Flipping Out

IMG_0005My daughter and I are both early risers. Not to be confused with being a “morning person,” however, I need my space and coffee in the morning. My daughter understands this and lovingly gives me approximately 17 minutes before she begins pestering me with requests for food, drink, and entertainment. I’ve learned to satisfy all three by enlisting her help making breakfast. Pancakes are a great way to introduce little ones to cooking. Typically uncomplicated and using one bowl, you can oversee a little pancake maker with little to no effort and still have one hand free for chugging coffee. Winter mornings are especially suited to comfort foods like pancakes (hey, if the frigid temperatures continue, we’ll be making pancakes in Iowa until April!). Warm up the maple syrup and throw some bacon in the oven* to lure my hubby out of bed and we have the makings of a perfectly cozy winter morning. Here are a few of my favorite pancake recipes from friends, family, and famous foodies.


First up, My Mom’s Pancakes. I grew up with these pancakes, the recipe coming from an old hard-bound Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that my great-grandmother gave my mom for her wedding in 1966. They couldn’t be any simpler, but the result is a light and fluffy pancake that is delicious dressed up (blueberries are one of my favorite add-ins) or down.


My Mom’s Pancakes
Sift together:
1 1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
2 T. sugar
3/4 t. salt

Combine, then add to dry mixture:
1 egg
1 1/4 c. milk
3 T. oil

Mix just until blended. Cook in a greased cast iron skillet or electric skillet, turning when bubbles appear and pop on the surface. Serve warm with butter and real maple syrup. I like to close my eyes and pretend my mom is here when I take the first bite.

My friend Tenley sent me this gem as part of a recipe bridal shower. It’s made in the oven and couldn’t be easier. Top with powdered sugar and fresh berries and it’s a crowd pleaser for weekend company.

Finnish Pancake
1/4 stick butter (2 T.)
1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1/4 c. orange juice
5 large eggs
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in a 9/13 pan in the hot oven until sizzling. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together. Remove the hot pan from the oven and pour the batter in the pan. Return to the oven and bake in the center rack for 20 minutes, until big and puffy. Pancake will “fall” as it cools. Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar, berries, syrup…or just get silly and add all three!

This next recipe takes a bit of planning…as in, you have to remember to combine some oats and buttermilk and put it in the fridge before going to bed. It’s worth the extra step!

Oatmeal Pancakes
from Northwest Best Places Cookbook

2 c. rolled oats (not instant)
3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. vegetable oil

The night before making the pancakes, combine the oats and buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir to mix, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the eggs and vegetable oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the oatmeal mixture. Stir gently to mix well. Cook the pancakes on a lightly greased hot griddle until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve hot.

Everyone needs a go-to buttermilk pancake recipe and this one fits the bill! My friend Sharri served this with Maple Syrup Apples to me one November morning when I was visiting her family in Upstate New York and I asked for the recipe…right after I had seconds!

Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Syrup Apples

2 T. unsalted butter
3 lg. Golden Delicious Apples (or any firm apple will do), cut into slices
1 T. plus 1/2 pure maple syrup
1/2 t. cinnamon

Melt butter in a non-stick skillet. Add apples and 1 T. maple syrup. Saute until tender, about 5 min. Mix in the remaining 1/2 c. syrup and cinnamon. Set aside.

1 c. flour
2 T. cornmeal
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. plain yogurt
1 egg
1 1/2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Cook pancakes on a lightly greased griddle until golden brown and serve topped with a heaping spoonful of apples.

And finally, cornmeal pancakes from Martha Stewart Living Magazine circa early 1990s. The cornmeal gives these cakes that extra little crunch you would expect, along with a nice crispy edge. Serve with maple syrup, or dark molasses if you’re hard core.

Martha Stewart’s Cornmeal Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 egg lightly beaten

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk together buttermilk, milk, butter and egg in medium bowl.
Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk together just until combined. Cook in a cast iron skillet or griddle, flipping as the edges begin to set. These are also awesome with blueberries plunked onto the pancake before flipping!

Do you have a pancake recipe worthy of a Saturday morning? Share it here!

*Bonus bacon tip: For splatter-free bacon cooking, make it in the oven! Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay strips of bacon on the sheet, then place into the oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees (do not preheat!) and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until desired crispness.

Sherri is a transplant from Oregon who came to be a Hawkeye in 2006 and stayed for the sweet corn...and for the Iowa boy she met along the way! She and her husband (Kyle) have a 9 year-old daughter, Aissa. Sherri earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at The University of Iowa and works for Ruffalo Noel Levitz as an Enrollment Marketing Consultant for colleges and universities. When she's not working, you can find her with her family, enjoying Iowa City and cheering on the Hawkeyes.


  1. I have made those cornmeal pancakes with homemade blackberry syrup and they were FABULOUS! I am for sure trying the maple syrup apples recipe! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing, Sparki! This is great and I bet you two have an awesome time. You’ll have her baking pies in no time!

    One of my fave memories of my kid when he was “little” (now he’s 6’3″) was when he started making scones on his own around age 7. He’d get up before his dad and me and we’d hear him banging around in the kitchen. He’d come get us when it was time to put the tasty treats in the oven (safety first, kids). He was so proud and independent in his efforts and we also used baking to help him learn his fractions and math. He doesn’t bake as much now as he’s a busy 14 year old, but he’s a whiz in the kitchen and I still wake up to fun treats every now and again.


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