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Passover Pancakes

These Passover pancakes are extremely fluffy and so good they are arguably better than regular pancakes.  Serve alone, with your favorite toppings, or smothered in syrup.

Stack of Passover Pancakes on a white plate sitting on a white marble counter

If you’re not knew to my blog you may already know that my family is really big on pancakes.  

We love regular pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, banana pancake, banana chocolate chip pancakes, chocolate pancakes, sour milk pancakes, and sourdough pancakes.  

So when Passover comes around guess what is on our breakfast menu? You got it. Pancakes.

Now let’s talk pancakes.

What makes a good pancake? A pancake must be fluffy. It must also have a touch of sweetness but not be too sweet that toppings can’t be added.

Oh and it also can’t be so thin it is like a crepe or so thick that you can’t enjoy it.

Well, let me tell you, this Passover pancake has it all.

Say what you will about Passover food – and if you don’t eat kitnyot there isn’t much good to say – but these pancakes are good.  

They are some of the lightest and fluffiest I’ve ever tasted!  

One of my brothers even said he prefers them to regular pancakes which may be taking it a little far… but to each their own.

By the way, if you like these pancakes check out these Passover Chocolate Crepes!

CAN YOU USE BAKING POWDER ON PASSOVER?

Absolutely! As long as the box is marked kosher for Passover with a “P” next to the kosher symbol.

I get this question a lot because of the fact that it is a leavener.

The truth is though, while laws regarding Passover are complex, the focus is on wheat flour rather than the leavener itself.

In fact, the there wasn’t anything to leaven bread in ancient times except wild yeast.

So, the bread they were making was something of a sour dough bread.

This is the reason it took so long to rise.

DRY VS LIQUID MEASURING CUP

Ever wonder why measuring spoons often come with a set of measuring cups?  I used to.  I didn’t see why we needed a set when we could have one large measuring cup. 

After a quick search, I had my answer.  I discovered that the large measuring cup is used for liquids, whereas the set is used for dry ingredients.

As it turns out, if you try to measure dry ingredients with a liquid cup, the measurements get messed up. 

First, you pour the flour or cocoa in, then you shake it around to get it level, and then you add more. 

By shaking it, you are causing the powder to settle, and when you add more, you end up using more than called for.

HOW TO MEASURE DRY INGREDIENTS

Using a dry measuring cup, scoop ingredients from the bag or spoon them into the cup.  Next, level off the ingredient by removing the excess with an upside-down butter knife.

The one exception to this is brown sugar.  Both light and dark brown sugar should be packed down and then any excess should be scraped off as well. 

WHICH TYPE OF OIL TO USE

I use neutral oils.  However, if preferred, a stronger flavored, like coconut oil, can be used.

Understanding Sugar

Sugar may seem very basic if you’ve baked before, but I’ve been asked about it before, so I’m explaining.

There are many different types of sugar, including white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar, turbinado sugar, and demerara sugar.

When a recipe – any recipe, not just mine – says “sugar” without specifying anything else, it is regular white sugar.

White Sugar

White sugar (sometimes called granulated sugar, table sugar, or white granulated sugar) is made of either beet sugar or cane sugar, which has undergone a refining process.

It is the easiest to find and most commonly used.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it.

It is commonly used in chocolate chip cookie recipes, and it’s rare for a recipe that calls for brown sugar not to also call for white sugar as well.

When a recipe calls for “brown sugar” but doesn’t specify what type (light or dark), it is referring to light brown sugar.

In my recipes, you can use whatever type of brown sugar you have on hand whether it is dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, or demerara sugar – which is very common in Israel.

Just keep in mind that the flavor and color will be slightly different depending on what you choose to use.

Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar is better known as “raw sugar”. But, despite this name, the sugar is not really “raw.”

Instead, it’s partially refined sugar that retains some of the original molasses.

The term “raw sugar” may also give off the impression that it is somehow healthier.

In reality, turbinado sugar is nutritionally similar to white sugar.

