Recipe Review

Gwyneth’s Dad’s “World-Famous” Pancake Recipe Is the Internet’s Sleeper Hit

published Jan 14, 2020
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When we set out to find the absolute best pancake recipe, we didn’t expect to find a hidden gem on Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness website. But among the cleanses and crystals, there’s a recipe called Bruce Paltrow’s World-Famous Pancakes and no, there’s no collagen powder or buckwheat flour in the batter. The recipe, which comes from Gwyneth’s dad and was originally published in Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter, is adapted from a Joy of Cooking recipe, which is why we knew we had to try it.

So, how did Gwyneth’s dad’s pancakes bake up against the other famous pancake recipes we tried? Read on to find out.

Credit: Kitchn

How to Make Gwyneth’s Dad’s World-Famous Pancakes

This recipe is pretty typical for a standard buttermilk pancake. The dry ingredients are whisked together in one bowl, the wet in another, and then the two are gently combined. Gwyneth’s dad recommends resting the batter overnight, then adding an extra splash of milk before cooking the pancakes. I appreciated that he included this tip, because resting is good for pancake batter. It helps hydrate the flour and distribute air bubbles for a better puff in the pan.

These pancakes bake up beautifully in a nonstick skillet or electric griddle — not too thick or too thin, with mostly even browning — but the batter yields three dozen (!) three-inch pancakes. That’s far too many for my family of four. If you’re going to cook them all, expect to be standing over the stove for a while.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Gwyneth’s Dad’s Pancakes

During the first round of recipe testing for our ultimate pancake showdown, I battled Gwyneth’s dad’s recipe against the 2019 Joy of Cooking buttermilk pancake recipe. Bruce’s pancakes won the face-off and advanced to the finals because I liked the overnight rest (it makes the next morning’s cooking session easier), and I appreciated that adding milk the next day allowed for some customization: People who prefer thinner pancakes can add more milk, and vice versa. (For what it’s worth, the Joy of Cooking recipe is similar, and works well too.)

But when compared to the other pancakes in the finals, Bruce’s pancakes fell flat, quite literally: They were the thinnest of any recipe I tried. They weren’t as easy as Martha Stewart’s one-bowl recipe, as lofty as King Arthur Flour’s diner-style pancakes, or as flavorful as Serious Eats’ pancakes. And ultimately, this recipe just made too many pancakes.

Credit: Meghan Splawn
Gwyneth's dad's pancakes

If You Make Gwyneth’s Dad’s Pancakes, a Few Tips

  1. Cut the recipe in half. Unless you’re cooking for a crowd on a Saturday morning, you do not need 36 pancakes in your kitchen. Instead, this recipe can be easily halved to make 18 pancakes.
  2. Rest the batter. The overnight rest is my favorite part of this recipe, and makes for a smoother batter and better pancakes.
  3. Err on the side of less milk. After resting the batter overnight, the recipe calls for whisking in up to one cup of milk before cooking. Start by adding just 1/4 cup and see how you like the thickness of the first few pancakes before you add any more. A full cup of milk makes for incredibly thin pancakes that are more crepe-like in texture.

Rating: 6/10

Have you tried Bruce Paltrow’s “World Famous” Pancake Recipe? Tell us what you thought in the comments.