Despite my best efforts, in my house, everyone doesn’t always eat the same thing or even at the same time. It’s a reality of parenthood, busy schedules and varying appetites that I’ve come to accept.
Pancakes are one of those meals that suit the entire family.
But gone are the lazy weekend mornings when I had the time and energy to flip pancakes just for me and my husband. Except for special occasions, that ritual has been traded for bakery-fueled, groggy mornings on the couch while tending to an active child whose schedule is more packed than ours. After a long week of working and parenting, I don’t usually have the energy or time to hover over batches of pancakes in the skillet.
But these Sheet Pan Pancakes? This I can do.
The recipe from Molly Gilbert’s new “Sheet Pan Sweets” is already a proven winner in my house. Baking a large slab of pancake batter gives you the same fluffiness and crisp edges as a skillet version (plus extra crispness on top!) and guarantees everyone gets served a hot breakfast at the same time. And if you still think a skillet is the only way to go, by all means carry on with your favorite recipe (this is mine!). There’s a good chance, however, if you just pour some syrup on these and close your eyes, you won’t notice the difference.
I’m using these pancakes to launch what I plan on being a recurring feature about dishes that will bring the entire family to the table. The goal is to share recipes that will feed at least four people and, even more importantly, let you customize or tweak the ingredients or final presentation to meet varying tastes without too much stress or effort.
If you have a favorite crowd-pleasing family meal along those lines, I want to hear about it! Drop me an email to share your favorite recipe, or swap ideas in the comments below.
Of course, pancakes lend themselves very well to customizing, and on a sheet pan, it’s even easier for everyone to carve out their own section to top however they want. Plus, this is a way to get kids involved (just be mindful of the edges of the pan, which may still be warm from the oven). Options for toppings include fresh blueberries, chopped bananas or strawberries, mini chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and shredded or flaked coconut. Then serve with butter, maple syrup and/or confectioners’ sugar at the table for one more opportunity to “you do you” while enjoying a family meal.
Sheet Pan Pancakes
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months, rewarming in the microwave.
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- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks/140 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for serving
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) whole or low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) whole or reduced-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- Fresh blueberries, chopped strawberries, chopped bananas, toasted flaked or shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or mini chocolate chips, for topping (optional)
- Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
- Confectioners’ sugar, for serving (optional)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Place the butter on a 13-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, until the butter is melted and just starting to brown.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, baking soda and salt.
In a medium bowl or 4-cup spouted measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, milk and vanilla.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and tilt it so the butter coats the pan evenly. Then pour the hot butter into the buttermilk mixture, whisking to combine. (Be sure to leave at least a thin coating of butter behind on the pan to help prevent sticking.) Whisk in the eggs.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use a flexible spatula to mix gently until a slightly lumpy batter comes together
Pour the batter into the still-hot baking sheet (if the pan has become cold, warm it for a few minutes in the oven first) and top with your desired toppings, either scattering them evenly all over the pan or creating separate sections for each one. Bake the pancakes for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and pulling away from the edges of the pan. Let cool for 3 minutes.
Slice the pancakes into large squares and serve hot, with butter and/or maple syrup, or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, if you’d like.
Per serving (4 1/4-by-6-inch slab, using blueberries), based on 8
Calories: 414; Total Fat: 17 g; Saturated Fat: 10 g; Cholesterol: 90 mg; Sodium: 549 mg; Carbohydrates: 55 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 14 g; Protein: 10 g
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.
Adapted from “Sheet Pan Sweets,” by Molly Gilbert (Union Square & Co., 2022).
Tested by Becky Krystal; email questions to email@example.com.
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