Skip to Content

McDonald’s Pancake Recipe (Hotcakes)

This McDonald’s pancake recipe brings a beloved fast food breakfast menu item into your own kitchen. Make a copycat version with healthier ingredients and save your money (and gas!) with a homemade alternative to the drive-through. These hotcakes are light and fluffy, with a buttery flavor you’ll love.

What is the difference between pancakes and hotcakes?

Are pancakes and hotcakes the same? Both words describe a popular breakfast dish and are often used interchangeably. While there may be a subtle culinary distinction between the two, in McDonald’s view they are the same. 

There is no difference. We just prefer to call them ‘hotcakes’ instead of ‘pancakes.’ Still round, fluffy and topped with real butter. Simple as that.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s has undoubtedly influenced common usage of the terms, but others cling to recognizing the differences.

According to The Kitchen Community, hotcakes is a broader term that can encompass any small (sweet or savory) griddle-fried cake, while pancakes are specifically considered a sweet breakfast food. Furthermore, hotcakes are thicker and denser with a narrower diameter than pancakes which cook in a larger shape with a light texture.

Regardless of the name, we love McDonald’s breakfast foods and have other great copycat recipes for you, like Copycat McDonald’s Biscuits and the classic McDonald’s Breakfast Sauce.

A stack of copycat McDonald's pancake with syrup in a white plate.

How to Make McDonald’s Pancakes Recipe

Gather a few everyday ingredients, follow the simple step-by-step directions, and soon you’ll know exactly how to make McDonald’s pancakes at home. It’s easy, I promise!

As of Oct 2022, the ingredient list for McDonald’s pancakes includes wheat flour, water, eggs, whey powder, vegetable oil, salt, and vinegar. The list sounds pretty standard for a pancake recipe, but then they add raising agents, an emulsifier, preservatives, and artificial flavoring.

Personally, I prefer the cleaner and higher-quality ingredient list of this homemade McDonald’s copycat pancake recipe. We get all the same texture and flavor but with real food ingredients while still on a budget.

Ingredients

I bet you already have these ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Like all the best family-friendly recipes, copycat McDonald’s pancakes use everyday ingredients you’ll recognize as common staples.

  • Flour – all-purpose white flour is best
  • Sugar – granulated white sugar (the everyday kind you’re used to)
  • Baking powder – a leavening that helps the pancakes rise nicely. Baking powder is key for a light and fluffy texture.
  • Salt – a pinch of sea salt is delicious!
  • Milk – use any milk you like or substitute it with buttermilk for a tangy treat
  • Eggs – Use large eggs. I was surprised to learn about McD’s goal of using 100% cage-free and free-range eggs by 2025. Currently, most, if not all US and Canadian locations are already serving free-range eggs. That’s pretty cool!
  • Butter – the best fat for cooking pancakes in my opinion. The butter is for frying only, so use cold or already softened butter. But don’t add it to the batter.

McDonald’s serves their hotcakes with maple syrup and a pat of butter, but since you’re making these in the comfort of your own home, you can dress them up even more.

Best pancake toppings:

  • Maple syrup
  • Butter
  • Applesauce
  • Fresh berries
  • Sliced bananas
  • Toasted chopped almonds or walnuts
  • Sautéed apples and cinnamon
  • Chocolate sauce and marshmallows
  • Honey
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter
  • Jam or jelly
  • Whipped cream
  • Nutella
  • Bacon

Mix and match the toppings you like most.

A stack of copycat McDonald's pancakes on a white plate with one side cut into a triangle portion.

Step-By-Step Directions

My recipe for McDonalds hotcakes is so simple to make. You can cook them any day of the week without much preparation or forethought.

Preheat

Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

Mix ingredients

Whisk all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You only need to whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl first before adding everything together in one single bowl. It’s so easy!

Combine well until there are no lumps in the batter, but don’t over mix or the gluten in the wheat flour will get too stiff and you risk losing the light and fluffy pancake texture we all love so much.

Cook

Add ½ tbsp butter to the hot griddle or pan. Then, scoop the batter with a ⅓ cup measuring cup and carefully pour it into the hot butter. Using a measuring cup will make each pancake the same size, and look perfectly uniform.

