Japanese Pancakes

If you have never had a Japanese pancake, then you’re in for a treat.  They are sweet, tender, and almost souffle-like.  They’re not as ‘eggy’ as a Dutch Baby pancake and more light and fluffy than traditional pancakes.  They’re worth the extra effort and are just delicious.

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A plate of Japanese Pancakes - which are light, tender, and airy, souffle-like pancakes and garnished with blueberries and a sprig of mint.

I’m a sucker for food trends.  I think it could be misconstrued as ‘FOMO’, but I like to think of it as curiosity and joie de vivre!  So you can imagine my excitement the first time I saw these fluffy little cakes on a menu.  I was quickly in love with them.


These pancakes are made using many of the same ingredients as traditional pancakes – flour sugar, milk, butter.

The difference is in the egg.  This recipe uses only one egg yolk, but 3 egg whites.  The biggest difference is that the egg whites are whipped to stiff peaks and gently folded into the batter, which is what makes these pancakes more like a souffle – light and airy and high.


  • Take the time to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.   First, make sure you use an impeccably clean glass or metal bowl.  Even a speck of oil will prevent your egg whites from getting to a stiff peak stage.  Plastic very often holds a bit of grease on the surface.  Beat the eggs until the egg whites go straight up when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.  If the whites break, you’ve over whipped them.  Just start over.  If they fall over or melt, keep beating – you’re almost there.
  • I like using molds to make these pancakes.  It isn’t necessary, but it helps keep the shape.  If you don’t use mols, mound the batter up high.
  • These cook low and slow.  Preheat the skillet on low heat for a longer time.  If the heat is too high, the outsides of the pancakes will be done, but the inside will be raw.  Yuk.
  • Use a lid and add a tablespoon of water around the pancakes to create steam.  This helps with the soft, fluffy texture.
  • If your pancakes fall after you remove them from the oven, don’t beat yourself up!  More than likely what’s happened is that the egg whites have not been beaten enough. Trust me, they will still taste divine.

A plate of Japanese Pancakes - which are light, tender, and airy, souffle-like pancakes and garnished with blueberries and a sprig of mint.

Here are a few more suggestions for breakfast recipes:

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A plate of Japanese Pancakes - which are light, tender, and airy, souffle-like pancakes and garnished with blueberries and a sprig of mint.



Light, fluffy, and souffle-like, these Japanese pancakes are the new, trendy food you didn’t know you needed in your life.



1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

1 ¼ cups whole milk

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk plus 3 large egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Cooking spray

Maple syrup, for serving


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg yolk until well combined. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Next, pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture.  Use a silicone spatula to mix just until the flour is moistened.  There will be lumps.  Don’t over mix.

Fold in ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the flour mixture to loosen the batter, then very gently fold in the remaining egg whites.  Be careful not to overmix and deflate the egg whites.  Don’t overmix the batter.

Place a large nonstick skillet over low heat.  Place four (3-inch) ring molds in the skillet and spray both the skillet and molds well with cooking spray.

Using a half-cup measure, fill each mold about halfway with the batter.

Pour in 1 tablespoon of water around each mold.

Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the batter rises to the top of the mold, looks set, but is jiggly in the middle and is golden on the bottom – about ten minutes.

Use a spatula to gently release the pancakes from the bottom of the pan.  

Carefully flip the pancakes and molds over, making sure not to spill any batter.  You may need to use tongs to stabilize the mold as you flip.

Cover and cook for another five minutes. 

Use a spatula to remove the pancakes to a serving plate and remove the mold.

Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Griddle
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: Japanese pancakes, breakfast recipes, brunch recipes, pancake recipes, trendy food, food trends

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