Pancake Squares: Round up the family for a good square meal

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Do you, being of a certain age, remember when McDonald’s first started serving breakfast?

I certainly do. It was a pretty big deal back then, and for our small family it was considered a real treat.

I remember for us it was reserved for Sundays only, and we would go after church, still in suits, ties, and dresses. My parents didn’t need to be warned that the coffee was hot, and we kids didn’t need to be warned that we still needed to act like we were in a restaurant, not a fast food joint.

My breakfast of choice was always the hotcakes. They came in a squeaky Styrofoam container that you could easily puncture with your plastic knife to make patterns with your “maple syrup”. The butter atop the pancakes was a little scoop, not a square pat and you could swirl it around and around before eating the last little bit off of your fork.

These days my Mickey D’s visits are few and far between and most Sunday mornings you can find me merrily answering baker’s hotline calls from my desk at King Arthur Flour. Quite often I wish I could have that hotcake breakfast again though (minus the frilly dress and bows in my hair; no, I will not share pictures).

Thanks to Pinterest, that giant bulletin board of ideas in the cloud, I now have a way to share pancakes without standing at a griddle, or standing in line for takeout. I’m sure plenty of you have been doing this for years, but for me… a revelation.

Behold the pancake square.

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That’s right, pancake batter baked in a rectangular pan then sliced into squares. So simple, it plumb evaded my notice for years.

I know you all don’t need a step by step tutorial and can figure it out, but here’s a few photos for the curious.

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My all-time favorite pancakes are blueberry pancakes from a mix. Toss everything in a bowl, blend it up well and pour it into a greased 9″ x 13″ x 2″ pan, or for thicker cakes a 7″ X 11″ baking dish.  You can, of course, use your favorite mix or scratch recipe.

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Bake at 350°F for 22 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a cake tester tests clean in the center. At this point the whole house will smell like pancakes, and you’ll be wondering why your back isn’t smarting from standing over the griddle for the last 25 minutes.

Keep in mind if you add fresh fruit or frozen fruit, the baking time may be slightly longer.

For the full breakfast experience, why not add a tray of bacon to bake at the same time? PJ’s blog makes bakin’ bacon a breeze.

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You can serve the squares plain to cover with (or dip into) syrup, or you can make a simple glaze with 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, and enough milk to make a smooth, spreadable glaze. I like to add just a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness, but that’s just a personal choice.

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A pastry brush is the best tool I’ve found for spreading the glaze over the warm pancakes before slicing.

Cut your pan full of goodness into squares and serve warm.

If you’re feeding several hungry mouths, you can make as many trays of pancakes as you need. You could even fill the pan with batter the night before and then bake straight from the fridge in the morning. Leftovers can be stored well-wrapped at room temperature for 2 days, or frozen in individual servings.

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Happen to have one of our burger and pie pans for making individual pieces? I found it was perfect for making large pancakes. Make a stack of these at the beginning of the week and everyone can choose their own flavors each day. Hot breakfast for the win!DSCN1773

Delightful, and perfectly portable. And nary a hair bow in sight!

So, how late am I to the pancake square dance? Is this something you’ve been doing at home for years, or are you a newbie like me? Only the comments will tell.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Alesia

    You know I never thought of baking pancakes – do you think it work in mini muffin tins? I’m thinking I can make 3 different kinds at once. Thanks for the great idea.

    Reply
    1. Jerry

      It works wonderfully. I’ve done it many times. Far easier than the griddle and keeping the first ones warm, until all are done.

  2. Sarah in Kansas

    Oh my gosh these were soooo good! I made them today using your Simply Perfect Pancakes recipe and added blueberries. 20 minutes was all they needed to cook in a 7×11 glass pan. I loath making breakfast, let alone breakfast for a crowd, so this recipe is perfect. I tried it out today as a test run before all our company comes this summer and it was a smash hit with our family. Thank you thank you!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      That’s wonderful Sarah! We’re having a crowd for the 4th, so this is totally on my summer menu as well. ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It really is a great idea; totally something I am going to try in the near future. Jon@KAF

  3. Tegan

    This was so fortuitous, I was thinking about pancakes this morning but wanted to try something different. My husband and I just finished enjoying baked pancakes for breakfast, they turned out great! I used the KAF Simply Perfect Pancakes recipe and substituted 1/4 cup of almond meal for 1/4 cup of the AP flour just to add a little nutty flavor. It was really delicious, and a welcome reprieve from standing at the stove flipping pancakes. We will definitely do this again!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hey, if they can make cronuts, why not pannuts? do-cakes? ~ MJ

    2. Janice Kessler

      I have a donut pan and I think I have a pumpkin pancake mix….now they’re gonna be baked pumpkin donuts!!!

