Cooking that perfectly light brown, classic, fluffy flapjack is an art that certainly takes practice. We’ve all been there, though, staring at our skillets, ready to tear our hair out because our batter mostly ended up stuck to the pan and/or spatula or so burnt no one in their right mind would take a bite. But there’s good news; we’re divulging our top ten tips for cooking perfect flapjacks so you can ditch the stress for breakfast bliss instead.
Tip One: Never batter your pancake batter. Flapjack batter should only be mixed just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. When your dry ingredients are moist, stop battering, even if you still have lumps. The lumps form because flour contains gluten, a sticky substance that activates when it gets wet and mixed. If gluten is over-mixed it becomes tough, rubbery, and unappetizing. Don’t worry about the lumps; they’ll disappear when you cook your flapjacks.
Tip Two: Mix it in! We talk a lot about our favorite flapjack toppings, but mix-ins are another fun addition that can surprise you when digging into your flapjacks. Some of our favorite mix-ins include: berries, bananas, cinnamon and vanilla, chocolate chips, and even sausage or bacon for more savory flapjacks.
Tip Three: Don’t jump the gun! Be patient and let your griddle or skillet heat up for about five minutes before pouring your flapjack batter onto its hot surface. If the skillet is not hot enough, your flapjacks will turn out tough in texture from cooking too long. However, if the skillet’s too hot, your flapjack will have a doughy center. So how can you tell if the skillet is hot enough? You can test this by dripping a few drops of water onto your skillet’s surface; the drops should dance around a little bit before evaporating, signaling about 375° F.
Tip Four: Lay it on thick–or thin–depending on your preference. Thicker batter will make your flapjacks denser and heavier. Thinner batter gives flapjacks a lighter texture.
Tip Five: Don’t muddle your puddle—use cooking oil. Make a small puddle of cookingoil on your griddle or skillet and, instead of spreading it around to coat every inch of your skillet, pour your flapjack batter directly into the middle of the puddle. The oil will surround the edges and make your flapjacks crisp and tasty. If you’re looking to keep it lean, cooking spray is a good option, but it doesn’t add flavor or make the edges crispy. Other options like butter will help keep your batter from sticking; however, it will burn and leave bitter specs of burnt butter on your flapjacks, which is less than ideal.
Tip Six: Big or small, we love flapjacks of all shapes and sizes. But do you want to know the secret to a stack of perfectly round flapjacks that are all the same size? All you need is a measuring cup! We suggest scooping a 1/3 or 1/4 cup batter onto your hot skillet for each one.
Tip Seven: No double flipping! Flipping your flapjacks more than once will make them dry. Be patient and let your flapjacks cook. Flapjacks are ready to flip when their tops are full of air holes and the sides start to rise. Take a peak underneath a lifted edge to help determine when each flapjack is ready to flip—you will know when it’s golden brown.
Tip Eight: Don’t flatten your flapjack with a spatula—it is not a burger! There is a common misconception among flapjack flippers that smashing your flapjacks with a spatula will help them cook faster and eliminate the possibility of a doughy center. This is not true! The hot air inside the flapjack actually helps it cook more efficiently, while patting it down merely pushes the air out of your flapjack and reverses all of the work you did to create a perfectly light and fluffy flapjack. Flattening your flapjack is the cardinal sin in the lost art of flipping flapjacks!
Tip Nine: Some like it hot…actually, everyone does. Who wants to eat a cold flapjack? If you are cooking flapjacks for a large group and will not be serving them hot off the griddle, the best way to keep your flapjacks warm is by placing them in a single layer across a cookie sheet, then put the cookie sheet inside a warm oven. Do not stack your flapjacks on top of each other or cover them with foil because they’ll become soggy.
Tip Ten: Don’t short the stack! Or, in other words, don’t skimp on toppings. We love getting creative with our flapjack toppings because the options are endless, but some of our favorites are real butter, Kodiak Cakes Fruit Syrup, warm maple syrup, fresh berries, chocolate chips, apple sauce, peanut butter, bananas, or yogurt.
Do you have any more tips to add to our master list? Share them with us on social media by tagging @kodiakcakes.