Recipe Review

I Tried the Viral 3-Ingredient “Pancake Bowl” and It’s So Much Easier Than Making Actual Pancakes

published Feb 18, 2024
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A pancake bowl with berry toppings.
Credit: Sam Schwab

Pancakes are undoubtedly one of my favorite breakfast foods, but they’re rarely on the weekly lineup. Like most, mornings are a bit rushed in my household. With lots to do and little time, my breakfast needs to come together fast and it needs to be filling enough to last me until lunch.

While pancakes are fairly easy to make, traditional pancakes require time. There’s a lot of babysitting the griddle (you’ve got to get that perfect flip!) and quite a few dirty dishes. During the weekdays, grab-and-go breakfasts with minimal cleanup are a must. That’s why Brynley Joyner’s “lazy girl pancake bowl” recipe on TikTok caught my attention — and that of a million others. In the recent viral video, Joyner shares how she makes protein-packed pancakes in the microwave in under five minutes. Need I say more?

As a trained chef, I’m admittedly a bit skeptical about pancakes prepared in the microwave. However, since the recipe is getting thousands of rave reviews and I would be thrilled to finally be able to enjoy homemade pancakes during the week, I figured I have to see for myself!

Credit: Sam Schwab

How to Make the Viral Pancake Bowl

While Joyner doesn’t give exact measurements for the pancake bowl, I was able to find a recipe online by Basics with Bails. Here’s what you’ll need to get started: ½ cup of pancake mix, ½ cup of egg whites, and half a banana. According to Joyner, any pancake mix works, but I noticed she and several other TikTokers used Birch Benders Pancake and Waffle Mix, so that’s what I bought. 

While Joyner dubbed this recipe the “lazy girl pancake bowl,” she actually prepared her pancake in a rectangular glass dish, as did most other creators. In a microwave-safe bowl or dish, mash half a banana, mix in ½ cup of pancake mix, ½ cup of egg whites, and a scoop of protein powder, if desired. While most pancake recipes call for water as the liquid, Joyner recommends using egg whites for added protein and fluffiness. 

Once the batter is completely mixed, loosely cover and set in the microwave. Joyner says to cook for about two minutes, but I noticed other TikToks said it could take anywhere from a minute to three minutes. 

When it’s puffed up and there’s no more liquid, it’s ready. Throw on whatever toppings you have on-hand. In Joyner’s video, she enjoyed with a dollop of coconut yogurt, frozen berries, chocolate granola, almond butter, cacao nibs, bee pollen, and a drizzle of date syrup. 

Credit: Sam Schwab

My Honest Opinion of the Viral Lazy Girl Pancake Bowl

After making the viral lazy girl pancake, I get why it’s trending. The breakfast came together so quickly, was very filling, and felt indulgent. There wasn’t any clean up because it’s a one-bowl recipe — no kitchen utensils, pans, or griddle. With minimal effort, breakfast was on the table in under five minutes. 

That being said, I do find that calling this a “pancake” is a bit of false advertising. It certainly isn’t a replacement for the comforting, fluffy pancakes we know and love. The texture is a bit more dense and, given there was so much egg in the batter, it wasn’t great on its own — toppings are a definite must! 

Credit: Sam Schwab

3 Expert Tips for Making the TikTok Pancake Bowl

  • Expect a couple of tries to perfect it: While most of the TikTok videos called for one to two minutes cooking time, my microwave needed a continuous three minutes to bake off all of the liquid. It took me a few times to figure out what worked best with my particular microwave, so there’s definitely a bit of trial and error with this recipe.
  • Don’t skip on the banana: Without the banana, the egg whites really shine through as the predominant flavor. That being said, if you’re really loading up on toppings, you might be able to get away with making it banana-less.
  • Mix the batter really well: Unlike regular pancake batter where it’s ok to have a few lumps, this batter needs to be mixed a bit more, otherwise you’ll end up with a few pockets of flour.