Matt's Recipe Book

Japanese soufflé pancakes

Prep time10 minutes (plus some chilling time beforehand)
Cooking time10 minutes

We had these fluffy soufflé-style pancakes while visiting Japan. If you don't have buttermilk, you can substitute regular whole milk soured with a tablespoon of lemon juice.


  • 4 large food rings about 8–10cm across
  • baking paper
  • large frying pan with lid


  • 200g plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla paste
  • 0.5 tbsp baking powder
  • 200ml buttermilk


  1. Before getting started, separate the egg yolks and whites and chill the whites in the fridge for at least an hour. We only need two of the egg yolks – you can retain the other two for another recipe.
  2. Whisk together the remaining two egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and buttermilk.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder, then sift into the wet ingredients while continuing to whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Place the egg whites into a bowl and the beat until they form stiff peaks
  5. Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the batter – take a quarter of the egg whites at a time and slowly fold into the batter. Don't over-mix! You're looking to create a smooth and foamy batter.
  6. Prepare the cooking rings. Cut 4 strips of parchment paper so that they can be used to line the inside of the rings, then lightly oil/grease each one with butter and place inside. Make sure there isn't any extra paper hanging over the top – you'll need to flip the rings later.
  7. Heat a frying pan large enough to contain the rings over a medium heat, and grease lightly with butter or a neutral oil. Place the lined rings into the pan.
  8. Fill each ring about 2/3 full of batter, then cover the pan with the lid. Leave to cook for about 4 minutes, until the pancake has risen to the top of the ring. Keep an eye on the heat - better to cook too slowly than too quickly.
  9. Carefully flip each ring over. The easiest way to do this is to get a spatula underneath and hold the ring with an oven glove, then perform the flip in one smooth movement. This will be messy if it goes wrong.
  10. Cover and cook for another 4 minutes. Again, keep an eye on the pancakes – you want them to be cooked through, but not burned.
  11. Remove the cooked pancakes from the frying pan and gently remove from the rings. Serve immediately.