Monday, April 30, 2012

And That's Why, Thanks to Phila, We Have Cake Every Morning

image from

My apologies to Maurice Sendak for the title of this post. Because, of course, in In the Night Kitchen, it's thanks to Mickey we have cake in the morning.  We read that book countless times to our kids when they were little.  That Mickey, what a scamp!

This post, however, is not about Maurice Sendak, or Mickey, or night kitchens.  It's about the classic breakfast cake -- pancakes.

Even when I am in a cooking funk, I can be counted on to rustle up a batch of pancakes for weekend breakfasts.  We have two competing pancake recipes at our house.  Our son much prefers buttermilk pancakes -- he is even a little militant about it -- so when he is home and there is a call for pancakes, that's what I usually make.  Our daughter prefers a recipe called Fluffy Hot Cakes, but she seldom gets to have them.  This past weekend, though, she was the only child around, so I made her preferred cakes.

This recipe is an older one.  My aunt gave me a cookbook when I was in college called Kitchen Kollege Recipes by Phila Rawlings Hach.  Phila Rawlings grew up in the same community north of Nashville as my mother and her siblings.   She became quite a well-known cook and caterer in Tennessee.  The Kitchen Kollege book was initially published in 1954 when Rawlings Hach (Miss Rawlings at that time) was hosting a local TV cooking show of the same name in Nashville.  The book was reprinted in 1975. It's a very basic cookbook which includes no photographs but which does include an assumption of a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the cook.  For example, in the section "Foods from the Wild," she will just tell the reader, "Clean turtle.  Cut up."  I don't know about you, but I would need a lot more info before I knew how to clean a turtle.

You don't need any special, secret knowledge to prepare Rawlings Hach's Fluffy Hot Cakes recipe.  It is easy to follow and easy to eat!  At our house, we call these pancakes "Phila's Fluffies." I often throw in a tablespoon of sesame seeds to add a little body to the pancakes.

On the griddle: Look at all those bubbles!  That's the fluffy!

Fluffy Hot Cakes
Slightly adapted from Kitchen Kollege Recipes by Phila Rawlings Hach

1 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (can omit)

Sift dry ingredients together.  Beat egg , milk and oil together and add to dry ingredients.  Mix with wire whisk until smooth.  Add sesame seeds and mix well.

Bake on electric griddle at 375 degrees F. until fluffy and brown.  Turn only once. 


  1. Oh, this is just too cruel! In the midst of doing my store inventory my tummy started GROWLING at the sight of these fluffy pancakes!!

  2. So glad that your daughter got to have her favorites!

  3. Are you sure you're not some secret story teller? You tell the best stories! And where were you when I needed you? I've been craving pancakes lately but haven't the motivation to actually make them. Perhaps your "girl child" will allow me to share you for a spell. :-)

  4. Honestly, I have never ever even tried American pancakes :) We only eat french ones, i.e. crepes. I wonder what the taste will be and I think I am doing them tomorrow! That will be a challenge! Can I make them in a pan instead of a griddle?

  5. Oh, I do love pancakes...I'm with you son on them though...buttermilk all the way. I might have to try this recipe though, looks yummy!

  6. I love pancakes, any kind....for breakfast lunch or dinner! However I eat mine with corn syrup (maybe a little crazy but that is how my aunt served them) and now I cannot eat them with maple syrup! Yummy Goodness!

  7. we love pancakes in our home too, but I must confess, I buy the aunt jemimah just add water box mix. shhhh, don't tell anyone. lol

  8. I love pancakes!I think it's the Disneyland of breakfast: It brings out the best of us! Yours look delicious! xoxo

  9. Mmm - what can I say - they look delicious - I know where to look when I need a good recipe - your blog :) Maggie xx

  10. YUM!!! That's one thing that I'm definitely missing while on this smoothie kick. My weakness!!!

  11. I like to make pancakes but I don't have a griddle. I need one like yours. I'll have to look out for one. I don't think they're that common here, I think they're more of an American gadget. What a great breakfast! These look incredible xx

  12. Yum! And we just happen to be having pancakes this morning! My hubby is the breakfast chef and he likes to add a bit of vanilla in the mix -- delicious!
    Thanks for stopping by my little crochet flower garden!! : )

  13. I can't tell you how long it's been since I made pancakes from scratch. I love a good airy pancake though, so maybe I need to go back to the basics.


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