How to Make Pancakes Without a Store-Bought Mix

Pancakes are almost as easy to make from scratch as they are from an expensive mix. The value of store-bought pancake mix is that it puts together your dry ingredients so you only have to measure out one dry ingredient instead of 3 or 4. Once you know how to make pancakes from scratch, though, the “time savings” of using a mix will feel a lot less valuable to you (at least it did to me). Here is a classic recipe, one my dad used to make, with a few notes on how you can modify it.


  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 3 tablespoons (T) of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon (T) of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (t) of salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil

Note: This recipe makes approximately 20 pancakes that are 4-1/2 inches in size.

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Mixing Up the Batter:

Combine 1 cup of flour with the baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Dry ingredients for pancakes from scratch

Combine the milk, eggs and vegetable oil and add to the dry mixture.

Wet ingredients for pancakes from scratch

Whisk together. If the batter seems too runny, you can add up to another half cup of flour. Because I often make these with gluten-free 1:1 replacement flour, the batter requires a little more than the original recipe that calls for 1 cup.

Cooking the Pancakes:

Brush a large skillet or griddle with butter or oil and place on a burner set to medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, spoon or ladle the mixture so that you get about a 4-1/2-inch pancake.

4 pancakes on the griddle

After about a minute to a minute and a half, you should start to see bubbles and spots where the bubbles have popped in your pancakes. That’s when it’s time to flip them and cook them for another 30 seconds to a minute.

Pancake bubbling and ready to flip

Topping the Pancakes:

We don’t usually get too fancy with our toppings. Most often we just top them with butter and real, locally produced maple syrup. But, pancakes are one of those foods you can do a million things with, from creating shapes your kids will love to topping them with strawberries and whipped cream. They’re a canvas for your culinary creativity.

Saving the Batter:

In our house, I am usually cooking up pancakes for myself and my kid on a Saturday morning, so we never use all of the batter. I save and refrigerate the batter that’s left over (about half) in a pint jar (with the help of a canning funnel) and use it the next morning. It tastes just as good, and the batter pours nicely onto the griddle right from the jar.

Pancake batter funneled into a pint canning jar


Published by Sheryl Davis

Sheryl Davis is a freelance writer and chief homesteading officer at Cedar Swamp Homestead. She loves spending time in the garden, baking up new treats with homegrown ingredients, and writing for a wide variety of businesses and industries.

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