3 easy pancake variations

A girl holding a plate is served pancakesWhether you call it Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or just plain “Pancake Day,” there’s a lot to like about a day when having pancakes for dinner is de rigueur. Sure, it might feel indulgent, but if you’re serving them with healthy sides, like scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and fruit salad, you’ve got a well-balanced meal on the table. And hey – it’s the 578th week of winter, so why not indulge a little?

For a bit of fun, we’ve created a round-up of pancake recipes. There’s something for everyone on this list, whether you’re a traditionalist who loves nothing more than a triple stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, someone who prefers a gluten-free pancake, or someone who has a lot of hungry mouths to feed in a hurry.

Pancakes for the traditionalist
Whether it’s a sunny Sunday morning or a blustery Tuesday night, is there anything more enticing than a tall stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, topped with a pat of butter and drizzled with local maple syrup? If you like your pancakes golden brown and stacked a mile high, then you probably want a fail-safe pancake recipe. These buttermilk pancakes use pantry staples, can be easily dressed up by adding berries, and the recipe is easy to double – or triple! – if you’re serving a crowd.

Tip: if you don’t want to buy a carton of buttermilk just to make pancakes, try substituting plain yogurt for 1/3 of the buttermilk (use regular milk for the rest of the liquid).

Prefer a thin, elegant crêpe to a fluffy pancake? Nothing wrong with that! Here’s a simple recipe for this elegant, versatile treat.

Gluten-free pancake options
If you eat gluten free for health or lifestyle reasons, or maybe because you just want to try something different, you have two options: either eschew flour in your pancakes altogether, or substitute a different, gluten-free flour.

These easy banana pancakes are gluten free and come with the bonus of using up all those sad bananas at the back of your freezer. Mash the bananas until they are as smooth as possible before stirring in the rest of the ingredients; you might want to add a splash of vanilla or a pinch of cinnamon. When cooking, resist the urge to peek at the undersides for as long as possible – try to flip them too early and you run the risk of accidentally making banana-flavoured scrambled eggs. Serve with peanut butter for a high-protein, gluten- and dairy-free treat.

If you want something resembling a more traditional (and less banana-forward) pancake, try using the traditional buttermilk pancake above, but swapping in a gluten-free flour. You can use a gluten-free flour mix (make your own or buy one – most grocery stores carry at least one option now) or you can try flour milled from a different grain, such as buckwheat. Remember that each person will have different tolerances, so if you have a health condition that requires a gluten-free diet, proceed with caution.

High-yield, low-effort pancake recipes
If you’ve ever made pancakes for a crowd, you know the dilemma: the pancakes take longer to cook than they do to eat! It’s possible to start early and keep them warm in the oven, but if you’d prefer to spend more time eating and less time waiting around with a spatula in your hand, you might want to try one of these high-yield, low-effort pancake recipes.

Sheet-pan pancakes are exactly what they sound like: instead of cooking the batter in a frying pan one dollop at a time, you pour it onto a lined sheet pan, spread it evenly, and bake it until golden brown. All you have to do next is slice and serve.

Last but definitely not least is the Dutch baby, also known as a German pancake. It’s certainly a showstopper! The simple batter (eggs, flour, milk) will seem familiar to pancake afficionados, if a little wetter than usual. The key is that the batter is poured into a hot cast-iron skilled greased with a generous amount of butter and then baked in the oven, where the heat causes it to puff up dramatically. You can top the finished pancake with savoury (ham, cheese, chives) or sweet (berries, whipped cream) options – or make one of each!

Happy pancake day!

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