Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Pancake Misconception

Today's Pinstrosity is brought to you by the letter Y....for yummy! 

Sometimes a name can be a little misleading. Want to know how? Okay, picture pancakes in your head. Got it? Now hold that thought and read on. 

We had two Pinstrosities sent to us in the same day with the same food and the same misconception from the names. Stephanie and Patricia found recipes for Pancake Muffins, or Pop up Pancakes, and whipped them up for their families. They followed different pins, but the recipes were pretty much the same (one added orange zest and vanilla for flavoring, the other didn't). With the image of regular pancakes in their head they were expecting to have cute little cup shaped flap-jack textured pancakes. But, that's not quite what the original recipes had in store. 

The Original Pins
Do you see what's going on here? Let me give you their photos and stories first and then we'll jump into what these pancakes really are. 

The Pinstrosities
Here's Patricia's story:
"I like to do something special on the last day of summer break. The very first special activity this year was a breakfast of Pancake Muffins.  I saw them on Pinterest, looked up the recipe and thought it was fool-proof.  Famous last words, right?  I thought I followed the directions to a T, but still ended up with quite a different result. 
The kids and I still ate them and they tasted okay, but I think we'll go back to making our pancakes the old fashioned way!"
And here's Stephanie's story:
 "I saw these amazing-looking pop-up pancakes on Pinterest, so I finally decided to make them this morning. You make a sort of pancake batter in your blender, then pour it into muffin tins, and voila! Oven-baked, fluffy pancakes! Well, okay, not exactly. Check out that wrinkly goodness! Mmmm, looks tasty, right?!"

"When you cook them, they puff up really big and then sink back down right away, making a cup-shaped "pancake". I hesitate to call them pancakes, because they don't taste like pancakes -- they taste like eggs (no surprise when you use 6 eggs to make them and a minimal amount of other ingredients!!). I cooked them for 15 minutes, and they puffed up and turned "golden on top", as the instructions say. However, they were still a bit gooey in the middle, so I cooked them for an extra 5 minutes."

"Now I will say, once I got over the fact that they didn't taste like real pancakes, they didn't taste bad. In fact, my kids kept asking for more! I haven't decided yet if I'll make them again. I should also note that I used no-dairy margarine instead of butter, and an almond/coconut milk mix instead of regular milk, since we can't have dairy around here. It's possible that actual dairy ingredients would have a different result....right??"

So What's Going On?
With the image of "normal" pancakes in the shape of cups these definitely seemed weird. What's going on here is that these aren't normal pancakes. I grew up calling these pancakes "No-Flip Oven Pancakes", but most people know these as German pancakes and they are NOT anything like flap-jack pancakes...not in texture, color, taste, or anything. However, these pancakes are delicious! 

German pancakes have more of a cooked egg texture than a bread texture, which is one thing surprised Stephanie and Patricia with the recipes. And, they do cook differently than flap-jacks. You can't pour the German Pancake batter on a griddle like you can with the flap-jack batter, it's just too thin (I suppose it may turn out slightly like crepes if you tried...but I've never tried it. Anyone?). You can cook G.P.s in a cake pan, muffin pan, bundt pan, etc. While cooking the German Pancakes will puff up...sometimes they puff up HUGE. That's completely normal. And, it's completely normal for them to fall after pulling them out of the oven. Wrinkles and pot-marks are normal. You can eat these with regular pancake syrup, with jams or jellies, with whipped cream, or in our family we pour melted butter over it when we pull the pancakes out of the oven and then sprinkle powdered or brown sugar on top (personally, I think that's the best way to eat these). And, I don't think that Stephanie's modifications made a difference, they look normal to me and it sounds like they were a hit with the kids (which automatically deems it a winner in my books). 

So...Patricia and Stephanie had complete Pin Wins as far as how their food turned out, but Pinstrosities with how they expected it to turn out. The word "pancakes" threw them off and they thought the recipe had gone wrong, but now they know the awesome yummy goodness of German Pancakes. So this GCT Level 1 Pinstrosity is really a Pin Win in disguise. 

If you've never made these before, seriously try them out. I'll even give you the recipe I grew up with:

No-Flip Oven Pancakes (aka German Pancakes)
3 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
2 TBS melted butter/margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
2 TBS melted butter (at the end, after done baking)

  1. Mix eggs and flour. 
  2. Mix in milk, 2 TBS melted butter, and salt. 
  3. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min., or until golden and puffy. 
  5. Remove from oven and pour remaining melted butter over the top. 
  6. Serve with syrup, jam, jelly, powdered or brown sugar, or whatever your heart desires. 
This recipe is about the right size for 2 hungry adults...or at least this is what Cameron and I make to split between us.


  1. I also attempted these, and while they tasted great and were easy to make, they looked nothing like the original pin, (2nd photo). Here are ours: (scroll down halfway and you will see the pancakes. Ours turned out more like a pancake textured muffin, so we ended up scooping out the tops and filling them to get the look we wanted.

