Light and Fluffy Souffle Pancakes

These souffle pancakes without baking powder are impossibly light and airy! Whipped egg whites act as a replacement for the baking powder in the pancakes and create an incredibly fluffy texture. This recipe can be whipped together in minutes! 

These pancakes are the holy grail of pancakes. Why? Because they are super light and tender and impossibly fluffy. I have a feeling once you make pancakes this way you may not go back!

Over the years I have been asked many times how various baking recipes could be made without baking powder or baking soda. A few years ago I set out to tackle pancakes that were fluffy as all pancakes should be but made without chemical leavener.

My genius idea was to whip the egg whites before folding them into the pancake batter. I thought I was brilliant.

Fast forward a few years and I’m now fully aware I didn’t invent this technique. But souffle pancakes, my invention or not, are a must-try for any pancake lover out there!

Whipped Egg Whites: Baking Powder Replacement in Pancakes

The process of making souffle pancakes requires very few steps. The one step that is the most crucial is whipping the egg whites and folding them into the batter.

The air that is beaten into the egg whites is what will lift the pancake batter and create fluffiness.

Step 1: Separate the Eggs

To create souffle pancakes you need to separate your egg whites from your egg yolks. The egg whites will not whip up and hold air in them if fat is present, therefore the yolk must be separated from the white.

Step 2: Combine Ingredients for the Base of the Batter

In a large bowl, combine the flour, milk, salt, vanilla, and egg yolks. This is the base of the pancake batter and what the egg white mixture will be folded into.

Step 3: Whip the Egg Whites with the Sugar

In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the egg whites on medium speed.

Once the whites are starting to hold shape, gradually stream in the sugar while continuing to beat the egg whites. You want to beat the whites until they almost, but not fully, form stiff peaks.

Note: Your egg whites need to be holding stiff peaks like the picture below. If they are not, keep beating. 

Forced Leavening

Step 4: Fold the Whites into the Pancake Batter Base

Take about one quarter of the whipped egg whites and stir it completely into the pancake batter base. This will lighten the batter slightly and make it easier to fold in the rest of the egg whites.

Next, add half of the remaining whipped egg whites and gently fold it in, making sure not to deflate the air out of the whites. Fold in the remaining whipped egg whites into the batter.

Step 5: Cook the Pancakes

Be sure to cook the pancakes immediately. Because these pancakes rely on the whipped egg whites for their lift, they need to be cooked right after mixing.

You will be so amazed at how tall and fluffy these babies get!

And that is it! It really is that easy!

If you don’t have baking powder on hand or even if you do and you just want the fluffiest pancakes you’ve ever made, this is your recipe!

Souffle Pancakes (Pancakes without Baking Powder)

Yield: 8-4" Pancakes (2-3 Servings)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
These souffle pancakes without baking powder are impossibly light and airy! Whipped egg whites act as a replacement for the baking powder in the pancakes and create an incredibly fluffy texture. This recipe can be whipped together in minutes! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (4.25 oz, 119 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl oz, 177 ml) milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature (*see note)
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature (*see note)
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 oz, 49 gr) sugar

Instructions

  1. Separate your egg whites from the egg yolks. Set the whites aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, milk, vanilla, and egg yolks just until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand mixer or a stand mixer on medium speed. Once the egg whites are beginning to thicken, slowly stream the sugar into the egg whites with the mixer still running. Beat the egg whites to almost stiff peaks. Note: The egg whites MUST be holding stiff peaks like the picture in the above post. If they are not, you need to whip them longer. This is ESSENTIAL for this recipe.
  4. Add about one quarter of the egg white mixture into the pancake batter and stir it in completely using a rubber spatula. This will lighten the batter and make it easier to fold in the rest of the whites. Add half of the remaining egg whites into the batter and gently fold the whites in, using the rubber spatula, being careful not to deflate the air out of them. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in again gently until there are no visible white streaks. If you are unfamiliar with how to fold egg whites into a batter, watch this tutorial.
  5. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1/4-1/3 cup batter per cake onto the greased skillet and gently spread the batter out to a circle with the back of a spoon or measuring cup. Bubbles will still form on top even though there is no baking powder. Flip the cakes once, when the bubbles pop and the bottom is lightly browned. Cook until lightly browned on the other side. Keep warm in a 200F oven if not serving immediately.

