Any woman who considers herself a good chef needs to know how to make fluffy pancakes — but this weekend-morning staple requires a lot of attention in order to taste more than just OK. After all, simply following the recipe on the box does not a delicious pancake make! To save your family’s brunch from mediocre hotcakes, we’re sharing with you a secret, chef-approved kitchen hack to ensure your pancakes are pillowy soft every time.
For a truly luxurious pancake-eating experience, add lemon-lime soda to your pancake batter. Yes, seriously! A splash of the fizzy drink will add extra air to your mix, and lots of air pockets equals extra fluffy hotcakes. If you just can’t force yourself to cover the batter in citrus soda (we know, it definitely sounds weird), you can substitute it with seltzer water.
“Water is flat and seltzer is airy, so I figured the bubbles would give them a lighter, fluffier feeling, and it worked,” said chef John Koutsouris, who reigns supreme over the grills at The Greeks in New Jersey. One more pro tip: Refrigerate your seltzer or soda before using. If the liquid is cold, there’s bound to be more bubbles, and you know what that means: fluffy pancakes!
Don’t worry about ending up with Sprite-flavored pancakes (although, the more we think about it, the less terrible that sounds). The citrusy tang will cook right out, and you can proceed with the butter, syrup, and fresh berries.
One last piece of advice, though: Don’t skimp when it comes to the size of your pancakes. One of our favorite things about eating pancakes from a diner is that the chefs aren’t stingy with their serving sizes. You can bring that diner feel to your kitchen on Saturday and Sunday mornings by whipping up flapjacks as big as your plates. The worst-case scenario is you have some leftover pancakes to reheat during the week.