This thin pancake recipe illustrates how to make pancakes from scratch that are, in the words of creator Sarabeth Levine of Manhattan’s famous Sarabeth’s Bakery, cakey but not thick, thin but not eggy or dense, and fluffy despite being flat. They even fold and roll like a dream, making them eminently stuffable and yet equally covetable when simply smothered with butter and brown sugar.–David Leite

A thin pancake filled with ham and an egg on a white plate, along with a fork and knife.

Thin Pancakes

5 from 1 vote
Not quite crêpes, these thin pancakes aren't as eggy and are just a little fluffier. They're also suitable for either sweet or savory fillings so feel free to experiment as you go!
David Leite
Servings12 servings
Calories98 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar, (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter or ghee or mild vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • Unsalted butter, softened, for serving (optional)
  • Brown sugar, for serving (optional)


  • In a bowl, whisk the eggs just until barely combined. Whisk in the milk, buttermilk, superfine sugar, and vanilla, mixing only until barely blended.
  • Dump the pancake mix in a large bowl, make a well in the center, and pour in the egg mixture. Stir with a whisk until the batter is almost smooth. A few lumps are okay. Don’t overmix the batter or the pancakes will be tough and rubbery. Let the batter rest a few minutes on the counter while you heat the skillet.
  • Heat a 9-inch crêpe pan or a nonstick skillet or a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. The skillet is ready when you dip a finger in cold water, flick the droplets onto the skillet, and the water immediately skitters and dances briefly before evaporating.
  • Brush the skillet with clarified butter to lightly coat, then wipe off any excess with a clean kitchen or paper towel. Using a 2-inch diameter ice-cream scoop or 1/3-cup measuring cup, pour a generous 1/3 cup batter into the skillet, tilting it from side to side and in a circular motion until the batter coats the bottom of the skillet. Cook only until the underside of the pancake begins to brown lightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully lift the pancake and quickly flip it over. Cook until the underside is lightly brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately. (If you must, you can keep the pancakes warm on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a preheated 200°F (90°C) oven. You should be able to fit 2 in a single layer on the sheet. Place a sheet of parchment paper between each layer.) Slather the pancakes with softened butter and sprinkled with brown sugar, if desired. Repeat with the remaining batter.


Thin Pancakes Variation

Ham And Egg Pancake Wrap
Instead of smothering your pancakes in butter and brown sugar, top each pancake with a thin slice of warm ham and a fried egg, as shown in the photo above. Serve with a knife and fork and a schmear of grainy mustard on the side.
Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook

Adapted From

Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook

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Serving: 1 pancakeCalories: 98 kcalCarbohydrates: 10 gProtein: 4 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 0.003 gCholesterol: 53 mgSodium: 146 mgFiber: 0.4 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Sarabeth Levine. Photo © 2015 Quentin Bacon. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These guys are a very lovely change from our regular and thicker buttermilk pancakes. Like the author says, these make a thinner but still fluffy pancake that goes great with sweet or savory toppings or both. I got 10 flaps from the recipe, each about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. The kids loved these with the apple butter made from the slow cooker apple butter recipe on the site. I enjoyed mine with a sunny-side up egg, a slice of white cheese, and a spoonful of apple butter as well. All were delicious. Depending on the pan you use, the pancakes will cook quicker or slower. I used a nonstick Le Creuset pan, and it took less than a minute per side.

Fluffy despite its flatness. The author’s description is absolutely spot-on! And what versatile pancakes—they’re ever so subtly sweet, they fold and roll without breaking, and you can enjoy them with whatever you’re in the mood for. You can make them as delicious and as pretty you want them to be! As the author says, these flaps were great with just butter and brown sugar. I also wanted to try a savory version like what’s shown in the photo, but I didn’t have ham on hand. So I topped the pancakes with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and kept them warm in a 200°F degree oven while I made some fried eggs. I removed the pancakes from the oven when the cheese was starting to get gooey and gingerly placed an over easy egg on top of each, along with a little salt and lots of black pepper, and a hearty brunch was ready in no time. For a dessert version (you might as well go all the way!), I smeared the flap generously with mascarpone cheese, drizzled honey over it, and sprinkled it with a teaspoon or so of unsweetened cocoa powder and rolled it like a jelly roll. OMG. Do it now. As for the making of the pancakes, I put the batter in a 4-cup glass measuring cup and poured the batter into the skillet, eyeballing the amount being poured. It was easier than dealing with a 1/3-cup measuring cup. The first side of the first flap took 2 minutes to lightly brown. The second side, and both sides of the remaining flaps, took 1 minute to cook and achieve the proper color. When keeping the pancakes warm in the oven, the top pancake should be covered with foil or the edges will start to dry out.

My family loves these thin pancakes! This was a simple yet delicious meal. The batter came out thicker than crêpe batter but thinner than pancake batter. These thin pancakes reminded me of the Danish aebleskiver. Very tasty. My children ate them with jam and maple syrup while I had some shredded chicken in mine. The timing was accurate at 1 1/2 minutes per side.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


    1. Richard, ah, you got me. The recipe for the mix was removed by accident. I will have it replaced. But here it is for you:

      4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
      3 tablespoons baking powder
      1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
      12 tablespoons (6 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (1 1/4-centimeter) dice and chilled

      If making the pancake mix with a stand mixer, fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and, on medium-low speed, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined, about 1 minute.

      Stop the machine. Toss in the butter and use your fingers to combine everything so the butter is coated with the flour. Then flip the stand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is the consistency of fine meal and there are no visible chunks of butter, about 10 minutes.

      If making the pancake mix with a handheld mixer, in a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt with the mixer on medium-low speed until everything is well combined, about 1 minute.

      Stop the machine. Toss in the butter and use your fingers to combine everything so the butter is coated with the flour. Then flip the mixer on medium speed and mix until the mixture is the consistency of fine meal and there are no visible chunks of butter, 3 to 5 minutes.

      Use the mix immediately or stash it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

  1. 5 stars
    I made these for breakfast today and filled them with sweetened mascarpone and cherry preserves. Rolled them up, 3 to a plate. Talk about OMG. Can’t wait for a rerun breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. You’re so very welcome, Irene! Thrilled to hear you like these as much as we do—and yes, the possibilities are simply without end, yes?!