Pancakes: Squaring the circle

baked pancakes

Who says pancakes have to be round? Baking them on a cookie sheet makes the job go twice as fast, too. (Photo by Laura Groch)

Oooh, pancakes! What a fun breakfast treat! And yet what a pain in the neck they can be for us cooks, who have to keep working while everyone is eating, and while trying to eat our own pancakes, which invariably grow cold while we are tending the griddle.

Even for the two of us, making pancakes seems always to be a major production. So I tested a different way of making them that lets everyone eat together: Bake them in a flat pan and cut them like brownies. (Big brownies.)

Because who says pancakes have to be round? Trust me, they taste the same whether they’re round, square or rectangular.

The baking takes no more than 15 minutes, compared with the 20 to 30 minutes (or more) you might spend flipping pancakes from pan to plate until the batter is gone. Try it this way, and see if you don’t end up parking the griddle in the garage.

Make your favorite pancake batter. This recipe is one of mine. It’s from Libby’s, and it makes a moist pancake a little on the dense side:

baked pancakes

Who says pancakes have to be round? Baking them on a cookie sheet makes the job go twice as fast, too. (Photo by Laura Groch)


2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or use a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves to equal 1 1/4 teaspoons)

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 large egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in large bowl. Combine milk, pumpkin, egg and 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl; mix well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; batter may be lumpy.

Spray a 10-inch-by-15-inch cookie sheet with cooking spray (or oil it lightly). Be sure to grease the sides, too. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it carefully with a spatula or spoon into the corners and smoothing it so it’s evenly distributed.

pancakes2 copy

So pretty I had to show you again. (Photo by Laura Groch)

Bake at 350 degrees on the middle rack of the oven for about 10 minutes, giving the pan a quarter-turn at the halfway mark. After another 2 or 3 minutes, test for doneness in the center with a toothpick; if the batter isn’t cooked, give it a minute or two more.

When it’s cooked to your satisfaction, remove the pan from the oven and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Then take a knife and cut the pancake into whatever serving sizes you prefer. (The rectangular shape, which lets you cut even slices, also helps eliminate squabbles over whose pancakes are bigger.) Slide them out carefully with spatula and put onto plates.

Top each serving with your favorite syrup/berries/fruit/nuts and enjoy them — everyone together!

P.S. And remember, if you like this post, please share it! Thank you!

(c) copyright 2016 Laura Groch


3 thoughts on “Pancakes: Squaring the circle

  1. Ms. Groch – you are a genius. Will try this with our next group breakfast.
    Also great way for me to make a bunch of gluten free pancakes for freezing.
    Glad you took th risk and time to figure it out. Thanks.


  2. OMG! This has solved my entire problem with pancakes… I tend to burn them. This looks like i can avoid the when-to-flip guesswork entirely! Yay! My husband and daughter thank you. I thank you!


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