These fluffy Japanese pancakes are thick, soft, and billowy. Their soft texture on the inside and a golden brown color on the top and bottom makes for a beautiful and delicious pancake breakfast.

A plate with 2 Fluffy Japanese Pancakes on it, against a soft pink background.

These pancakes can be a bit tricky to make. (That comes with any recipe that has a lot of elements to it.) But, after seeing and hearing about these Japanese pancakes, I knew I wanted to get a recipe that would give detailed instructions on how to make these pancakes, especially when they taste as amazing as they do! I always believe that no matter your skill in the kitchen, no one should feel like a type of food is out of reach.

The good news is I have easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for making the perfect fluffy Japanese souffle pancakes (Or スフレパンケーキ, if you’re looking for the name in Japanese!). 

There are also some tips and tricks at the bottom in my FAQs and Recipe Tips sections if you have questions or want tips to make sure yours are as light and as fluffy as can be!

This is a fun twist on your typical pancake breakfast. The flavor will taste similar to traditional buttermilk pancakes — since there are a lot of the same ingredients — so expect a delicious, buttery, flavorful and light pancake. 

Although these pancakes are Japanese, you can eat them the same way you would with traditional pancakes. Top them with fresh fruit, syrup, whipped cream, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and more! 

Overhead photo of syrup being poured over Fluffy Japanese Pancakes.

Ingredients 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar — We don’t use too much sugar, but enough to sweeten the Japanese soufflés.
  • Baking powder and baking soda— Baking powder, baking soda and stiff egg whites will give rise and lift to the pancakes.
  • Kosher salt
  • Buttermilk — Room temperature. Some of the key flavor comes from the buttermilk flavor.
  • Butter — Makes the pancakes rich with buttery flavor.
  • Vanilla — Added for flavor.
  • Egg yolks — Egg yolks provide richness and flavor.
  • Egg whites — We’ll use these to create a beautiful, fluffy meringue for the batter. 
  • Cream of tartar
  • Cooking spray — To spray on the molds
  • 3-inch-by-2.5-inch ring molds — see my note in the FAQs on what to do if you don’t have these metal molds. I’ve also provided a link below (in my Tools Used for This Recipe Section) for molds I love if you’d like to buy some.

How to Make Japanese Pancakes

  1. Combine dry ingredients.
    Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients.
    In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk until combined. Set aside.
  3. Beat the egg whites.
    In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. About 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Mix it all together.
    Using a rubber spatula, stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until partially combined. Then, stir the egg whites into the batter until combined. Be careful not to overmix as this will result in tough and chewy pancakes. 
  5. Prep molds and fill.
    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray the pan (or cooking surface) with nonstick spray. Spray the inside of a 3-inch ring mold generously with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the ring mold on the warm pan and spoon-fill each mold with scant ½ cup of batter. DO NOT OVERFILL. The batter should fill the mold halfway to the top. 
  6. Cook.
    Cover the skillet with a lid (if it has a lid) and cook until the batter rises to the top and the bottom of the pancake is golden, about 5-8 minutes. There should be some bubbles that have formed on the tops of the pancakes. The center will just barely jiggle. (Note: if you flip too soon, the uncooked batter will ooze out into the pan). 
  7. Flip the pancakes.
    Carefully release the bottom of the pancakes by using a spatula and sliding it under the pancake. Grasp the sides of the ring molds with kitchen tongs then carefully flip. (If cooking 1 at a time, you can rest the pancake on the spatula and bring the skillet up to the pancake and turn the pancake onto the skillet). NOTE: I have a short video of how to do this. Cover and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes. 
  8. Release the pancakes.
    Transfer to a plate and remove the mold. The best way to get the pancakes out is by running a butter knife around the inside of each mold to release each pancake, then carefully remove the mold. Wipe down each mold and coat with cooking spray before repeating the process with the remaining batter. 
  9. Serve!
    Serve warm with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and fruit, or butter and maple syrup. Pancakes can deflate with time so eat within 30 minutes of cooking them. 
Fluffy Japanese Pancake batter in a large glass bowl against a white background.