    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Oh, thank goodness I wasn’t the only one! Newbies unite! ~ MJ

  4. juliana

    I have been thinking about this since it was posted this morning…so brilliant! I’m off to make it for dinner now!

    Reply
  5. Carolyn

    As a fun variation on this, I use my doughnut hole pan to bake the pancake batter in. Always a hit!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Once I clear a little space in my second pantry, I MUST get myself a doughnut hole pan. Thanks for sharing Carolyn! ~ MJ

  6. Shirley

    I love baked pancakes! I made them for the first time this year after I saw a recipe in a magazine, baking it in a cast iron skillet and topping it with berries. And, I tweaked it to use KA Self Rising Flour.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      I’m really loving them more and more too. PS, LOVE the name of your blog! ~ MJ

  7. Mayre

    Looks great! I usually make with the kaf whole grain mix, to make in the 9 x 13, would I use 2 cups mix, 2 eggs, 2 cips buttermilk?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi Mayre,
      I just follow the directions on the mix for making a full batch, then pour into the pan. OR are you talking about the whole grain baking mix? For multi-use mixes, Bisquick etc., if you use a recipe that make about 20 4″ pancakes, that is a great size for making in a 9″ x 13″ pan. Hope this helps. ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sure, that shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure to reduce the baking time to 15-20 min. Jon@KAF

  8. MaryJane

    Thanks to Margaret for sending along an email reminder to put parchment between your squares if you are stacking them for storage. Leaning tower of Pancakes anyone? ~ MJ

    Reply
  9. Gene Dixon

    Never thought about baking pancakes – totally not right! But I will try them. Love buttermilk pancakes and what I mixed up was always more than I wanted at one time, so this should solve that problem.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      I don’t think I’ll ever give up traditional pancake Gene, but this is a nice option to have too. Hope you like ‘em! ~ MJ

  10. Marsha Phillips

    I am a fan of our Homemade Whole-Grain Pancake Mix recipe. Can I use this recipe and about how much batter should I use to serve two people? What size pan do you think would be best?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi Marsha,
      There are a lot of variables, but in general a “full” recipe that makes 20 regular pancakes will make a 9″ x 13″ pan of baked pancakes. If just the two of you are eating and you don’t want to freeze leftovers, try a half batch and bake in a 9″ square. ~ MJ

  11. Carol Kopp

    I have a friend that always put drained, whole kernel corn and a little bit of sugar to their pancake mix. They won’t eat any pancakes without it. How about this to be added to the recipe?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I love corn in just about anything. I think this would be a tasty addition. Maybe try adding 1/2 – 3/4 cup of corn to the recipe that MaryJane references. Sweeten by adding more sugar as you like. Maybe ask your friend their advice. Elisabeth@KAF

  12. Sandy

    When I saw this original posting on the blog I kept it in mind as was such a great idea. I made this yesterday for my 3 teen granddaughters who were down visiting. In a word…AMAZING!!! They loved, loved, loved these pancake squares. I made this with Cup4Cup gluten free flour and almond milk (all 3 are Celiac and one avoids dairy also). I made a regular batch of scratch pancakes so used a 9 inch square pan. First I put a layer of batter in pan and spread around. Then sprinkled generously fresh blueberries and diced fresh peaches. Then spread remaining batter over top to cover and baked. So, so, so good!!! Taste and texture was fantastic and such a fun way to have pancakes! Thank you for this idea!!!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds like a wonderful success and we’re so happy to help you bring everyone together around some good home cooked breakfast! Who doesn’t love fresh pancakes in the morning? Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  13. Caroline

    Honestly, I am not a fan. They lose all the qualities I love in a pancake. No crispy edges from frying in shortening, no cakey, soft moist texture in the middle, poor butter/syrup interaction. I totally understand why people who like a different type of pancake might enjoy these, but if you like my Grandmother’s pancakes* these will not fulfill your pancake cravings.

    (*I realize that is totally nonquantifiable!)

    Reply

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