Fluffy Japanese Pancakes

This recipe for bouncy, chunky pancakes is inspired by Japan's soufflé style treats. Here are our expert trips on how to nail the Japanese technique.

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Food Network Kitchen’s Fluffy Japanese Pancakes for One-Off Recipes, as seen on Food Network.
Level: Intermediate
Total: 40 min
Active: 40 min
Yield: 8 pancakes

Article by Emily Saladino

Custardy on the inside and golden on the outside, these Japanese pancakes cook up like little soufflés. They look impressive but are easy to master, thanks to Food Network Kitchen’s step-by-step instructions.

What Are Japanese Pancakes?

Taller and fluffier than their American counterparts, Japanese pancakes get their airy texture from the same technique used to make soufflés. You whip egg whites into meringue-like stiff peaks, then fold them into a batter primarily made of butter, milk, sugar and flour. The pancakes get cooked low and slow on the stovetop in molds to maintain their height. Originally popularized in Japan, they are referred to as Japanese pancakes, Japanese hotcakes, soufflé pancakes, fluffy pancakes, or a combination of some or all the above.

How to Make Japanese Souffle Pancakes Like a Pro

Food Network Kitchen tested this recipe for fluffy pancakes to make sure yours come out perfectly every time. Here are our top tips.

Don’t scoop flour out of the bag. Scooping flour directly from the bag compacts it, which makes the soufflé pancakes dry. When measuring the flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup, then use a knife or offset spatula to level off any excess.

Start with room-temperature egg whites. Room-temperature egg whites whip higher than eggs straight from the fridge, resulting in fluffier pancakes.

Gently fold in the whipped egg whites. The whipped egg whites and cream of tartar provide most of the leavening in this recipe, meaning they give the pancakes their height and cloud-like consistency. Stirring deflates the egg whites you worked so hard to whip into peaks, so use a spatula to gently fold the final 2/3 of whipped egg whites into the rest of the batter.

Don’t fill the ring molds. Add enough batter to reach halfway up the sides of your ring molds. The batter will rise as it cooks, so partially filling the molds prevents any spillover.

Grease the ring molds between each batch. Use nonstick cooking spray to coat the inside of your ring molds before making each batch of fluffy pancakes to prevent the batter from sticking to the sides.

Eat them immediately. Like soufflés, fluffy Japanese pancakes deflate over time, so serve them as soon as they’re cooked.

How to Serve Japanese Pancakes

We like to serve Japanese pancakes with butter and maple syrup. You can also top them with whipped cream and sliced fruit or berries, a dollop of Nutella or a dusting of confectioners' sugar.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Fluffy Japanese Pancakes

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 8 pancakes

Ingredients

Directions

Special equipment:
four 3-inch-wide-by-2 1/2-inch-high ring molds
  1. Whisk together the flour, confectioners' sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the milk, melted butter, vanilla and egg yolk in a medium bowl until combined. 
  3. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (it's OK if there are a few lumps). Stir one-third of the beaten egg whites into the flour-milk mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined (take care not to overmix). 
  5. Lightly spray the inside of four 3-inch-wide-by-2 1/2-inch-high ring molds with nonstick cooking spray
  6. Coat a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. Put the prepared ring molds in the middle of the skillet and fill each with 1/2 cup of batter (it should fill each ring mold about halfway). Cover the skillet with the lid and cook until the batter rises to the tops of the ring molds and is golden on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Release the bottom of the pancakes with a spatula. Grasp the sides of the ring molds with tongs to stabilize them and then carefully flip. Cover and cook until golden on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and remove the mold. Serve with butter and maple syrup. The pancakes should be eaten before they deflate.
  7. Lightly spray the ring molds and coat the skillet with nonstick cooking spray and repeat the cooking method with the remaining batter. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)