1. Pouring the Pancake Batter
You’ll know your cooking surface is hot enough when a few drops of water sprinkled on it dance and disappear. To make regular round pancakes, pour the batter by slightly less than ¼ cupfuls onto the hot griddle or pan. A pancake batter dispenser can also help make evenly sized ‘cakes. Make sure to leave room between pancakes so they don’t run together—you may only want to make one or two at a time.
2. Pancake Shapes
If you’d like to make pancakes in different shapes, use a squeeze bottle with a narrow opening to better control the batter as you pour. This is a great way to make letters, hearts or fun shapes like reindeer or Yeti.
3. How to Flip Pancakes
When edges are dry and the bubbles on the surface of the batter start to break, carefully turn the pancake and cook on the other side until golden. You want to make sure the pancakes are cooked all the way through, but not overcooked—this usually takes about 1-2 minutes per side. Pro tip: Don't flip more than once! Repeated cooking on both sides toughens rather than browns the pancakes.
As your pancakes finish cooking, place them on an oven-safe plate or cookie sheet and keep in a 250°F oven until you’re finished making the rest of the batch.
4. Pancake Add-Ins
Upgrade pancakes with fresh fruit, spices, cocoa powder, nuts or mini-chocolate chips stirred (very gently!) right into the batter immediately before cooking. For larger or more delicate add-ins like apples or bananas, gently press thinly sliced fruit on top of the pancake when cooking the first side. Some of the liquid in your batter can be replaced with canned pumpkin, applesauce or protein-packed Greek yogurt for extra flavor.
5. Pancake Topping and Garnish Ideas
Half the fun of pancakes is all the toppings you can pile on! Butter and maple syrup is a classic combo, but have fun with other ingredients like fruit, flavored syrups, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, nuts, sprinkles, jam, peanut butter, applesauce, yogurt (Greek yogurt will be thicker and add more protein), coconut flakes and chocolate chips. If you’re making savory pancakes, try topping with shredded or soft cheeses (think ricotta or brie), bacon, ham, sausage, or veggies such as green peppers, tomatoes or mushrooms. You can even make pizza pancakes!