Brunch 101: How to Make Perfect Pancakes

Baking, How-To, Learn, Primers

As we look forward to Mother’s Day this month, we’re honing our breakfast and brunch techniques so the whole family can make a memorable meal for Mom.¬†Pancakes are, without a doubt, a favorite part of leisurely breakfasts. In this staple recipe, buttermilk is the key ingredient, lending its rich, tangy flavor and creating light, fluffy flapjacks.


To keep the cooked pancakes warm while you cook the rest of the batter, put them on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.


Buttermilk Pancakes


2 cups flour

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup melted butter, plus butter for stacking the cakes (optional)

1 to 2 tbsp. canola oil


Combine the ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add the buttermilk and melted butter and whisk to combine. Pour the buttermilk-egg mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. 


Mix the batter
Gradually whisk from the center outward until the ingredients are well combined but the batter is still a little lumpy; do not overmix the batter or the pancakes will be heavy. 





Oil the cooking surface
Heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle or a large, heavy nonstick frying pan over high heat until a few drops of water flicked on the surface bounce across it. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the entire cooking surface with oil. 
Ladle the batter onto the pan
Fill a 1/4-cup ladle with batter to just below the lip. Pour the batter onto the griddle. If necessary, use the bottom of the ladle to nudge the batter into a circle. Repeat to form as many pancakes as you can fit on the griddle. If the pancakes touch, separate them with the edge of a metal spatula. 


Flip the pancakes
Cook until the surface of the pancake is covered with tiny bubbles, the bottom is browned and the edges look dry, about 2 minutes. Flip each pancake over and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. 





Stack the pancakes
Repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining batter, re-oiling the cooking surface as needed. Use a spatula to transfer the pancakes to a plate, stacking them on top of each other with pats of butter in between the layers, if desired.Serves 4.



From an elegant frittata to flaky biscuits, keep checking back over the next few weeks for our best brunch tips.

14 comments about “Brunch 101: How to Make Perfect Pancakes


    I’m suprised you didn’t link to a griddle or frying pan that you sell. Out of what you stock what would you recommend for making pancakes?


  2. Williams-Sonoma Editors Post author

    Our All-Clad Gourmet Double-Burner Griddle has received very positive reviews from customers:
    All-Clad’s Electric Griddle is also a favorite:
    Customers also love these Nonstick Fry Pans:

    Any other suggestions for great pancake-making tools?

  3. Elizabeth

    Yum! What a perfect post for this morning I can’t wait to try them. Love your site thanks for all the work you put into it. It just makes your store and customer care that much better!

  4. Joy

    How did you make that delicious looking topping for the pancakes? I’m excited to make this for dinner this week. We love breakfast for a week night treat, as well.

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  10. Adrian Brooks COllins

    ALERT!!! This recipe is, in my opinion, flawed: The amount of baking powder is too high. It says two Tablespoons, and I think they meant two teaspoons. Clearly, one can taste the acrid unpleasantness of the baking powder. Rather like a Republican platform.


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