Why It Works
- Refined coconut oil is odorless, flavorless, and solid at room temperature, with an extraordinary shelf life that makes it the perfect foundation for a shelf-stable mix.
- Malted milk powder helps the pancakes brown, even without butter.
- Low-density ingredients eliminate the need for physical aeration.
These classic American pancakes are none too thick, but still fluffy and light in the middle, with crispy bits around the edges. They start with DIY pancake mix that can be made ahead and kept on the shelf until needed. When you're ready for pancakes, just whisk in a splash of milk and an egg—no whipping involved! It's a relaxed approach that keeps sleepy mornings quiet and calm.
- For the Pancake Mix:
- 4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal blue label (about 1 cup, spooned; 125g)
- 1/2 ounce sugar (about 1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 1/2 ounce malted milk powder, such as Carnation or Hoosier Hill Farms (about 2 tablespoons; 15g)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.8g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.6g) baking soda
- 2 1/2 ounces refined coconut oil, solid and firm, between 68°F and 72°F (about 1/3 cup; 70g)
- For the Pancakes:
- 6 ounces milk, any percentage will do, or nondairy alternatives (about 3/4 cup; 170g)
- 1 large egg, straight from the fridge (1 3/4 ounces; 50g)
- 1/4 ounce vanilla extract (about 1 1/2 teaspoons ; 7g)
- 1 batch pancake mix, above (about 1 1/2 cups; 8 1/4 ounces; 233g)
For the Pancake Mix: In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, malted milk powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Process about 30 seconds to ensure the leavening agents are fully homogenized into flour.
Add the solid coconut oil and pulse only until it disappears into a dry and powdery mix, just a few seconds. It's important that the coconut oil is fully combined into the flour, while also remaining powdery and dry, so use caution and avoid over-processing, especially with larger batches (a 14-cup food processor can handle a maximum batch size of 4x; plan accordingly for smaller machines). Transfer the mix to an airtight container and store up to one year at or below 74°F, or until the date stamped on the package of coconut oil.
For the Pancakes: Preheat an electric griddle to 350°F, or heat a large, nonstick skillet to a similar temperature on the stovetop. In a large mixing bowl, whisk milk, egg, and vanilla extract until well-combined. Add prepared pancake mix and whisk until smooth, although a few flecks of coconut oil may dot the batter.
With a large scoop, measuring cup, or ladle, divide the thin batter in 1/4-cup portions (or as desired) and griddle until golden brown on either side, and cooked through the middle, about 90 seconds per side. Serve immediately, with butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, whipped cream, or whatever other toppings sound fun.
Troubleshooting: The timing and yield of this recipe will vary substantially depending on how the pancake batter is portioned as well as the exact temperature of the griddle itself. When pancakes are excessively browned but raw in the middle, the griddle is likely too hot; when the pancakes are cooked through but too soft and pale, the griddle may be too cool.
This mix can be prepared with an equal amount of cold, unsalted butter to replace the coconut oil; however, this will eliminate its make-ahead qualities, and the mix will need to be prepared and used right away.
Make-Ahead and Storage
In an airtight container, the pancake mix can be stored up to one year at or below 74°F, or until the date stamped on the package of coconut oil.