Tools Used for This Recipe

3-inch-by-2.5-inch ring molds

Nonstick skillet with lid

Pancake Spatula

Mixing Bowls

Recipe Tips for Making Tall, Fluffy Japanese Pancakes

The Batter

  • The key to the classic tall, fluffy pancakes is the eggs. When beating the egg whites, make sure you don’t overmix or undermix. This will affect how your pancakes cook and rise. You know the eggs whites have been overmixed when the mixture breaks easily. Eggs whites are undermixed when they can’t hold a peak. For perfectly mixed egg whites, when you pull the mixer away, the egg whites should form stiff peaks that hold their shape, that are straight up, but the very tip tip of the peaks will fold over like a little curl. Getting the egg whites right will give the correct air pockets to create fluffy pancakes.
  • Be careful not to overmix as this will result in tough and chewy pancakes. 

Preheating the Pan:

  • It’s important to preheat the pan on low to make sure the entire pan is the same temperature, with no cool or hot spots. It’s better to let the pan preheat on the lowest heat possible for a longer time than a higher temperature for a short time. 

Filling the Molds: 

  • Spoon fill. This is important since you want to facilitate vertical growth for the pancake. Put one spoonful on top of the other to help give that height.
  • DO NOT OVERFILL. The batter should fill the mold halfway to the top. 

Cooking the Pancakes:

  • Slow and steady wins the race to cook these thick and fluffy Japanese pancakes. Japanese pancakes take longer to cook. Cooking low and slow will help cook the entire inside of the pancake. 
  • If you cook them on higher heat for a shorter time, the outside will look done but the inside will be raw. 
  • Cooking the pancakes in a skillet or electric griddle with a lid will keep the temperature consistent inside for more even cooking.
  • If you add a little water in the skillet, the steam will help a bit with cooking, too.
  • Before flipping the pancakes the batter should have risen towards the top of the mold, there will be bubbles on the surface, and there will be a slight jiggle in the batter/pancake if you wiggle the mold slightly.

Flipping the Pancakes: 

  • If cooking 1 at a time, you can rest the pancake on the spatula and bring the skillet up to the pancake and turn the pancake onto the skillet.
  • If you flip too soon, the uncooked batter will ooze out into the pan.

Removing the Japanese Pancakes from the Molds: 

  • The best way to get the pancakes out is by running a butter knife around the inside of each mold to release each pancake, then carefully remove the mold. 

Eating Japanese Pancakes: 

  • The pancakes can deflate with time so eat within 30 minutes of cooking them. 
  • However, the pancakes shouldn’t deflate right after cooking or even within a few minutes of them sitting on a plate. If your Japanese pancakes are deflating too soon, be sure to see my tips below.
Fluffy Japanese Pancakes on a black rimmed plate with syrup being poured overtop.

FAQ

Why are my Japanese pancakes deflating?

Japanese souffle pancakes should hold their tall shape for about 15-25 minutes. If they aren’t, there are a few things that could have affected that. 1) You overmixed or undermixed your egg whites. Remember that the egg whites are what give lift and air to the batter. Without the perfect stiff peaks, the batter won’t hold its shape when it’s cooked. 2) The pancakes weren’t cooked correctly. Remember, low and slow. If your pancakes are deflating but your egg whites were perfectly stiff, but not overmixed, then you could have been cooking the pancakes on too high of heat. If your heat was too high, then the pancakes would look done on the outside but not done on the inside. If the Japanese pancakes aren’t cooked well enough on the inside, the structure won’t be strong enough to keep the tall, fluffy shape.

How to keep Japanese pancakes fluffy?

As mentioned above, Japanese pancakes stay fluffy when your egg whites are mixed perfectly and the heat on the pan is preheated completely (to avoid hot spots) and the pancakes are cooked LOW and SLOW. But remember, it is normal for Japanese pancakes to deflate after they’ve been sitting for 30-45 minutes. However, it isn’t normal for Japanese pancakes to deflate within the first 30 minutes after cooking.

What are Japanese pancakes?

Japanese pancakes are a souffle pancake that is fluffy, soft and billowy. Like normal pancakes, you can eat Japanese pancakes with fruit, cream, syrup, chocolate chips and more.

What do Japanese pancakes taste like? — They have a similar flavor to my buttermilk pancakes (they use very similar ingredients). They are buttery, flavorful, light and very fluffy!

Can you freeze Japanese pancakes?

