Better than Boxed Pancakes

A perfect morning to me includes slowly waking up (without an alarm), making a hot cup of coffee and of course a stack of steamy, fluffy homemade pancakes. Now you might think to yourself .. if I’m going for a slow and easy-going morning, why would I not make it easier on myself and reach for a box mix of pancakes?? Well I’m here to let you know that with just a few more ingredients and only two extra (super easy) steps, you can make homemade pancakes that are much more delicious than a box mix batter. This easy pancake recipe gives you fluffy and delicious pancakes with double the flavor of the box mix!

homemade pancakes stacked high on a plate with a napkin, butter, and orange juice in glasses behind it

Making the Fluffiest Homemade Pancakes

Mixing the Pancake Batter

With a boxed pancake mix, the general steps are to measure out the dry mix, add in the milk and eggs, butter the griddle and then make the pancakes! With this recipe there’s just one added step and that’s making the “dry mix”. All you have to do is sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Sifting reduces the clumps while also aerating the mix to make it lighter and more consistent. The sifting is an extra step but it’s necessary to get those really fluffy, melt in your mouth pancakes. 

After that, add in the milk, eggs, butter and vanilla, mixing just until everything’s combined. To keep the pancakes light and fluffy, make sure to not overmix the batter. It doesn’t have to be completely clump-less… just do your best!

flour and melted butter

Tips for the Stovetop

Next, we’re off to the stovetop. The best vehicle for making pancakes is gonna be a griddle, but a non-stick skillet would also work well. The toughest part of making pancakes is controlling the heat while cooking. Since the cakes are made in batches, it’s common for the pan to not be hot enough for the first batch and then too hot by the last batch. 

One of the ways this recipe troubleshoots that is by making a slightly smaller batch of pancakes fit for just a few people. This recipe only requires about 3-4 batches, leaving little time for the pan to really change heat too drastically. 

Another way to make sure your heat is right is patience and attention. Try your best to keep the heat at medium. Sometimes I fall prey to getting worried and changing the heat for each batch but that just creates an uneven batch of pancakes. When you just leave the heat alone (unless it’s burning, in which case ~turn the heat down~) and keep it consistent, the pan’s heat should stay even and the bakes should be even. 

Test Pancake Plus

So on that note, heat your griddle to a medium heat and after a few minutes, add butter to the pan to grease it. I like to do a test pancake here, adding just a few spoons of batter onto the griddle to check the heat and the taste. After it cooks, flip it and then I like to spread the cooked pancakes around to soak up any pools of butter. I’m not sure what it really does but when I don’t do it, the outside of the pancakes just don’t cook the same. 

After the test, spoon about ¼ -½ C of batter onto the pan, and repeat 3 or 4 times (as many as your pan can fit without them touching). After a few minutes, the top of the pancake will start to bubble and those bubbles will pop. That’s when you know it’s time to flip. After the flip, it’ll take just a few more minutes for the pancakes to fully cook through.

a plate full of pancakes, half plain, half chocolate chip

Pancake Variety Show

You can also add anything you want to this basic pancake recipe to dress it up for a special occasion. Something fun I like to do is change up each batch of pancakes to get some variety in there! 

For example, the first 4 pancakes I make, I’ll just leave them plain jane. The next 4 pancakes I make, after I put the batter onto the griddle, I’ll add a few blueberries on the top of each pancake before flipping over. And then the final four pancakes, I’ll add some chocolate chips into the batter before flipping over! You could add sprinkles for a birthday breakfast, bananas, walnuts; whatever toppings you want could work. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with this basic pancake recipe or to just keep it classic!

Thanks so much for stopping by! If you make this recipe or have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment below or tag me @annietortellini on Instagram!

a plate full of pancakes, half plain, half chocolate chip

Better Than Boxed Pancakes

An easy recipe for fluffy and delicious pancakes that are better than any box mix!
Servings: 12 pancakes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins


  • ¼ C unsalted butter melted
  • 1 ½ C milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs white sugar
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 C mini choc chips or blueberries or other topping of choice


  • Using a large bowl, melt ¼ C butter in the microwave until it's just barely all melted and let it cool just a little.
    Add the milk, egg and vanilla to the butter bowl and whisk well to combine.
  • Place a fine mesh sieve/strainer over the bowl (pictured). Measure the dry ingredients into the sieve and sift them into the bowl below.
    Gently fold together the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. See notes for info on add ins!
  • Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
    Once hot, add 1 Tbs butter to the pan.
  • Here I usually do one test pancake. Spoon about ⅓ C of batter onto the middle of the pan. Once the edges of the pancake look dry and the top of the pancake has little air bubbles (about 3-4 minutes).
    Gently flip the pancakes so it can cook on the other side (another 3-4 minutes). This first cake might take a little longer if the pan isn't to the right heat yet, but no worries it's just a test!
    Another thing I do here once the pancake finishes cooking is move the one pancake all over the pan to soak up any big pools of butter. Remove the pancakes from the pan and put on a plate that you can cover with a lid/tinfoil.
  • Spoon about ⅓ C of batter into the four corners of the pan. When the edges are dry and air bubbles start to form on top, flip the pancakes. Cook for a few more minutes until there's some color on the other side of the pancake.
    Remove the pancakes and repeat this step until all of the batter is gone. See note for add ins.


Note on add ins: With each batch of pancakes I like to change it up. For example, I keep the first batch plain, then add chocolate chips to the pancakes on the griddle for the next batch, and then add blueberries to the pancakes in the next batch.
Additionally, if you wanted to stick with just one add in like chocolate chips, you can add them in after you mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 Minutes, Pancakes

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