Grandma Betsy’s Pancakes

July 21, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Alya Hameedi. Food Stylist: Ericka Martins.
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • makes 10 pancakes
Author Notes

Growing up, my sister and I often had sleepovers at our grandma Betsy's house. Grammy wasn't a big cook, but we eagerly looked forward to breakfast because she always made pancakes. Wide and evenly golden all over, sometimes studded with blueberries or chocolate chips (or both), my sister and I could gobble up dozens of those pancakes. But we always made sure to save a few, because Grammy would let us tear up leftovers and toss them to the birds in her backyard (we did *not* get to do this at home!). Grandma Betsy used Bisquick baking mix for her pancakes, but over the years I've actually perfected my own pancake mix dupe that tastes quite similar to the packaged version. Don’t get me wrong, I love a tangy buttermilk or nutty whole-wheat pancake, and there’s absolutely a time and place for those craggy fritter-like cakes fried in too much butter—but these simple, lightly sweet pancakes have a special nostalgic flavor for me. Grammy's now struggling with Alzheimer's, and she doesn't remember too much. I'm grateful that today she can still recognize me and my sister, and we can still share pancakes together, only I'm the one at the stove now.

Bisquick baking mix includes vegetable oil (the additional fat produces moist, fluffy pancakes), so pancake-makers need only add eggs and milk when mixing up the batter. You’ll often see pancake recipes call for melted butter, and other DIY mix recipes may recommend vegetable shortening, but I prefer to use similarly textured coconut oil. This is already a common ingredient in my pantry (whereas I basically never buy shortening) *and* I specifically love the subtle coconutty fragrance that the unrefined coconut oil adds to pancakes. If your coconut oil is liquid at room temperature (this can happen when it’s warm in the kitchen), divide 1 cup in an ice cube tray and refrigerate until just firm, about 15 minutes—this way, you can skip measuring out the oil and simply add it to the food processor. If you don’t have a spare ice cube tray, place the oil in a liquid measuring cup and refrigerate until it’s just solidified, about 30 minutes. From there, if it’s too firm to scoop into spoonfuls, let it sit at room temperature to soften a bit.

Note: While you need just two cups of pancake mix for a batch of 10 pancakes, the pancake mix portion in the recipe below makes eight cups, so you’re set for a few more breakfasts beyond the first one. Store the pancake mix in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months. —Rebecca Firkser

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Pinterest as part of their Golden Recipe Contest, a call for recipes treasured by your family or community. To enter, submit your recipe by August 15. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For pancakes:
  • 1 cup milk (any type will work, even non-dairy)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
  • 2 cups Pancake Mix (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (at any temperature)
  • 10 tablespoons blueberries, chocolate chips, or a mix or both, divided (optional)
  • Salted butter, for serving (optional)
  • Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
  • For pancake mix:
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt, or 1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil (refined or unrefined), solid and at room temperature
  1. For pancakes:
  2. If you want to keep the prepared pancakes warm while you make the whole batch, heat the oven to 325ºF and place a wire rack onto a sheet pan.
  3. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract if using in a medium bowl. Add the pancake mix and whisk until smooth.
  5. Swirl the coconut oil around the skillet, then wipe it out. Pour in 1/4-cup dollops of pancake batter and spread into even circles (you should be able to fit about 2 in a 10-inch skillet because they’ll puff up a bit). Cook until you start to see bubbles forming on the surface of the pancakes and the edges begin to look matte, about 1 minute. If adding blueberries or chocolate chips, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon onto each pancake. Continue cooking the pancakes until golden brown on the bottom and the entire surface is matte, another 1 minute. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden on the other side, about 2 minutes. If you’re keeping the pancakes warm, place them on the sheet pan and transfer to the oven.
  6. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Repeat with remaining pancake batter, toggling the heat between medium-low and medium to maintain your desired golden color.
  7. Serve the pancakes topped with butter and syrup if using. Feed any leftovers to the birds.
  1. For pancake mix:
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the solid coconut oil in tablespoon-sized spoonfuls and pulse until the mixture is evenly combined (it will have the texture of almond meal or cornmeal). This will yield 8 cups of mix total.
  3. Transfer the pancake mix to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

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