Cracker Barrel's Pancakes

Joined Oct 28, 1999
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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Joined May 6, 2001
Check out the books by Todd Wilbur-"Top Secret Recipes". I think he covers restaurant recipes as well as grocery store items. check out the web site too.

Good Luck.

Also, you might even want to ask them at the restaurant the next time you are there-some places will give out their recipes.
Joined Dec 6, 2001
My father fries his pancakes with a combination of butter and bacon drippings, when I asked him he said a few spoonfuls of bacon grease. I wonder if that is what adds the crispness and browning? I love Dad's pancakes, but never had Cracker Barrel's to compare.
Joined Nov 17, 2000
I've never had the pancakes--my husband likes them. But I've always wondered what it is in Cracker Barrel's food that upsets my stomach. I like the taste, but my tummy hates it! I keep suspecting sugar, salt, grease. I especially like their beef stew and cornbread--mundane of me, I guess, but it sure tastes good on a cold day!
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Thanks for the input. The only info I could muster out of the waitress was that they don't use lard or bacon drippings, only a vegetable-based shortening (a/k/a margerine). So, I will continue my quest to 'break the pancake code'. Wish me luck...
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Haven't had those pancakes either but you might want to try this and see what you think. If you do, let us know how you like them....

International House of Pancakes Pancake Recipe from TSR

Nonstick Spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cooking oil
pinch of salt

1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Use a pan with a nonstick surface or apply a little nonstick spray.

2. In a blender or with a mixer, combine all of the remaining ingredients until smooth.

3. Pour the batter by spoonfuls into the hot pan, forming 5-inch circles.

4. When the edges appear to harden, flip the pancakes. They should be golden brown.

5. Cook pancakes on the other side for same amount of time, until golden brown.

Makes 8 to 10 pancakes.
Joined Nov 17, 2000
cchiu--your IHOP pancake recipe got me a new electric griddle. My husband loves pancakes, and as soon as he saw that recipe, he was ready for a big plateful. Haven't cooked them yet, but this weekend ... :D
Joined Aug 4, 2000
I get fluffier pancakes when using RUMFORD BAKING POWDER as opposed to the Calument brand. RUMFORD BAKING POWDER seems much more active. Get RUMFORD and you'll see better results. You can purchase it at better food stores.
Joined Dec 30, 1999

LOL! Nothing like breaking in new kitchen equipment! Would love to know how it turns out. Keep us informed!

You might like this too:

Belgian Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups milk
3 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt
fruit of your choice
whipped cream

Combine the flour, baking powder, confectioners' sugar, oil, milk and egg yolks. Beat the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks and fold into the batter (do not overmix). Using a 4-ounce ladle, pour 1/8 of the mixture into a hot waffle iron and bake for about 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter. Top with the fruit and whipped cream and serve hot. Yield: 8 waffles.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Your belgian waffle recipe is very similar to mine except for the confectioner's sugar. I always used extra-fine sugar but I definitely will try this version as soon as I find my belgian waffle maker!

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Buttermilk. yogurt or sour cream add tenderness to batters.
I can get the crispy edge using oil, but butter will give you the flavor....maybe a mix of both.
Try different flours....a soft wheat like White's amazing the difference in baked goods, I'd assume it would be the same for griddle cakes.
***check out their store to see if they sell the mix....I wouldn't be surprised if they did....and you know the restaurants are using a mix not mixing their own.
Joined Dec 6, 2001
Had lunch at Cracker Barrel today, and they sell pancake mix in their gift shop. Seemed pretty normal, but maybe Jim wants to try it out.
Joined Apr 29, 2008
If you don't want to change from milk to buttermilk, you can add a little lemon juice to lighten the batter as well. The acid gets the gas moving with the baking soda.
Joined Jan 10, 2008
Jim, I agree with you that Cracker Barrel's pancakes are the best. I have three of Todd Wilbur's Restuarant Secret books, and they do not have the recipe listed in any of them. I have had the pancake mix which is good, but I was unable to replicate the crunchy outside texture that they do so well. It's Sunday morning, and now I want some pancakes!! Good luck on your pancake venture....
Joined Apr 17, 2006
It's the amount of oil you use and the heat of the pan that gives the crunch. You need a fairly heavy pan (cast iron works well) well heated with a not too thin layer of oil. My grandpa made the best pancakes in the world, but I don't know what he used for oil. We never had margarine in the house, so I know it wasn't that. It had to be butter, Crisco or some kind of oil. If you make pancakes in a lighly oiled pan, they will come out with an evenly browned cake-like surface and white edge. If you add more oil, you will get a crisp brown edge and unevenly colored surface. Hope this helps you.
Joined May 7, 2008
I LOVE Cracker Barrel's pancakes, too!! :lips: The way I get that crispy edge is to use Crisco shortening (not oil) on a nice hot griddle. No non-stick spray! And butter doesn't work either. Too brown by the time it's hot enough to make a crispy edge. IMHO
Joined Apr 3, 2008
I've often wondered about the secret to cracker barrel pancakes. I'm not a fan of pancakes but I can't go to cracker barrel without having a plateful of pancakes (delish) eggs, bacon (thick!) and their homefries casserole (best I've ever had).

As for the pancakes, I swear they must fry them. I'm pretty sure they use crisco and lots of it, enough to puddle the pan.
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