Demerara Sugar

Demerara sugar is very popular in Israel and is especially delicious in tea but is also used for baking.

Unlike white sugar, demerara sugar undergoes minimal processing and retains some vitamins and mineral.

However, it is still not much healthier than white sugar.

Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar is not very common in the States. However, it is common in Israel and parts of Europe.

This is sugar that sat for an extended period of time with vanilla beans, giving it a vanilla flavor.

Caster Sugar

This type of sugar is common in the United Kingdom.

It has a finer grain than white (granulated) sugar and larger than powdered sugar.

Caster sugar is often called for in recipes for delicate baked goods like meringues, souffles, and sponge cakes.

You can use a 1:1 conversion rate between caster sugar and white (granulated) sugar.

Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar, sometimes known as confectioners’ sugar, is a sugar with a powdered texture.

This sugar is rarely, if ever, used for baking. Instead, it is used for dusting desserts and making frosting and icings.

In some countries, you can also find powdered vanilla sugar. It is made the exact same way regular vanilla sugar is made. However, the sugar used is powdered instead of granulated.

Vanilla Extract vs Vanilla sugar

In my recipes, I don’t specify what kind of vanilla to use.

The reason for this is that in the States, vanilla extract is exclusively used. Meanwhile in Israel, along with many European countries, vanilla sugar is common.

In most, if not all recipes, both vanilla extract and vanilla sugar can be used.

In recipes where vanilla sugar can be used instead of extract, you can replace them 1:1.

DO EGGS NEED TO BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

The short answer is “no”.  While a side-by-side comparison shows that baking with eggs at room temperature makes a better crumb, it’s not otherwise noticeable.

What are Eggs used for?

Eggs do three things in most recipes: they help bind the ingredients together, act as a mild leavening agent, and they add moisture.

EGG FREE OPTION

Eggs can be substituted with 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce per egg.  This means for recipes calling for 2 eggs, you’d need 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce.

The reason applesauce makes a good binder is that it’s high in pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch in fruits and berries that acts as a thickening agent and stabilizer in food.

This happens when combined with sugar and acid (if the fruit or berry isn’t naturally acidic).

Just keep in mind that it may change the flavor slightly.

ARE EGGS DAIRY?

No, eggs are not dairy.  Dairy is milk and any food products made from milk, including cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt. 

So, while eggs are an animal product, they are not dairy. In fact, eggs fall under the protein food group.

Can I use Baking Soda Instead?

I always recommend following a recipe as it is written. However, if you only have baking soda on hand, you can use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

BAKING POWDER VS BAKING SODA

I’ve had a number of comments ask me questions about baking soda and baking powder. 

I’ve also noticed that if the wrong one is used, things don’t come out as they should. 

Using baking soda instead of baking powder can give your recipe a terrible metallic taste, while using baking powder instead of baking soda leaves your baked goods looking flat.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a leavening agent which means it helps things rise.  

It does this by creating carbon dioxide when it reacts to an acid such as cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar. 

When the carbon dioxide is released, it causes the familiar texture and crumb in pancakes, cakes, quick breads, soda bread, and other baked and fried foods.

Baking soda works well with sourdough because sourdough is acidic.  When combined, it makes a lighter product with a less acidic taste (since baking soda is alkaline).

BAKING POWDER

Baking powder is also a leavening agent and it is a mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar, and sometimes cornstarch.

Most baking powder sold is double-acting. This means that the leavening occurs in two steps.

First time it is activated is when baking powder gets wet, which is why you cannot prepare some batters ahead of time to bake later.

The second time is when the baking powder is exposed to heat.  This happens when the batter is being baked or fried.

Since baking powder already contains an acid, it is most often used when a recipe does not call for an additional acidic ingredient or too little of one.

WHY SOME RECIPES CALL FOR BOTH

Some recipes call for both baking powder and baking soda when the carbon dioxide created from the acid and baking soda is not enough to leaven the volume of batter in the recipe.  

