This pancake recipe is going to show you how to make healthy, airy, fluffy pancakes.
Before we begin, we wanted to share some interesting facts about pancakes.
What Are Pancakes?
Pancakes are one of America’s most beloved breakfasts.
These round, fluffy, flat cakes are made with eggs, flour, milk and butter, and often served with syrup for breakfast. This American classic is so popular because it’s tasty and really quick to whip up a batch for a family.
You can also customize them by adding things like berries and fruits, giving additional textures, nutrients and flavors. You can even turn it into a savory dish with eggs and bacon on the side.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
This pancake recipe is rather healthy. Here are a few reasons why:
Everything is made from scratch. You get to keep track of your calorie, fat, sugar, and sodium intake.
It’s low in refined sugar. The whole recipe contains only 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, thus ½ tablespoon per serving.
It has lots of fruits. Each serving of pancakes comes with fruits, giving you a breakfast rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
There are about 504 calories per serving of our pancake recipe.
It may seem like too many calories for breakfast, but it’s actually not.
If you’re a relatively active person with a healthy lifestyle, you should eat at least 2100 calories per day. This means you would need up to 600 calories for breakfast to have enough energy for the day.
3 Main Ingredients
Everyone has their own pancake recipe, and the ingredients vary from chef to chef. But there are 3 main ingredients that every pancake recipe should have:
Eggs: this is an important ingredient in cooking and baking. In today’s recipe, eggs give texture, consistency, and stability to the pancake batter.
Leavening agents: along with eggs, leavening agents help produce a light, airy, fluffy pancake. Some recipes call for baking soda, some use baking powder, but we use both.
Butter: the melted unsalted butter in pancake batter will make your pancakes moist, rich, and deep in flavor.
It may be surprising to you but flour is not a mandatory ingredient in a pancake recipe. You can leave it out and still get fluffy, delicious pancakes.
Pancakes are delicious on their own, but adding toppings can make your pancakes even more iconic. Here are some creative toppings to garnish your pancakes with:
Nut spreads: you can garnish your pancakes with any type of nut spread you like. It will give the pancakes more flavor and provide you with more protein.
Cream cheese: whipped cream cheese is a great addition to any sweet treat. The rich and tangy cheese adds a nice depth of flavor to your pancakes.
Ricotta cheese: this soft, salty cheese may contrast with the sweet pancakes. But this contrast in flavors is what makes this divine combination.
When to Flip
Flipping pancakes can be tricky.
If you turn them too early, they’ll have a pale yellow surface. On the other hand, leaving them in the pan for too long can overcook or even burn them.
Our goal here is to achieve the lovely golden brown hue that we all know and love.
Some recipes may tell you to cook your pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes before flipping them, which isn’t wrong. Our pancakes took about the same time too.
However, time isn’t the only thing to be mindful about when you’re making pancakes. Here are some important tips we’ve learned:
Pay attention to the heat: set your pan to medium heat if you’re using a heavy duty pan. If your pan has a thin base, reduce the heat to medium-low.
Listen to the sizzling sound: you should hear a gentle sizzle when you pour the batter into the pan. If the sound is loud and aggressively sizzling, you may want to lower the heat or you’ll burn your pancakes.
Notice the bubbles forming on the surface of the pancake: that’s just the chemical reaction of leavening agents happening. They appear very fast, but then slow down at the end— this is when you should get ready to flip.
Check around the edges before flipping: when the bubble formation starts to slow down, the pancake surface becomes drier. If you can touch the pancake edge with a spatula without any batter sticking, that’s your time to flip.
Can You Freeze Pancake Batter?
Yes, you can if you want to.
If you’re making other pancake recipes, you can make the batter ahead of time and freeze it. Simply put the batter in a ziploc bag, lay it flat, seal the bag, and put it in a freezer.
When you need to make pancakes, thaw the batter and cook as usual.
However, with today’s pancake recipe, we don’t recommend freezing the batter.
Our recipe requires beating the egg whites to make the batter extra airy. When you freeze this aerated batter, you risk killing all those air bubbles.
So later when you thaw the batter and cook your pancakes, they won’t turn out as fluffy and airy.
How Long Does Pancake Batter Last?
A pancake batter should last up to 2 days in the refrigerator. You can cover the top of the bowl of batter with plastic wrap or keep the batter in an airtight container.
