Recipe Review

Serious Eats’ Light and Fluffy Pancake Recipe Is Worth the Hype

published Jan 15, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

On our quest to crown the ultimate weekend pancake recipe, Serious Eats was an obvious place to look. Their recipes are alway well-researched and well-tested — albeit a little fussy at times. So you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Serious Eats‘ light and fluffy pancake recipe, which requires zero special ingredients and has only three steps.

A quick skim through the comments reveals that people really love this recipe, and after pitting it against seven other classic pancake recipes, I can totally see why. Here’s what I love about Serious Eats‘ pancake recipe, and how it (gasps!) just might triumph over Kitchn’s very own Lofty Buttermilk Pancake recipe.

How to Make Serious Eats’ Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

This recipe begins by asking you to make a homemade dry pancake mix — a mixture of flour, leaveners, salt, and sugar —which, theoretically, would allow you to more easily whip up pancakes on a whim. It doesn’t actually save you any time if you’re planning on cooking the pancakes right away, however, which was the case for me.

When you’re ready for pancakes, whether now or in three months (that’s how long the mix will last), you’ll add buttermilk, egg yolks, and sour cream, followed by a drizzle of melted butter. You’ll then whip the egg whites and fold them into batter. The recipe doesn’t call for resting the batter, but it will inevitably rest for about 10 minutes while you heat the pan.

These pancakes are cooked in a nonstick skillet that has been swiped with butter or oil. The recipe suggests that you add just a little butter or oil and then use a paper towel to spread it out into a very thin, even layer. This sounds fussy, but my mom used this method and it always led to better browning.

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

My Honest Review of Serious Eats’ Pancakes

This is the recipe that ended my quest for the ultimate weekend pancake. These pancakes are lofty, tender, and incredibly buttery, and special enough without being too fussy, thanks to the incredibly smart addition of sour cream. Opting for both buttermilk and sour cream as opposed to buttermilk alone makes for a small crumb, and adds just enough acidity to contrast the maple syrup that you’ll (of course) be pouring overtop.

I’ve long called Kitchn’s Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes my favorite weekend pancake thanks to the addition of whipped egg whites and plenty of buttermilk, but they’ve now been bested by these light-and-fluffy ones from Serious Eats.

Credit: Meghan Splawn
Serious Eats pancakes

If You Make Serious Eats’ Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, a Few Tips

  1. Let’s skip this dry mix nonsense. Creating a dry mix for pancakes makes a lovely gift — but here, it doesn’t really make sense. Just mix up the dry mixture when you get a craving for pancakes.
  2. But don’t skip the sour cream. I promise: the flavor of the sour cream doesn’t overpower these pancakes. Instead, these pancakes are sweet and mild with just the perfect little bit of tang from the combination of buttermilk and sour cream.
  3. Follow the fussy step for prepping the pan. The extra step of spreading the fat with a paper towel ensures these pancakes brown evenly, meaning they’ll look just as good as they taste.

Rating: 10/10

Have you tried the Serious Eats’ Light and Fluffy Pancakes ? Tell us what you thought in the comments