Tired of boring old pancakes? This easy upgrade will change the way you brunch

This deceptively simple recipe starts with boxed pancake mix — and there's no flipping required!

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Food Editor

Published August 20, 2022 4:30PM (EDT)

Pancakes In Plate (Getty Images/Akira Watanabe/EyeEm)
Pancakes In Plate (Getty Images/Akira Watanabe/EyeEm)

I don't mind most kitchen tasks, even the ones that folks tend to find at least a little onerous like breading cutlets, peeling boiled eggs, ​​​​​​​cleaning leeks or chopping onions. These are all fine by me. Instead, I dread flipping pancakes, which is objectively more innocuous. 

If I'm being honest, while I wake up most weekends craving pancakes, I rarely feel like standing by the stove with a spatula before I've had a cup of coffee. It's not schlepping out the ingredients or even mixing the batter. It's the flipping

That's why skillet pancakes are my go-to weekend breakfast of choice these days. As the name suggests, a skillet pancake is a large pancake made, well, in a skillet. (I prefer cast iron, but anything oven-safe will do the trick.)

Though you can use homemade batter, I tend to just doctor up the boxed stuff with good, seasonal ingredients — as in the case of this skillet pancake with vanilla-infused blackberry sauce. It's a deceptively simple meal that still feels really decadent thanks to the inclusion of real buttermilk, a little cornmeal (which adds a toothsome nuttiness to the batter), ripe blackberries and aromatic vanilla extract. 

Skillet Pancake with Vanilla-Infused Blackberry Sauce 
4-6 servings
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes


  • 2 cups pancake mix
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 4 tablespoons cornmeal 
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 pint blackberries 
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pancake mix, buttermilk, eggs, cornmeal and 3 tablespoons of sugar. 

  2. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter to it. Once the butter is melted, make sure the entire skillet is greased, then remove it from the heat and add the batter. Ensure the batter is smooth and level. 

  3. Place the skillet in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

  4. Meanwhile, let's make the blackberry sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the blackberries, orange zest, vanilla extract and cinnamon stick (if desired). Cover the mixture with water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Allow the mixture to continue simmering while the pancake is baking, stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce by half during this time and become a little syrupy. 

  5. When ready, remove the blackberry sauce from the heat. If you added the cinnamon stick, discard it.

  6. Remove the pancake from the oven and allow it to cool just slightly. Slice into individual pieces and cover with the blackberry sauce. 

Cook's Notes

Not sure of what pancake mix to grab? I reach for Bisquick.

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By Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's food editor. She is also an award-winning radio producer, editor and features writer — with a special emphasis on food, culture and subculture. Her writing has appeared in and on The Atlantic, National Geographic’s “The Plate,” Eater, VICE, Slate, Salon, The Bitter Southerner and Chicago Magazine, while her audio work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Here & Now, as well as APM’s Marketplace. She is based in Chicago.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Blackberries Breakfast Brunch Buttermilk Food Pancakes Recipe Skillet Vanilla