A frozen pancake batter can last up to a month in the freezer.
However, we don’t recommend making this pancake recipe ahead of time to store in the fridge or freezer.
With today’s recipe, you should make the batter and cook it into pancakes immediately so everything stays fresh and airy.
What to Serve With?
Although you can have just pancakes for breakfast, the meal wouldn’t be wholesome. We suggest serving pancakes with fruits or some sort of protein, like yogurt, to make your breakfast more nutritious.
Here are some recommendations:
Strawberries are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. They’re also high in fiber and simple sugar as well. With a delightful sweet-tart taste that’s quite versatile, they’re often blended into smoothies to enjoy as a light, on-the-go snack. Check out our Strawberry Smoothie Recipe if you’re interested.
Despite being high in sugar, strawberries won’t cause your blood sugar level to rise much. In fact, strawberries may have a positive effect on your insulin levels.
Health benefits aside, we can all agree that strawberries can add color and freshness to pancakes.
Similar to strawberries, blueberries also have many health benefits.
Blueberries are low in calories, but rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, especially vitamin C. They also contain anthocyanin— a flavonoid that may help reduce the risk of heart diseases.
You can have blueberries with pancakes to have a nutritious and energized breakfast. Moreover, you can also whip up a creamy, delicious glass of Blueberry Banana Smoothie to accompany your pancakes and have a more satisfying, energizing start to the day.
Whether it’s maple or pancake syrup, it’s an important ingredient when it comes to serving pancakes. It adds flavor to your pancakes and makes them less dry.
For today’s recipe, we’re using maple syrup as it is a naturally less processed sweetener without additives. It also contains antioxidants and minerals so it’s more beneficial than the commercial pancake syrup.
Do keep in mind that both maple and pancake syrup contain copious amounts of sugar. And the pancakes are already sweet.
So no matter which syrup you use, eat a moderate amount. For example, we use 1 tablespoon of maple syrup per pancake serving.
Bacon and Eggs
Bacon, eggs, pancakes, and a cup of strong coffee is a classic American diner breakfast. This is simply the best sweet and savory combination.
Cook the bacon slowly in a dry skillet over medium-low heat to render as much fat as possible. Then wipe off all the bacon fat and cook sunny-side-up eggs in the same pan.
By doing so, you won’t need to use extra oil which would increase your calorie intake.
Although sausages would make a great pair with pancakes, they’re a bit high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
If you want to serve them with pancakes, we recommend buying low-sodium sausages. Then bake the sausages in the oven to render the fat out.
One positive effect of eating sausages is that they give you more protein. This may help slow down the sudden rise in blood sugar when eating sugary foods.
A good, old-fashioned pancake recipe should be simple with only a handful of ingredients.
The key to a light and fluffy pancake doesn’t depend on the ingredients, but lies within the cooking techniques. So, let’s master the skills needed to make delectable pancakes.
In a large bowl, sift together 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp baking powder, and 3/4 tsp baking soda. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine 2 cups whole milk, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 egg yolks, and 2 tbsp melted butter. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the milk mixture to the flour. Mix with a spatula until just combined (there should be lumps of flour left.) Set aside.
In a deep, clean bowl, add 2 egg whites and start beating on low speed for 3 minutes with a hand mixer, then increase to high speed and continue for another 2 minutes. The egg whites should reach the soft peak stage.
Add the egg whites to the batter. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until fully combined. There should be no visible streaks of egg whites.
Heat a nonstick griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Using the remaining 1/2 tbsp melted butter, brush a thin layer of butter onto the pan. With a ladle or measuring cup, scoop the pancake batter and pour it into the center of the frying pan (you should hear a gentle sizzle). Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining batter (we used a 1/3 measuring cup and made 12 pancakes in total.)
To serve: place a stack of 3 pancakes on a warm plate, garnish with 2 oz strawberries, 6 oz blueberries, and a drizzle of 4 tbsp maple syrup.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 502Calories from Fat 127
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 7.6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.9g
Vitamin A 562.9IU
Vitamin C 12.4mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Pancakes made using this recipe were moist yet still fluffy – what an unbeatable combo for a light brunch meal that doubles as dessert too? Thanks, Luna 🥞