Food is a family affair

Our lives revolve around food. Some of the best times we have are in the kitchen, preparing everything from simple lunches to all-out feasts - with the freshest ingredients we can find.

Special occasions usually find us with several generations in the kitchen together and various extended family members contributing to a fabulous feast.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Cream Pancakes

This recipe is my homage to the Sweet Cream Pancakes at the Black Bear Diner in Bullhead City, Arizona.   I had them for the first time last year, and fell in love.  They are so good, they need no syrup, like a fluffy, slightly sweet cloud that smells and tastes of vanilla.

So I went home and did what I usually do, which is to scour the internet for a recipe.  I found a few more people like me, looking for answers, but only one recipe that even sounded close.
So I went to work, with my husband and son as my guinea pigs (such a tough job), toying with the right balance of creamy, sweet and fluffy.

I don't eat out at restaurants as a regular thing, since I have a hard time handing over my hard-earned money eating food that is just better from my kitchen. Yes, I am a conceited Food Snob, but I also know when to bow down to someone of superior cooking skill.  So, upon this year's trip to Bullhead, I look forward to visiting the Black Bear Diner and humbling myself.

In the meantime, this isn't a bad alternative!

These pancakes are much like most of my recipes.... not difficult to make, just a bit time (and bowl) consuming.

1 - 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar (you can use as little as 1 tablespoon, or even better, use Agave Nectar)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2-4 large eggs, separated.

Start with a 2 cup measuring cup, measure 1- 1/2 cups of milk. When I say milk, you can use anything from low-fat all the way to cream, depending on how rich (and fattening) you'd like your pancakes to be. I like using half and half. Stay away from fat free milk, AND I have no idea if soy, almond, or any other substitute will work To the milk, add 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar.

In a medium-sized bowl, measure 2 cups all purpose flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder, mix together. Now you will separate eggs. The yolks will go in the milk mixture, and the whites will go in a small mixing bowl. I use 4 eggs- 2 yolks go in the milk and all four whites go in my mixing bowl.
Use a small whisk to scramble the egg yolks into the milk mixture, then pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until large lumps are gone.

Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form, then fold into the batter.

Heat griddle to 300 degrees, then pour spoonfuls of batter onto hot griddle.
Presto Cool Touch Electric Griddle
(My griddle used to be non-stick, but it needs a wipe with vegetable oil or butter once in a while)

Cook pancakes till bubbles on the surface start breaking open, flip, then cook till the other side is golden brown. I make pancakes about 6" in diameter, this recipe makes 9 pancakes that size. Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.... butter, syrup, powdered sugar, fruit preserves, etc.

* more explanation about the eggs-
 I use the remaining egg yolks another way, they don't get wasted. You can put all four egg yolks in your pancakes, they will still be good, just very "eggy". If you only use two eggs, the pancakes will also be just fine....I just like the extra egg white to make them extra-fluffy!
Also, this same recipe, using all four eggs makes an OUTSTANDING waffle batter.


  1. Instead of using syrup try just putting butter on them than sprinkle a little sugar on top of the butter. Im an over the road trucker and had these at a
    small restaurant in Nevada they were so good with the butter and sugar on top

  2. I had these at the Black Bear Diner in St. George, Utah. Yummy!

  3. I have seriously contemplated getting a job at the Black Bear Diner in CO Springs just to learn how to make these pancakes. I hope this recipe works! I LOVE them. The first time I had them was on my baby's due date, we went to our appt and they said "not today" so we went to breakfast, the next morning I told my husband, "I want those pancakes again" and finally 4 days later I went into labor and I went to the hospital and they said I was only 3cm so go get some breakfast and walk around so I got more pancakes!!!!

  4. Just tried it too. While the pancakes tasted good, they did not have the thickness and creamy cakeness of the Black Bear ones. I am not a pancake conossiere, but my husband is. I am trying to find a way of not going to the Black Bear all the time as I love to stay at home...What are your thoughts to add to this recipe. They also were not as thick as those ones.

    1. Cash and carry stores has the sweet cream pancake mix used at black bear diners

    2. What? Where are these stores?

  5. I have been to Black Bear Diner many times. These pancakes were nothing like BBD's. Too sweet and not enough flavor besides that. But my family didn't complain. They just asked if these were different from what I normally make.

  6. Per the waitress at black bear, they put cake batter in their pancakes. This could be what's missing. It would add flavor, sweetness, and fluffiness.

  7. Is 300° a little too cool? We had these this morning and they were great but they took a long time to cook.

  8. I should've added more sugar. I used heavy whipping cream, 1 cup, and 1/2 cup of milk. VERY rich! But yes, more sugar next time.