Here is the standard pancake recipe I use. It usually produces 8 to 12 pancakes about 4 inches (10 centimeters) in diameter. Feel free to adjust the recipe for quantity or quality, depending on what you’d like. I usually make 2 or 3 batches to use for a pancake project, and if I have leftovers, I usually cook them up or store them in the fridge for the next day. Make sure you mix the batter well before creating your portions.
The following directions are for a standard round pancake, so if you want to make plain-old “moon” pancakes, then you can still use this recipe. My father would be proud of you.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat the griddle.
In medium bowl, stir or sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk, and butter together. Stir your wet mixture into the dry ingredients until the batter is extremely smooth. Remember, you’re working from squeeze bottles, ketchup bottles, or even plastic bags to draw specific lines with your pancake batter. Any lumps will just keep you from getting a smooth delivery!
For pancake art, slowly squeeze the batter onto a nonstick hot griddle (300 to 325 degrees). Flip the pancake when bubbles appear on the surface (after about 2 to 3 minutes), or sooner if you are trying to keep the colors light. You need to turn these pancakes only once.
Here are some variations for more healthful alternatives. (Keep in mind that they may change the color and consistency of the batter.)
If you’re really intent on sticking with a theme, like the banana pancakes for the Monkey—or even the Banana!— just swap out either the dry or the wet ingredients as needed.
Whole Wheat Pancakes
Substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour and brown sugar for the regular sugar. Again, be cautious, as this changes the consistency and final color of your pancake. If you add color to whole wheat pancakes, stick with darker colors, since the lighter colors may not come out as bright.
Add 2/3 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger to the batter before you do the final mixing. This could spice things up for Halloween!
Add a well-mashed banana to the batter before you do the final mixing. Remember, good runny batter—even with a mashed banana—is the key!