I read somewhere that pancake batter should rest. This confuses me.

On the one hand, mixing the wet ingredients with flour creates gluten. Resting lets the gluten relax, so that I don't get chewy pancakes.

On the other hand, my recipe uses leavening (baking powder). When that reacts with water, it forms bubbles. Letting it rest means those bubbles escape, which means less air in the pancakes (less fluffy).

Should I rest my pancake batter or not? If so, for how long?

  • Can't you add a dash of baking soda after you let the pancake rest? That way it doesn't lose any of its umph.
    – user50107
    Aug 27, 2016 at 14:42

2 Answers 2


Resting pancake batter improves texture. I think the rise is better and the pancakes less chewy.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baking_powder

Double-acting baking powders work in two phases; once when cold, and once when hot

When you initially mix the baking powder, you will get bubbles, but this does not mean the baking powder is used up. You still get leavening from heat activation.

The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion suggests resting is about lumps, which you will have because of gentle handling:

If you have time refrigerate the batter for an hour or so, which allows lumps of flour to slowly dissolve, and makes for a more fluffy flavorful batter.

In Keys for Good Cooking, Harold McGee suggests trying to have things both ways:

Prepare most unyeasted griddle cake batters an hour or more before cooking, to give the flour time to absorb moisture and produce a velvety texture... Refrigerate for rests longer than 2 hours. Withhold baking soda or powder and/or beaten egg whites and add just before cooking to maximize their leavening power. Whisk powders with a little flour first to help incorporate them evenly.



When I make pancakes,

I prepare the batter, then I let it rest while I set the table, start the coffee/tea, prepare the other food I will eat with the pancakes.

So, I let it rest for about 1/2 hour.

The almighty Google doesn't have a definitive experience, so you should ask your mom, she knows better (that is what I did).

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