  2. I guess it could be a British thing, but I'd use a Yorkshire Pudding recipe to achieve this and then fill with sweet toppings.

  3. We call these Hootenanies. I use 6 eggs, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, dash of salt and 1 stick butter (or margarine, but butter is better).

    Melt the butter in 9x13 baking dish in 450 F oven. Watch to make sure it doesn't burn and take pan out of oven when melted. Blend other ingredients in blender. Pour over melted butter into hot baking dish. Bake in 450 oven 20 minutes.

    I serve them with syrup. My kids love them and I usually have to bake 2. You can also serve them with powdered sugar or jam.

    Just about the same recipe. But mine has more butter. One pan is easier to clean than muffin tin's - which I hate cleaning no matter what is made in them.

  4. In Germany that kind of pancake is called Pfannkuchen, which actually translates to pancake! They are definitely not like American pancakes. Here in the south where I live they do cook them thin and flat and use them like hearty crepes. They are ok warm, but I prefer the good 'ol flap jack stack. :)

  5. I grew up with German Pancakes as a treat . . . (we'd make one big one, cut it into slices, and either spread on some jam and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar, or a scoop of ice cream and some homemade hot fudge . . . DELISH!

  6. That's a slightly flatter looking Yorkshire pudding that we would have with a roast dinner and gravy for our evening meal

  7. I thought those were called popovers

  8. I am so glad people have been made aware of the greatness of German Pancakes/Yorkshire Pudding/Oven Pancakes. Ironic thing is my husband and I had these for breakfast this morning. I grew up on German Pancakes for breakfast with sour cream and brown sugar and raisins or bananas: SO GOOD. When I was in High School my mom heard about using the fat drippings from the meat (to replace the butter) to make Yorkshire pudding and served it with pot roast. The first time I had it I was skeptical, but it was AMAZING!

  9. One time when I was living in Germany, my host mom made us pancakes for dessert. They were very flat and eggy, kind of like crepes, like you said. She put ice cream and VERY rich homemade chocolate sauce on top. Different than what I was used to, but good nonetheless. :)

  10. Our family has always called these "Puff Pancakes" and we use the same recipe Carrie posted above - though we only melt 6Tbs of butter and bake it at 400 for 20 min instead of at 450. Our favorite topping is homemade apple cinnamon syrup! Sooooo yummy. As far as milk substitutions, I've made them with almond, coconut, and rice milk (we aren't allergic to dairy, but we do have some sensitivity so I don't keep cow's milk on hand very often) and they turn out just fine as long as the pan and melted butter are nice and hot. The only difference aside from a flavor undertone of whatever alternative milk you used is that maybe they are slightly more dense than the version with real milk - but it really is a small difference.

  11. I see recipes for the "mini pancakes" all the time on pinterest and saw one that had fruit and such added to the batter before placing in the muffin tins. Does anyone know if the recipe for the german pancakes would work for this?

  12. They're the same as English pancakes (which you would usually do in a frying pan) or Yorkshire puddings (same batter but cooked in the oven just like those to make a little cup shape)!

  13. I adore German Pancakes!! I have seen people complaining about these elsewhere as well, and like the above posters, I think they were expecting American style pancakes.. which are not the same at all!

  14. I've also seen these called Dutch Babies - delicious, but not like "regular" pancakes.

  15. In my family, we call these Danish Pancakes (only without the butter and salt). We make them in a frying pan on the stove; just pour the batter in to cover the bottom of the pan, cook until golden brown on both sides (does NOT take long) and then put them on a plate. You can eat them with whatever you want, but we usually use a little bit of butter and light brown sugar. Butter/sugar half of the circle, fold in half, then roll up like a burrito. Yum!!

  16. Thanks for sharing my Pinstrosity, and your feedback! :)

  17. Just wanted to say I tried the German Pancake recipe posted, and it was delicious! Definitely nothing like regular pancakes- much more egg flavor and texture. Loved the way it poofed up in the oven. Sliced it up and ate it just like you recommended- with butter and confectioner's sugar. I think next time I'll try it with either maple syrup or strawberry preserves.

  18. I am sooo Happy to you post this. Mine came out the same way!! Not at all in the perfect cup that is shown. I also tried the reciepe using instant pancake mixture. Those turned out to be a different treat. They were like muffin pancakes. I was still able to put syrup and berries on them :)
    Try those lol.

  19. My family are English, and we call these popovers - we make them when there's left over pancake/crepe batter, so you definitely can use the mix to make the flat variety! The only difference is that we mix sultanas into the mix. I can see how they would be a surprise if you were expecting normal pancakes though.

  20. Tried your recipe, turned out pretty tasty. :)

  21. Yum!! I also grew up on these, we called them oven pancakes. My mom cooked it in a round pie tin, and the edges always puffed up really big. She'd just put it in the middle of the table for whoever was around for breakfast that morning, and we'd eat it straight out of the tin LOL We'd often fight over those tasty edges. During Christmas with my family one year, my mom made one so my husband could try it - he was not impressed. I couldn't understand why he didn't love it like we did! :)


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