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Lia Townsend's Simple & Classic Pancake Recipe

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, grazing table enthusiast and founder of Stories to Gather, Lia Townsend, shares her recipe for simple and classic pancakes.

The best pancakes are simple. Slightly sweet, soft and fluffy, they are essentially carriers for your favourite toppings. From delicate lemon and icing sugar, to American-style bacon and maple syrup to decadent Nutella and banana, the options for toppings are endless.

In Lia's rendition below, she keeps it fresh and serves her pancakes alongside berries, citrus fruit, jam and syrup. Not only does keeping it classic ensure a crowd-pleasing feast, but it makes for a beautiful table setting, too. Opt for bright florals and pastel-hued tableware to complete the look. 

The beauty of pancakes is that they can be whipped up with staples you most likely already have in your pantry. Forget the old shaker bottles of your youth – upgrade to making them from scratch and you'll never look back. Plus, it's a great time to test out your flipping skills and have a bit of fun in the kitchen. 

Whether you're treating your loved one to breakfast in bed or putting on a brunch spread for friends, Lia Townsend's tried and tested recipe for classic pancakes will do the trick.

Makes: 10 pancakes 


  • 225g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 290ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40ml vegetable oil or melted butter, (plus extra for greasing the pan if required)


Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the baking powder and sugar. Mix to combine.

Add the egg, milk, vanilla and the oil or melted butter and whisk to combine until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. If you have a great non-stick pan, there is no need to oil it. If needed, you can lightly grease your pan with butter or a vegetable oil of your choosing.

Spoon the mixture onto the pan to create round pancakes. You can make the pancakes any size, depending on your preference. I like to use a ¼ cup measuring cup to ladle the mixture into the pan to help get consistent sizes. Depending on the size of your pan and pancakes, you can cook multiple pancakes at a time – just leave enough room for flipping.

Cook pancakes until they are golden using a turner or spatula to flip.

Stack and serve the pancakes with maple syrup and fresh berries. Enjoy!


Flip the pancake when you see popped bubbles throughout the pancake. If the pancake is burnt prior to this, the pan is too hot so turn the heat down. Once you flip the pancake, the second side will cook much quicker.

Sometimes the first pancake doesn’t turn out (it’s the sacrificial pancake); this is because the pan needs to evenly heat up.

Use a turner/spatula that is big enough to scoop under at least most of the pancake.

If you would like to prevent the pancakes from cooling, heat your oven to 120°C (fan forced) and place the pancakes on a tray lined with baking paper until you are ready to serve.

Shop Lia's look with our Oatmeal tablecloth, Terracotta placemats, and Pink Clay napkins

For more from Lia, follow her at @stories_to_gather

Hungry for more? Explore more recipes from our favourite home cooks here.

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