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Cracker Barrel's Pancakes

63216 Views 38 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  jim berman
The Cracker Barrel has, by far, the best pancakes. I have tried to replicate their recipe and preparation, with limited successs. To summarize, the pancakes are a bit crunchy around the edges with a characteristic dark 'band' around the perimeter.They are extremely light in consistency, almost crepe-like.
Thus far, I have concluded they use margerine as the cooking medium rather than merely using pan spray. I have come close to the 'light-ness' by barely mixing the batter. However, I can't, yet, replicate the taste. I use 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 T sugar, 1t baking soda, 1 egg and 1 cup of milk.
Any help from anybody that has ever worked or visited there? Thanks!
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I posted my recipe for apple butter pancakes in the recipe forum. My family and friends RAVE about my pancakes so give them a whirl.

I like Cracker Barrel's pancakes too!
... and I thought I was the only one that needed a stop in the restroom after a CB breakfast! But this week three people mentioned they have the same problem!
Just recently had the honor to have Cracker Barrel Pancakes, delish.  I checked out the pancake mix they had in the country store, surprisingly enough ingredients also included Rye Flour.  Maybe that`s the secret ingredient.
It is funny that this thread has come back to life after so many years. Fun when that happens, actually. So, I have been using the following recipe for quite a while now.... with some great results. I modified the recipe from the Jamison's book, A Real American Breakfast.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 oz melted butter

2 large eggs, separated

1 Quart buttermilk

Stir the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl,add the melted butter and stir. Set aside. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the buttermilk. When ready, pour it in with the dry ingredients and butter mixture and combine well (but do not to over mix). Fold the egg white into the batter. Ladle into a butter-coated cast-iron pan. The pancakes should sizzle gently. Flip when the edges begin to become dull and air bubbles appear to stop popping.
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   Hi Jim!

      It's funny to see a thread resurrected after so much's also telling when the thread still gets so many additional views and comments!  I believe you've posted that pancake recipe before.  I remember trying it was quite a process but did give good results.  Thanks.

   When trying to get those crispy edged pancakes (I believe) good ol' oil in a pre-heated pan is all I need.  I've tried butter, bacon drippings, margarine, on and on without good results...vegetable oil always did the trick for me.

Jim, I tried these for the first time this fall. OMG! I found this on another website:

[h1]Cracker Barrel Buttermilk Pancakes[/h1]
By C. Taylor on September 29, 2008

12 Reviews

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Serves: 4-5, Yield: 12-15 pancakes

[h2]About This Recipe[/h2]
"Update: I have double checked the baking soda amount and it is indeed 2 tsp. Hope this helps avoid any confusion. *** I absolutely adore the pancakes served at Cracker Barrel, especially their pecan pancakes. This recipe comes from the Cracker Barrel Cookbook. In my experience, you need to make sure that your cooking surface is well greased or you get leathery pancakes."

    • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt ( heaping)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • oil (for cooking) or butter ( for cooking)
    • butter, and
    • maple syrup, for serving

  1. Mix all ingredients together until incorporated, but do not over mix.
  2. Heat a griddle or non stick pan under med. - med. high heat, and grease with a little butter or oil (more if you like a crispy edge).
  3. Drop batter using a 1/4 Celsius measuring cup onto hot pan. Once the bottom side is golden, flip and brown remaining side.
  4. Serve with butter and real maple syrup.
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I knocked Alton Brown in another thread, but I figured he might be a good source for pancakes.  

2 cups flour, 2 cups buttermilk, 2 eggs, 4 Tablespoons melted butter.  He makes an instant mix which looks like it would break down to

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 t salt

2 t sugar

Restaurant recipes I've seen called for twice as much baking soda and three times as much baking powder, probably because the batter has to last a day or two. I think I'll try 2 t soda and no baking powder like in the recipe above. Alton separated the eggs and whisked the whites with the buttermilk,  but it didnt mention anything about whipping or folding in whites, just whisk, then add yolks and butter.  
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Crackerbarrel uses vegetable based margarine on their grills to cook pancakes. The key to a nice crispy crust is a nice hot cooking surface. Cracker Barrel currently sets their grills to 400 degrees.
I have been making AB's instant pancakes for about four years now, they are the best IMO.  Light fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Hello all.  First time poster....long time lurker.  Very much enjoy and appreciate all of the advice on this site.  This pancake recipe has become a Sunday morning ritual at my house.  If you get a moment try it out, and feel free to comment / critique.

1 1/4 cups flour - I prefer King Arthur unbleached all-purpose

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons baking powder - prefer Rumford Alum free

1/4 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup whole milk

2 eggs - beaten

3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract

Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the wet ingredients.  Stir together with a fork until well mixed but batter is still a bit lumpy (sorry...not sure how best to describe this).  Let batter stand for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, heat up a non-stick griddle.  When griddle is hot, brush on a coat of Crisco Vegetable Shortening.  Give the batter another quick stir and pour your pancakes onto the griddle.  The batter will not be free-flowing, it is kind of thick so you may need to coax it out.

I serve this with a peach compote and my 6-year old daughter can't get enough.
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I worked there, the mix is pre packaged and you the add water, mix, wait 10 mins for the batter to rise, than whisk it smooth.

