Basic Pancake Recipe

Make your own pancakes from scratch

With a basic pancake recipe under your belt you will be able to have homemade pancakes whenever you feel like it.

After all, why limit them to once a year on Shrove Tuesday, the last tuesday before Lent, when you can eat them year round? True to their origins pancakes are a great way to use up butter, eggs and milk to create a tasty treat.

One misconception about pancakes is that they have to be made and served straight away. 

In fact you can make the batter and keep that in the fridge for several hours. And you can also cook them, and then store in an airtight container to refresh and serve later. You can read more about reheating pancakes after the recipe below.

basic pancake recipe

Basic Pancake Recipe

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Total time: 10 min

Makes: 4-6 pancakes


  • plain flour; 4oz (120g)
  • salt; pinch
  • egg; 1
  • egg yolk; 1 extra
  • milk; 1/2 pint
  • melted butter or olive oil; 1 tablespoon


  1. Sieve the flour with the salt into a bowl.
  2. Make a hollow in the centre and add the egg and egg yolk.
  3. Start adding the milk, stirring all the time to incorporate the flour. Once half the milk has been added, stir in the melted butter and beat well until the batter is smooth.
  4. Add the remaining milk and let the batter stand for at least 30 minutes, covered, before using.

Your pancake batter should resemble thin cream, without any lumps. If it seems too thick add a little more milk than the recipe states.

To cook your pancakes

If you have one, it is best to cook pancakes in a pan kept for this purpose. A small cast iron or aluminium pan is ideal, about 6 inches in diameter. It should be shallow with sides less than three quarters of an inch high. If you do not have a dedicated pancake pan you can use your omelette pan instead.

Heat the pan, and when hot, add a little oil. Not too much, you don't want your pancakes to swim and turn out greasy!

Put just a tablespoon of the batter in the pan and roll the pan around so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook the bottom of the pancake until it begins to turn golden brown (you can check by lifting the edge with a round bladed palette knife).

When cooked, run the knife under the whole of the pancake to loosen it and then flip it over with the knife to cook the other side for about 10-15 seconds.

If you are confident enough you can toss the pancakes by holding the pan in the air and giving it a sharp downward flick, then bringing it back up again to catch the pancake after it flips over.

You can turn the cooked pancake onto a rack, one on top of another, while you continue to cook the others, if you want to serve them to your family or guests all together, but often you will find a queue of people waiting for the next one to be ready.

Reheating pancakes

This basic pancake recipe is fine cooked and reheated later.

Melt about 1oz butter and use it to brush over a baking tray. Lay the pancakes, overlapping, onto the sheet. Brush the tops with more melted butter (this protects them during the reheating process).

Reheat at 400 degrees F for around 3-4 minutes.

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