Want to know how to thicken pancake batter? Or maybe you want to thin pancake batter that’s too thick? This is the ULTIMATE guide to fix your pancake batter
There’s nothing like a fresh stack of pancakes on a weekend (or any day actually). They are warm, light, fluffy and the ultimate comfort food.
Making pancakes is also one of those fun things to do on a weekend morning when you are craving a delicious breakfast that doesn’t take a lot of time to make.
And while pancakes are an easy recipe and simple enough to make, they have their own set of challenges, having mainly to do with the batter.
I mean, the batter can be too thin or too thick and the end result might be a flat, sad looking pancake that doesn’t come out fluffy or a thick, fat disk that has a tough texture.
- 🥞 Is pancake batter supposed to be watery or thick
- 🤔 How do you know if a pancake batter is too thick or too thin
- 🥣 Why is my pancake batter so thin
- 🥄 How to thicken pancake batter with flour
- ⏲️ How to thicken pancake batter without flour
- 🥣 Why is my pancake batter so thick
- 👩🏻🍳 How to thin out pancake batter
So if you are looking to thicken your pancake batter or if it’s the complete opposite and it came out too thick and want to thicken up this is the guide you need.
🥞 Is pancake batter supposed to be watery or thick
Ok, first things first. What does pancake batter look like?
It greatly depends on the recipe you are making, some batter are thicker and others are runny depending on the ingredients they use.
For example, sweet cream pancakes have a thicker batter because they are made with heavy cream instead of milk.
On the other hand, Carbquik pancakes have a slightly thinner batter since they are made with Carbquik mix instead of all purpose flour.
However, as a general rule of thumb your pancake batter should be slightly thick but not too much.
It should coat the back of a spoon and stick there when you are mixing but it should still be somewhat pourable.
More important than that, the batter SHOULD be lumpy. A lumpy batter is a good sign that you didn’t overmix it which is what creates perfectly soft and tall pancakes.
So in short when you are making pancakes your batter should:
- Slightly stick to the back of the spoon
- Drip from the spoon instead of running off
- Somewhat pourable
🤔 How do you know if a pancake batter is too thick or too thin
Again it depends on the recipe you are making and the ingredients it calls for. Some batter are supposed to be thinner and others are supposed to be thicker.
However there are a good set of rules almost all pancake batter follow.
Your pancake batter is too thin if:
- It doesn’t stick to the back of a spoon
- When you grab a spoonful and pour it it runs off instead of slowly dripping
- It’s watery
- Spreads too fast when poured onto the hot griddle
- It’s perfectly mixed and there aren’t any lumps left
- When the pancakes are cooked through they are thin
- When the pancakes are cooked they are incredibly flat
Yoru pancake batter is too thick if:
- It clings to the spoon too much
- It’s not pourable and you have to scoop it out like a dough
- It has an elastic texture: This usually means you mixed it too much and activated the gluten
- The pancakes came out chewy (and not in a good way)
- The pancakes came out dense and tough instead of light and fluffy
🥣 Why is my pancake batter so thin
The common reason why a pancake batter came out too thin is simple:
You added too many wet ingredients.
So if you added a little bit too much milk or buttermilk your pancake batter is probably going to look thin and runny instead of having that perfect texture.
On the other hand if you are working with alternative flours instead of all purpose flour – think flours like a gluten free flour mix or amaranth flour – then your pancake batter might need a little extra addition to thicken it. Gluten free flours don’t work out exactly the same as the traditional ones.
It can also mean your batter needs a little rest before cooking. Depending on the wet ingredients and dry ingredients you use, some batters need a couple of minutes to fully hydrate and thicken up.
So before going the route of adding more flour, wait for around 10 minutes and see if that fixed the issue. If not, continue to the next section.
🥄 How to thicken pancake batter with flour
Since the most common reason for a pancake batter to be too runny is that there are too many wet ingredients and too little dry ingredients the easiest way to fix a pancake batter is:
Adding more dry ingredients!
You don’t want to add a lot of flour at the same time to thicken it up, and you definitely don’t want to overmix.
So, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. With the help of a sifter, add 1 tablespoon of flour to the batter and stir it. If it’s still too runny add 1 to 3 more tablespoons of flour, sifting it when making the addition. If it’s still too runny, wait for around 10 minutes to see if the batter thickens.
Some types of flour take a little longer to soak up the liquids.
⏲️ How to thicken pancake batter without flour
The easiest way to thicken thin pancake batter is by adding a little bit more flour. However if you feel you already added to much there are a couple things you can do to thicken it up without the need to add more flour
- Refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes: So flours and batters need some rest time to give time for the flour to soak up the milk. On the other hand if you added things like melted butter or melted coconut oil refrigerating it might help. So cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for around 30 minutes and reassess the situation.
- Add ground nuts: Ground nuts give your batter a little bit of flavor and also act as a thickening agent.
- Stir in some oats: Oats also act as a thickening agent and give some extra fiber to your pancakes. If you go with this route, let your batter rest for around 30 minutes before cooking it. Oats need time to fully hydrate and thicken.
- Add a mashed banana: And make banana pancakes! A mashed banana also helps thicken your pancake batter.
And if all of these fail, or you don’t feel like trying them up then add 1 to 2 extra eggs to your batter and make crepes.
Transforming your batter into a crepe batter is a great way to fix your batter issue.
🥣 Why is my pancake batter so thick
There are a couple different reasons why a pancake batter might come out too thick.
Maybe you mixed it too much. Over mixing the batter creates a gummy texture since the gluten is activated.
Think for example pizza dough or bread dough. Both are kneaded and worked to give it that springy and elastic texture. If you overmixed your batter you recreated that same thing but with pancakes.
Remember to always stir pancakes by hand and just until barely incorporated. Pancake batter should have lumps left.
It might also be the fact that you added too much flour or that you overpacked your flour when measuring it up.
On the other hand it might be the temperature of the ingredients. If you used cold butter and cold eggs your batter may firm up.
Thick pancake batter might also be a reflection of the ingredients you used. Some pancake recipes use heavy cream instead of milk which results in a thicker batter.
👩🏻🍳 How to thin out pancake batter
Thinning out pancake batter is just as easy as thickening it. Depending on the reason why your pancake batter is too thick there are a couple things you can do to fix it.
- Let your batter rest for 30 minutes: If you overmixed your batter, giving it some rest will help the gluten relax.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons more of water a time: Even if your pancake batter is made with milk or buttermilk (and you are sure you followed the instructions and added the same amount it was called for), don’t thin it up with more milk. The reason? Too many milk proteins can make the pancakes tough so use water instead when adding more than what the recipe calls for.
- Add 1 more egg: Depending on your recipe maybe you only need to add 1 more egg to it. Be careful when adding too many tho, protein in eggs might also result in tough pancakes.