Notes

About egg temperature: If you do not have time to let your eggs come to room temperature naturally, place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before cracking and separating them. Egg whites whip to stiff peaks much more quickly if they are at room temperature. It is absolutely essential that you whip the egg whites long enough to reach stiff peaks for this recipe. Cold egg whites will eventually whip to stiff peaks, but it will take much longer.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0


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197 comments on “Light and Fluffy Souffle Pancakes”

  1. It was nice, but too thick. Am not used to thick pancakes. What do I do to make it a bit liquid?

  2. These were yummy. The kids loved them and are fun to make ….

  3. These are the best pancakes I’ve ever made! I had to sub coconut milk for milk and syrup for the vanilla due to my son’s allergies but it was soooooo good. Soooo fluffy! Thank you for sharing the idea of whipped egg whites instead of baking powder!

    Rating: 5
  4. Can you make the batter ahead of time? Thank you

    • Hi Molly! Unfortunately, this will not work well if the batter is made ahead of time. The pancakes rely on the air in the egg whites and that will start deflating fairly quickly. You can make the pancakes ahead, cool them completely, and then freeze them. The reheat well in the toaster or in a 325 F oven. Hope that helps!

  5. Would it be possible to make this into batter for waffles? If so, how would I do that?

  6. It is heavenly taste! Light, fluffy, sweet and fresh.

  7. Less life story, more recipe please. IDC about your backstory for pancakes.

    • Hi Hannah! All of the content on this article is specifically related to making these pancakes. Many people find it useful to understand how to make them beyond just a recipe. However, feel free to skip the written content and just scroll down to the recipe! I hope you enjoyed them!

      • Please keep the “life story” part! It just adds richness and sense of truth to your recipes! Thank you

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  8. Thank you for this recipe. I tried this and my pancakes started out tall but deflated after cooking them. Any idea how to keep the shape?

    Rating: 5
  9. This recipe has been a staple in my house for a couple of years now. However I still find it tough to get a consistent result. I use whole wheat pastry flour and make double the amount in two batches each. Sometimes my batter just turns liquidy and forms a puddle as soon as I pour it on the pan. Could you post pictures of the batter before and after you mix in the egg whites so I could figure out where I am going wrong? I don’t add sugar either so I wonder if that makes a difference too!

    Rating: 3
    • Hi there, It sounds like sometimes your whites aren’t whipped up stiff enough or you may be deflating the whites when you mix them in. Make sure the whites are holding stiff peaks and be very gentle when folding them in. I have this on my list to make a video for it soon. I’ll try to get it done this week or next.

  10. Great recipe, but there’s one part that’s a bit confusing: In the instructions you say to whip the egg whites until they  “almost, but not fully, form stiff peaks,” but in the note that follows (and later in the step-by-step instructions) you say that they must be holding stiff peaks like in the picture, which appears more than “almost stiff.” How essential is the “almost”? Is it possible to make the whites TOO stiff? Thanks!

    • Hi Tim! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have edited the post a few times to try to prevent issues that some people were having and I guess the wording is now contradictory. I will update it so it is consistent. You want to whip the egg whites until they are holding stiff peaks, but it is very easy to go too far. It is VERY easy to whip egg whites too stiff. They will start to look dry and almost crumbled if you go too far. It is definitely a balancing act of getting them stiff enough to leaven your pancakes and not going too far. It has been on my list for a while to make a video for this recipe. I just haven’t had a chance to do so yet. As soon as the pancakes are holding a stiff peak, like the one in the picture in the post, stop beating. The egg whites should look glossy if you haven’t gone too far. Hope that helps!

  11. I added 3 mashed bananas and they are delicous! Thank you for the recipe!

    Rating: 5

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  12. Such a cool recipe! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  13. I’ve been whipping these egg whites it feels like forever and I do not have a mixer so I’m whipping by hand….I did not see that the eggs had to be at room temperature until the very end. How long do you think it’s takes to for the egg whites to turn stiff?

    • This is what they look like after about 20 minutes of whipping 

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      • Hi Crystal! If you are whipping by hand it really takes a specific technique to try and get them to the get stiff. Here is a video that demonstrates the technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3X3CKZpni0 You don’t want to go in a circle, you want to tilt the bowl and whisk back and forth kind of flicking the whites as you go back and forth. If you use this technique it should only take about 2-3 minutes Also make sure that you do not have any fat at all in your bowl, including even a tiny bit of yolk or they won’t stiffen. I hope that helps!

  14. I loved how fluffy and tender these were while still being able to get a light crisp on the outside! Next time, I will likely use less sugar, just because these were sweeter than I’m accustomed to (especially since I like my pancakes with maple syrup). One question — did these take anybody else forever to cook? I waited to make sure bubbled appeared, just as stated in the recipe, and it took a looooong time, and often they would still be pale when I turned them over. Any thoughts or advice welcome! Thanks for the recipe, Bettie 🙂

    • Hi Serena! Due to the nature of these pancakes, they do take much longer to cook than traditional pancakes. A new cooking method for them is on my list to test this week. I will let you know!

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