Too much baking soda gives a terrible metallic taste, so baking powder is added to give it more lift.

WHICH ONE IS STRONGER?

You may have already guessed the answer since baking soda is used to make baking powder and you need more baking powder per cup of flour, but I’ll tell you anyway.

Baking soda is four times stronger than baking powder.  That is why you will, more often than not, see recipes that only call for baking soda rather than recipes that only call for baking powder.

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is good indefinitely past its “best by” date, although it can lose potency over time.  A rule of thumb is two years for an unopened package and six months for an opened package.   

However, to be honest, I’ve used very old baking soda with good results.

BAKING POWDER

Like baking soda, baking powder is good indefinitely past its “best by” date and can lose its potency over time.  For both opened and unopened, it’s ideal to use it within nine months to a year.

While storing it, make sure to keep it in a dry place and away from humidity.

HOW TO TEST IF IT’S STILL GOOD

BAKING POWDER

To test baking powder, pour 3 tablespoons of warm water into a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and stir.

If the baking powder is good to use, it should fizz a little.

BAKING SODA

To test baking soda, pour 3 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar into a small bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and stir.  

The mixture should rapidly bubble if the soda is fresh.

Can I Double this recipe?

Only if you make a single batch two times.

My Mom tried doubling it (she hates to cook so she doubles everything to avoid doing it a second time) and it didn’t workout well.

Passover Pancake Tip:

I recommend spraying the pan with oil before each pancake.  

Spray oil gives a light coating so it’s not too oily and spraying before each one makes it easier to flip.

Snafu

We made the batter and then got busy doing other things. This quickly turned into a very thick batter.

To fix this we added water as needed until we got the right consistency.

It still tasted good but I felt it was better when we didn’t do this. Though, honestly, that my have been my imagination.

Yield: 6 servings

Passover Pancakes

Stack of Passover Pancakes on a white plate sitting on a white marble counter

Incredibly moist and fluffy pancakes that are kosher for Passover.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups matzo meal (160 grams)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (75 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water (120 milliliters)
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Instructions

  1. Whisk together matzo meal, potato starch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add eggs and water. Mix well.
  3. Lightly coat a small frying pan or a griddle pan with oil. Lower to a medium low flame.
  4. Using a ladle pour in the batter. Cook on one side until bubbles form. Flip and cook for about another minute. 
  5. (If the batter begins to thicken add a little water at a time to thin it out - up to 1/2 cup.)
  6. Remove and repeat with the remaining batter.

Notes

If you let the batter sit for 10 minutes you will get denser pancakes.

If you do not let the batter sit but notice it getting thicker as you make them add a little liquid until you get the desired consistency.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 599mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

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Passover Chocolate Crepes
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Rachel

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

Can I use matzah cake meal instead of matzah meal?

ElissaBeth

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

You can, but you may need less liquid so keep an eye on that.

Deenie Noff

Tuesday 14th of April 2020

I was originally worried about the matzah meal since my kids are so over the matzah taste this Passover but these came out delicious! Thank you! (I followed the recipe exactly, no changes)

ElissaBeth

Tuesday 14th of April 2020

I'm happy to hear it! :)

Arna Beloff

Friday 10th of April 2020

Can I use 2 egg whites for 1egg (actually I would like to substitute 2 whole eggs)

ElissaBeth

Sunday 12th of April 2020

I've never tried it... but in theory it should work. If you do try it, please let me know how it comes out :)

Karen

Monday 30th of March 2020

Could I sub almond flour for matza meal? If so, should I change the quantity of any other ingredients?

ElissaBeth

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

I'm sorry, I've never used almond follower instead of matzo meal so I'd have no idea how to substitute it.

Li

Monday 30th of March 2020

Can you substitute bicarbonate soda for the baking powder?

ElissaBeth

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

Yes. Baking powder can be replaced with baking soda at 1/3 the amount since baking soda is much stronger.

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