Friday, March 8, 2013

Scrumptious Church Cookbook Pancakes ~ Easy, Light & Fluffy

When I first starting working at Mclean Hospital's crisis evaluation center, I was oriented to the unit by a bright and pretty art therapist. Always cheerful and sweet, she eased my fears. I was grateful for her kindness. Starting a new job isn't easy, let alone starting over in a new state. My husband and I had just moved from Philadelphia to Boston. She made me feel welcome. We talked about cooking and traveling: a soothing diversion from the intensity of crisis work. She soon moved to another state and got happily married. But before she left, she gave me a copy of her hometown church's cookbook titled, The Salem & West Hebron United Methodist Churches' Recipes From The Heart. The diversity of recipes in this small town cookbook instantly impressed me. There are recipes for baba ghanoush, African vegetable soup, corn chowder and scrumptious blueberry pancakes. It was the Scrumptious Pancake recipe that stood out from the rest.

I adore pancakes in every form... from French crepes to Johnny cakes. But there's something about good ol' American pancakes topped with real maple syrup which supremely satisfies my pancake-loving soul. These pancakes are moist, light and fluffy. They're easily adaptable to your favorite flavors and easy to prepare too, making them perfect for busy families. It's the only basic pancake recipe you'll ever need!

While reading this recipe, I envisioned hungry families coming home after church, gobbling up stacks of high and fluffy pancakes, straight off the griddle, topped with slowly melting butter and real maple syrup... sipping hot cups of coffee to wash it all down. I suspect all church cookbook pancake recipes are pretty good, right? These pancakes are just what they claim to be, scrumptious!     

Small Open Kitchen in My New Apartment 
It's snowing outside as I write this post and eat these golden hotcakes, slathered with sweet, dark maple syrup. The snow is coming down in huge flakes, accumulating on the windowsills. It looks like something out of a Currier and Ives print. There's something so cozy about being indoors, watching this wonderful winter scene gently unfold, while eating a comforting pancake breakfast complete with a piping hot latte.

Scrumptious Pancake Recipe
Adapted from the The Salem & West Hebron United Methodist Churches' Recipes From The Heart Cookbook 

Some Notes: 

I tweaked the recipe by lowering the amount of oil and baking powder. I also added ground flaxseed for fiber and omega-3's. I like to add frozen wild blueberries which do not have to be thawed. Just sprinkle them on the pancakes as they are cooking. Fresh blueberries are great too. Blueberries are anti-oxidant powerhouses. The frozen wild berries I use are from Maine. They're small and sweet. They're perfect for muffins and oatmeal too. The link is provided in the recipe.

Skim milk keeps the pancakes on the lighter side. You can also use buttermilk instead of skim milk for classic blueberry-buttermilk pancakes. If using buttermilk omit the salt.  The buttermilk will make them even more fluffy and tender with a mild tang.

This is a great basic pancake recipe to tweak to your favorite additions...nuts, cinnamon, vanilla, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, shredded apples, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, nutella, coconut....the sky is the limit!   

All pancakes are best served straight from the pan. But this recipe makes more than enough for my husband and I to have several pancake breakfasts. So I let the extra pancakes cool and then wrap them in cling wrap or foil. I store them in the fridge for quick workweek breakfasts. Just reheat in the microwave.          

For me, it's all about the maple syrup when eating American pancakes. Quality, 100% maple syrup takes them to new heights. I have tried maple syrup from Canada, Maine and Vermont. I love them all! Find your favorite and enjoy this classic breakfast soon.     

You'll Need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk or buttermilk (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (optional). I used organic coarsely ground flax meal from Whole Foods. 
  • 2 tablespoons canola or sunflower oil 
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar. I used raw or demerara sugar. But regular cane sugar is fine too. 
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder. I used aluminum free.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda 
  • pinch of salt. If using buttermilk, omit the salt. 
  • 1-2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries. I used Wyman's frozen wild blueberries from Maine. Here's the link: Use as many as you like on each pancake. I like just a sprinkling. (or your favorite additions. see notes)   
  • real maple syrup and butter for serving
The Rundown:
Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients except for the blueberries. Mix quickly and efficiently to combine, but don't over-mix or the pancakes will be tough.
Heat a large fry pan or griddle on medium to medium-high heat with a little oil or butter. Drop batter onto the grill (I use 1/4 cup measuring cup for this). Add a sprinkling of blueberries to the top of each pancake. Cook pancakes until bubbles start to form around the sides and their bottoms are golden brown. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side. Serve with butter and your favorite maple syrup. Enjoy!   

*** Recently I accidentally used self rising flour instead of regular flour in this recipe. They were even lighter and fluffier. You really can't go wrong with this basic recipe.***

My sweet Ellie lounging the morning away  



  1. These look so good! I am lately obsessed with filling my pancakes with something, in fact I just posted a recipe on my blog about pancakes filled with shredded apples!

    1. Julia, your pancakes look delish! Must try them soon as I love all pancakes! My hubs loves apples, so he'll be so happy when I make them. Your pics are gorgeous, as usual. These are an easy go-to recipe for standard, fluffy American pancakes.

  2. Wow! These look scrumptious! Love the look of those fluffy pancakes!

    1. Hi Gretchen! Thanks for dropping by. I've tried all sorts of pancake recipes. I like this one because it's easy (no whipping egg whites). They're relatively light. The best part is the fluffy texture.
      Love your blog! I must try the passionfruit cream pie soon!