Not everyone wants to have eggs, bacon, or cereal for breakfast every single morning. It’s great to have breakfast staples, but mixing it up with something sweet now and then might really appeal to you.
Perhaps you decided to make some delicious pancakes for breakfast this morning. This is a breakfast food that is going to appeal to the whole family, assuming that everything turns out well.
The problem is that some people do encounter issues when making pancakes. For instance, you might have noticed that they turned out very dense for some reason.
Dense pancakes might not be all that appealing because they’re harder to eat. They might be too filling and they’re likely going to be sort of hard to chew as well.
Why are your pancakes dense and what can be done to fix this issue? Keep reading to explore the reasons why this can happen so that you can keep it from happening moving forward.
1 – You Used More Eggs Than Necessary
One of the most common reasons why people will make pancakes and have them turn out too dense involves using too many eggs. Typically, a pancake recipe is going to call for you to use a specific number of eggs.
The recipe will also likely tell you the size of the eggs that you need to use. For example, the recipe might state that you should use two large eggs.
Assuming that you’re buying eggs from a grocery store as most people do, it’s going to be easy to know what egg size you have. You can then find a pancake recipe that makes sense based on the ingredients that you’re working with.
If you wind up using too many eggs in your recipe, then you could have the pancakes turn out very dense. Having more eggs than you need in a recipe such as this will alter the consistency of the pancakes and make them so that they are way thicker than they should be.
Eggs are indeed a necessary component when you’re making pancakes, though. The eggs are going to be the ingredient that helps the pancakes turn out to be fluffy.
When you accidentally use too many eggs, the pancakes are going to have a custard-like consistency. Essentially, it’s not going to turn out how you want it to and you’re going to want to start over again.
Always be careful when you’re mixing up the ingredients in your pancake recipe. You should always do your best to follow the recipe to a tee if you want to get the best results.
It’s very possible that you simply miscounted how many eggs you used. Sometimes people will decide to make a double batch to feed more people and get the math wrong as well.
Everyone makes mistakes, but you can just try to be more careful the next time that you decide to make them. Of course, there are other reasons why your pancakes could have turned out dense that you still need to consider.
2 – Mixing the Pancake Batter Too Much
Another very common reason why pancakes turn out dense involves mixing the batter way too much. Mixing the batter is something that you have to do to get your pancakes ready, but you can go overboard if you aren’t careful.
The best way to explain this is to just say that you need to be mindful of how the batter looks while you’re mixing it. If you mix the batter until it is very smooth, then your pancakes aren’t going to be as fluffy as you would like them to be.
Sometimes mixing too much just causes the pancakes to turn out worse. Your batter should be somewhat bubbly still when you’re getting the pancakes ready to cook.
It might be a good idea to try to use a lower setting on your hand mixer if you’re using an electric mixer. Also, try to stop mixing the batter for so long.
At the very least, it’ll be a good idea to stop and check how things are going. It isn’t hard to get into the groove of mixing pancake batter perfectly, but you might have to stop yourself if you have a tendency to go overboard when mixing things.
Try to be mindful of how much you’re mixing the pancakes to avoid little mishaps. If you make an effort to avoid mixing things too much, then you’ll be far less likely to have issues.
3 – Expired Baking Soda or Baking Powder
Baking soda or baking powder will be used in most standard pancake recipes. In some circumstances, your pancakes will turn out dense due to something being wrong with the baking soda or baking powder.
You should know that these ingredients aren’t going to stay good forever. Baking powder is something that only stays good for a year, but sometimes it’ll expire when it’s nine months old.
Baking soda is supposed to have an indefinite shelf life, but it could have been exposed to moisture and this will cause it to not work properly. You can actually test your baking soda and baking powder to see if they’re still fine to use for baking.
To do this, you’ll just need to drop some of the baking soda or baking powder into a bowl of vinegar to see if it causes a reaction. If it doesn’t, then you’ll know that you need new ingredients before you proceed with making pancakes.
The reason why baking soda and baking powder are so important has to do with the reactions that they can cause. They cause the pancakes to inflate by injecting carbon dioxide into the mix.
Your pancakes will inflate and become fluffy if the recipe works out as intended. If the baking soda or baking powder has expired, then this reaction will not occur and your pancakes will turn out flat and dense.
4 – Use Room-Temperature Ingredients
Many people who make pancakes regularly say that it’s a good idea to work with room-temperature ingredients. If you’re using ingredients that are fresh out of the refrigerator, then you might get results that are less than ideal sometimes.
This means that it could be a good idea to get your ingredients ready well ahead of time when you know you want to make pancakes for breakfast. It’ll give your ingredients a bit of time to become room-temperature before you start trying to mix your batter.
It’s said that this is going to make it easier for air to get in the batter. The air is going to help the pancakes to be light and fluffy so that they can taste just right.
If you use cold ingredients, then you might have a harder time injecting air into the batter. This could be one of the reasons why your pancakes are turning out dense, and it’s easy enough to try using room-temperature ingredients to get better results.
Consider preparing your ingredients and laying them out on the counter before you get to work on making the pancakes. It might take a bit more time to do things this way, but if it can help the pancakes to taste delicious, then it’ll be well worth the effort.
There are a number of different reasons why your pancakes might turn out to be rather dense. Depending on the type of recipe that you are using, one of the reasons above might be to blame for your woes.
Some pancake recipes will call for baking soda or baking powder. Using expired or inactive baking soda or baking powder won’t work properly, and your pancakes will probably wind up being flat and dense.
Using too many eggs can also cause your pancakes to turn out dense, but using too few will cause other issues. You want to try to follow the recipe that you have properly to avoid situations such as this.
Even using room-temperature ingredients can help you to get the pancakes right. If you’ve been using very cold ingredients that are fresh out of the fridge, then you might want to try to mix it up.
Avoid mixing your batter too much and you should be able to keep your pancakes from turning out too dense. This will help you to keep the batter in the right state so they turn out fluffy and light.
Knowing about the common reasons why pancakes turn out dense will make a difference. You should be able to troubleshoot and figure out where you went wrong during the process.
If you already made pancakes that are dense, then you won’t be able to save them. You can either choose to eat them as they are or you can throw them out and try to make a fresh batch.
Use the above advice to your advantage so that you can have the best possible pancakes. You’ll enjoy your breakfast time that much more, and it’ll be easier to make them the right way each time that you want some.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.