Have you had a Fluffy Japanese Pancake? Whoa, it is so delicious, and we are obsessed. I don’t want to over-sell it, but that is a difficult task since it is one of my favorite desserts.
I think the first time I saw it was on Tik Tok. Yes, I’m over there, and I actually love all the videos. And I don’t think I would have a newfound love for our new yummy breakfast recipe.
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What is a Fluffy Japanese Pancake?
I’m looking at the trend (over on my analytics) of this dessert, and it peaked about last January, and it’s starting to trend up again.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t know anything about these special gourmet pancakes. But before you google Japanese pancakes, there are the traditional pancakes that are more of a savory recipe. My kiddos and I were served some at a playdate, and the kids were sadly disappointed. They were picturing sweet pancakes but instead, they had eggs with vegetables in them.
But this pancake is more like a sweet souffle!
When you make these pancakes, you whip the egg whites like a souffle. This gives them their height, custardy, and jiggly characteristics! If you have had a Dutch Baby pancake and love the egg base, this is similar to them but on steroids.
History of the Fluffy Japanese Pancake
So, according to the New York Times, it appears that these amazing pancakes originated at a New York Japanese restaurant named Hi-Collar. And this all began in 2013. Then two shops in Osaka, Japan, began making these soufflés. These shops opened up new places in Tokyo, and in 2016 the pancakes took off in popularity.
We actually have a place here in San Francisco, Gram Cafe, and they serve these famous pancakes. So, once we are free to roam around and visit places, my husband and I will venture into the city for a little treat.
How do you make these special pancakes?
Let me start that if you are up for a bit of a baking challenge, this recipe is for you! If you are new to baking, then you might struggle a bit. I’m sincere here.
I feel these pancakes are super special and worth the bit of extra effort.
Step 1 – Prep
So, first, you gather all your ingredients. And for this recipe, you’ll want to invest in a food scale. So measure out all your ingredients. Also, you’ll want to get your baking rings ready. Measure and cut out tin foil or parchment paper to the shape of the ring’s inside—lightly oil inside the ring and the aluminum tin foil or parchment to the interior. Next, place the aluminum or paper inside the ring, ensuring the oiled side will be next to the pancake batter. Place the rings on a cookie sheet with a Silpat liner.
Step 2 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3 – Mix Sugar and Water
Get your sugar mixture ready for the egg whites.
Step 4 – Mix the Dry Ingredients
Step 5 – Whip Egg Whites
Using your Kitchen Aid wire whip tool, begin whipping the egg whites at the slowest speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add the sugar mixture. Then once you added the sugar, increase the speed of the mixer to high.
Step 6 – Egg Whites Form Stiff Peaks
So, once your egg whites start to look stiff, do this test. Please turn off the mixer, unlock the bowl and turn it upside down. The egg white should be stiff enough, and they will not move. If this is how your whites appear, they are ready.
Step 7 – Mix Whites with Paste
Mix only 1/3 of your egg whites with the flour paste. Mix thoroughly. Next, add another 1/3 of the egg whites, and this time gently fold over the whites from the bottom of the bowl to the top. Then once the mixture is good, add the final bunch of whites and mix.
Step 8 – Place Batter in Piping Bag
This is a little tricky, and you may need some help. Somehow clamp the end of your piping bag before filling. Then fill the bag with the batter. You may need to fill two bags. I have a huge pastry bag, so we fill it to the brim.
Step 9 – Fill Rings
Note these photos have a frying pan instead of the oven. We finally figured out that baking the pancakes is an easier process.
So, place a Silpat on your cookie sheet. Next, place your prepared rings on top of the Silpat. Here is where it’s good to have a second person. I held onto the top of the pastry bag, and my hubby held the bottom of the bag. He decided when to open the pastry bag bottom to allow the batter to flow. Then when it was full, he clamped it with his hands, and we filled the next ring. Make sure to fill 2/3 the way up the molds. If you fill 3/4 with batter, it will rise and bake over the mold. Once you filled all six rings, place them in the preheated oven.
