I love pancakes, but I don’t love making pancakes. Even under the best of circumstances, I’m prone to either overcooking or undercooking them, which leads to a bunch of waste, a lot of frustration, and copious amounts of cursing, which is not ideal when you have impressionable young children around. Add in trying to make them for a crowd, and that’s a recipe for disaster — one I’ll usually avoid at all costs.
However, I recently discovered a solution for making pancakes for a big group, and it is: to bake your pancakes in a sheet pan. This is a straightforward, idiot-proof process — one that requires only minutes of preparation, which happens to be the only kind of recipe that works for me, and which results in a gloriously consistent, evenly baked pancake.
To make pancakes in a sheet pan, just make the pancake batter as usual (either from a box mix or from scratch, whichever way speaks to you), then cook it in a sheet pan, rather than in a pan pan.
For your standard half-sheet pan, which is 50cm by 30 cm, you’ll want to aim for about six to seven cups of pancake batter. For a standard pancake mix, that’s usually about four cups of the mix, plus the liquid ingredients. (For your standard made-from-scratch pancake batter, such as this tried-and-true recipe from AllRecipes, that would be a double batch. You’re cooking for a crowd, after all.)
You’ll then pour the batter into a well-greased sheet pan, add in whatever extras you’d like, whether it’s blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, crumbled bacon, or anything else you can think up, and then stick it into an oven that’s been preheated to 220C. It’ll be ready in about 15 minutes, when the top of the pancake is a light golden colour and the edges are a golden brown. (If you want the top of the pancake to be a little browner, you can brush some melted butter on top, then stick it under the broiler for a minute or two.)
Now you’re ready to slice the giant pancake into individual pieces, and top it with your usual fixings, be it syrup, butter, fruit, jam, chopped nuts, whipped cream, or all of the above.
If a sheet pan is too big for you, you can also try baking them in muffin tins, for smaller, bite-size pancakes.