How To Make the Easiest Pancakes Ever

updated Sep 9, 2023
How To Make the Easiest Pancakes Ever

A one-bowl recipe that requires just six pantry ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes or less.

Serves4 to 6

Makes18 (3.5-inch) pancakes

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Pancakes are often considered a weekend-only treat, but there’s no denying that the other five days would be substantially better if they, too, started with a warm short stack. To make this an actually feasible breakfast option on hectic mornings, you have a few options for an easy pancake recipe.

You can make and freeze pancakes in advance (or even freeze the batter), or you could master this one-bowl recipe that requires just six pantry staples and is ready in 30 minutes or less.

Quick Overview

Tips For Making The Easiest Pancakes

  • Rely on these kitchen staples: all-purpose flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and baking powder.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients first, then add the milk, oil, and eggs and whisk to combine.
  • Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes before cooking.
  • Use cast iron skillet, non-stick skillet or griddle for cooking the pancakes.

Weekday Morning Pancakes

I’m of the mind that every home should have two pancake recipes: a lofty one for weekends and an easier, more straightforward recipe for weekdays (and I’m not just talking about breakfast, either). These are my basic everyday pancakes that I’ve been making once a week ever since I became a mother seven years ago, and I’ve learned a lot along the way.

What makes these extra-easy is that the batter is mixed up in just one bowl, which means faster prep and cleanup. There’s no fussy steps like sifting flour or separating eggs, and all of the ingredients are ones you likely keep on hand.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Make Easy Pancakes

  • Use your pantry. I often have buttermilk on hand and I don’t mind whisking the occasional egg white, but on a Tuesday morning, I am not reaching for either. These pancakes rely purely on kitchen staples: all-purpose flour, a little sugar, milk, eggs, and baking powder. The baking powder is responsible for these pancakes’ rise, so it helps that you aerate the batter well with a whisk and that you let the batter rest before cooking.
  • A single bowl is perfect for mixing. There’s no need to dirty multiple bowls. Simply whisk together the dry ingredients first, then add the milk, oil, and eggs and whisk to combine.
  • Always rest the batter. After mixing, be sure to rest the batter for about 10 minutes. This gives the flour a chance to properly hydrate and the baking powder time to activate.
  • Use a cast iron skillet for cooking. Cast iron is my skillet of choice for pancakes, because it heats well and browns the pancakes without an excess of butter. A nonstick skillet or a griddle can be used, too.

Cooking and Serving the Pancakes

On harried weekday mornings, my kiddos eat these about as fast as I can make them, so I don’t fuss with holding them in a warm oven. This recipe makes 18 (3-inch) pancakes, which perfectly serves four or six on a weekday. Maple syrup is usually my go-to, but a dusting of powdered sugar can keep kiddos from leaving for school with sticky fingers and is just as delightful.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Tester’s Notes

I am 100% here for any recipe that will help me get pancakes on the table more quickly. Unfortunately, a handful of you noted you had trouble with this recipe — your pancakes were thin or gummy, and too small to feed a family of four. We heard you, and we’ve re-tested and updated the recipe accordingly.

The original recipe called for shaking the batter in a jar, which I believe may have led to overworked batter and ultimately rubbery, rather than fluffy, pancakes. The new recipe below has you whisk everything in one bowl instead — you still only have one dish to wash, and it will prevent you from overworking the batter. I’ve also doubled the ingredients to ensure you have plenty of good-sized pancakes to feed the entire family.

Sheela, May 2020

How To Make the Easiest Pancakes Ever

A one-bowl recipe that requires just six pantry ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes or less.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 18 (3.5-inch) pancakes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/3 cups

    whole or 2% milk

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter, plus more for cooking

  • Powdered sugar or maple syrup, for serving


  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Large cast iron or nonstick frying pan

  • Spatula

  • Whisk


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  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Add the wet ingredients. Add 1 1/3 cups whole or 2% milk, 2 large eggs, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter. Whisk until almost smooth, a few small lumps are fine. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes.

  3. Heat a pan. Heat a large (12-inch) cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat a few minutes before the batter is ready.

  4. Fry 3 pancakes for 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add 2-tablespoon portions of the batter to the pan, cooking 3 at a time. Cook on the first side until bubbles appear on the surface, the edges begin to look dry, and the bottoms are golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat as needed if the pancakes are browning too quickly.

  5. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes. Cook until the second sides are golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a 200ºF oven or plate. Repeat using more oil and cooking the remaining batter. Serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The pancakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.