Kid-friendly Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes

Recipe: Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes

Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes

by Erin Fletter
Photo by kuvona/Shutterstock.com
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
8 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes

What would your "perfect" pancake be? Would it have fruit, coconut, lemon zest, or pumpkin spice? Would you top it with chocolate chips, more fruit, maple syrup, or lemon curd? Are you ready to create your own perfect pancakes?

We offer a few mix-in and topping suggestions to help you think beyond the usual plain pancake with butter and syrup, but you're welcome to include some of your own. Be creative!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • combine :

    to merge two or more ingredients into one mixture, like a batter of flour, eggs, and milk.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • wet vs dry :

    to mix wet and dry ingredients separately before combining them: dry ingredients are flours, leavening agents, salt, and spices; wet ingredients are those that dissolve or can be dissolved (sugar, eggs, butter, oils, honey, vanilla, milk, and juices).

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Large skillet
  • Heat-resistant spatula or pancake turner
scale
1X
2X
3X
4X
5X
6X
7X

Ingredients

Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes

  • Pancake batter:
  • 1 1/4 all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 2 T unsalted butter, melted **for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance brand)**
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1/2 ripe, mashed banana)**
  • 1 T vegetable oil or butter, for cooking
  • Mix-in suggestions:
  • 1/4 C shredded coconut
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 C finely chopped fruit (apple, banana, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, or pineapple)
  • Topping suggestions (a drizzle, dollop, or sprinkle per pancake):
  • maple syrup
  • honey
  • fruit jam
  • lemon curd
  • butter
  • chopped fruit (apple, banana, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, or pineapple)
  • shredded coconut

Food Allergen Substitutions

Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour. Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor, for mix-in suggestion.
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free butter, like Earth Balance brand.
  • Egg: For 1 egg, substitute 1/2 ripe, mashed banana.
  • Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder mix-in suggestion.

Instructions

Create Your Own Perfect Pancakes

1.
measure + combine

In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

2.
crack + whisk

Crack 1 egg into a large mixing bowl and add 1 cup milk and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Whisk the wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and whisk until moistened. There will be some small lumps, which is okay!

3.
create + prepare

Time to get creative! Create your perfect pancake combination by choosing up to two mix-in ingredients and two toppings, measuring, and preparing them.

4.
add + stir

Have kids add their mix-in ingredients to the batter and gently stir. You can also divide the batter (about 1/4 cup) between your kids and let them mix in their choice of ingredients (you'll have to track whose pancake is whose during cooking).

5.
heat + add + cook

Heat a large skillet over medium heat on your stovetop. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil or butter in the pan. Spoon two tablespoons of pancake batter per pancake onto your pan and cook until the surface of the pancakes have a few bubbles on top (1 to 2 minutes). Flip with a spatula and cook until browned and cooked through.

6.
plate + top

Plate your perfect pancakes and let kids top them with their chosen toppings. Enjoy your creations!

Surprise Ingredient: Flour!

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Photo by WiP-Studio/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Flour!

"Happy Baking, Friends! I'm Flour, and I'm a VIP (Very Important Powder)! I'm really quite useful (and humble). You can use me to make breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, crumpets, doughnuts, muffins, pancakes, pasta, waffles, and more. (Which is your favorite?) I can coat vegetables and meats before frying them in oil, and you can combine me with a fat to make a roux to thicken sauces and gravies. You can even make play dough and glue with me. Can you see now why I'm a VIP?"

History 

  • Around 8,000 to 15,000 years ago, people discovered that they could crush wheat seeds between simple grindstones to make flour. 
  • When you grind cereal grains, beans, seeds, or roots (like cassava), they become a powder, resulting in flour. Some of the grains besides wheat that can be ground into flour are rye, buckwheat, barley, corn, oat, and rice. Other foods used to make flour are potatoes, acorns, mesquite, cassava, soybeans, garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), amaranth, and even bananas! 
  • Flour is the primary component of bread, and bread is a staple in many countries. Therefore, sufficient amounts of flour are critical, which has caused major economic and political issues at various times throughout history. 

