Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

The Best Pancakes

No, really. Don’t let my poor photography skills fool you. These are the best whole wheat pancakes I’ve ever had. The best ANY pancakes I’ve ever had. And I’ve been eating them my entire life, because I’m just that lucky.

I remember the first time I had pancakes in a restaurant. They were ginormous (what? it’s a word), and slathered in butter and syrup. I took that first bite, and as syrup dripped down my chin, I thought “What the heck is this?! Where’s the cinnamon? Where’s the nutmeg? Why do these taste like cardboard?!”

I never order pancakes in restaurants because they just can’t live up to my expectations. And the best part about these pancakes? They’re ridiculously hard to screw up. Even when I couldn’t boil rice, I could make these pancakes in my sleep. Throw out your Bisquick, folks! You don’t need it anymore.

Start with whole wheat flour and baking powder.

Add an egg, melted butter, and a little bit of milk.

Start to mix, but don’t try to get all the lumps out. The lumps are your friends. Don’t be afraid of the lumps.

I like to think of cinnamon and nutmeg as the secret ingredients. So for the sake of my fun, when you sprinkle them over the batter, snigger uncontrollably and make sure no one can see them going in. Please?

Add milk in small amounts, until the batter is moist, but not drippy. When you pick up the spatula, the batter should ooze off back into the bowl.

Drop the batter onto a griddle. Mine heats terribly unevenly, and it drives me crazy that the pancakes on the left don’t cook as fast as the pancakes in the middle. It’s supposed to go from left to right! Left to right, I say! I get over it pretty quickly, though.

If you’re going to add anything extra, like blueberries or chocolate chips, now is the time. Don’t just add them willy-nilly to the batter. Alton Brown would never approve, and it’s important to listen to Alton Brown.  Plus, this way you can do more than one style.

As a side note, our pancakes of yore NEVER had mix-ins, or toppings, or sprinkles.  Just to be a rebel now, I love to put fresh huckleberries in my pancakes during the season.  But blueberries, even frozen, are an excellent substitute.

Flip the pancakes when bubbles start to appear, and allow the dough to cook all the way through. But only if you like them cooked all the way through 😉

These are not your typical restaurant style cardboard pancakes, my friends. No, these are the pancakes of legend.

Coincidentally, we never had anything fancy with these pancakes because we ate ours with peanut butter and maple syrup. Yes. Peanut butter! Try it. You may never go back to butter again. And you’ll be happy. (Unless you are my husband and son, in which case, you’re weird.  I’ll love you anyway because I’m willing to look past this fundamental difference)


About this recipe: this is an old family recipe that goes back on my mother’s side. As such, it’s one of those “till it looks right” kind of recipes. Seriously! Look:
Notice how few measurements there are? (And how yucky the page is from being used so often?) If I have to guess, and I’m assuming that you want me to try, here’s what I would say:

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp melted butter
1-ish tsps cinnamon
1/2-ish tsp nutmeg
milk, added 1/4 cup at a time until batter reaches desired consistency

Mix dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and combine.  Do not over mix the batter.  Spoon onto hot griddle or frying pan.  Serve with peanut butter and maple syrup (or butter, I guess)
Makes about 8 very thick pancakes. For thinner pancakes, add more milk.

3 thoughts on “The Best Pancakes”

  • I’m with you, there’s nothing like home made from scratch pancakes. My recipe is very similar, but I put only a tablespoon of sugar, if any. The melted butter in the batter really makes it! Sometimes I add chopped walnuts and/or leftover brown rice to the batter. I don’t do the spices, but my teenager loves ’em. Cheers!

  • Oooppppssss the family secret is out now! We had to pry this recipe out of my Grandfather because they were his thing to make every Sunday morning.
    They were the best cooked over the campfire on cold Alaska mornings. Very special memories. 🙂
    Please give William John Imlach Jr credit for this recipe if you copy it.
    His Granddaughter

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