Homemade Pancake Recipes

Pancakes with Maple SyrupStack of Homemade Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Bacon
(Source: ©adogslifephoto/Depositphotos.com)

Thanks to Grandma's homemade pancake recipes, you'll enjoy a variety of old fashioned pancakes and toppings. There's nothing like a hearty stack of pancakes to brighten the day. And for something truly special, be sure to make Queen Elizabeth's drop scones, also known as Scotch pancakes. They are really quite easy to make, and they have a delicious Old Country flavor.

How to Make Homemade Pancakes

Every family has its pancake day and when it comes only once in six weeks it is really a special event. Some households serve pancakes every other day at breakfast as well as on special occasions. For those less accustomed to the art of pancake making, there are a few rules that should be kept in mind.

First, it is important to sift the flour and salt, or lift it and let it trickle through the fingers two or three times to aerate it.

Do not beat the eggs, but put them straight into a hollow in the center of the flour with a little milk, and gradually work in the flour from the sides, adding a little more milk by degrees. But, never make the batter too moist at first, or it is almost impossible to beat the lumps out of the flour.

Beat until the batter is full of air bubbles then add the rest of the milk gradually. All batters must stand for at least an hour to allow the starch grains in the flour to swell and soften.

English-Style Homemade Pancake Recipe

English Pancakes with LemonEnglish-Style Pancakes with Lemon
(Source: ©monkeybusiness/Depositphotos.com)

For thin, English-style pancakes, choose a perfectly clean, small frying or omelet pan, put in a little lard, dripping, or butter, make it hot, pour it away, and wipe the pan out with soft paper.

When ready to fry the pancakes, put in a piece of lard, or butter, the size of a walnut, make it hot, stir the batter, and take up 4 tablespoonfuls (1/4 cup) and pour it quickly into the pan. Allow it to run all over the pan, and when set, and pale brown on one site, slip a knife round the edges of the pancake, and toss or turn it over, and let it brown the other side.

When cooked, turn pancake onto a sugared paper, sprinkle with squeezed lemon juice and sugar, roll up, and keep hot while the rest of the batter is fried in the same manner. Add fresh lard to the pan for each pancake.

A useful batter is made with 2 eggs, 1 pint of milk, 1/2 pound of flour, and a pinch of salt. This can be made richer by adding more eggs and less milk, or by adding cream.

Plain batter is made by adding a teaspoonful of baking powder to the flour, and an ounce of oiled butter, 1 pint of milk, and no eggs.

Oiled Butter: Put two ounces of fresh butter in a saucepan, so it melts gradually, until it becomes an oil; then pour it off carefully from the residue.

Serving Variations — Spread a little warmed jam in each pancake before rolling it. Fruit stewed with sugar until stiff, like a marmalade, may also be spread on the pancake  before rolling it. Orange juice may sprinkled to replace lemon juice.

Grandma's Homemade Pancake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Pancake Hungry Blues IllustrationWe've Got Those Pancake-Hungry Blues, c. 1920s
(Source: Adapted by Don Bell)

Basic Pancakes

2 cups whole milk or sour milk
3 eggs, whites beaten separately
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Flour enough to make a batter

Mix batter as usual. Beat the whites of the 3 eggs and stir in slowly last thing before baking.

Golden Pancakes

Golden PancakesGolden Pancakes Illustration, c. 1920s
(Source: Adapted by Don Bell)

2 eggs
2-1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat eggs in large bowl, then add milk, oil. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, then add to liquid mixture and beat until smooth. Bake pancakes on a hot griddle or pan until bubbles form, then turn over and bake on the other side until golden brown. Serve hot with syrup.

Apple Pancakes

Make as for Golden Pancakes (above), but separating the eggs. Use egg yolks in the batter instead of whole eggs. Fold in about 2 cups grated unpeeled apples. Beat egg whites stiff and fold in last. Bake as usual. Serve hot pancakes sprinkled with cinnamon syrup, or drizzled with spiced honey, or syrup.

Cinnamon Syrup: Bring to a boil 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a saucepan. Boil hard for about 10 minutes, until syrupy, then stir in 1 tablespoon butter. Delicious when served with apple pancakes.

