World’s Best Pancakes

January 18, 2013

The first rule of pancakes: Don’t use a mix. Let me repeat that: Don’t use a mix. It saves no time, it tastes no good – and it costs more money. 

Pancake Rule Two: Don’t even think about using inferior maple syrup. A good pancake deserves the very best.

Pancake Rule Three: Don’t skimp. I know my recipe, below, has a lot of butter, but where pancakes are concerned, more is always more. 

Pancake Rule Four: You can always put anything you want into your pancakes. Blueberries, chocolate chips, pumpkin puree… use your imagination. But when pancakes are this good, you probably won’t want to.

Here’s my basic recipe.  I’ve made this so often that I can pull it together in under a minute. After you’ve done it a few times you’ll be able to do that too. This is not diet food, but I promise that these pancakes will make your family very, very happy.  

Melt a stick of butter.  Whisk together a cup of milk, 2 large eggs and a tablespoon of vegetable oil, then add the butter.

In a small bowl whisk a cup of flour with 4 teaspoons of baking powder, 4 teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of salt.  Whisk that into the milk mixture just until its combined.  Add a bit more milk if you think it’s too thick. 

Skim a good pan with butter or oil and start pouring in some batter. The size is up to you; sometimes I make them tiny for children, sometimes I make them ludicrously large. Watch as the bubbles appear in the batter, grow larger, and then pop and vanish.  When they’ve all popped, carefully flip the pancake and cook the other side.  

Rush the pancakes to the table as each one is finished. You want them hot, sweet, salty and a little bit crisp. You want the memory to linger with your family as they move through their day. 



Categorised in:


  • Ahhh…cooking pancakes for loved ones. What a truly unselfish way to start the day.

  • fantastically simple & beautiful. Yes the Stick of Butter does concern me, but… 8^)

  • Thanks Ruth! My neighbor just gave me a quart of fresh off the stove maple syrup so my finding this recipe was very timely. I’ll be making these this weekend!
    Any problems doubling the recipe?

  • Fuji Mama says:

    Rule number one is a rule I dearly wish more people would follow. I’d also like to add an addendum to the rule for those writing cookbooks in Japan, and say that Rule 1-A should state that recipes should never use pancake mix as an ingredient.

  • ChrisV says:

    With this recipe, I have finally weaned my husband off Bisquick. Thank you.

  • zachblam says:

    Decent recipe, definitely not for those who want their pancakes fluffy. flavor was just alright.

  • Www says:

    Yep. These are fluffy pancake perfection. Butter, as is so often the case, makes the difference. I would perhaps cut the salt down a tiny bit next time but otherwise this is my new go-to.

  • Hands down, best pancake recipe ever. Thank you, Ruth! Had them this morning with Whiskey Maple Syrup, so crazy good.

  • Christine says:

    This has been our family favorite since we found the recipe in the Gourmet cookbook. I couldn’t find it today and used someone else’s. Yuck! So back to the pc to find this and it is now in the recipe box again. Best pancake recipe ever, probably in the history of world pancake annals.

  • Jeanine says:

    Aaaah, one less thing to keep in the pantry, because you’re right, no need for pancake mix when you’ve got this easy, delicious recipe for pancakes! I love your book, The Kitchen Year, but if it is published again, I hope you’ll consider a spiral binding. I find it very difficult to keep open while looking at a recipe, but luckily, I was able to find this recipe here on my pc. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • We absolutely love and adore this recipe and come back to it time and again. For weekend pancakes there is no other way, thank you Ruth.

  • Mandy Straub says:

    We followed this recipe and enjoyed the 1st bites but then we all experienced an intense sour flavor that left a dryness in our mouths. Could it be the large amount of baking powder? This happened to us once before with a waffle recipe using several teaspoons of baking powder.

  • Dee says:

    Are there any issues making the batter the night before and keeping in the fridge overnight?

    • Shamim R says:

      I haven’t had an issue with leaving it in the fridge. Ruth had mentioned it was ok to do that in her last cookbook.
      I make a couple of pancakes every day and it lasts for about a week in the fridge.
      Love this recipe!


Your email address will not be published.