The Science of Pancakes

Pancake day is here and we have the ultimate highly scientific AND delicious recipe for our hungry AQUILAnauts! Scroll down to discover our recipe for guaranteed light’n’fluffy pancakes!

You will need:

2 cups of of all-purpose flour

2 tbsp of sugar

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

2 eggs

2 cups of buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1 tbsp lemon juice to 1 cup of milk)

3 tbsp of melted butter

Add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda to a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients: buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter together and then combine with the dry ingredients using a spatula. Ensure not to over-mix as that will result in dense pancakes.

Add some butter to a hot pan and pour in small dollops of the mixture. Cook until the top side begins to bubble and then flip your pancake and cook until golden brown.


Buttermilk has harmless bacteria in it that munch on sugars to produce lactic acid. Pancake recipes that use buttermilk need the ingredient baking soda – when lactic acid and baking soda mix they produce bubbles or carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles will fizz up and get trapped inside the pancake batter, making the pancakes rise up and be light, fluffy and tall! 

You must cook your pancakes right away otherwise the bubbles of gas will escape the batter mixture.

If the recipe you use doesn’t have buttermilk, it may use baking powder. Baking powder is a powdered acid already mixed with a base that will react when heated to create bubbles.


Are you going to make a towering stack of pancakes or eat them as you go? The choice is yours.

It’s now time to add your favourite toppings and tuck in, yummy!

Find out more about sweet treats...

Add our Chocolate issue to your AQUILA collection this Easter! In this delectable edition, children will discover the serious history and science behind their favourite treat.

We also have a debate: what exactly is ‘taste’, and who should judge what is good and what is not?

PLUS: read about Tetteh Quarshie, a man who forever changed the history of Ghana with a small handful of cacao beans.

Gift this back issue this Easter and feed a young AQUILAnaut’s mind…

Written by Jennifer Newton-Brown

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