I’m a huge breakfast fan and the fluffy diner pancakes at my local breakfast joint are hard to resist. But, I always have a dilemma when going out for brunch, pancakes or eggs? I feel like many of us face that same dilemma on the weekend (I can also see this as a hilarious, millennial brunch skit). Now that I’m writing this post, I’m thinking “Obviously, pancakes”, but it’s a pretty tough choice sometimes. When I was a kid, going for brunch always meant a huge stack of pancakes, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started ordering eggs more often than pancakes. When did I become so boring? I think I’m going to start choosing pancakes over eggs now.

Last year, I was out for brunch with one of my good friends at a favourite 50s style diner in Toronto. I ordered the two eggs sunny side up with a side of bacon and she ordered pancakes. When they arrived at the table, I had immediate food-envy, the diner pancakes just looked so heavenly. I obviously, had to try a bite (or two) and was instantly reminded how much I loved their fluffy, sweet nature. I think they just have a ton of baking powder in them which makes them incredibly thick and fluffy which is something you’ll notice about this recipe (a whole 4 teaspoons in the batter). I knew right away that I had to recreate diner pancakes at home and share them with all of you. There is something so comforting about an old favourite – I can remember going for brunch at my cottage with my Dad when I was a little girl, always ordering pancakes and dousing them in maple syrup.

I opted for a mix of white and whole wheat flour in this recipe because I like the density and nutty-flavour that comes with whole wheat flour (there is only 1/2 a cup in here). I also used 2 tablespoons of sugar in the batter which gives these pancakes just enough sweetness to complement the maple syrup they are served with without going overboard on sweetness. I think this recipe would be delicious with some blueberries or chocolate chips thrown in for a little something extra. A quick tip for making pancakes, make sure the pan is hot before adding the butter (or oil) and your pancakes, you want them to caramelize on the bottom and cook through without burning (and most importantly, never go above medium-heat for cooking them).

The first time I tested out this recipe I had been having a pretty bad day, but it’s crazy the way a simple meal can turn your day around. These diner pancakes are the perfect pick-me-up when I’m having a moment of self doubt, or one of those days when I think that maybe, just maybe I’ve taken on too much (still learning how to say no…). This little face helps on those days too.

Diner Style Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • Extra butter or oil for frying


  1. Sift together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients.
  2. Next, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix in wet ingredient mixture.
  3. Heat butter or oil in a pan over medium heat. Add batter (about 1/4 cup) and cook until bubbles begin to form and break, then flip the pancakes and cook the other side until brown (turning only once). Repeat with remaining batter.


Recipe by Louisa Clements


Add some maple syrup and fruit on the side and these diner pancakes make a perfect, nostalgic weekend brunch.

Share on Pinterest
Tagged with →