Baking Powder Free Pancakes – Recipe

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Pancake stack recipe north west nosh

I love pancakes in every form; billowy soft pillows American style, ultra thin crepes, classic drop scones straight off the griddle and slathered in salty farmhouse butter – but lately I’ve had a problem with pancakes.

This year I was told I had hypoparathyroidism and to cut a long story short, I have to be careful of what I eat – phosphorus, which is an important element in bone formation, can build up in my body, damaging my kidneys and cause all sorts of other long term havoc; so anything that contains phosphorus needs to be limited.

What has this got to do with poor, innocuous pancakes? Self raising flour and baking powder contain disodium phosphate, something which I have been advised to avoid. So, after making oodles of crepes, I got to thinking – how do I make these bad boys rise?

Initially I reached for the baking soda, that always works right? There was a lovely rise, just accompanied by a hideous soapy taste. After a couple of nights with my Grandma’s old cookbooks I hit upon the answer….


Baking Powder Free Pancakes

Serves 4 – prep 5 mins – cook 10 mins – cost per portion: 60p


  • 250g plain flour (you can add 50/50 wholemeal or spelt in for a lovely nutty taste)
  • 2 tsp cream of tartare
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tblsp caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • up to 250ml milk
  • Coconut or rapeseed oil to cook

You will need

  • Balloon whisk
  • Two large, non-stick frying pans (or one, but they’ll take longer to cook)
  • Kitchen paper
  • A large spoon or ladle
  • A fish slice


1. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix together.

2. Make a well in the centre and add in the eggs, stir with the whisk so they begin to combine.

3. Whilst stirring with the whisk, add the milk until you have a double cream consistency. Depending on your flour and eggs this could be from 150 to 250ml. Whisk out any lumps.

4. Put your frying pan/s on a medium high heat and add a tsp of oil and leave to warm. Once hot use the kitchen roll to spread the oil all over the surface of the pan.

5. Start cooking the pancakes – you’ll need about half a ladle of batter per pancake, but you can make them as small or as large as you like. I usually get away with two pancakes per large frying pan at a time. Cook the pancakes until the edges are set and small bubbles are appearing all over the top. Flip your pancakes over and cook for another minute or so.

6. After the first batch, turn down the heat to medium, add more oil, spread around, repeat until all batter is used.

7. Top with yoghurt, honey/syrup, bacon, fresh berries, nuts, jam, chocolate spread, peanut butter, stewed fruit or whatever you fancy!

NB unlike the other pancake recipes I have published, this batter doesn’t keep, it needs using all at once. If you want to make these pancakes savoury, follow my recipe for Sweetcorn Pancakes, but use the batter mixture from here instead.