This Copycat Cracker Barrel Pancake Recipe Is So Flippin' Good
While a bag of salty fries with a fizzy soda is a great road trip snack, there's nothing like taking a road trip break at Cracker Barrel. Early in the morning or late at night, Cracker Barrel beams a glimmer of hope after a dreary few hours driving in the car. So what better way to relax at Cracker Barrel than by eating none other than their famous flapjacks?
Cracker Barrel is certainly one of my favorite road trip stops, but when I'm hanging out at home, it's not always the easiest restaurant to get to. I sit at home mourning those moments I got to sink my teeth into those heavenly pancakes, and wish for a time where I can have them yet again. Which, of course, sparked the inspiration to make a copycat Cracker Barrel pancake recipe right at home!
The secret ingredient for this Cracker Barrel pancake recipe
Buttermilk—duh! Did you know that buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink? It is cultured milk similar to yogurt and Keifer, and it makes baked goods and fried chicken taste absolutely delectable. While the milk will smell (and taste) slightly sour, it gives your food a nice tangy flavor. Having a "tangy" flavor may sound strange for pancakes in the morning, but I promise you, it's absolutely worth buying.
However, in order to get that fluffy Cracker Barrel pancake, there also needs to be some baking soda in the mix. While most pancakes can be made with just baking powder, a recipe with buttermilk in it will need baking soda. That's because baking soda works well with acidic ingredients, like fermented buttermilk, in order to give the pancakes that desired height.
You can substitute buttermilk in the recipe
Don't have buttermilk in the fridge? That's okay! You can make a similar copycat Cracker Barrel pancake without the buttermilk, you'll just need to make a few changes.
- Use 1 cup milk instead of 1 cup buttermilk
- Use 4 tablespoons melted butter instead of 2 tablespoons
- Use 1 teaspoon baking powder instead
- Do not use baking soda
Yes, this Cracker Barrel pancake recipe doesn't have sugar
Surprisingly enough, there isn't sugar in this Cracker Barrel pancake recipe. That's because I recently discovered in my cooking research that pancakes, in fact, do not need sugar in them. You may be shocked to learn that some of our favorite boxed pancake mixes—like Bisquick and Aunt Jemima—have very little sugar in them! So for this recipe, I decided to stay far away from it.
The sugary goodness that we taste in Crack Barrel pancakes probably comes from their delicious 100% pure maple syrup—which you can even buy online! Douse these pancakes in some of that syrup and you'll be having the full Cracker Barrel experience right at home. No road trip necessary.
Makes 5 servings
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Extra butter, for the griddle
Pure maple syrup
How to Make It
- Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl together. I recommend using an electric mixer if you have one (I love my KitchenAid!)
- In a smaller bowl, whisk an egg. Add in the buttermilk and the melted butter.
- Mix in buttermilk egg mixture with dry ingredients until the batter is smooth
- Run a stick of butter over a warmed griddle (or a large, flat frying pan.) Be careful, you don't want it too hot! This will scorch the pancakes…and your hands.
- For larger pancakes similar to Cracker Barrel's, pour on a 1/2 cup batter for each pancake (makes about 5)
- For smaller pancakes, pour on a 1/4 cup batter for each pancake (makes about 10)
- Serve with Cracker Barrel maple syrup and butter.