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Whicka-Whicka: Pancakes From Scratch

You're probably wondering how the sound of a needle scratching (being dragged back and forth across a turntable) came to be used to describe pancakes. Well, it really has no correlation. Not yet anyway.

My kids' stroke my ego every time they tell me I make the best pancakes. I humbly thank them and go about life. Little do they know I only add water to an already premade Krusteaz pancake mix. I feel like the Rice Krispie treat lady who pretends to slave all day in the kitchen only to present Rice Krispie treats to her family with a dusting of flour all over her face. A fraud...that’s what I am... a fraud.

I found myself in a jam for my daughter's 20th birthday breakfast of pancakes and bacon. (Happy Birthday Sofia!) I went to the cupboard only to find that the cupboard space where the Costco sized bag of Krusteaz pancake mix resides was empty. WTF? For a second, I panicked. The jig is up. What was a mother to do? Improvise, that's what!

And so, I got to scratchin' (whicka whicka) my head and it dawned on me that I could attempt to make them from scratch (whicka-whicka). My initial reaction was trepidation. Real pancakes are difficult to prepare, or so I thought. I grabbed my recipe box and and put my recipe reading to work.

Much like Grandmaster Flash does on “White Lines” ... I started mixin' and scratchin' (whicka whicka)— (ok- I'm done being nerdy with the DJ scratching and flour/sugar reference). I realized that pancakes from scratch take about two more minutes to make than the run-of-the-mill pancake mix. Seven simple pantry and refrigerator staples without all the mono-this or dextrose-that ingredients. It was so simple that I wondered why I never tried it before. Creating tastier and more authentic pancakes is quite simple. Someone, somewhere in the pancake mix industry duped us. Scratch pancakes are a cinch. (whicka-whicka)

*For the record, the pancakes were a hit with the birthday girl.

Cooking Class with Carol

Things to Consider

  • Consider doing this recipe. It's simple, really it is. I think your family will enjoy them.

  • They are tastier and had such a better flavor than premixed. No need to drown them in maple syrup or powder sugar. Their taste stood firmly on its own saving calories from using less toppings.

  • The baking powder in the recipe will give these pancakes the fluff. Not as high of a lift as the premixed, but I felt the flavor profile clearly outweighed the puffiness. (Pamela's crepe pancakes are flat-- and somehow everyone loves them-- not sure what the fluffiness does except for a visual appeal). Don't be surprised if they don't stand each an inch thick.

  • Adding chocolate chips or blueberries or any of your other favorites can be done. I typically add them once I ladle batter onto the griddle.

  • This recipe calls for adding the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure you follow this step properly.

  • Realistically this recipe will yield 6-8 pancakes of normal size. More for silver dollars, less for larger pancakes. Double recipe if needed to feed a large crowd.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 large egg

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Assorted toppings, such as butter, maple syrup, confectioners' sugar, honey, jams, preserves, sweetened whipped cream, or chocolate syrup


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. (Only if you’re making a large portion for many people)

  • In a small bowl, whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, melted butter, and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).

  • Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.

  • For each pancake, spoon a ladleful or 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet. Batter should be thin enough to form a circle.

  • Cook until surface of pancakes has some bubbles, and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 more minutes.

  • Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. Serve warm, with desired toppings. (butter and hot syrup are my favorites)

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1 Comment

Dan Tanna
Dan Tanna
Feb 21, 2022

Those flapjacks look great!!

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