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Before grains are ground into flour, they are whole pieces taken from a plant. 
  • Each kernel of wheat consists of three parts: the coarse outer bran layer (which contains most of the fiber), the germ, and the endosperm. The endosperm stores the grain's starch, a carbohydrate that the body uses to create energy. Other foods that contain starch are potatoes, pasta, and rice.
  • Whole-wheat flour is the result of grinding or milling the whole grain. It contains all three parts of the kernel—bran, endosperm, and germ.
  • White flour has been refined or polished and bleached to remove the bran. As a result, white flour has less fiber than whole-wheat flour and fewer nutrients, too.  
  • The word "flour" is originally a variant of the word "flower." Both derive from the Old French "fleur" or "flour," literally "blossom," and figuratively "the finest" (of the milled grain). 

How Flour is made

  • Flour is made in nearly every country in the world. 
  • First, farmers plant wheat seeds, and plants begin to grow. Then, when they are ready to harvest, farmers collect them with giant machines called combines. 
  • Combines cut, separate, and clean the wheat at the same time. The grain must be completely dry before storing, so farmers don't harvest it when it's rainy. 
  • Then, they transfer the flour to a mill (a building where grains are ground into flour), where a miller will oversee the grinding of the wheat grain into flour.
  • One whole wheat grain makes over 20,000 particles of flour!

Nutrition

  • Flour contains protein and is a significant source of carbohydrates.
  • Carbohydrates are a direct source of energy for the body. Our bodies first have to make some changes to the carbohydrates, but then they are quickly converted to energy by our cells.
  • Fiber helps to keep our intestines happy, feeding the good bacteria in our gut. Whole-wheat, unbleached flour is an excellent source of fiber.
  • Whole wheat contains essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
  • Organic, unbleached flour is the healthiest.
  • Wheat-free and gluten-free flours are vital to people who have celiac disease, wheat allergies, or gluten intolerance (or non-celiac gluten sensitivity). Varieties of gluten-free flours include those made from: almonds, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and teff. 

 

History of Pancakes!

Photo by Ahturner/Shutterstock.com
  • Archaeological evidence suggests that pancake varieties are probably the earliest and most widespread foods made from cereal grains. Prehistoric societies mixed dry, carbohydrate-rich seed flours with available protein-rich liquids, usually milk and eggs, and baked the resulting batters on hot stones or in shallow earthenware pots over an open fire. These early pancakes formed a nutritious and highly palatable foodstuff.  
  • Pancakes are a universal food found in some variations from Africa to Asia to Europe and South America. 
  • Globally, there are at least 100 types of pancakes. To name a few, they include crepes, blinis, latkes (potato pancakes), pajeon, æbleskiver, crumpets, galettes, okonomiyaki, milcao, and Dutch baby pancakes.
  • A pancake is usually a flat, round cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. In some countries, it's thinner, more like a crepe, and in the United States, it's usually thicker and more fluffy. 
  • Most pancakes are quick breads; however, some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter.  
  • Pancakes can be sweet or savory. Depending on the region, pancakes may be served at any time, with various toppings or fillings, including jam, chocolate chips, fruit, syrup, or meat. 
  • In different parts of the US, pancakes may be called flapjacks, griddle cakes, hotcakes, or slapjacks. 
  • One man (and giant pancake fan!) ran a marathon while tossing a pancake every 2 seconds for a continuous 3 hours, 2 minutes, and 27 seconds!

Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/Shutterstock.com (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

THYME for a Laugh

What's the best pancake topping? 

More pancakes!

Lettuce Joke Around

What dinosaur loves pancakes? 

A tri-syrup-tops!

Lettuce Joke Around

Did you hear about the angry pancake?

He just flipped.

Lettuce Joke Around

How do you make a pancake smile? 

Butter him up!

That's Berry Funny

What did the yeast say to the bag of flour? 

Come on! We knead to be serious!

That's Berry Funny

What do bakers give their moms on Mother's Day? 

Flours!

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