Please HELP!

I have a burning desire to know how luxury breakfast restaurants (I'm talking like expensive yuppy brunch places like Waldorf Astoria hotel and Sweet Maple in San Fransisco) make their pancakes. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to find correct information on how to do it because everyone that I read online is looking for the exact opposite of what truly makes a good pancake. If you look online for the best pancake recipe, all you'll see is recipes talking about ways to make the pancakes as fluffy and light as possible. At Sweet Maple, they are called Buttermilk Thin Pancakes.

However, from my experiences dining at these luxury restaurants, their delicious pancakes are completely opposite from that: they are thinner (not as thin as crepes or Swedish pancakes mind you), not fluffy, and they also are NOT fall-apart crumbly. They are actually quite chewy and sort of dense in a way! It's hard to explain to most people that haven't tried it why this is a more desirable pancake texture, but trust me, once you have these pancakes, you'll never seek out recipes of the typical American diner being thick, light, and fluffy.

The only piece of info I've been able to discover about these mysterious pancakes is the restaurant told me they are more of a European style than an American style, but that doesn't tell me much. Are they using different types of flour that only restaurants can get? Are they leaving out baking soda/powder to get that texture?

I need a pro/restaurant baker to help out here! I would be so grateful.

PS: Yes I've seen the other thread of someone asking essentially the same question (How can I make NON-fluffy pancakes?), I only hope I can get better answers from the right people this time around.

Update, here are some pics of the pancakes I found online. Hard to see the thickness though. enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    Welcome to SA! I'm having trouble believing that all upscale breakfast restaurants in the US make their pancakes in the same way. Maybe you could leave that part out of the question, and instead talk about the texture and size you're looking for, possibly with some photos? Or name the exact restaurant you're talking about?
    – FuzzyChef
    Apr 30, 2021 at 23:24
  • I did name the 2 restaurants that I ate the pancakes at in the post. Posting some photos might be a good idea. I'll look for some.
    – Kayan
    May 1, 2021 at 0:28
  • 1
    Just to follow up on some progress, I actually googled the menu name of the item from the SM restaurant and a recipe that I've never seen pulled up: food.com/recipe/gers-awesome-thin-buttermilk-pancakes-85504. Going to give it a try soon, maybe it's what I'm looking for.
    – Kayan
    May 1, 2021 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


The difference between "fluffy and fall-apart crumbly" and "thinner, chewy, and sort of dense" is precisely governed by baking powder/soda. Baking powder/soda creates the fluffiness. If you want thin and chewy, omit the baking powder. This should get you 90% of the way to the texture you want. The next variable to experiment with would probably be the water/flour ratio (more water = thinner pancake). This should get you 95% of the way to what you want. The next 5% comes down to more subtle things (whole milk vs 2% vs skim, bread flour or cake flour, etc.), but the key point is baking powder/soda.

  • I agree, I am Dutch, we never use baking powder in our pancakes. We do use different flours, like buckweath at times but that does not influence the structure.
    – Willeke
    May 1, 2021 at 6:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.