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Perfect American pancakes

Pancakes can come in so many different forms. In Britain, we tend to do crepe style pancakes. I will post my recipe for these actually, as they aren’t on here yet. Those have a very simple batter made with egg, flour, pinch of salt and milk. We eat those kind with butter and lemon or orange. But these pancakes. These are American style ones. My kids are actually much more familiar with these as I make them way, way more often than the Pancake Day style ones.
The first time I had these type of pancakes was in America. In road side cafes you got the best ones. With streaky bacon and maple syrup. A waitress called Loretta (or something like that) would come and top up your coffee cup every few minutes. It was SO AMERICAN!

I fell in love with the pillowy, fluffy US pancake. And from that moment forward I spent a small wedge of my monthly budget on maple syrup to go alongside. (It’s so expensive, but don’t worry if you only have honey, as that’s what I used on this occasion as I’d run out of maple.)

I mess about with different recipes all the time. There is this healthier pancake recipe with wholegrain, this pancake with blueberries recipe, one version of banana pancakes. But this one right here is a class go to for plain, awesome perfect American pancakes. If you do only one of them, I say do this one.

It is adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Notes from my Kitchen Table book, which I love. These are her Dad’s pancakes. He perfected the recipe for years and in my eyes, I think, well, why mess with something that someone has put an awful lot of work into? All I changed was to swap buttermilk for Greek yoghurt. Of course, use buttermilk if you can get it!

The quantities are vast. But I think that’s good! Make them on a Friday night (ideal as the baking powder gets a chance to go to work, producing extra fluffy pancakes) or Saturday morning and have a large jug full to use up all weekend. Trust me, they’ll get devoured.

Makes: About 20 is pancakes, depending on size
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins per pancake
Total time: About 30 mins, if you fry several at a time


350g plain flour
75g sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
500g Greek or natural yoghurt
About 100ml milk
75g butter, melted
6 eggs
More knobs of butter, to fry

To serve:
Honey or maple syrup
Icing sugar


  1. Whisk dry ingredients. Add the wet into the dry and whisk. Don’t worry too much if the batter isn’t totally smooth, it doesn’t matter.
  2. Heat a pan with a knob of butter. Wait till it’s bubbling then add either a few circles of batter or one large one, depending on if you want lots of saucer sized pancakes or less large ones.
  3. Flip when you see bubbles; use a fish slice as these are heavier and not crepes.
  4. I keep mine warm in an oven until I have enough to make a stack. I serve them in a stack with butter on top, drizzled with honey or maple and sprinkled with icing sugar. And a bowl of fruit to eat alongside.



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