Yes. You can freeze them in a zip top bag or airtight container for up to a month. However, these pancakes are better enjoyed fresh! If you freeze them, they won’t retain as fluffy of a shape as they are when eaten fresh. 

Can you reheat Japanese pancakes?

Yes. However, these pancakes are much better when you eat them hot off the pan! If you have leftover pancakes, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat them. However, the pancakes will deflate a little.

A small hand pouring syrup overtop of two Japanese pancakes.

What to serve with Japanese pancakes?

Fresh berries, bananas, syrup, whipped cream, nuts, coconut shavings, chocolate chips, and more!

How to flip Japanese pancakes?

Carefully release the bottom of the pancakes by using a spatula and sliding it under the pancake. Grasp the sides of the ring molds with kitchen tongs then carefully flip. (If cooking 1 at a time, you can rest the pancake on the spatula and bring the skillet up to the pancake and turn the pancake onto the skillet). NOTE: I have a short video of how to do this.

Can you make Japanese pancakes without molds?

You will need the molds to make these pancakes. However, if you don’t have molds. I suggest making forms out of aluminum foil. Roll a sheet of aluminum foil in the same dimensions (3-inch-by-2.5-inch). Then form that strip into a circle and staple. The molds won’t be as firm as metal molds, but the aluminum foil will at least help the batter keep the circular shape a bit. Without any form of mold, the Japanese pancakes will have a hard time cooked in a vertical shape. 

Two Japanese pancakes on a plate, cut in half showing how fluffy they are.

More Delicious Breakfast Recipes

If you make a recipe from Salt & Baker and love it, I would appreciate you coming back to leave a rating and review. Thank you! ❤️

Fluffy Japanese Pancakes

These delicious pancakes are super thick and extra tasty! This recipe makes 12, a perfect dozen!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 12 pancakes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk - at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoon butter - melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • You will need 3” x 2.5” wide ring molds, I linked to ones I use above.
  • In a large bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
  • In a medium bowl whisk the buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk until combined. 
  • In a medium bowl beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. About 2-3 minutes. 
  • Using a rubber spatula stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until partially combined. Stir the egg whites into the batter until combined. Be careful not to overmix as this will result in tough and chewy pancakes. 
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray the pan (or cooking surface) with nonstick spray. Spray the inside of a 3”in ring mold generously with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Spoon in the batter. Place the ring mold on the warm pan and fill each mold with ½ cup of batter. DO NOT OVERFILL. The batter should fill the mold halfway to the top. Cover the skillet with a lid (if it has a lid) and cook until the batter rises to the top and the bottom of the pancake is golden, about 5-8 minutes. There should be some bubbles that have formed on the tops of the pancakes. The center will just barely jiggle. (Note: if you flip too soon, the uncooked batter will ooze out into the pan). 
  • Using a spatula, carefully release the bottom of the pancakes. Grasp the sides of the ring molds with kitchen tongs then carefully flip. (If cooking 1 at a time you can rest the pancake on the spatula and bring the skillet up to the pancake and turn the pancake onto the skillet). NOTE: I have a short video of how to do this. Cover and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes. 
  • Release the pancakes. Transfer to a plate and remove the mold. Best way to get the pancakes out is by running a butter knife around the inside of each mold to release each pancake, then carefully remove the mold. Wipe down each mold and coat with cooking spray before repeating the process with the remaning batter. 
  • Serve warm with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and fruit, or butter and maple syrup. Pancakes can deflate with time.

Video

Notes

Tips— don’t turn the heat up too high otherwise they’ll burn or cook too quickly and the middles won’t be fully cooked. 
Cook them low and slow!
Can also cover the pan with a towel to essentially steam the pancakes. Helps give them the lightest and fluffiest texture, but I recommend using a lid. 
If you use cooking spray that contains flour they will release SO easily from the molds. However, it also makes flipping them more difficult (because they release so easily). If using this, I will cook them 1 at a time (takes awhile if you go this route).

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal (7%)Carbohydrates: 17g (6%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 6g (9%)Saturated Fat: 3g (15%)Cholesterol: 45mg (15%)Sodium: 247mg (10%)Potassium: 148mg (4%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 201IU (4%)Calcium: 65mg (7%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Japanese
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