Perfect Pancakes

By Chef Megan Joy / October 10, 2012

Last week my neighbors gave me a huge jug of Vermont maple syrup as a thank you for making them some pastries and I’ve been dying to use it.

Mainly for pancakes. (I have been envisioning drizzling it all over a short stack for days).

This morning when I woke up, I decided it was time.

We had BLTs for dinner last night so I had a bunch of leftover bacon fat. And consequently the pancakes were cooked in a large pool of bacon fat. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made this week.

The bacon fat makes the edges slightly crunchy, and imparts a delicious salty flavor. So, so good. I sprinkled a few chunks of milk chocolate on top of each pancake before it got the final flip. Then we dolloped some homemade lightly whipped cream on top of each pancake tower before dousing it in a drizzle of that pure maple syrup.

What was truly beautiful was the way the maple syrup cut through the whipped cream in little ribbons before dripping over onto the plate. Heaven.

In Red Cliff, a teeny tiny town not too far from Vail, they had the Man of the Cliff competition this past weekend.

It consists of various outdoorsy events such as wood chopping, keg throwing, and archery. All for a good cause. Everyone wears their best flannel and it’s a lot of fun. I can’t help but think these bacon-fried pancakes satisfy the inner-lumberjack in us all.

The original recipe calls for buttermilk, but having none, I used apple cider vinegar and whole milk.

In the mood for other breakfast classics? Try this recipe for Belgian Waffles “Suzette”.

How to make this high-altitude recipe:
Perfect Pancakes
Adapted from Martha’s Entertaining by Martha Stewart

4.1 from 8 reviews
Perfect Pancakes
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2¾ cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • Bacon fat or butter, for cooking
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, milk, and melted butter.
  3. Whisk until just combined; there will still be some lumps and that's okay.
  4. Heat your griddle or skillet and add 1-2 tablespoons of fat. When it's ready, a drop of water will sizzle and disappear.
  5. Ladle ¼ cup portions of batter onto the griddle and cook until slightly dry around the edges and bubbles appear.
  6. Flip pancakes and cook until golden on the bottom and set.
  7. Makes 16-18 pancakes.
Note: This recipe was adapted for high altitude baking. To make at sea level, increase the baking powder to 2 teaspoons and baking soda to 1 teaspoon.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

19comments
Deb - October 13, 2012

Oh my goodness, I never have been bold enough to cook pancakes in bacon fat. I reserve it for savory recipes!
What a scrumptious and inspiring post! Adore the local photos, I very much enjoy watching the passing of the seasons from your altitude! ( I live at 10 feet above sea level!)

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Colin - October 25, 2012

Hello chef Megan , my sister was recently in town visiting me and rummaging through my pantry, anyhow all this time she’s baking me pumpkin breads that are unusual and strange. . This morning was her last day in town and she found your recipe and combined it with the Quaker oats recipe! It was amazing , all this time I was thinking there is nobody out there , but you were baking too, And apparently we hiked the same trails and took the picture of the same trees.

This is the other recipe she used http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipes/content/recipes/recipe-detail.aspx?recipeId=603

These were awesome , I must say breakfast will never be the same.

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Emily McMurray - April 1, 2013

This is our go-to pancake recipe! They really are “perfect”!

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Felicia - May 5, 2013

I hate to leave a bad review because my issues with this recipe very well could have been operator error, but this recipe was awful. I live in Colorado Springs and I was looking for a tried and true high altitude pancake recipe and found yours through google. I tried it this morning and the batter was so runny and spread out all over the pan and the final texture was much more crepe like than pancake. After my first pancake test run I ended up adding probably close to 1/2 cup more flour but they still didn’t really rise or get fluffy. Even after trying to doctor it up the opinions on the final pancakes were negative. My husband, his little brother, and I couldn’t eat them. I ended up dumping 3/4 of the batter down the sink. Could it be that my altitude isn’t high enough and I should have added more leavening? Or that my leavening is too old and just didn’t react? I’m not sure what the problem was.

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    Chef Megan Joy - May 5, 2013

    Hi Felicia. I’m sorry to hear this didn’t come out so well. Here is the original recipe that I adapted: http://www.marthastewart.com/318689/best-buttermilk-pancakes, if you wish to try this recipe again (I didn’t have buttermilk so I used whole milk plus vinegar). Maybe you could find a good median using both recipes. This recipe does make a fairly thin batter- the longer it sits the more it thickens up as the leaveners activate, however. It’s also key to have a nice heated pan so the pancakes start to “fry” right away and don’t spread out a lot. For your altitude, I’d also add more chemical leaveners- maybe 1 1/4-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2-3/4 teaspoon baking soda.

    Reply
    Ramee Hyde - July 10, 2013

    Felicia,
    I read your post before I made these for the first time and decided to add the milk a little at a time until the batter reached the consistency I wanted (a little thicker than the original recipe) and the pancakes came out perfect. I also omit the vinegar and use just whole milk. I think that these pancakes have the best flavor of any pancake recipe that I’ve used. Hope this helps.

    Reply
    dave - March 29, 2014

    I think maybe they might have confused is recipe with a recipe for crepes. Not only do bees pancakes not rise they are almost identical to crepes. I live in monument colorado 870 500 feet and have been searching hi and low for a fluffy pancakes recipe. This is not it.

    Reply
Chrystal - July 17, 2013

I also live in CO Springs, and am making the pancakes right now. They are turning out GREAT! I’ve lived here 8 years, and this is the first time my pancakes haven’t turned out super flat. Thank you!

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Renee - August 11, 2013

I live in Nederland at about 8500 feet, and love these recipes. I just made the pancakes with 6 ears
of grated sweet corn, cut and scraped, and added buttermilk until it was the right consistency. Cook slowly on a cast iron skillet. Amazing.

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Lisa Drake - September 13, 2013

We live at about 7200 ft., and these pancakes come out perfect every time. LOVE them! 🙂

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Deb - November 19, 2013

simply divine. My family devoured these in minutes! I am only at 5000ft., so next time I am going to add in a bit more b. powder and soda to see if they get a bit more fluffy! But they were delicious!!!

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Michelle - June 15, 2014

Thanks for the recipe…I too live in the Springs (Colorado native) I must agree with Felicia, I had the exact same result. These might be a good recipe for crepes. With that said, my 5 year old is gobbling them up so I will mark this down as a kinda win….

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Katie - January 31, 2015

100% spot on! Light, fluffy pancakes at 8,200 feet. Love the use of ACV and milk to make buttermilk 🙂 I made a whole batch for me and my hubby, and am freezing the rest on a baking sheet so we’ll have homemade pancakes on busy weekday mornings. Your blog is the first one I check (and trust) for high altitude baking!!

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Shannon - March 27, 2016

Delicious pancakes at 8,500′. I needed only 2 cups of whole milk for moist, fluffy pancakes. Thanks for the recipe!

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Sharon - July 5, 2016

Hi Megan! I just wanted to thank you for publiishing this recipe. We’ve used it for at least a year and it is so delish! We are at 6,700 feet and I sub 1 cup whole wheat flour (I think it is pastry) for one of the whites. I also sub two tablespoons malt powder for two of the sugar. I forgot to put lemon in the milk this am to make it into buttermilk, and it came out wonderfully as well. I just eyeball the milk to where I feel the consistancy of the pancake is perfect. Preheat griddle and use coonut oil for the griddle. Please keep sharing your wonderful recipes – I have tried many and very much appreciate all the work you have put into your site. Hope you are having a great summer! Sharon in New Mexico

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