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I successfully made pancakes from a cake recipe and was wondering if it can be generalized to every cake/pancake recipe?

Edit: I look for healthy nutritional pancake recipes for babies everyday on the internet. It's not easy to find a good baby friendly recipe that doesn't call for sugar! So when I have an already tested cake recipe, I'd like to know if I can make it as pancakes to have a different shape with same nutritional value. Here's one of my favorite sugar free diary free very easy cupcake recipes for your reference:

Pumpkin Puree 1 cup

Eggs 2

Oil 1/2 cup

Molasses/date syrup 1 cup

Cinnamon 1 tsp

Flour 2 cups

Baking Powder 2 tsp

This is what I call pancake: enter image description here

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    It may depend on what your definition of ‘pancake’ is. There are the japanese soufflé-like pancakes that I would suspect would be more like what you would get in terms of shape if it’s possible to use angel food cake batter. And then there’s the ‘crêpe cakes’ but if you don’t spread the crêpe batter and let it brown a bit it’s close to a pannekoek (Dutch unleavened pancake)
    – Joe
    Oct 3, 2023 at 9:06
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    It may also depend on what your cake recipe is…
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 3, 2023 at 10:31
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    Most types of pancake don't contain sugar, so not only will you have to define your cake mix, but also the resulting pancake you desire. The pancakes I eat contain eggs, flour & water or milk. I never eat sweet pancakes, nor ones with baking powder to make them rise. See bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easy-pancakes
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 3, 2023 at 17:32
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    I think it might help to edit some of your rough definitions into the question. There are a lot of things that people mean by "cake" and "pancake"; I suspect that you actually have some constraints in mind that make the question a lot more answerable.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 3, 2023 at 17:54
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    Please don’t take it as criticism, but 1 cup molasses / date syrup is actually quite a lot of sugar for baby food. Yes, it’s “healthier”, but ultimately it’s still a kind of sugar. I am not judging the dietary choices you make for your baby, just pointing out what sometimes gets overlooked - sugar is not just the granules labeled as such.
    – Stephie
    Oct 4, 2023 at 5:04

1 Answer 1

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The definition of a pancake is a flat, often round cake made from a starch based batter that is fried in a pan. Any cake batter is going to flatten out to some extent and if flipped will cook, so yes any cake batter will make a pancake.

That isn't to say that any batter will make good pancakes however.

  • Thick batters won't spread well - if you have to spread it around a pan it's unlikely to make a good pancake
  • Batters with raw ingredients that need to be cooked for consistency won't give you a good result. The 2-3 minutes it will be on the pan won't be enough to cook. Shredded carrot is a good example
  • Coarse starches like corn meal take longer to cook, if you mix a corn meal based batter and cook it straight away you're likely to get a grainy result as it takes more than 2-3 minutes to rehydrate. You can often get around this by resting the batter for 30 minutes before cooking
  • Chocolate is problematic in pancakes. First, because it's dark it can be hard to tell when it's cooked, it's easy to overcook them as you can't tell when they're done by eye, so use the touch test. Also, the chocolate on the outside tends to get bitter when fried, I don't like the result myself but my kids don't seem to mind one bit
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  • There are some ‘pancakes’ that need to be intentionally spread around… matafan (a French pancake made with mashed potatoes) comes to mind, but you have to know how to cook it (a little bit longer and lower than an American pancake (aka pikelet aka drop scone). Coarse cornmeal I would let rest even longer; I also have a recipe for johnnycakes that calls for two additions of cornmeal… you make the initial batter, give it a long rest, a second addition, then a 15-20 min rest so you still have a little texture.
    – Joe
    Oct 4, 2023 at 20:02
  • I am just wondering why would I eat "bad pancakes"? Of course I am asking about proper good pancakes just like what you see in the picture. I am not looking for a batter to be flipped and fried in the pan, I am looking for something good that resembles cake to eat!
    – Gigili
    Oct 5, 2023 at 13:31
  • @Joe, there are certainly many other types of pancakes like potato pancakes, or thicker types of pan fried cakes like crabcakes, however the question was asking about cake batter so my answer is limited to that. I like you johnnycake idea, I may give that a try.
    – GdD
    Oct 5, 2023 at 14:10
  • GdD: potato matafan aren’t what you would think of as ‘potato pancakes’. You use mashed potatoes so it’s more like potato bread where you may not realize there are potatoes in it: thatskinnychickcanbake.com/matafan-fluffy-potato-pancakes . There also seem to be potato matafan, which are more like ‘Dutch babies’ (a popover/Yorkshire pudding type thing)
    – Joe
    Oct 5, 2023 at 16:27

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