Spiced Honey: Heat 1 cup liquid honey and 1/2 teaspoon mace in a small saucepan, then stir in 1 teaspoon soft butter.

Ginger Pancakes

Mix 3 heaped tablespoonfuls of self-raising flour with a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoonful of ground ginger, 1 well-beaten egg, and sufficient milk and water (in equal quantities) to make a smooth batter, and, lastly, some well chopped crystallized ginger chips. Fry in very hot lard until a rich brown color.

Place on a hot dish, and spread each pancake with lemon curd as soon as cooked. These are delicious and make an excellent change from the usual homemade pancake recipes.

Cornmeal Pancakes

1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
2 heaping teaspoons cream of tartar
Water enough to make a thin pancake batter

Mix ingredients into a batter and fry pancakes on a hot pan or griddle.

Nut Pancakes

Mix 1/3 cup chopped nuts with 1 cup prepared pancake flour and 1 cup sweet milk or water. Stir until smooth. Bake on hot, greased griddle until surface is covered with bubbles; then turn and bake on other side.

Bread Pancakes

4 cups milk, scalded
4 cups fresh white bread crumbs
4 egg yolks
1-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
4 egg whites

Pour hot milk over bread crumbs and let stand until cool. Beat egg yolks in small bowl until thick and lemon colored, then stir into milk mixture. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, add to batter mix. Stir in melted butter. Beat egg whites stiff, then fold gently into batter. Bake on hot greased griddle or pan. Serve with syrup, honey, or jelly. Makes about 40 small pancakes.

Homemade Pancake Toppings

There's nothing better tasting for breakfast or lunch than a stack of hot pancakes. Try these tasty toppings with your favorite homemade pancake recipes:

  • Butter pancakes, sprinkle with powdered sugar and add a few drops of lemon juice.

  • Maple syrup or brown sugar syrup with a big pat of butter on top.

  • Sprinkle grated cheese over piping hot pancakes. The cheese will melt and give delightful flavor to the pancakes.

  • Serve generously topped with your favorite fruit jelly.

  • Serve buttered pancakes with sweetened crushed strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries.

  • Fruit sauces and jams make a nice variation for pancakes, sauces such as apple, cherry, pineapple, raisin, rhubarb, or peach.

Queen Elizabeth's Drop Scone Recipe

Drop scones are also known in the U.K. as Scotch Pancakes. They are similar to the North American pancake, but they are usually made thicker and a wee bit smaller. Queen Elizabeth made these tasty pancakes for President Dwight D. Eisenhower during his August 1959 visit to Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Her Majesty later enclosed a copy of her Scotch pancake recipe with a handwritten letter to Eisenhower in January 1960.

Queen Elizabeth's Drop Scone RecipeDrop Scone Recipe from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
(Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)


4 teacups flour
4 tablespoons caster sugar (1)
2 teacups milk
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons cream of tartar (2)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Beat eggs, sugar, and about half the milk together, add flour, and mix well together adding remainder of milk as required, also bicarbonate and cream of tartar, fold in the melted butter. Enough for 16 people.

Her Majesty added the following instruction in her letter:

"Though the quantities are for 16 people, when there are fewer, I generally put in less flour and milk, but use the other ingredients as stated. I have also tried using golden syrup or treacle instead of only sugar, and that can be very good too. I think the mixture needs a great deal of beating while making, and shouldn't stand about too long before cooking."


(1) Castor sugar is quite common in Britain. It's also called Superfine or baker's sugar. Granulated sugar can be substituted in a pinch, or you can make your own castor sugar simply by grinding granulated sugar to a finer texture in your kitchen blender.

(2) Baking powder can be substituted for the baking soda and cream of tartar.

Reduced Scotch Pancake Recipe for 4 Servings

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 tablespoon melted butter

You may visit the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration online to view the original letter to Eisenhower handwritten by the Queen.

Queen's Letter to Eisenhower Concerning Drop SconesHer Majesty's Letter to President Eisenhower, 1960
(Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

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