What flour do you use for pancakes and how do you stop them from sticking? Your pancake problems answered!

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  • Having pancake problems? Don't panic! The best thing about pancakes is that they're so cheap and easy to make that you can afford to have a few little mistakes.

    Pancake problems? Don’t fret. We’ve got the answers to your questions to help you create perfect pancakes all year round.

    If your batter is looking a bit funny, your pancakes are sticking or if you just can’t get that flip right, it’s okay – we’ve got all the most common pancake problems covered. Most have very simple solutions for a trouble-free Shrove Tuesday.

    If you’ve never made pancakes before, take a look at our classic pancake recipe. It comes with a step-by-step video so you can see exactly how to make them.

    How do I make sure my pancake batter isn’t too thick?

    Thick batter can lead to lumpy, undercooked pancakes. Thankfully pancake batter is quite resilient so it’s easy to fix.

    Answer: Add more milk and whisk until the batter is at pouring consistency.

    Pancake batter in a bowl with a ladle.

    What do I do if my pancakes aren’t cooking?

    There’s nothing worse than that horrible wobble in the middle of the pancake that just won’t cook, but there is a simple way to avoid this happening.

    Answer: Add less batter to the pan. Pour in half a ladle full of mixture and immediately turn it around in the pan so the pancake lies flat – there should be no pools of mixture in the middle. Keep turning until the mixture is all used. Start with small amounts of mixture until you are confident about how much you need to make a large pancake.

    Pancake batter being poured into a pan.

    How do I stop my pancakes from sticking?

    As pancakes are really thin, sticking is one of the most common pancake problems. You don’t want to use too much oil/butter to grease the pan as this will give the batter more of an omelette-like consistency – but what to do?

    Answer: Lightly heat the pan then remove from the heat, place butter/oil in the centre then take a piece of greaseproof paper and use it to grease the pan. Make sure every part of the surface is covered as even a little spot of ungreased pan can make the pancake stick.

    A picture showing pancake problems with too many pancakes in one pan.

    Credit: Alamy

    How do I stop my pancakes from burning?

    You want the pan to be hot before pouring the mixture, this can lead to crispy, off-colour pancakes.

    Answer: Heat the pan on full, add the batter and allow to set slightly then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer.

    How do I flip pancakes in the pan?

    Ah the flip! One of the most stressful parts of the day. One option is to plow on – practise makes perfect – the other is just to admit defeat.

    Plow on: Make sure the pancake is fully cooked at the bottom and there isn’t any liquid left on the surface. Run around the edges with a spatula and shake the pan to ensure the pancake is loose. Hold the pan with both hands in front of you (away from the hob surface), tilt it slightly forward then flip – and hope for the best!

    A father showing his daughters how to flip pancakes on Pancake Day.

    Admit defeat: If you’ve tried too many times and the flip just isn’t happening, it’s OK – you actually want to be able to eat some of them! To make pancakes that can be easily turned with a spatula, add a little more flour to the mix and pour the mixture to a smaller surface area. Turn the pancake in one swift, fluid motion.

    What can I add to stop my pancakes being too bland?

    We can all agree that actual pancake mixture is a little flavourless, but how do you get the most flavour onto your pancakes?

    Answer: Use some of our recipes, of course! Our round-up of pancake fillings and will ensure no Pancake Day is anything less than amazing! We’ve also got some amazing suggestions for savoury pancakes if you want more than just lemon and sugar for dinner.

    Sweet corn and spring onion pancakes

    TI Media Limited

    What flour do you use for pancakes?

    The eternal question – everyone says something different and one of the most common pancake problems is mixing them up, as each type will give you a different result.

    Answer: Follow the recipe you’re using and include all the baking agents too. But for a quick fix, all-purpose flour is a good one to choose.

    Can I use self-raising flour in my pancakes?

    Self-raising flour contains salt and baking powder, so it will give a very different outcome to other types of flour.

    Answer: Yes, you can. But be aware that self-raising flour will give your pancakes a thicker texture and they will look a bit more like American-style pancakes.

    Plain flour next to self raising flour on a table.

    Credit: Alamy

    How can I make my pancakes dairy-free?

    If you want to celebrate Pancake Day this year with your favourite style of pancakes, but need them to be dairy-free – don’t worry!

    Answer: Replace regular milk with coconut or hemp milk. If you’re looking to cut the eggs out too, use unsweetened applesauce or banana as the replacement.

    How can I make gluten-free pancakes?

    If you’re gluten intolerant or need to avoid traditional flour for any reason, there are recipes you can use to make delicious gluten-free pancakes.

    Answer: Replace the flour in any recipe with gluten-free plain flour to try and make gluten-free pancakes. Or, for a fail-safe way to make tasty pancakes that are free of gluten, use our gluten-free pancakes recipe.

    Gluten-free pancakes for gluten pancake problems.

    How do you make fluffy pancakes from scratch?

    Looking to make light and fluffy pancakes instead of the classic thin and crispy crepes? There are a number of recipes you can use.

    Answer: To make fluffy pancakes, we recommend following either our American-style pancake recipe or our recipe for fluffy Japanese pancakes. Both use baking powder to help the mixture rise in the pan. One of the things that helps the pancakes achieve that fluffy finish!