Wait until the edges rise away from the pan and the bubbles on top begin to pop before flipping over. Your spatula should slide under the first side easily, if it sticks or the pancake starts to crumple, the batter is still undercooked. Wait a little longer before trying to flip again.

The second side only needs to cook for about 60 seconds.

Repeat (butter, batter, look for bubbles, then flip) until the batter cooks. You’ll get a nice stack of pancakes at the end of this!

It’s nice if you can cook three pancakes at a time because each serving will be ready at once and you can pass them around while they are piping hot off the griddle.

Serve

Serve hot with maple and butter or any optional toppings listed above in the ingredients section. I love hotcakes with a side of breakfast sausage fresh out of the oven or air fryer.

McDonald's pancakes on a white plate with one side cut into a triangle portion.

McDonald’s Pancake Nutrition Facts

Are you wondering how many calories in McDonald’s pancakes? The restaurant states that their item of three McDonald’s hotcakes has 580 calories. This includes butter and maple-flavored syrup.

This homemade McDonalds pancake copycat recipe yields 12 pancakes or 4 servings.

Each serving contains the following nutrition profile (plus toppings):

  • 427 calories
  • 14 g protein
  • 11 g fat
  • 68 g total carbs
  • 2 g fiber
  • 66 net carbs
A stack of copycat McDonald's pancakes on a white plate with one side cut into a triangle portion on a fork.

More Easy Breakfast Recipes

More Easy Copycat Recipes

A stack of copycat McDonald's pancake with dripping pancake syrup in a white plate.

Copycat McDonald’s Pancakes Recipe

Jessica Haggard
This McDonald’s pancake recipe brings a beloved fast food breakfast menu item into your own kitchen. Make a copycat version with healthier ingredients and save your money (and gas!) with a homemade alternative to the drive-through. These hotcakes are light and fluffy, with a buttery flavor you’ll love.
4.83 from 88 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Copycat
Servings 12 pancakes
Calories 427 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided

Instructions
 

  • Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Then, add the wet ingredients (reserve the butter) and combine well until there are no lumps, but don’t over-mix.
  • Add ½ tablespoon butter to the hot griddle or pan. Scoop ⅓ cup of batter and fry it in butter. Wait until the edges rise away from the pan and the bubbles begin to pop before flipping and cooking the other side for 60 seconds. Repeat and cook all the batter. Add more butter to the pan whenever it dries up or the pancakes start sticking.
  • Serve hot with maple and butter or any of the optional toppings listed above in the post text.

Notes

There are more important notes and tips shared in the post above (like how to know when to flip pancakes, the best pancake toppings, and more!). I highly recommend you read the whole post before making the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 427kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 14gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 1453mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19g
Keyword McDonalds hotcakes, mcdonalds pancake recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating




Tammy

Friday 14th of October 2022

This brings back so many fond memories for me! Growing up the McDonald's griddle cakes were my favorite weekend treat! Yours look so perfectly light and fluffy. Cannot wait to try!

Jessica Haggard

Monday 17th of October 2022

Thanks, Tammy :) Hope you enjoy!

Jamie

Thursday 13th of October 2022

Wow! This totally looks like the original pancakes that we all love! This looks so yummy and the texture is just so perfect! Loved it!

mikayla

Wednesday 12th of October 2022

Pancakes are a win in our house for breakfast anytime. These were certainly very good and we will make them again!

Jessica Haggard

Monday 17th of October 2022

Great to hear, Mikayla! Be sure to bookmark the page for easy reference!

Marie

Wednesday 12th of October 2022

I have such fond memories of eating McDonald's pancakes when I was a child! My parents wouldn't take us there very often so every visit was an event. I'd never succeeded in producing quite that fluffy texture at home, but your recipe did it! Loved it and my family did too. Thanks for cracking the code! 😉

Jessica Haggard

Monday 17th of October 2022

Lol...cracking the code indeed! ;)

Megan

Wednesday 12th of October 2022

These are sensational! So much like McDonald's pancakes.

Mastodon