Old-School Diner Pancakes

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*

Put the Bisquick down and walk away. You can do it.

These are the kind of pancakes you used to be able to get at roadside diners—or your grandmother’s house.

They’re great in the morning, or late at night, which seems to be our favorite time to hunker down with a tall stack.

Make them on the heaviest griddle or pan you have.

Old-School Diner Pancakes

1 egg
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 tsp. baking soda
half a lemon
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbls. butter, melted
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
spray oil for the griddle

Serves about 3

Make the batter

Put the milk in a measuring cup and add a good squeeze of lemon to it. Give it a quick swirl with a spoon and set it aside.

Beat your egg in a medium-sized bowl until it’s light and airy. Add the milk and baking soda. Whisk to combine.

Add in the flour, sugar, melted butter, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine really well. Smoosh out all the lumps with your whisk or the back of a wooden spoon, so your batter is nice and smooth.

Cook the pancakes

Spray your griddle lightly with oil and heat on high til it’s nice and hot.

With a tablespoon or large soup spoon, spoon your batter onto your griddle in little puddles. (I have a double-burner griddle and can make about 6 pancakes at a time.)

Cook your pancakes for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them, as they’ll go from perfect to overdone pretty quickly.

After a few minutes, when your griddle is really hot, lower the heat to medium.

When are they ready to flip?

Flip them when tiny air bubbles appear on the surface. You can also lift up the edge with a spatula and peak underneath. When they’re golden brown on the bottom, they’re ready to flip.


Serve hot with butter, maple syrup, jam, whipped cream or any other yummy, sticky goodness you like.

Previous articleShake It Up!
Next articleCoconut Cake for Old Man Richard
Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. You add lemon juice to sour your milk a little. (A splash of vinegar or other acid would do the same thing.) Sour milk gives the pancakes a tangier flavor, much like if you made them with buttermilk. You can substitute buttermilk for regular milk in this recipe. I just hardly ever have it on hand when I need it, and pancakes are usually a spur-of-the-moment decision for us. This works just as well. And...you're SO not a cooking moron.