America's Test Kitchen LogoCook's Country LogoCook's Illustrated Logo
Cooking Tips

How to Make the Best Pancakes from Scratch

Just say no to boxed mix.

Published Oct. 1, 2021.

Think of the very best pancakes you’ve ever had. Chances are they weren’t from a boxed mix but from a diner or a brunch restaurant. Well, what if we could show you how to make an even better version of them at home? In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, America’s Test Kitchen books team test cook Dan Cellucci demonstrates how to make the tallest, fluffiest pancakes from scratch. Here are some of our findings:

  • Don’t skimp on the leaveners: Four teaspoons of baking powder provide the pancakes with lift, and ½ teaspoon of baking soda helps with browning and tang.
  • Leave the batter lumpy: A lumpy batter holds on to air bubbles formed during cooking, producing taller, more leavened pancakes. (Read more the benefits of a lumpy pancake batter.)

Watch the Video

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

Featured Equipment

The Best All-Purpose Whisk

OXO Good Grips 11" Balloon Whisk

With an ergonomic Santoprene rubber handle and a balanced, lightweight feel, this whisk was like an extension of a hand.
Buy on Amazon
The Best Nonstick Skillet

OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 12" Open Frypan

This pan came slick and stayed that way. It cooked and released food perfectly, thanks to its darker finish and excellent nonstick coating.
Buy on Amazon
The Best Silicone Spatula

Di Oro Living Seamless Silicone Spatula—Large

This model is firm enough for scraping and scooping but also fit neatly into tight corners. Its straight sides and wide, flat blade ensured that no food was left unmixed. The all-silicone design eliminates any crannies that could trap food. It felt exceptionally comfortable.
Buy on Amazon
The Best Mixing Bowls

Pyrex Smart Essentials Mixing Bowl Set with Colored Lids

Even though these bowls were heavy, they never felt cumbersome to handle, thanks to their shallow, gently curved walls and easy-to-grip rims.
Buy on Amazon

This is a members' feature.