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How To Make Thick Fluffy American Pancakes

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Remember those fluffy, golden McDonald’s hotcakes that always hit the spot? Hold onto your syrup bottle, because you can recreate that nostalgic breakfast bliss in your kitchen! This easy recipe delivers fluffy American pancakes with light-as-air texture and a hint of golden sweetness. Get ready to say goodbye to drive-thru lines and hello to homemade happiness!

Maple syrup being poured over a stack of pancakes.

What Makes American Pancakes Different?

American pancakes, often referred to as pancakes in the United States, differ from other types of pancakes, such as crepes or European-style pancakes, in several ways:

  1. Thickness: American pancakes are typically thicker and fluffier compared to other pancakes. They rise more during cooking due to leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda.
  2. Leavening Agents: As mentioned, American pancakes contain leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda, which create bubbles in the batter when heated, resulting in a light and fluffy texture.
  3. Ingredients: American pancakes often contain flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and butter or oil. Some recipes may also include additional flavorings such as vanilla extract or spices.
  4. Size: American pancakes are usually larger in diameter compared to other pancakes. They are typically cooked on a griddle or frying pan and can vary in size depending on personal preference.
  5. Toppings: American pancakes are commonly served with toppings such as butter, maple syrup, fruit, whipped cream, chocolate chips, or nuts. The toppings are often added while the pancakes are still warm, allowing them to melt or soften slightly.

Overall, American pancakes are known for their fluffy texture, slightly sweet flavor, and versatility when it comes to toppings. They are a popular breakfast or brunch option in the United States and can be enjoyed in various ways to suit individual tastes.

What you’ll love about this recipe


  • McDonald’s-Worthy Taste – Capture the iconic flavor and fluffy texture you know and love, minus the mystery ingredients.
  • Simple and Quick – Only 20-25 minutes from prep to plate, perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast.
  • Family-Friendly – Kids will gobble these up, and the easy instructions make it a great recipe for baking together.
  • Customizable – Add your favorite toppings for endless possibilities, from classic butter and syrup to decadent chocolate chips and berries.

Let’s look at how to make this breakfast favorite, shall we?

Just a few ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder

Directions

Whisk together eggs, sugar, and melted butter until combined. 

Eggs, milk, and butter being mixed together in a glass bowl.

Add the vanilla, oil, and milk, and mix until combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pancake batter being mixed together in a glass bowl.

Blend the mixture until a batter forms, it will be thick but should not be lumpy.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Spray the center of the skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into the center and cook for about 2 mins

Pancakes on a plate.

Flip once bubbles appear on the top and cook for 1-1.5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Bite of pancakes on a fork.

Storage

Leftover pancakes can be refrigerated or frozen. Place pancakes in an airtight container separated with parchment paper. Ziplock freezer bags are great options – just be sure to squeeze out the excess air.

Reheat refrigerated pancakes for 30 seconds and frozen pancakes for one minute in the microwave.

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t overmix: A few gentle folds are all you need to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Overmixing can lead to tough pancakes.
  • Heat your pan: A preheated skillet or griddle is key for even cooking and golden edges.
  • Low and slow: Resist the urge to crank up the heat! Medium-low is the magic zone for fluffy pancakes that cook through without burning.
  • Get bubbly: Wait until you see little bubbles popping on the surface of the batter before flipping. It’s a sign the pancakes are ready for the other side.
  • Rest & Repeat: Let the cooked pancakes rest on top of a layer of paper towels on a plate while you finish the rest of the batch. This helps them stay fluffy and absorbs any excess moisture.

Notes & Variations

  • Whole wheat flour: Substitute up to half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat for a slightly healthier and nuttier flavor.
  • Dairy-free: Use plant-based milk and vegan butter for a completely dairy-free option.
  • Buttermilk: Swap the whole milk for buttermilk for an extra tangy and fluffy twist.
  • Flavor fiesta: Go beyond basic toppings! Chocolate chips, blueberries, and banana slices are always a hit. For a savory twist, try crumbled bacon and chives.

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Chocolate bar marzipan jujubes jelly-o carrot cake caramels. Tootsie roll cookie jujubes powder icing lemon drops. Pastry brownie topping oat cake chocolate cake jelly candy gingerbread tart.

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Maple syrup being poured over a stack of pancakes.

Fluffy American Pancakes

With their irresistibly light and fluffy texture, these pancakes are a breakfast favorite that's easy to make at home. Perfect for lazy weekends or special occasions, give your morning a delicious boost with this classic recipe!
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 460kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs large
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour leveled
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Instructions

  • Whisk together eggs, sugar, and melted butter until combined.
  • Add in the vanilla, oil, and milk, and mix until combined.
  • Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Blend the mixture until a batter forms, it will be thick but should not be lumpy.
  • Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat.
  • Spray the center of the skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Spoon ⅓ cup of batter into the center and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Flip once bubbles appear on the top and cook for an additional 1-1.5 minutes.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter.

Notes

  • For perfectly round and even pancakes, cook one at a time.
  • You can use vegetable oil in place of avocado oil
  • If the pan begins to burn the cooking spray, rinse the pan under cold water to cool it off
  • Make sure the temperature is set to medium-low, this helps prevent uncooked batter in the center.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pancakes | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 484mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 537IU | Calcium: 246mg | Iron: 3mg
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