Sometimes a kitchen hack just sticks in your head until you must try it. That’s how I felt about the sheet pan pancakes hack I’ve seen floating around the Internet.
My favorite breakfast food is a pancake. Chocolate chip pancakes are my standard diner order. And we make pancakes at home more than any other breakfast treat. The idea of sheet pan pancakes was alluring and seemed so simple: whip up a batch of batter, pour it into a sheet pan, and in 10-to-15 minutes, you’d have pancakes for a crowd.
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I was both curious and skeptical. I was curious because when we have pancakes we never actually eat together; to ensure that butter melts on a warm pancake, our short stacks have to be eaten as soon as they are out of the pan. The pancake flipper always goes last. It seemed nice to think that Sean and I could actually eat a pancake breakfast together. But, I knew it would be hard to replicate that brown and crispy texture on both sides of a pancake.
I killed my curiosity about this hack this week and I gave sheet pan pancakes a try. The pantry was bare and we just got back from Vermont with a fat jug of maple syrup, so it seemed like a no-brainer. So how’d it go?
Our favorite pancake recipe (see recipe below) made enough batter to fit a half sheet pan. After lining the sheet pan with parchment paper, I brushed it liberally with melted butter. Then I poured the batter in, spread it evenly in the pan, and popped it into a 450 degree oven for a total of 13 minutes. I started the cooking on the bottom most rack placement for 8 minutes and moved the pan up to the top rack for the final 5 minutes.
After 13 minutes, the pancake was cooked, but the top of the pancake was extremely light in color. We didn’t have a crispy, brown top! But I had another trick up my sleeve: I brushed the top of the pancake with butter and set the oven to broil. I broiled for another 4 minutes, turning 90 degrees each minute for even broiling. It worked! The super large pancake was golden brown on top.
♥ Related: Marzipan Butter
After its broiler suntan, I cut the pancake into large rectangular portions and gave it a taste. Overall, the pancake was as tasty as our normal frying pan cooked pancakes though it did lack a bit of height and fluffiness; the edges were a little thinner than the middle but that gave the edges a really pleasant crispiness. I’d give this hack a solid B+. Taste-wise, the sheet pan pancakes were a dead ringer for our normal method (obviously, because it was the same recipe.) However, the texture wasn’t quite the same and the sheet pan pancakes lacked some height and fluffiness though I did like the crispy edges quite a bit.
I’d certainly make sheet pan pancakes again. I think this hack would work wonderfully for serving a large crowd at a brunch or breakfast party; it would be super easy to whip up two or more batches at once and have warm pancakes for everyone all at once without one person being tied to the stove.
This method would also work well for anyone who meal preps breakfast. Again, it’s easy to make multiple batches at once. If I were making these for meal prep, after I cut into portions, I’d stack them with parchment between each pancake and place in a zip top bag in the freezer for pancakes on demand. This could be a great plan for families with older kids who could microwave their own pancake breakfast while hopefully letting their parents sleep in!
A few notes:
- One of the benefits of this recipe is that you can also add several different toppings to make everyone at the party happy much like you’d get a pizza with split toppings. I added chocolate chips and pecans to half and it worked just fine.
- From researching many sheet pan pancake recipes, it looks like any recipe calling for about 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of liquid will make enough batter to fit a half sheet pan, so if you try this recipe, use your favorite pancake recipe scaled to 2 cups of flour. An off-the-shelf mix would also work in this way; I’d never look down on you for pulling Bisquik out of the cabinet!
- A secret to this recipe is in the melted butter brushed on the bottom of the pan and on the top of the pancake before its broil, so have 3-4 tablespoons melted and ready to go for this recipe.
Video: I Tried Sheet Pan Pancakes
Sheet Pan Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp butter melted
- Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Put one of the oven racks in the very top slot and another oven rack in the very bottom slot.
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Brush a good amount of melted butter over the parchment paper and along the sides of the sheet pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
- Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Don't stir too much; about 10 good stirs should do the trick. You may see some lumps of flour and that's fine.
- Pour the batter into the pan and gently spread it evenly across the sheet pan. I like to use a large offset spatula to do this. Sprinkle any toppings over the pancake batter at this point (#chocolatechipsplease).
- Place into the preheated oven in the bottom rack for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes move to the top rack and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Set your oven to broil (high if you have an option.) Brush the rest of the melted butter over the top of your pancake. Put back into the oven on the top rack under the broiler for 4 minutes turning 90 degrees every minute for even browning. I keep my oven door ajar when broiling so my pan fits in every angle.
- When the pancake is GBD (golden brown and delicious!) remove from the broiler; cut into even servings. Top with syrup (or your favorite toppings.)
Things you might want for this recipe:
Sheet Pans: Most likely you have plenty of cookie sheets, but I swear by these basic aluminum sheet pans. They are inexpensive and lightweight. And I like that they have a fairly high lip so they are useful for baking cookies OR roasting juicier items (no dripping onto your oven floor!) These are very standard professional kitchen items, but also super helpful in the home kitchen.
Parchment Paper: Parchment paper is a must in my kitchen. It gives me extra insurance against food sticking to my pans and also makes it much easier to clean up. I often use parchment paper several times before I toss it–especially when making many batches of cookies.
Vermont Maple Syrup: If you’re going to go to the trouble of making homemade pancakes, waffles, or French toast, do right by your home cooking and get a jug of the good stuff. I know it’s expensive, but it’s worth it!
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