Home Made Pancakes From Scratch

Pancakes From Scratch

In Pillsbury Pancake Warning I lamented the problems with Pillsbury Pancake mix.

Those sorrows have passed and will never return again thanks to our success with making them from scratch.

  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1.25 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoon butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
mix and cook:
  • Sift flour sugar baking soda together.
  • Whisk egg.
  • Form a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the egg, milk and butter.
  • Mix until smooth.
  • Dollop mix onto an oiled pan and brown on both sides.

This recipe yields 6-7 pancakes like the ones pictured at the top of the article.

I find that this from scratch mix is superior to the box mixes in taste, texture and ease of preparation. The box pancakes always stick to the pan, but these  pancakes flipped in the pan with almost no sticking at all. The top of the mix pancakes is always gooey when you flip them and this is also not a problem with the scratch mix.

Maybe you are thinking, "vinegar in pancakes? gross!"

But it actually works. I substitute baking soda for baking powder and when you do that you also must add an acid to activate the soda. You cannot taste the vinegar in the finished product. 

Also keep in mind that when substituting baking soda for baking powder that the baking soda is about 4x as strong. So if a recipe calls for 1 tsp of baking powder that would require you to use only 1/4 tsp of baking soda. Then you would multiply the baking soda amount x 2 and that is how much vinegar you would use - in this case 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp vinegar. I always use more baking soda and vinegar than is required because I like the extra rise. 

Another plus with using baking soda is that it does not lose its potency like baking powder. Unless you bake a lot you will want to use sachets of baking powder because once you open a larger container it will go flat if not used soon after. This is not the case with baking soda and I have yet to find the upper limit on its ability to maintain its potency.

All of the sodium in this recipe is in the baking soda. There is about 1.3 grams of sodium in a teaspoon of baking soda, so that puts this recipe up around 2 grams of sodium. To lower the sodium you could back off to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and that would also require only 2 teaspoons of vinegar. 

FYI: the box mixes contain around 2 grams of sodium per box.


I have made this recipe a few more times and it never has been as easy and perfect as the first time (until now). The name brand flour that I had used initially has not been available so I had to use locally repackaged "cake flour." This flour is bulkier than the White King flour that I was used to so I have to keep adding more until I get a mix that seems to be the right viscosity. 

I have also found that in order to get maximum fluff it is best to add the vinegar right at the end after all other ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Jut pour it in and mix as needed.

tip: Using a non-stick pan produces pancakes that are lighter in color. I use a steel pan to get the deep brown color and bubbly texture. I hope to find a cast iron skillet or griddle.