How to Make the Perfect Pancake: A Step-By-Step Guide

By: Bob's Red Mill | December 1 2019

It’s a slow Sunday morning and the sun is shining. You’ve made your coffee, prepared your pancake batter and are ready to get flipping. 

But even with the best pancake recipe, your stack can fall short if you miss it on execution! Maybe the batter has been overmixed or there are too many lumps. Whatever the reason, this can create a disappointing morning for the pancake enthusiast.

From the batter, to the cooking time, to the toppings, we’re on a mission to fine-tune how to make perfect pancakes from scratch. Read on for the top pancake-making tips from the Bob’s Red Mill team. May you never burn another lumpy batch of flapjacks ever again!

Making the Batter

The most important tip for how to make perfect pancakes starts with the batter. You want it to be free of lumps and not too thin or too thick. It’s crucial to not overmix your batter, so we’ve decided the best way to get rid of your lumps is before the wet and dry ingredients are combined. Prepare your dry ingredients in one bowl and your wet ingredients in another bowl. When your dry ingredients are ready, use a whisk to make sure no large lumps remain. Another expert pancake-making tip is to rest the batter once it’s prepared. Do this for 5 minutes, up to 30 minutes, to allow the flour to soak up the liquid and the lumps to naturally disperse. 

Cooking Time

When the bubbles begin to form at the sides of the pancake, it’s time to flip! The time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your pancake, but generally, it’s about 3 minutes for the first side and 2 minutes for the second side. When you’re on a mission to master the best pancake recipe, you want to keep your eye on them and pay attention. The second you get distracted by that sweet aroma of coffee that’s calling your name is the second that pancake burns! Grab your coffee beforehand, be patient and rest in the beautiful moment that is pancake making.

How to Make the Perfect Pancake: A Step-By-Step Guide | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Heat Level

Pancake enthusiasts everywhere advocate for an electric skillet or griddle when making pancakes, and the reason is simple. Electric skillets or griddles maintain the heat level and temperature so that you can make perfectly golden pancakes in a batch. Say farewell to mornings spent tossing the burnt ones in the trashcan and starting over with fresh batter! If you don’t have one of these on hand, a good rule of thumb is to heat your skillet over medium and wait for about 10 minutes so it gets hot before pouring the batter. Do a small test batch and adjust the heat up or down accordingly. Remember, cooking your pancakes on a higher heat level doesn’t mean more pancakes, faster. It means burnt pancakes, faster!

Skillet Size

If you’ve tried using a small skillet when making pancakes, you may have noticed it’s harder to get the right flipping motion down. Use a large skillet or, if you have one, a griddle. This will allow your spatula to get in there at the right angle for the “pre-flip,” which is a crucial component when learning how to make perfect pancakes

Tips for Toppings

One of our favorite things about making our best pancake recipe at home is the versatility that toppings offer. A buttermilk pancake with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh strawberries is radically different than a buttermilk pancake with a sunny side up egg and sliced avocado. Think of the pancake as your breakfast vessel, that will guide you to whatever it is you’re craving!


When you’re learning how to make pancakes from scratch, you’ll see how fun it is to experiment with fresh fruit toppings. Keep things simple with a selection of mixed berries, like raspberries, blueberries or strawberries. Depending on the season, baked apples or pears taste fabulous also. Making a compote is a way to step things up when you have a little more time in the morning. Try this recipe for Simple Berry Compote from Minimalist Baker to jazz up your pancakes and impress your guests!


Chocolate is a simple way to add decadent to homemade pancakes. You can go the route of shredded chocolate or make a homemade chocolate sauce to drizzle on top. We love this recipe for Healthy 3 Ingredient Chocolate Sauce from Wholeheartedly Laura. It’s perfect for pancakes, fresh fruit or the occasional bowl of delicious vanilla ice cream. 

Seeds and Nuts

Whether you’re adding seeds and nuts to the batter or using them as a topping, they add texture, flavor and a boost of nutrition to pancakes. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of chia seeds to your buckwheat pancakes or add a handful of pumpkin seeds to the top of your pumpkin flapjacks. Getting creative with whatever seeds and nuts you have on hand will make your pancakes delightfully delicious and nutritious!


