Lemon Poppy Seed Skillet Pancake

updated Dec 14, 2021
Lemon Poppy Seed Skillet Recipe

This crispy-edged, citrus-infused skillet pancake has a tender, custardy center, and is served with a sweet lemon-honey butter.

Serves4 to 6

Prep15 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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skillet pancake with butter in skillet
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Forget muffins — this lemon poppy seed skillet pancake is better and brighter than any coffee shop pastry, with its crispy edges, tender, custardy center, and citrus flavor through and through. Plus, it’s even easier than serving a stack of silver dollars: Simply whisk together the batter, pour into the hot skillet, and bake until puffed and golden.

While you can serve this pancake year-round, I like it best during the dark days of winter, when lemons are at their very best and cozying up is top of mind. Here’s how to make your new favorite breakfast treat.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make a Lemon Poppy Seed Skillet Pancake

You’ll begin by whisking flour, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, and poppy seeds in a bowl until combined and aerated. Melt unsalted butter; then add the zest of one large lemon, freshly squeezed lemon juice, milk, eggs, and honey; and whisk to combine. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until the flour is moistened. Remember: For a tender pancake, it’s better to leave a few lumps and not over-mix the batter.

For the highest lift and the best texture, let the batter rest for 10 minutes to give the leavening time to activate and the flour a chance to absorb moisture. Transfer the batter to a hot cast iron skillet and bake until the edges are crispy and browned and the center is puffed and springs back when pressed.

Infusing the Pancake with Intense Lemon Flavor

Light and fluffy rounds of diner-style pancakes rely on buttermilk for flavor and lift. For this recipe, instead of reaching for the store-bought bottle, you’ll make your own buttermilk with freshly squeezed lemon juice (and zest!) to infuse the pancake with lemony flavor from the inside out.

But we can’t stop there — especially when there’s leftover lemon juice. Whip the rest of the lemon juice with softened butter, honey, and a pinch of kosher salt until light and fluffy. Spread the golden pancake wedges with this lemon-honey butter, and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Lemon Poppy Seed Skillet Recipe

This crispy-edged, citrus-infused skillet pancake has a tender, custardy center, and is served with a sweet lemon-honey butter.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the lemon-honey butter:

  • 1 stick

    (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons

    honey

  • Pinch

    kosher salt

For the pancake:

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    poppy seeds

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided

  • 1

    large lemon

  • 1 1/4 cups

    whole or 2% milk

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 3 tablespoons

    honey

  • Fresh fruit or powdered sugar, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in a medium bowl and let sit at room temperature until softened, about 30 minutes.

  2. Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe nonstick frying pan in the oven while it heats.

  3. Place 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Place 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second increments until melted, 20 to 40 seconds.

  5. Finely grate the zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tablespoon), then juice the lemon (about 3 tablespoons). Add the zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 1/4 cups whole or 2% milk, 2 large eggs, and 3 tablespoons honey to the melted butter and whisk to combine.

  6. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until the flour is moistened; a few lumps are OK. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes.

  7. Meanwhile, make the lemon honey butter: Use an electric hand mixer to beat the softened butter on medium speed until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. (Alternatively, use a spatula and beat for 1 minute.) Add 3 tablespoons honey, the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and a pinch of kosher salt, and beat on medium speed until fully combined, about 15 seconds.

  8. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter into 2 pieces. Take the preheated skillet out of the oven, add the butter, and swirl the pan until the butter melts and coats the bottom and sides.

  9. Transfer the pancake batter into the pan and spread into an even layer. Bake the pancake until puffed and golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

  10. Cut into wedges and serve with lemon honey butter, fresh fruit, and powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Combine the dry ingredients in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 3 months.

Storage: Refrigerate leftover pancake in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Lemon honey butter can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.