Serves a Crowd

Best Banana Pancakes

November 17, 2009
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 12 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

These tender, fluffy pancakes are inspired by a recipe of my mother's and the warm banana doughnuts I had at Fix restaurant in the Bellagio hotel. (This is, of course, working on the premise that pancakes are basically squashed doughnuts!) I find that including oats in the batter adds more interest than plain, all-purpose flour—any whole-grain benefits are an added bonus. —energy

Test Kitchen Notes

These pancakes have changed our Saturdays forevermore. Light, fluffy, and just a hint tangy, they're secretly full of all sorts of wholesome ingredients (thank you, energy-giving bananas, fiber-packed oats, and probiotic powerhouse-yogurt)—but you'd never be able to tell. We second the notion that these taste like mini banana doughnuts—but way better.

A little bit about the ingredients: Since there are so few in this recipe, every one of them matters. The bananas need to be at their absolute ripest, spottiest—like the kind you'd use for banana bread. Since the recipe only has an additional tablespoon of brown sugar, the fruit is what's providing much of the sweetness. Next come the oats and flour, which provide structure and a little bit of chewy texture and nutty flavor. The butter and milk give some richness and flavor, and the egg both binds and provides lift—and the yogurt sneaks in with some tang (same idea here as your favorite buttermilk pancake), also providing richness and structure. A pinch of salt's there to heighten the sweetness of it all.

The leavening in this recipe might seem fussy, but adding both baking powder and soda is absolutely necessary: while the combination of the acid in the yogurt and the baking soda do provide some lift (remember your third-grade science fair volcano?) and tenderness, the powder is what helps powerfully puff up the pancakes. Last, even though it's not listed here, let's also touch on toppings—feel free to add them to your liking here. A handful of chopped, toasted nuts, chocolate chips, blueberries, toffee—sky's the limit. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large banana or 2 medium (the riper and spottier, the better)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Beat egg and mix together with yogurt, oats, sugar, and milk.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined (it will still be lumpy, but don't worry). Add additional milk if too thick. Stand 10 minutes.
  4. Mash the banana well with the baking soda and stir gently into the batter, along with the melted butter.
  5. Heat a large and preferably non-stick skillet, lightly greased with oil, melted butter, or cooking spray, over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles and dances (if it evaporates immediately, lower the temperature). Add the batter to the pan, 1/4 cup at a time, and cook until bubbles appear on surface and edges firm. Turn over with spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown. Repeat, regreasing pan as needed.
  6. Serve immediately (or, if needed, you can keep warm, covered, in 200°F oven) with melted or whipped butter and warmed maple syrup.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melissa S.
    Melissa S.
  • Cristina García
    Cristina García
  • Lori Hahn
    Lori Hahn
  • drbabs
  • energy

13 Reviews

Melissa S. June 5, 2022
These came our great for me. They taste GOOD without any syrups. I’m always searching for a good non technical pancake recipe. This is it! I did not experience any issues in the making. My kiddos enjoyed them too.
Cristina G. May 11, 2015
Total waste of food and time. They stuck to the pan (a non-stick one) and were impossible to turn around.
pizza.princess January 16, 2015
I have everything except the yoghurt and I would absolutely LOVE to try this tomorrow morning! Does anybody know if it would negatively affect the recipe to leave out the yoghurt?
energy January 16, 2015
Hello, thanks for trying the recipe! All milk should be fine. Or buttermilk should you have it (I know I never do). Also If you add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to the milk that will make a sort of buttermilk/yoghurt substitute. (But if just using milk and no acidic ingredient you can just use baking powder and leave out the baking soda)
pizza.princess January 16, 2015
Omg thank you for replying!!!! That buttermilk idea sounds awesome, I'm totally trying it tomorrow! :-)
energy January 16, 2015
Just to make sure all clear, so if not using the yoghurt replace the yogurt amount with milk. So the recipe would be 1 cup milk, 1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Or if ou want a thicker batter maybe try 3/4 cup instead of 1/4 cup. Good luck!1
HeatherM March 17, 2013
I've made this several times now, and while the flavour and texture are great, the 1/2 cup batter suggestion is absurdly large, and a nonstick pan is requisite. Go for 1/4 cup to retain any hope of pancake integrity.
Lorenza February 6, 2013
Whoa Jenny! These are awesomely wonderful. I prepared them for my daughter this morning. I was going to surprise her, but she was so curious that I showed the recipe to her. With no prompting, she queued up Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" as was suggested below. Perfetto e Delicioso! Grazie
global G. February 25, 2012
This was great. My husband couldn't stop eating them.
cookdaddy August 24, 2010
I didn't have bananas so added peaches instead. My son, who never eats fruit, devoured them! Excellent recipe.
lacerise April 12, 2010
I love these! There's just a hint of sweetness from the small quantity of sugar and the bananas I used weren't over-ripe so they were just right! I love eating them and feeling like they're good for me...yogurt, oats, bananas. What could be better? Thank you!
Lori H. April 12, 2010
I agree - these are the best banana pancakes! My family loved them. Be sure to put on Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" while you whip them up.
drbabs March 31, 2010
I made these tonight--they were really good!