Easy pancake recipe: how to make a basic batter

Mastering this easy pancake recipe opens you up to a whole host of sweet and savoury breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We show you how to make this versatile classic

Easy pancake recipe: How to make pancakes
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

This easy pancake recipe means the difference between easy-to-flip, crispy pancakes and a sad soggy mess that sticks to the pan. Pancakes are actually very easy to make, but maybe because most of us save them for Pancake Day, we are out of practice. Well fear not – after reading this, you will be flipping confident (sorry) in your pancake making abilities.

This pancake recipe is to make a thin, lightly browned pancakes that you can top with your choice of sweet or savoury fillings. Eat it for breakfast with banana and chocolate spread for a weekend treat, or sprinkle with cheese and ham then fold in the pan for a speedy lunch. For a French crêpe style pancake, you'll need a thinner consistency (use a little more milk) and you won't need as much mixture to achieve a really thin and crispy pancake. This can be flambéed with orange liqueur and sugar to make crêpe Suzette for a crowd-pleasing dessert – yum.

So, read on to find out how to make this versatile dish, or head to our pancake recipe hub page for more adventurous crepes. Our food hub has tons more recipe ideas, too

Easy pancake recipe

This method is for traditional, thin pancakes and serves two. In the UK, these are usually served with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar, but we love chocolate spread, banana and honey, or savoury fillings like mushrooms and cheese, too.

American-style pancakes are different and require a lot more sugar, less milk, and self-raising flour for a fluffy, cake like texture. They are the type you see with crispy bacon and maple syrup, but feel free to add these toppings to any pancake if you like.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 250g plain flour, sifted
  • 500ml milk
  • 2tsp melted butter
  • Butter/sunflower oil for frying


1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the milk.

2. Add the flour little by little, gently folding it in and then beating to achieve a smooth batter. Sifting the flour beforehand really pays off here, as you'll get a lump-free mixture.

3. Add the melted butter at the end. You should get the consistency of a thin yoghurt: easy to pour, but not too runny. 

4. Preheat the frying pan with a wedge of butter. It's important to get the pan quite hot, but make sure the butter does not brown.

5. Pour half a ladle of the pancake batter into the pan and spread the mixture evenly using the ladle and a tipping motion to cover the pan. It's likely that the first pancake will absorb a lot of the butter and will turn out too oily. This is normal and should be given to the greediest member of the family who wants more pancakes. The others should have a dryer texture. Keep adding tiny bits of butter if the pan is too dry. 

6. To know when to flip your pancake, keep watching the surface. When holes have appeared throughout, and the mixture on top is no longer runny, you're safe to flip. Once flipped, it'll only need 20 to 30 seconds to seal. 

Top tip: If your pancakes keep burning on the bottom before they've cooked through, you are pouring too much batter per pancake and it is too thick. Experiment and you'll get it right eventually. 

Best pancake toppings

  • Serve with lemon and sugar, or any other topping of your choice. 
  • Swap lemon for orange juice for a zingy pancake.
  • Banana and Nutella is a match made in heaven.
  • Add chocolate and mini marshmallows before removing from the pan for a smores pancake.
  • Add wholemeal flour or buckwheat flour to your pancake batter for a savoury galette
  • Top with cream cheese, smoked salmon and chives.
  • Pile with berries and a drizzle or honey for an easy way to get lots of fruit into your breakfast.