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Old Fashioned Pancakes Recipe

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5 from 35 votes

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These old fashioned pancakes might be the best ones you ever try! Light and fluffy, these are your favorite traditional pancakes made right at home. Stack them high and add your favorite toppings.

Why You’ll Love This Old Fashioned Pancakes Recipe

  • Fluffy. Of all the pancake recipes I make, these ones are by far the fluffiest. They come out perfect every time too!
  • Easy. You won’t need any hard-to-find ingredients or complicated techniques. Just pantry staples you probably already have in your kitchen.
  • Perfectly sweet. These old fashioned pancakes have enough sweetness to be eaten with minimal toppings, or lots of toppings. I like to eat mine with some jam, but my family goes to town with maple syrup and whipped cream.
  • Quick. The best part about making pancakes from scratch is that it doesn’t really take you any extra time. In the time you could prepare a box of pancake mix, you can prepare homemade pancakes instead. Trust me when I say you’ll be able to taste the difference!

These are your traditional old fashioned pancakes – you know, the ones you order stacked high and topped with a dollop of butter and syrup. They are so tender they almost melt in your mouth.

Watch the Step-by-Step Video

Want to see how to make these fluffy, old-fashioned pancakes step-by-step? Here’s a quick video showing the entire process from start to finish:

What Makes These Pancakes So Fluffy?

One of my secrets to the best, most fluffy pancakes is the number of eggs used. Many recipes call for just one egg but I found that when I added a few more, the end result was even better. Who knew pancakes would end up being a great way to use up an abundance of eggs?

I also use 2 whole tablespoons of baking powder in this recipe. A couple of times folks have asked me if that is a typo and the answer is nope, that’s just right! These pancakes are unbelievably fluffy and tender thanks to the rising power of the eggs and baking powder.

Ingredients for old fashioned pancakes.

Ingredient Notes

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to make this recipe along with my notes. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • All-purpose flour – Substituting other types of flour can change how light and fluffy the pancakes are.
  • White sugar – You can also use light brown sugar.
  • Baking powder – Yes, you really need 2 tablespoons. 🙂
  • Salt – Just a pinch of kosher salt.
  • Eggs – Eggs should be at room temperature.
  • Whole milk – You can also use half-and-half, or plant-based milk. But I’ve always loved how these turn out with whole milk.
  • Pure vanilla extract – Look for a pure extract, not imitation, for the best flavor.
  • Olive oil – This helps keep the pancakes moist and tender.
  • Melted butter – Plus some more butter for the griddle.

How to Make Homemade Pancakes

Making these homemade pancakes is just as simple as making them from the box and takes the same amount of time. Here’s how to do it:

  • Preheat the oven. You are going to keep your pancakes warm in the oven as you cook them.
  • Combine dry ingredients. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add all of the wet ingredients. Mix until there are no dry areas.
  • Prep the griddle. Grease a hot griddle with butter. Use a cloth to wipe it down, so there aren’t pools of butter in it.
Fluffy pancakes being cooked on a griddle
  • Cook the pancakes. Pour 1/4 cup pancake batter onto the griddle. Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles start to form. With a wide spatula, carefully see if the bottom edge has turned golden brown. If it has, flip the pancake and cook for 2-3 additional minutes. Pancakes are done when golden brown and cooked through.

How Do I Tell When Pancakes Are Done?

You can check to see if a pancake is done by gently pressing the corner of your spatula into the center of a pancake and making a tiny crack. If you see wet batter inside, then flip the pancakes again and cook a bit longer. If you see fluffy insides then your pancake is finished cooking.

You may think making this teeny-tiny crack will ruin the look of your pancakes, but it doesn’t. Just be sure to only do this on one side of the pancake and then serve it crack side down. No one will be the wiser and your pancakes will be perfectly cooked and fluffy.

Aerial view of two plates of fluffy pancake stacks topped with berries

Tips for Success

As I mentioned, pancakes are a staple in my house. That means I’m whipping up a batch at least once a week, if not twice. In that time, I’ve learned a thing or two on how to make perfect pancakes, from preparing the batter to cooking them just right.

  • Don’t over mix the batter. As long as there are no dry spots, a few lumps are okay. Over mixing can lead to more dense pancakes, instead of the fluffy ones we want.
  • Let the batter rest. I always mix the pancake batter before preparing the griddle, so that it has a few minutes to rest. I’ve found this leads to even lighter and fluffier pancakes. The amount of time it takes to heat and prep the griddle is the perfect amount of time to let the batter rest.
  • Don’t use super high heat. Avoid rushing the cooking process. One of the biggest mistakes in making pancakes is using too high heat to cook the pancakes quickly. When you do this you’ll end up with browned outsides and under-cooked insides. I’ve found medium to medium-high heat to be the perfect temperature for the best pancakes. Depending on your griddle, they will cook in about 2 minutes per side at this temperature . I recommend making a “test” pancake to see whether you need to adjust the heat (and enjoy snacking on it while you cook the rest).
  • Don’t add too much grease to your griddle. Alway wipe down the griddle after you have greased it with better. I know this sound strange. Like, why not just use less butter right? But trust me, this step makes sure your pancakes won’t stick to the griddle and that they are also that perfect, golden color.
  • Watch for bubbles. One of my tricks for knowing when a pancake is ready to flip is to watch for bubbles to appear on the top. Then I take a peek underneath the edge just to be sure the bottom is lightly browned before flipping.
  • Keep them warm in the oven. I always keep any cooked pancakes warm in the oven, at whatever the lowest temperature my oven will go to, usually around 175F. This allows you to serve the entire batch hot but doesn’t overcook the pancakes.
Maple syrup being poured over a stack of fluffy pancakes

