please bear with me: I've only eaten pancakes once (not even in the US), so I might not know how real American pancakes taste like.

In pancake recipes the mantra seems to be not to over-mix the batter because of unwanted gluten formation. If you leave the normal batter a little bit longer uncooked, too much gluten will develop. Hence, I would expect the last pancakes of a batch to be worse than the first few. So I was wondering: Why don't you substitute some wheat flour with pure (potato / corn or even wheat) starch to get a more tender result without worrying about over-mixing? The batter would also stay good to a longer time because resting would be mandatory to let the gluten and starch bloom; one would avoid a too strong gluten-network due to a rest that was accidentally too long. Of course then you will need a double-acting baking powder. (Though I read some additional baking soda is good for browning).

I'm asking because I saw many recipes for German Bundt cakes (those recipes with copious amounts of butter and eggs - resulting in a very heavy batter) that call of starch for a more tender cake.

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    While it is true that leaving the batter unused leads to more gluten development, if you use all the batter within about 15-20 minutes, in my experience you won’t note any difference. Oct 21, 2018 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


You can definitely do that. It will help you in decreasing the protein content of the batter, and also increasing a bit of the fat content will also slow down the formation of gluten.


I think using cake flour or another type of low gluten flour would have the same effect. But, the gluten (together with the eggs) do help the pancake to hold its shape (shear strength or tensile strength). It needs this strength to withstand getting flipped over and taken off the pan.

In my experience, this gluten talk is a red herring. If you overwork the pancake batter, letting it rest for a while brings it back to normal again.

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