Fannie Farmer’s Pancakes

Everybody’s got a favorite pancake recipe. It’s the one that they turn to time and time again because it brings back childhood memories or opened up the doors to a whole new world of pancake bliss. Growing up in an Indian household, pancakes from scratch are a bit of an anomaly. There’s nothing quite like them in Kerala, as a lot of Indian breakfast foods are more savory than sweet. That being said, my parents didn’t limit our weekend breakfast menu to traditional Malayalee fare. We got our dose of dosa and appam, along with pancakes, waffles, and french toast. The only thing was that our pancake batter came out of a Bisquick box.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not harping on Bisquick. In fact, I’ll take a Bisquick pancake any day (especially if someone else wants to make them for me). But, being a foodie and a control freak, I like to know exactly what is going into my meal, meaning I needed to find a solid recipe for pancakes from scratch. This recipe was introduced to me by my college housemate, D. On occasion, when we were all awake writing papers or studying into the wee hours of the morning, she’d whip up a batch of these pancakes which we would dot with chocolate chips, blueberries, or any other fruit that was on hand. Probably not the healthiest midnight snack, but they were delicious!

These pancakes are actually an American classic, as the recipe comes from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Now, I had no clue who the heck Fannie Farmer was when D first introduced us to this recipe, but I bought myself a copy of her cookbook at Borders before it closed and have found that it’s filled with traditional American fare. I’m excited to keep exploring the book, and these pancakes are now a staple in my kitchen.

Happy Eating!

Fannie Farmer’s Pancakes
From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook (where they are listed as “griddlecakes”)

As with any pancake recipe, you can play around and add different toppings or even cinnamon to the recipe. I am personally partial to fruit pancakes, particularly with bananas or blueberries, but chocolate chips or adding a little melted peanut butter into the recipe is bound to be equally delicious! 


  • ½ to ¾ cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fruit or chocolate chips (optional)
  • Butter or canola oil to grease your pan


  • In a large bowl, whisk together your milk, butter, and egg. I suggest starting with ½ cup milk and adding more later.
  • Add in your flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined, adding more milk if necessary until you have a cohesive batter. A good way to test if the batter is ready is that when you lift up your whisk or wooden spoon, thick ribbons should flow right off. Let your batter rest for about five minutes; this makes for extra-fluffy pancakes.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using a paper towel, grease your pan with butter or oil.
  • To make your pancakes, add scant  ¼ cups of batter to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. If using fruit or chocolate chips, sprinkle on top.
  • Flip the pancakes once you start seeing little bubbles (usually takes about 2 minutes). Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes and transfer to a warm plate. Continue until you’ve used up all of the batter.
  • Serve warm with syrup, butter, or a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Makes 8 pancakes.

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