I make pancakes all the time, but none like these. When I am in the Halloween spirit, I am fully in it, and I need everything around me to reflect that– even breakfast.
As you can see, my white ghost pancakes are not quite ordinary. It’s not just because they’re festive and, let’s be honest, adorable– what really sets them apart is science. Chemistry, to be specific.
The key to these white pancakes is to do everything you can to prevent them from browning– the complete opposite of what we usually try so hard to do with our flapjacks. It sounds tricky, and it can be, but if you follow my tips and practice with a couple silver dollar pancakes before going for the ghosts, you’ll get it right.
What keeps these little fellas white is a combination of lack of sugar in the batter, lack of baking soda in the batter (as we discussed before, baking soda promotes browning), minimal oil in the pan, and low heat. It’s especially important to cook the second side (the presentation side, which will face up on the plate) on lower heat. The first side can brown since it won’t be seen on the plate. Ideally, if you have a griddle, set the front of the griddle to medium-high and the back to low. Start the pancakes on low and then flip them to the back to finish cooking. If you are working in a skillet and can only do one or two cakes at a time, that’s fine. Just keep the heat at medium-low and practice a little extra patience, since these will take longer to cook. These can absolutely be made the night before, cooled, and stored in a Ziploc in the fridge. Just warm them in a 200° oven for 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve. This recipe makes approximately 15 pancakes.
White Ghost Pancakes
2 cups whole milk
2 egg whites, beaten till foamy (30-60 seconds)
¾ tsp clear vanilla flavoring
3 cups AP flour
1 tsp table salt
2 ½ tsp baking powder
Frozen chocolate chips
1. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix egg whites, milk, and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Whisk together wet and dry ingredients until just combined and only a few lumps remain. Set batter aside to rest for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, set a non-stick skillet (see above directions for griddles) to medium-low heat. Spray pan with cooking spray, then wipe it out with a paper towel. A thin, invisible layer of oil will still remain.
3. When pan is evenly heated and batter has rested, practice by making a couple of silver dollar pancakes, making sure the heat level is correct. Adjust accordingly.
4. Next, use a ladle to place a large dollop of batter onto the pan or griddle, and quickly use the bottom of the ladle’s cup to swirl down a “tail” for the ghost. Place 3 frozen chocolate chips, point-side-down, to make eyes and a mouth for the ghost.
5. Cook pancake until bubbles rise to the top and burst, then carefully flip. Do not worry if they have browned. Remember, this is the side that will face down on the plate, so it doesn’t matter if they picked up some color.
6. Cook pancake just until it feels bouncy to the touch. Remove pancake from heat and repeat steps 4-6 with the remaining batter.
Click here to see my other Halloween recipes, including entire menus for themed Halloween parties!
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