This May Be Why Your Pancakes Turned Out So Dense

There are plenty of ways to make pancakes taste even better than they already are. You can mix chocolate chips or blueberries into the batter, drench them in a pool of warm maple syrup, or top off the stack with some whipped cream and strawberries. All of these delicious ingredients and toppings, however, mean nothing if your pancakes are dense and chewy.

To achieve fluffy pancakes, you of course want to start out with the right leavening agent (via Heavenly Home Cooking). Most recipes use either baking powder, baking soda, or some combination of the two, but you can also rely on whipped egg whites, mayonnaise (because of the vinegar), and even beer as an unexpected liquid or surprising ingredient to do the job (via The Beeroness).

As long as you use the right proportions of ingredients, you shouldn't have a problem getting your pancakes to turn out light and airy. However, if you're finding they're still ending up way too dense for a pancake, it's not your batter that's the problem. It is more likely your cooking technique.

Pancakes are more delicate than you think

Fluffy pancakes get that way because of the air bubbles created while preparing the batter (via The Spruce Eats). The batter is what keeps those air bubbles trapped, which means they'll deflate if you overhandle your pancakes. According to My Recipes, this can occur when you repeatedly press down on your pancakes as they're cooking. While many do this to give their pancakes a crispy outside and soft inside, all it actually does is remove all the necessary air. Over flipping can also contribute to this, Eat This, Not That says. However, you only need to flip your pancakes once — the heat does all the work.

For best results, My Recipes recommends a simple two step process. Just pour the batter in, wait for tiny air bubbles to appear, then flip the pancake. After no more than two minutes, the other side should be done, and the pancake is ready. There's no excess flipping or pressing required, and your pancakes will be fluffy instead of dense.