Pancake Topping Ideas

I love to serve these fluffy old-fashioned pancakes stacked 3-4 high and topped with maple syrup, whipped cream and fresh berries. They make a delightful and decadent breakfast or, even better, breakfast for dinner.

But there are lots of other equally wonderful pancake toppings too. A few of our family favorites include:

  • Confectioners sugar – A light layer of sweetness.
  • Jam – Apricot is my favorite but strawberry and blueberry are also delicious.
  • Honey – Regular honey or creamed honey.
  • Fresh fruit – Berries make excellent toppings, of course, but so does diced mango!
  • Maple cream – Another of my personal favorites! This is a thick spread you can slather on pancakes like butter.
  • Fruit butter – Why use regular butter when you can use fruit butter? Apple and pumpkin butter are two of my go-tos.
  • Peanut butter – A thin layer of creamy peanut butter is a great addition! Almond butter works too.
A stack of fluffy pancakes on a plate with a bite sliced off

How to Store & Reheat Extras

  • Fridge: Leftover pancakes make an easy breakfast for a busy morning. You can store your homemade pancakes in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper between each one to prevent sticking.
  • To reheat: Just pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. I usually start with 30 seconds and check to see if they need additional time. Then add your toppings and enjoy!

Can I Freeze Pancakes?

Allow the pancakes to cool completely, then store in a freezer ziploc bag or container. I recommend adding a layer of parchment paper between each pancake. Reheat in the microwave for 30-90 seconds. Check them after 30 seconds to make sure they don’t overcook and dry out.

More Pancake Recipes to Try

I guess you could say pancakes are my jam? Here are some more of my favorite recipes!

Old Fashioned Pancakes

5 from 35 votes
Made with simple pantry ingredients, these Old Fashioned Pancakes might be the best pancakes you ever try! Light and fluffy, these are your favorite diner-style pancakes at home. Stack them high and add your favorite toppings, then enjoy for breakfast, brunch, or even dinner.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Yield: 12 large pancakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, plus more butter for the griddle

Instructions

  • Prep your tools. Preheat your oven to 150F-200F (depending on how low your oven can go) and place an oven-safe plate in that oven. This is to keep your pancakes warm as you make them.
  • Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Add wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla, olive oil and melted butter. Mix well until there are no dry areas in the batter. Don’t over mix, some lumps in the batter are ok.
  • Heat a griddle over medium-low heat. Once the griddle is hot, grease with about 1 tablespoon of butter by running the pat of butter up and down the griddle. Wipe the griddle down with a cloth so that there aren’t pools of butter on it. You just want a very thin coat of butter.
  • Cook the pancakes. Pour pancake batter onto the griddle ¼ cup at a time. Cook about 2 minutes or until bubbles start to form on the top of the pancake. Then, with a wide spatula, carefully lift the bottom edge of the pancake to see if it has turned golden brown. If it has, quickly scoot your spatula under the pancake and flip it over.
  • Cook another 2-3 minutes, keeping an eye on the underside of the pancake to make sure it doesn’t over cook. Pancakes are done when golden brown and cooked though.
  • Test for doneness. You can check to see if a pancake is done by gently pressing the corner of your spatula into the center of a pancake and making a tiny crack. If you see wet batter inside, then flip the pancakes again and cook a bit longer. If you see fluffy insides then your pancake is finished cooking.
  • Keep warm. When your pancakes are finished cooking transfer them to the plate you have placed in the oven to keep warm.
  • Serve. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
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Notes

Storing extras: You can store your homemade pancakes in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store in an airtight container with parchment paper between each one to prevent sticking.
Reheating: To reheat, just pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. I usually start with 30 seconds and check to see if they need additional time. 

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as a courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I was skeptical at that amount of baking powder but these are so good and they made a huge batch! Great flavor and very fluffy!5 stars

    1. Rustic Family Recipes

      These are our favorite pancakes for a reason! So glad you enjoyed them too. 🙂

  2. WOW. I didn’t think something as easy as a pancake recipe would blow my family way but these pancakes are SO GOOD. Fluffy, full of flavor with just the right amount of sweetness. We ate them ALL. This is our new favorite pancake recipe.5 stars