, and caster sugar and fresh lemons to serve (if desired).

How to make pancakes step picture 1
With a sieve, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
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Break the eggs into a bowl and then add to the flour mixture.
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Pour in half of the milk and whisk briskly.
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Add the remaining milk and whisk until the batter is smooth.
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Heat a 20cm (8 in) non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a small knob of butter and swirl the pan to coat the bottom.
When is it hot enough?
Don't wait until the pan is smoking hot! The butter will burn. Rather, flick a drop of water into the pan; if it sizzles, you are ready to add the pancake batter.
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Using a ladle, pour the pancake batter into the pan, then tilt the pan to spread the mixture out evenly. Aim for approximately 3 tablespoons of batter.
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As your pancake sets, you will see small bubbles forming on its surface. Once you notice bubbles, shake the pan to see if the pancake is loose. Once the pancake is loose, and the edges have cooked a bit, you can be sure it is time to flip. This should only take about a minute at the most.
Pan getting too hot?
Depending your pan, as well as your hob, you may notice that you start out well with your first pancake on medium-high heat, but that the pan quickly gets too hot. If you notice a lot of sizzling or smoking, it's time to turn down the heat to medium! Often starting at medium-high and turning to medium after you flip your first pancake works well.
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Flip the pancake over with a palette knife or spatula.
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Let the pancake cook on the other side for about 30 seconds; it should cook no more than half as long on this side as it took to cook the first side.
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Check to see that the last side is a nice golden brown, then slide your pancake onto a plate and top with caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Add more butter to your pan and cook the remaining pancakes as stated above from step five onwards.
Keeping them warm
If you aren't serving the pancakes as you make them, keep them warm by stacking them on a plate covered with foil. You can even keep them covered in a low oven, if desired.
Solving common pancake problems:

My first pancake isn't browning
If your first pancake is helplessly pale, your pan is most likely not hot enough. Remember that you don't want a smoking pan and burnt butter, but a nicely heated pan that sizzles when a drop of water hits it. Often starting at medium-high heat, then turning the heat down to medium is a sure bet when cooking pancakes in a home kitchen.

My pancakes are sticking
If your pan is old and the non-stick coating has worn off, you may indeed have issues with your pancakes sticking. Using a good non-stick pan is the best way to ensure that your pancakes won't stick, as adding more butter will simply result in disappointingly greasy pancakes. If you don't use non-stick pans, make sure your pan is very well seasoned.

My pancakes are stodgy
You want a thin, lacy pancake that is almost transparent in spots. If your pancakes are thick and stodgy, you are most likely adding too much batter for the size of your frying pan. Three tablespoons, or 45ml, of batter is just right for a 20cm (8 in) pan.

Looking for pancake recipes? Check out our Pancake recipe collection!

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