If you’re in the mood for light, fluffy pancakes but don’t have any pancake mix on hand, you’re in luck! This simple recipe is absolutely perfect and so easy to whip up!
What is a Pancake?
A pan-cake is (literally) a cake made in a pan.
Stick with me here. A cake is made up of flour, sugar, baking powder (or soda), oil (or butter), salt, eggs, and milk.
A pancake is all of those same things with only a couple of twists: the amount of sugar in a pancake is minimal. In fact, this recipe only calls for one tablespoon.
A traditional cake is baked in the oven, but a pancake (which is thicker, thanks to the lower quantity of milk) is perfect for a lightly greased skillet.
“Frying” your cake is what gives it that distinction from a baked cake. Pancakes are slimmer, trimmer versions of baked cakes with crispy edges.
But don’t let their size fool you. This recipe produces light, fluffy pancakes. So light and fluffy, in fact, that you’ll find it hard to eat just one or two!
Don’t I need a Boxed Mix to make Pancakes?
I know, I know. . .most of us grew up eating pancakes that started with a box of pancake mix (like Aunt Jemima or Bisquick).
I’m a huge fan of the Bisquick version but I’ve stopped buying Bisquick and started making a copycat Bisquick, instead.
This time, however, I didn’t have any DIY Bisquick on hand, so I decided to start from scratch (literally). I made my own homemade batter. . .and the result was out of this world!
I’ll share more about the outcome below, but let’s start with a quick look at what you’ll need to make these fluffy skillet cakes!
You will find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need. Trust me when I say these are very simple ingredients you likely have on hand. If not, you’ll easily find them at any grocery store.
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- powdered sugar
- Crisco shortening (plain or butter version), cubed
- whole eggs
- vanilla (or maple) extract
How to Make Fluffy Pancakes from Scratch
These came together so easily and were so much better than the pancakes I’ve made with a mix. They’re perfect for a Saturday morning or even for dinner!
I had to wonder why I hadn’t been making them from scratch all along. Trust me when I say I’ll be using this method from now on, at least for the most part!
Just Follow these Simple Tips:
Start by measuring out your dry ingredients. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Using a pastry cutter or large serving fork, work in your shortening. You’ll want to start with cubes of shortening to make this process easier.
Fully incorporate shortening as best you can.
Work in the milk and then the eggs, mixing well. (You can whisk egg in advance if you prefer.)
You’ll still see a few lumps of shortening after merging the wet ingredients with the dry. Don’t worry about those. The shortening bits just make the pancakes even fluffier, trust me.
When your batter is ready, lightly spray a skillet with vegetable spray (or a teaspoon of melted butter).
I used an ice cream scoop to make my pancakes. Using this method, I got a total of ten pancakes from this recipe.
Place in heated nonstick skillet (or hot griddle) over medium heat and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Pancakes will puff up as they bake, giving you that light interior.
Hint: Second side usually doesn’t take as long to cook.
Serve while warm with butter and syrup.
Pancake batter has to be used right away but you can always bag the leftover pancakes individually in ziplock bags and place them in the fridge (up to five days) or freezer (up to two months).
Make sure they are completely cooled before placing in plastic bags or other airtight container.
Note: You can use this batter in your pancake maker or waffle iron. Talk about an easy and quick breakfast!
What to Expect from these Pancakes
As I mentioned above, these are light, fluffy, and loaded with flavor! I absolutely loved them.
The outside takes on a crispy texture from the lightly oiled skillet, but the inside? Well, let’s just say it’s lighter than a feather!
I particularly enjoyed the way the syrup worked its way down into the light interior of the pancakes. They didn’t end up soggy. . .not even close! The cakes held their shape and maintained their fluffiness.
Variations on this Easy Pancake Recipe
These are the perfect pancakes from scratch and a great base for all sorts of additions. Here are a few that I would recommend:
Blueberries: Add a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter before baking. Add more berries on top before serving.
Raspberries or strawberries: I particularly love raspberries and think they would be luscious in this recipe! You could even add a bit of lemon zest to your raspberry pancakes for a bigger punch of flavor. Fresh fruit always makes pancakes better!
Chocolate chips: I would probably use mini chocolate chips, myself. A cup (or less) should be enough for this recipe.
Chocolate Pancakes: You can always turn this recipe to chocolate by adding half a cup of dutch cocoa powder to these delicious pancakes. You might need to pull back a little on the flour, adding only 1 3/4 cups. Throw in chocolate chips and the kids will be delighted.
Mint Chocolate Pancakes: Make chocolate pancakes and add mint chocolate chips to the batter. Serve with melted mint chocolate drizzled on top.
Bananas: Yum! I love the taste of bananas and think they would be luscious baked into this batter. A cup should suffice. Throw in some walnuts or pecans for an added layer of flavor and texture.
Cream of Coconut Pancakes: Use cream of coconut (or coconut milk) in place of whole milk then added toasted coconut to the batter. Top with cream cheese frosting (see recipe below).
Cream Cheese Glaze: Instead of using syrup, make a simple cream cheese glaze using half a cup of softened cream cheese, a dash of milk, and a tablespoon of softened butter. Add vanilla extract.
Yogurt Pancakes: For added tartness, replace some of the milk with Greek Yogurt (or flavored yogurt of your choice).
Pure maple syrup: If you don’t have pancake syrup, pure maple syrup is an even better choice. (Yum!)
Fluffier pancakes: For fluffier pancakes add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
Buttermilk pancake recipe: You can always use buttermilk in place of whole milk for an even fluffier pancake. Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Just add a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to your whole milk.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar in place of syrup. Cinnamon-sugar is a great option, too.
Talk about delicious breakfast options!
Other Skillet Cakes from Out of the Box Baking
Looking for other breakfast recipes or skillet cakes? No problem. We’ve got you covered! Here are some out of the box options:
Apple Spice Skillet Cake: Cake in a skillet? No oven required? Yes, thank you! This Apple Spice Skillet Cake was the perfect gift to take to a family member on a cold winter’s day.
Healthy Banana Pancakes without Flour: These delicious flavor-packed banana pancakes are loaded with protein and antioxidants and they’re easy to make. Best of all, they’re gluten-free!
That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe.
See this recipe at
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup Crisco shortening (plain or butter version), cubed
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or maple) extract
- Start by measuring out your dry ingredients. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk together.
- Using a pastry cutter or large serving fork, work in your shortening. You’ll want to start with cubes of shortening to make this process easier.
- Work in the milk and then the eggs, mixing well.
- You’ll still see a few lumps of shortening. Don’t worry about those. The shortening bits just make the pancakes even fluffier, trust me.
- When your batter is ready, lightly spray a skillet with vegetable spray (or a teaspoon of melted butter).
- I used an ice cream scoop to make my pancakes. Using this method, I got a total of ten pancakes from this recipe.
- Place in heated skillet over medium heat and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Pancakes will puff up as they bake, giving you that light interior.
- Serve while warm with butter and syrup.
- Pancake batter has to be used right away but you can always bag the pancakes individually in ziplock bags and place them in the fridge (up to five days) or freezer (up to two months). Make sure they are completely cooled before placing in plastic bags.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 347mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.