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Course: Breakfast
Keyword: Brunch, Comfort Food, Hacks, Make-Ahead, Semi-Instant Pancakes

Semi-Instant Pancakes

Semi-instant pancakes stacked on a plate, drizzled with maple syrup, and topped with a pat of butter.
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 pancakes
Light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes come together quickly when you start with my five-ingredient homemade mix.
When it comes to cooking, it’s tough to beat a nonstick electric griddle. There’s plenty of surface area and low sides so you don’t have to fight to get your turner under the cooking cake. If you don’t want to go that route, try a thick, square, non-stick aluminum griddle for the stovetop.
A note on flour: I’ve found that when faced with Gold Medal flour, I often have to loosen the final batter by stirring in an extra ounce of buttermilk. King Arthur flour tends to work best.
To freeze cooked pancakes, cool completely, then place them in zip-top freezer bags. Seal the bags, removing as much air as possible. The frozen pancakes can easily be heated up in a toaster or toaster oven.
This recipe first appeared in Season 3 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 283 grams semi-instant pancake mix
  • 2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup fresh fruit, such as blueberries, optional

Specialized Hardware

Digital kitchen scale
Electric griddle
Semi-instant pancakes stacked on a plate, drizzled with maple syrup, and topped with a pat of butter.
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 pancakes


  • Heat an electric griddle to 350ºF or set a heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  • Heat oven to the lowest possible temperature, not more than 200ºF.
  • Place the pancake mix in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a second bowl, whisk together the egg whites and buttermilk.
  • Whisk the egg yolks into the cooled melted butter. Whisk the butter mixture into the buttermilk mixture until completely incorporated.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and quickly bring together with a large whisk. I allow myself only 12 stirs, then I walk away. Yes, there will be some lumps in the batter, and that's fine.
  • Check the griddle. When a drop of water skitters across the surface like a little hovercraft, it's ready. Lightly grease the griddle with butter, shortening, or nonstick spray, and wipe off the excess with a paper towel.
  • Ladle 1 ounce (by volume) of batter onto the griddle using either a #20 disher or a 1-ounce ladle. As soon as the batter hits the pan, use the underside of the ladle or disher to gently coax the batter out to a disk about 4 inches in diameter. Cook until bubbles around the upside edge set, about 3 minutes. If you wish to integrate the fruit into the pancake itself, add it after the batter has been on the griddle for about 30 seconds.
  • Carefully flipThe first cakes tend to be uglier than later ones, so feed the in-laws first. with a wide spatula and cook until golden brown on the bottom, another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve immediately or place on a half-sheet pan, cover with a tea towel, and keep warm in the oven for up to 20 minutes.
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