My Gramma’s griddle cakes are better than any fluffy pancakes! Learn her secret tips and make this classic breakfast recipe for your family.
I find it interesting to learn what regional names people use for the same foods. Take this golden fluffy breakfast favorite, for instance.
Here in the U.S., and Canada, most of us call them pancakes… unless you’re from a southern state, then they’re called hotcakes or griddle cakes. In the U.K., they’re known as flapjacks. Same delicious food, no matter what you call them!
Gramma’s Griddle Cakes
Light, airy and fluffy on the inside with a golden brown exterior best describes a perfectly golden griddle cake. I love a stack of sourdough pancakes, and on special occasions, red velvet pancakes. But this classic fluffy pancakes recipe needs to be in everyone’s cooking repertoire!
The recipe for these griddle cakes comes via my gramma. I dug it out of the archives while an out of town guest visited this past weekend. Funny, I thought I had the basic recipe here on Kevin is Cooking, but apparently, I hadn’t posted it!
So here it is.
Video: making Gramma’s fluffy pancakes
Want to see how to make a stack of the BEST griddle cakes ever? Watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
- Make the batter.
The batter is the first part: it needs to rest a minute or two after mixing so the baking powder works its magic.
Also, it can’t be too thick or it won’t spread well. If it’s too thin, the griddle cakes will never rise well enough.
When pouring the batter into a hot skillet, I use the bottom of a measuring cup to smooth out the batter in a circular motion. I like to make each pancake about 4 inches in diameter, but you can make them as large or as small as you’d like..
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately.
My gramma’s recipe notes mention to always mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet in a smaller bowl. You want the egg beaten well into the wet ingredients first, rather than trying to combine the dry and wet ingredients at once. This helps reduce the chance of lumps and over mixing!
Once of the reasons that her griddle cakes were so golden brown is that she used brown sugar instead of regular sugar. Feel free to use what you prefer, but I love the slight molasses flavor in brown sugar.
What kind of griddle and grease to use
I like to use my trusted cast iron pan to cook in, but a good non-stick pancake griddle or wide skillet will do.
I used to wonder what was best for greasing a griddle. Most times, I coat the pan with cooking spray or a dab of butter. My gramma used a dab of Crisco lard. Not the healthiest, but definitely worth the calories! She would add more to the pan after every 3-4 griddle cakes.
She used to say that is why they are so golden in color compared to pale white fluffy pancakes. Apparently, lard works better at browning than butter, but what you use is up to you.
Mix-ins for griddle cakes
Feel free to add cut up fruit to the batter, but realize sometimes the fruit’s water content when cooked may make your fluffy pancakes flop a little bit.
I prefer to add chopped fruit over the top instead. However, adding chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and even crumbled, cooked bacon to the batter works very well!
Basically, as long as the ingredient you want to add doesn’t have a lot of water content, your griddle cakes will be fluffy, golden and perfectly delicious!
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This post, first published on Kevin is Cooking on Jan. 3, 2020, was last updated with new content on Oct. 23, 2021.
Gramma’s Griddle Cakes + Video
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cup milk (See Note 1)
- 4 tsp butter melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cooking spray butter or lard for making pancakes (Gramma’s favorite was Crisco)
- In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients to thoroughly beat the egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to mix. Allow to rest a minute or two.
- Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray or a dab of butter. (See Note 2). Use paper towel to wipe the butter and coat bottom of skillet.
- Pour 1/3 cup batter into the middle of the skillet. I use a 1/3 cup measure as we want a 1/4 cup batter per pancake and not all pours out as batter is thick (See Note 3).
- Look for bubbles to rise to the pancake surface, flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
- Remove and keep warm.
- Serve with butter, syrup of choice and fruit.
- Have milk (regular, 2% or your choice) at room temperature so melted butter does not harden as you whisk batter.
- My gramma used a dab of Crisco lard to melt and cook the pancakes in every 3-4 pancakes. She said it made them brown better than butter.
- When pouring the batter into a hot skillet, be sure use the bottom of the measuring cup to smooth out in a circular motion the 4-5 inch pancake.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Your recipe sounds great! I do agree with using lard, but not refined lard (Crisco) as it has ingredients you don’t want to consume. I don’t even use Crisco shortening anymore. Only organic butter or unrefined coconut oil. Using natural lard IS healthy and you can get some at specialty stores like Whole Foods. I’ve used it in the past. I’m going to have to try your griddle cakes recipe soon! Thanks for posting it!
Truth be told I keep a mason jar of bacon fat in the fridge and use that more now than the Crisco. Thanks for the tips here Linda.
Love your personal story and the griddle cakes look delicious. Will be trying them soon – possibly later today. Thanks again, Kevin!
Excellent! These are always a hit at breakfast Jan!
What a gorgeous stack! These pancakes look so fluffy and delicious, Kevin!
Thanks! You have to try them!
I think it’s just great!! Incredible work!!