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5 from 6 votes

Japanese Pancakes

These light and fluffy Japanese Pancakes are airy and almost souffle-like with their custardy texture and sweet, wonderful flavor. Top them with whipped cream and fresh fruit or syrup for a delicious breakfast or a simple but tasty dessert!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Calories: 430kcal
Author: Amy Nash



  • 4 egg yolks
  • 8 egg whites
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 Tablespoons water for steaming


  • Fresh whipped cream
  • Fresh berries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Maple syrup


  • Separate egg whites and egg yolks into two separate, large bowls. Whisk the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of the sugar until light. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla, then whisk well to combine. Whisk in the flour and baking powder until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until frothy. Add the remaining sugar gradually, a tablespoon at a time, while beating until stiff peaks form.
  • Add ⅓ of the egg whites to the batter, whisking until incorporated. We aren't worried about deflating the batter too much at this point.
  • Add another ⅓ of the egg whites and stir in with a spatula, taking care not to deflate the egg whites too much at this point. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with the remaining egg whites and fold just until combined.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet over low heat. Very lightly grease the pan with a little oil or non-stick cooking spray, then add three small scoops of batter to make 3 pancakes. Each scoop should only be about 2 tablespoons since you will continue adding batter to each pancake. Spoon another 2 tablespoons of batter directly on top of each pancake, then add a couple tablespoons of water to the pan around the pancakes and immediately cover with the lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then lift the lid and add a 3rd scoop of batter to each pancake mound and put the lid back in place. Cook 1-2 minutes more.
  • Once the pancakes have cooked for 5-6 minutes on the first side, add a 4th spoonful of batter onto the top of each pancake. You will ultimately use about ½ cup of batter total for each pancake. Carefully flip each pancake, then add another 1-2 tablespoons of water around the pancakes and cover with the lid again. Cook another 5 minutes or so until the pancakes are browned on both sides and cooked through.
  • Stack 3 pancakes on a plate and dust with powdered sugar. Top or serve with freshly whipped cream, fresh fruit, and maple syrup.


  • Regular all-purpose flour can be used if that's all you have on hand, although cake flour will give the lightest, best results.


Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 264mg | Sodium: 835mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Calcium: 247mg | Iron: 1mg