True story:

The first time Mark made these for me, we were in my kitchen. “All I need is just flour, an egg, some milk, vanilla and sugar.” Easy enough. As I anxiously awaited for my pancakes (he had raved about them prior to and I, forever skeptical, did not believe him), all I could hear from him in the kitchen was “OH CRAP.” Why are they so flat? They feel like hockey pucks.

“Did you use leavener?” I inquired?

“What’s leavener?”

“How the heck do you make pancakes without leavener?” I exclaimed.

“Um… why do you need leavener if the flour is self-rising!?!”

“Dope!! I gave you all-purpose flour! You have to specify!!”

“Oh… really?”



Of all the pancakes I’ve ever had, I have to admit- these are the best. They’re spectacularly fluffy with a poignant bounce whenever the fork digs in. Each bite is laced with the tiniest bit of sweetness. [Insert Angela’s facial expression]. They’re perfect if you’re looking for a flapjack-like pancake. Better yet, you probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry. Sometimes less is more.

The secret, I think, is self-rising flour. Leaveners such as baking soda or baking powder don’t make the pancake rise as well while also throwing off the taste.  If you have a cast-iron pan, definitely skip the griddle for the cast-iron. Sure, the pancakes may turn out slightly burnt, but there’s a satisfying crunch as you cut through the pancake. The crust is slightly crispy while the interior retains its softness. One egg is typically enough because too many will cause the pancake to become cake-y.


Mark has made these so many times, he just eyeballs all the ingredients and adjusts the flour or the milk accordingly. In short, the thicker the batter, the fluffier the pancakes. While the recipe below calls for just 1 cup of milk, if you’re looking for less fluffy pancakes, you can add in an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk. This is obviously a trial and error call, but the 1 cup will give you pancakes similar to those of flapjacks.


The man behind the pancakes 🙂


Mark’s Ridiculously Fluffy Pancakes
Makes ~6 pancakes with a 5 inch diameter


  • 1 1/2 cup self rising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Butter for greasing
In a large bowl, crack an egg into the flour. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Stir until everything is well incorporated and there are no lumps.
In a skillet (or preferably a cast iron pan), turn the heat on low. Add a sliver of butter to grease the pan. Spoon a ladle of pancake batter. Wait until little bubbles begin to form. When bubbles start forming on the edge, flip. Take the edge of your flipper and poke a slight hole into the middle of a pancake to let the air out. There should be a satisfying “crunch” as you do this.
Serve warm with maple syrup.

Mark's ridiculously fluffy pancakes

** If you must, meaning that you have no self-rising flour but have some all purpose flour and baking powder at home, you can make your own self-rising flour. For each cup of flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and a 1/2 teaspoon salt (see Deb’s post from Smitten Kitchen for more details). Just make sure you sift everything so that it’s evenly combined.