Japanese Soufflé Pancakes - The Holy Grail of Fluffy Pancakes

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Japanese Soufflé Pancakes - The Holy Grail of Fluffy Pancakes

Japanese soufflé pancakes are a hybrid of airy souffles and American-style flat sweet pancakes: they require the same ingredients like flour, eggs, sugar, milk, and baking powder, but much less.

Copious amounts of wavy meringue, sugar-stabilized whipped egg whites, and cream of tartar are incorporated into the pancake batter, making them incredibly fluffy.

These awesome pancakes are a true labor of love. They take some practice to perfect and should be cooked and served right away.

You can only cook two or three at a time, as they need room in the pan to turn over. Save them for when you have time for a relaxed brunch or want to impress someone.

Practice makes perfect, plus tips!

I won't lie. These pancakes are tricky and take a bit of practice to get right - they can get soggy and it's a little hard to tell when they're cooked and ready to flip.

I felt a real sense of accomplishment when they came out looking nice and tall. Rest assured, even if they aren't pretty, the pancakes still taste great.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Use a clean metal or glass bowl to beat the egg whites. Plastic bowls can still trap grease, preventing egg whites from whipping to their full potential.
  • Egg whites must be cold before whipping. You can even chill the bowl.
  • Be very careful when folding the meringue into the dough to keep as much air intact.
  • We recommend using a brush to lightly brush the pan with a bit of oil. You don't want residual oil to burn off as the pancakes cook.
  • Don't overcrowd the pan, as you'll need room to flip the pancakes. I use a 12 inch skillet to cook 3 pancakes at a time. If your pan is smaller, cook 2 pancakes at a time.
  • Cook the pancakes over very, very, very low heat so the bottoms don't burn before the center cooks and sets.

Some Substitutions That Work

These pancakes are delicate, so We can't recommend many topping changes. These are some of his works:

  • Use 2% milk instead of whole milk.
  • Use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar instead of cream of tartar.
  • Use almond extract instead of vanilla extract.

How to Serve Japanese Soufflé Pancakes

Japanese souffle pancakes can be served with a variety of toppings.

Restaurants often stack them into a tall tower of up to 3 pancakes and with enough toppings to send you into a sugar coma.

Feel free to be as judicious or generous as you want:

  • A stick of butter or a tablespoon of whipped butter
  • A pinch of powdered sugar
  • A splash of maple or chocolate syrup
  • Generous dollops of whipped cream
  • Vanilla cream
  • Lemon curd
  • Sweets or jams
  • Fresh blackberries


  • 2 egg yolks and 4 egg whites (4 large eggs total), chilled straight from the fridge
  • 1/4 cup (33 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or canola oil, plus more for the skillet
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar


Make the egg yolk mixture:

Separate the 4 eggs – You will need 4 egg whites in a large bowl and 2 yolks in a separate large bowl. Save the remaining 2 gems for another use.

Place the egg whites in the refrigerator to chill while you make the yolk batter.

To the yolks, add the flour, baking powder, vanilla, salt, milk and oil. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Preheat the pan:

Heat a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over very, very, very low heat. My stove goes from 0 to 10 and I set it to 1.

Make the meringue:

Remove the egg whites from the fridge and add the cream of tartar. Use an electric mixer to beat on medium-low speed for about 30 seconds.

You can also use a mixer.

Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, gradually sprinkling in the sugar.

Then increase speed to medium-high and beat until whites are shiny, rippled, and have stiff peaks.

From start to finish, it should take around 5 minutes. The meringue is ready when you turn the bowl over and it doesn't fall over.

Make the dough:

Scrape about 1/2 cup of the meringue into the yolk mixture and mix gently to combine. This will make it easier to incorporate the rest of the meringue into the dough.

Add about half of the remaining meringue and use a spatula to gently fold it in until well combined; you will still see white streaks.

Add the remaining meringue.

Be careful and make sure not to over mix. You want the dough to be light and airy.

Cook the pancakes:

Use the brush to lightly brush the oil into the pan.

Use a large spoon to scoop out 3 equal-sized pancakes, about 3 generous tablespoons each, with the batter piled on top.

Do not spread the dough with the spoon.

Immediately drizzle about 1 tablespoon of water into an empty space inside the pan, trying to keep the water off the pancakes.

This will create steam to help the pancakes stay moist.

If the water starts to hiss and immediately evaporates, the pan is too hot, lower it further.

Immediately cover the pan with a lid and allow the pancakes to cook for 10 minutes.

The exact cooking time depends on the amount of heat that the lowest setting on the stove puts out.

It should be cooked very low and slow.

Try not to lift the lid while the pancakes are cooking.

Keep remaining dough refrigerated.

Flip the pancakes:

After 10 minutes, pipe 1 tablespoon of batter on top of each pancake.

Run offset spatula or very thin spatula under pancake; it is best to use the long side of the offset spatula, not the tip.

The pancake will easily release from the pan when done.

Do not force! If it starts to fall apart, let it cook for an additional 2-5 minutes with the pan covered, but do not increase the heat.

Carefully flip all 3 pancakes. The underside, now on top, will be a deep golden brown.

Cover the pan and cook for about 8 minutes. When the pancakes are done, they will be easy to release from the pan.

Serve the pancakes:

Serve pancakes right away; leftovers are useless. The pancakes may wilt a bit, but that's okay!

Follow the same methods to cook the remaining pancakes.

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