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Sky-High Japanese Pancakes

The phrase “flat as a pancake” gets lost in translation with these sky-high Japanese pancakes. Fat, fluffy, and perfectly round, these hotcakes are elevated to lofty new heights.

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It’s Sunday morning at brunch-o-clock in a hip Tokyo neighborhood. Long lines of hungry Japanese diners snake around the block. What are they willing to wait hours to eat? Pancakes!

… but not just any pancakes. “Soufflé pancakes” are the latest breakfast trend in Japan, and there’s no such thing as a short stack when it comes to these high-rise hotcakes. Almost cartoonish in their perfection, they’re like the Platonic ideal of a pancake: symmetrically circular and superbly stackable. There’ll be no fighting over who gets the big one — you could call them pancakes for grown-ups, except that kids go crazy for them, too!

Japanese Pancakes ingredients in blenderTipHero

What those ravenous queuers don’t know is that it’s really easy to make Japanese-style pancakes at home. You can even make them in a blender! All you need to achieve that two-inch rise is a basic pancake batter and a ring mold, a.k.a. an English muffin mold. (And our recipe’s trio of leaveners — buttermilk, baking powder and baking soda — definitely helps with the lift-off.)

Japanese Pancakes batter in ringTipHero

Stack up your Japanese-style pancakes and serve them with melting pats of butter, a tuft of whipped cream or custard, berries or banana slices, and of course, lay that maple syrup on thick. And if you really want the J-experience, say “itadakimasu” before you dig in — that’s Japanese for “bon appétit!”

Japanese Pancakes


Makes 7 – 8 pancakes
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pan spray
  • butter

Equipment

  • ring mold

Preparation

  1. In a blender, blend the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt on the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the dry ingredients to the blender and mix until fully blended.
  3. Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Spray it with pan spray and wipe away any excess.
  4. Grease the inside of a ring mold with butter and place it on the preheated pan. Pour batter into the mold to fill it about halfway up the ring.
  5. Cover and cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Using a spatula, flip the pancake and mold over together, cover once again, and cook the other side for another 4 -5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pancake and mold from the pan, slide the mold off the pancake, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter. (Keep the pancakes warm in a low oven or covered with foil while you cook the rest of them.)
Japanese Pancakes plated with berries and syrupTipHero

Do you flip for pancakes? Try out cinnamon roll pancakes, Nutella-stuffed pancakes, or bacon pancakes!