Food & Drink

The Only Pancake Recipe You’ll Ever Need

The James Beard Award–winning pastry chef Kelly Fields really loves pancakes. One bite of their recipe, and you’ll absolutely understand why

Photo: Oriana Koren

“Pancakes are my favorite food, y’all. I like to cook them on a nonstick griddle, but I’m a firm believer that you should be empowered to use your favorite cast-iron pan—or whatever you prefer. Always preheat your griddle (or pan) and coat with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil or another oil with a high smoke point (safflower, vegetable, or canola oil, for example). I set my heat on the cooler side of medium and exercise the most patience, so I can get a beautiful golden brown flapjack that is perfectly cooked through. I love adding chocolate and banana or any seasonal fruit, too.” —Kelly Fields


  • (Makes 24 pancakes)

    • 2½ cups all-purpose flour

    • 2½ cups cake flour

    • ¼ cup granulated sugar

    • 3 tbsp. baking powder

    • ½ tsp. baking soda

    • 2 tsp. kosher salt

    • 1 quart cold buttermilk

    • ½ cup cold whole milk

    • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract

    • 8 eggs, separated, at room temperature

    • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

    • ⅓ cup cold sour cream


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, whole milk, vanilla, and egg yolks. In two stages, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until incorporated.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter in three portions; be careful not to compress the mixture or it will lose too much volume.

  3. Put the melted butter in a medium bowl, add a touch of the batter, and stir together. Add this mixture to the batter and gently fold to incorporate. Fold in the sour cream just until it is fully incorporated and the batter isn’t streaky. At this point, you can store the batter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours before cooking. (After 4 hours, it deflates completely.)

  4. Heat a nonstick griddle or cast-iron pan over medium-low heat and coat with cooking spray. Pour or scoop the batter (approximately a ½ cup for each pancake) onto the hot griddle and cook for about 3 minutes per side; your cue to flip the pancakes is when air bubbles form in the pancakes and the edges begin to set.

  5. The pancakes should be golden brown and perfectly cooked through. Serve hot.

  6. Pancakes with Mix-ins:This recipe is fantastic as is, but feel free to improvise as your mood dictates,” says Fields. “Mix in chocolate or butterscotch chips or top the pancakes with fresh berries, banana slices—whatever strikes your fancy. Go nuts!” 

Reprinted with permission from The Good Book of Southern Baking by Kelly Fields with Kate Heddings, copyright (c) 2020. Published by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Photographs copyright © Oriana Koren