Bleucheese is right on about the 400 degree flat top grill but when I worked there (7years ago) we used real butter :)
I get similar results using Krusteaz brand mix, and adding more water then the directions specify to make it pourable.  Maybe even better results will be achieved with a 400 deg griddle... I don't generally griddle pancakes that hot!
I know this thread is old, but I thought I would have some points to add.

Our household loves pancakes, we have them at least once a week, and at least 50% of the time it is for a quick dinner.

These pancakes are big and fluffy.

I use a non-stick electric griddle set to almost 400º about 390º, I cook two 7-8" pancakes at a time, that is a enough for one person usually. To pour the mix on the griddle I use a 1/2 cup measure.

1st make faux buttermilk, it works better in this recipe because the reaction is better.

• 2 1/2 cups of faux buttermilk, shake well in sealed container and let sit 15-30 min, shaking a few times.
(Use white vinegar instead of lemon juice, 1 tsp per cup. White Vinegar again causes a better reaction during cooking). It doesn't hurt to make a little extra so instead of 2.5 make 2 3/4 using 3 tsp of w.v.

• 2 cups All Purpose Flower
• 2 heaping tsp of Baking Powder
• 2 tsp of Baking Soda
• 5 tbs of sugar
• 2 tsp of kosher salt
• 1/8 tsp of vanilla extract
• 6 tsp of melted butter
• 2 eggs, (separate yoke & whites, beat whites to almost fluffy)

Optional: fresh nutmeg

Makes enough for 4 people, 2 big pancakes each and maybe one or two more.

Combine dry ingredients, if you want to sift you can, I don't own a sifter, so I usually just mix, but have been known to shake the dry ingredients through a strainer with fine mesh.

Add about half the faux buttermilk, melted butter and egg yoke. To mix I use a wooden dough whip, you can simply use a spoon. I like the whip because I can easily control thickness. After you achieve the right thickness/texture, pour the egg whites in and fold in with rubber spatula.

You know the right thickness when you pour batter mix and write a D in the batter before it disappears in batter.
Gently fold in the egg whites, don't beat the batter.

To cook, When you turn on griddle, spray or use a paper towel to coat with veg oil, when finally hot, lightly coat again with oil. Using a 1/2 c measure, pour out batter. Again on batter thickness, you will know its correct, when you pour the batter on the griddle and after the initial flow the sides start to build up and expand. To thin batter, and the sides don't build up and expand, instead the batter just keeps flowing until its all too thin. Re-coat the griddle for each set of pancakes.
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I read the ingredients on the back of the pancake mix. There is a degree of corn flour in the recipe.  Every "copy cat" recipe I have read has not included it.  Maybe you might want to try adding a little. 

I was searching for the recipe this morning and found your site. 

Let me know if this works.
you need a secret decoder ring to read the recipe.
Cracker Barrel uses a bit of rye flour and cornmeal in their batter. The cormeal gives the pancakes their characteristic crispy edges. I will post a "Cracker Barrel-style pancake recipe sometime this week. Please check it out at  (link deleted, PM for info)
Hey mudbug,  Just wanted to update that I gave your pancake recipe I try and it was delish!

I also made the alton brown version and it was fluffy but kinda dense or thick tasting.  It is very similar to the cracker barrel recipe posted here.  But nothing quite the same as the cracker barrel.  I did use melted butter on my pan so it did give a light brown (uneven) and not the signature ring and crisp edge as cracker and barrel restaurant. 

Hey Jim:  I am interested trying the recipe from Jamison's book, A Real American breakfast.. 3 cups AP flour and 1/3 cup corn meal... 1 quart buttermilk, 2 eggs, separated.. etc.  Can someone downize it so smaller portion since I only keep about 2 cups or less of buttermilk on hand and that is too much flour for me.

Also separating egg whites and whipping into soft peaks in the morning is really loud in the morning and it doesn't make that much of a difference when you only make a few pancakes; since I freeze the rest.  I kinda want a no fuss breakfast.

Still trying to mimic cracker and barrel pancakes but their box mix does use 3 diff flours. cornmeal, ap flour, and rye.. any one has any updates?
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Your recipe seems to have a lot of leavening for only 2 c of flour. According the bakewise book, baking soda is 4x stronger than baking powder (which already has soda in it). so, you are using 2 heaping tsp of baking powder and 2 tsp of soda? Plus you are already whipping up the egg whites and folding them in. Wouldn't that be way too fluff? I am learning so much so please correct me.

I just made a modified alton brown and his is similar to yours with less leaving.. His had enough fluff but was kind of thick as I would have liked.

2 c AP flour

2 c. buttermilk

2 eggs (separtated and whipped the eggs whites)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp soda

3 tbs melted butter

1 tsp sugar

By the way, I have made a strawberry souffle pancake before when watching diners, drive ins and dives. That took more work since cook in cast iron skillet then place into broiler but it was too rich too eggy for my taste. But, it would be great if you want to impress out of town guest. Here is a picture of it on my blog:
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I hear ya' with the egg white-whipping.... but it does make a textural difference. Also, you can absolutely cut the recipe in half; I use the doubled version so I can make and freeze. Good luck and enjoy!
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