Step 10 – Bake
Bake the pancakes for 20 minutes. If the top of the batter is cooked and not runny, bring out the pancakes and carefully flip the rings. This can be tricky since the molds are hot. I bought the oven gloves so we can flip the molds. You may have to take a knife and pry the dough away from the top of the ring rim edge.
Step 11 – Return Pancakes to the Oven
Bake for another 5 minutes and then take the pancakes out of the oven. Run a thin knife around the inside of the ring to break free the dough and lift the mold off the pancake.
You’re done and now it’s time to enjoy your creation!
Fluffly Japanese Pancakes
- 152 grams sugar
- 72 grams water
- 4 egg yolks
- 150 grams all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup butter melted and room temperature
- ½ cup milk
- 12 egg whites
- Prepare the rings by covering the inside with Crisco. Measure and cut parchment paper to fit inside the rings. Place the paper against the inner part of the rings. You may need to add more Crisco to get the paper to stick.
- Place a Silpat mat on the cookie sheet.
- Place prepared rings on the Silpat.
- Measure all ingredients with the food scale and place them in bowls.
- Place egg yolks, flour, vanilla extract, and milk in a large bowl. Mix well with a whisk.
- Add room temperature melted butter to the egg yolk mixture.
- Next mix in the baking powder.
- Set mixture aside.
- Place egg whites in a mixer, and with the whisk attachment, start slowly stirring.
- Once the egg white begins to foam, add the sugar mixture to the whites. Now increase the mixer speed to high. Beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
- You'll know the peaks are stiff when you turn the bowl upside down, and the egg whites stay in the bowl and don't move.
Mix Meringue with Paste
- Mix ⅓ of the meringue (stiff egg whites) with the paste. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the next ⅓ of the egg whites to the mixture. Then fold in the final ⅓ to the paste.
Fill Pasty Bags
- Add batter to a large pastry bag. Make sure to tie or clamp off the bottom, so the batter doesn't flow out the end.
- Also, no need to use a pastry tip with your bag. The hole in the bag with be fine.
Fill Baking Rings
- Add batter to the rings. Have another person hold the bottom of the bag so the batter won't come out. They can regulate how much batter goes into the rings.
- Fill the rings ⅔ full. These fluffy pancakes will rise quite a bit, so don't be tempted to fill them beyond the ⅔ level.
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. When the tops are brown, take the tray out of the oven.
- Remove any excess cooked batter that leaked out.
- Turn the ring upside down and loosen the pancake from the metal mold.
- Use oven gloves and flip the pancake rings and place them on the Silpat mat.
- Return the flipped pancakes to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
- When the pancakes are done, remove them from the oven and run a thin knife along the inside edges. This will release the parchment from the mold. Take off the rings from the pancakes.
- Remove the parchment from the pancakes and serve immediately.
Do I Need Any Special Equipment?
We have made this recipe using the parchment as molds, and that didn’t work. We also made a mold using tin foil, and that actually worked out well.
But you have to make a circle and then weigh it down so the foil is flush at the bottom. So, it is easiest if you buy the stainless steel cooking rings.
Silpat Baking Mat
If your cookie sheet is warped, then you’ll want to place a Silpat on the sheet. I think that will create a good seal between the rings and the Silpat. You want a good seal so the batter won’t seep out. But that isn’t the end of the world, and we just cut away the baked dough.
Also, I bought some serious oven gloves since we had a tough time flipping the rings with clunky big oven mitts.
Digital Food Scale
Some of the ingredients need to be measured with a scale. So you’ll definitely need this tool to make this recipe.
I hope you have a chance to try baking these wonderful pancakes! Of course, we are now big fans. It is pretty rewarding to figure out how to make this breakfast treat. It only took us five attempts. And lucky for you, we came up with an easier way to make these fluffy Japanese Pancakes!
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