Extra Lofty Griddle Cakes

published Jun 16, 2022
Griddle Cakes Recipe

These extra lofty pancakes are best served with lots of butter and maple syrup.


Makesabout 8 medium pancakes

Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes to 20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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a photo of two thick griddle cakes with a pat of butter on top, on a square black plate.
Credit: Tara Holland

In England, a griddle cake is a generic term that could mean anything from a pikelet, Scottish pancake, crumpet, Welsh cake, or a pancake. In Norway, their traditional griddle cakes are called sveler and are sometimes filled with creamed butter and sugar and eaten folded in half. However, from what I’ve learned from living here, an American griddle cake is more or less a pancake. McDonald’s even uses the term “griddlecake,” and they are used as a vessel for their McGriddle breakfast sandwiches. They are described as “maple-flavored griddle pancakes embossed with the McDonald’s logo.” 

What’s the Actual Difference Between American Griddle Cakes and Pancakes?

It seems there’s not much difference at all! A pancake can be called a griddle cake, a hotcake, or even a flapjack. Sometimes a griddle cake can be smaller (similar to the handheld-sized offerings over the pond) than the enormous plate-sized pancakes you can get in a diner. Still, they all share the same common denominator: They are all extra thick and fluffy! 

How to Make Griddle Cakes

This recipe for griddle cakes is made by sifting the flour, which helps create a lighter texture, and combining the leaveners and salt. Separately whisking the egg and sugar until they’re frothy helps add additional air to the batter. Then buttermilk, melted butter, and the optional vanilla extract are mixed in.

Once the wet ingredients are combined with the dry, you cover the batter and let it rest for 15 minutes to allow the chemical reaction between the acid in the buttermilk and the baking soda to do its magic, yielding a fluffy griddle cake with height. The griddle cakes are finished off in the oven for a few minutes to ensure the center and sides are fully cooked, which can be tricky on the stovetop when the batter is so fluffy and thick. These griddle cakes are similar in size to their British counterparts (about 3 to 4 inches wide).

Credit: Tara Holland

Do I Need Any Special Equipment to Make Griddle Cakes?

Although traditionally these cakes were made on cast iron griddles, if you don’t own a griddle, you could use a cast iron skillet or even a large non stick skillet. 

Griddle Cake Toppings and Accompaniments

Butter and maple syrup are the most common (and most delicious, in my opinion!), but here are a few other accompaniments.

  • Crispy bacon
  • Sausage patties
  • Served cold and spread with butter and fruit jams or this delicious orange marmalade, or hard cheese, such as cheddar. 

Griddle Cakes Recipe

These extra lofty pancakes are best served with lots of butter and maple syrup.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Makes about 8 medium pancakes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 3/4 cups


  • 1

    large egg

  • 2 tablespoons

    plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract (optional)

  • Maple syrup, for serving (optional)


  1. Let 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, 1 large egg, and 2 teaspoons unsalted butter sit on the counter until room temperature, 30 to 60 minutes.

  2. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, 15 to 30 seconds. (Alternatively, melt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat). Set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, sift 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk until combined. Make a well in the center.

  3. Place the egg and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the buttermilk, melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if using. Whisk into a custard-like consistency, about 30 seconds.

  4. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients, and stir until flour is combined with no streaks (it will look lumpy and similar to soft scrambled eggs). Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 325℉. Fit a wire rack into a rimmed baking sheet. Five minutes before the resting time is up, heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

  5. Brush the griddle or skillet with 1 teaspoon of the softened butter. Carefully wipe away most of the butter from the griddle with a paper towel. Set the remaining butter aside.

  6. Drop the batter into the pan in 1/3-cup portions (you may need to use a spoon to help get the batter out of the measuring cup), spacing them 2 inches apart. Use the bottom of the measuring cup to flatten each pancake slightly. Cook until the edges start to firm up and the bottoms are golden brown (you may not get the tiny bubbles you get on regular pancakes since this batter is thick and fluffy), 3 to 4 minutes. Use a flat spatula to carefully flip the pancakes. Cook until the second side is golden brown (the centers will not yet be cooked through), about 1 minute more.

  7. Transfer the griddle cakes to the rack on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the center and sides are cooked through, at least 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, cook the remaining batter, greasing the griddle or skillet with more butter before each batch as needed. Serve with a pat of butter and drizzled with maple syrup or accompaniments of your choice.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: You can let the batter rest at room temperature for up to 1 hour. Alternatively, the batter can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Let it come to room temperature before cooking.

Storage: Griddle cakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To freeze griddle cakes, freeze in a single layer, transfer to a zip-top bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat in a 325ºF oven until warmed through, 7 to 15 minutes. They can also be toasted from frozen in a toaster oven or using the frozen function on a toaster.