How to Make the Perfect Pancake: A Step-By-Step Guide | Bob's Red Mill Blog

The best pancake recipe sometimes comes down to using the very best syrup, so when shopping for syrups, make sure to look for pure syrup with natural ingredients. We like to use real maple syrup or whip up a quick homemade syrup when we have the time. One of our favorite ways to do this is simply to heat maple syrup on the stovetop with a little bit of butter and some sliced bananas. Trust us when we say that the result is absolutely amazing!

Nut Butters 

A spread of nut butter on your pancakes will add protein and keep you fueled up throughout the morning. Peanut butter with sliced bananas and a drizzle of maple syrup or almond butter and blueberries are two of our favorite ways to pair nut butter with pancakes. 

Delicious Pancake Recipes 

One of the best tips for how to make perfect pancakes is to make sure you have the best pancake recipe! If you’re looking for pancakes that don’t sacrifice flavor or texture and are packed with wholesome ingredients, try one of these. From carrot cake pancakes to pumpkin pancakes, these are a handful of our ultimate favorites.

Gluten Free Baked Pumpkin Pancake 

As the recipe headnote mentions, this Gluten Free Baked Pumpkin Pancake is pretty enough for brunch and homey enough for a lazy Sunday morning. It’s made with our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour, pumpkin purée and spices. This particular recipe can easily be made dairy and gluten free for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. For an extra special treat, pair these pancakes with a recipe for homemade pumpkin butter. This Pumpkin Butter from Fifteen Spatulas is one of our favorites and can be made with fresh or canned pumpkin. It takes just 20 minutes to make and can be spread on pancakes and toast or stirred into oatmeal. 

Sheet Pan Banana Pancakes

Once you know how to make pancakes from scratch, you can explore different pancake variations. These Sheet Pan Banana Pancakes eliminate the need to stand over the stovetop flipping and checking your pancakes. Instead, go for this incredible recipe that’s ready to feed a crowd in less than 30 minutes. If you’ve ever found your crew of pancake eaters indulging at different times throughout the morning, this recipe will quickly become a favorite. Divide the pancakes into quarters and let each person select the toppings, like cream cheese, jam, fresh fruit and chopped nuts. These pancakes will also keep for two days in an airtight container, making them a perfect option for meal prepping or entertaining. Just re-warm your pancakes in an oven set to 400°F when you’re ready to eat!

Cornmeal Pancakes

How to Make the Perfect Pancake: A Step-By-Step Guide | Bob's Red Mill Blog

You might have seen this recipe for Cornmeal Pancakes on our package of fine-grind cornmeal. Our Fine Ground Cornmeal is a unique and delicious ingredient to add to your healthy, homemade pancake recipes. We leave the germ and bran in our cornmeal to make it tastier, more nutritious and packed with dietary fiber. It adds a nice texture and flavor to pancakes and ensures that they’re chock full of nutrition. Use this recipe and top it with anything you’d like or get fancy with our recipe for Cornmeal-Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry-Rhubarb Syrup. When a slow morning with a delightful breakfast of the best pancakes is calling, these will do the trick. Don’t forget the fresh lemon juice and grated lemon zest!

Sourdough Pancakes

These Sourdough Pancakes offer a delightful twist on the traditional and are perfect for the sourdough enthusiast in the household. This a tried and true best pancake recipe, made with a sourdough starter and a base of Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, sugar, butter, egg and vanilla. The flour gives these pancakes a natural boost of protein and ensures that your pancakes have a perfect texture. Pair these pancakes with fresh raspberries, slivered almonds and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. We also think they’re pretty tasty when topped with homemade hazelnut spread, like this one from Wellness Mama.

Have any favorite tips or tricks for how to make perfect pancakes? Feel free to share them with our community in the comments below!

 At Bob’s Red Mill, we’re always on the hunt for the best pancake recipe. To us, it seems to be a magical combination of texture, technique and toppings. 

Thanks for reading and wishing you a sweet day ahead!


  1. Suez
    My favorite breakfast dish. Only I love them with chocolate cream or plain sugar. And I also make small ones in a small frying pan to make it easier to eat. Brilliant recipe, thank you for adding it.
  2. Rob
    It looks delicious :) In Poland we have diffrent kind of pancakes, very flat, and we put a lot of stuff inside, could be somenthing sweet - like jam or salty like some meat with any souse

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