Breakfast / Brunch
It’s hard to fathom how pancakes can get any better. These hot cakes are the answer. But what’s the deal behind them? They’re thick, yet fluffy, like a soufflé — custardy on the inside and crispy golden on the outside. And they tower over a traditional stack.
The batter is thick, similar to a soufflé batter. The height comes from egg whites that have been whipped to stiff peaks. Along with the egg whites, there’s another key leavener: baking powder. All that leavening power causes the cakes to rise as they cook.
But to get the best height and structure, you’ll want to use cake rings. They help the pancakes keep their shape, and aid in creating the lofty height, as they cook. You can make the pancakes without the rings, but they’re not as impressive in the end.
Test Kitchen Tips
We used Hulisen 3(w) × 1¾(h)-inch round cake rings. You can also use English muffin rings, but the pancakes won’t be as tall and impressive looking.
These impressive pancakes can be a little tricky to flip. We found using tongs to hold the ring while sliding a spatula underneath simplifies flipping.
Whisk together flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together milk, egg yolks, and almond extract in a bowl, then whisk in flour mixture until incorporated. Chill batter, uncovered, while making meringue.
Beat egg whites, remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar, and cream of tartar with a mixer on medium speed until sugar dissolves. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Fold one-third of meringue into batter with a whisk until incorporated. Continue folding meringue, until all meringue is incorporated.
Lightly coat the inside of four 3 × 1¾-inch cake rings with nonstick spray.
Lightly coat a nonstick skillet with vegetable oil; heat over medium-low. Place prepared rings in skillet and fill each with ½ cup batter (each ring should be about halfway full). Add 2 tsp. water to skillet, cover with lid. (Chill batter, uncovered, while pancakes cook.)
Cook pancakes until batter rises to tops of rings and bottoms are golden, about 5 minutes. Grab one ring with tongs and slide a thin spatula under ring to release pancake and carefully flip; repeat with remaining rings and pancakes. Add another 2 tsp. water to skillet, cover, and cook pancakes until bottoms are golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer pancakes to a plate and remove rings; repeat procedure with remaining batter.
Serve pancakes with butter and syrup.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 71mg 23%
Sodium 233mg 9%
Carbs 16g 5%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.