Can Your Relationship Pass The Pancake Test?

You know it's the real deal when a guy passes 'the pancake test.'

Last updated on Feb 10, 2023

couple having pancakes in bed LightField Studios / Shutterstock

I have a true breakfast love — pancakes. Kids learn about romance from their parents, and mine taught me well. Mom made fluffy, whole-wheat pancakes, and dad drizzled them with real maple syrup.

When I got older, I made my own pancakes and soon developed three go-to recipes: granola-stuffed pumpkin, zucchini-cinnamon, and cornmeal. I cooked these pancakes for friends, family, and, most importantly, guys I dated.


After some time, I realized that these three pancakes amounted to a sort of relationship test — if a fella I was dating lasted long enough to try all three recipes, we were a good match. The guy who only wanted to eat French toast?

That wasn't going to work. The gentleman I veganized the recipes for? Things fizzled quickly.

My current boyfriend has eaten all three recipes multiple times.

But perhaps more importantly, he's also suffered through new pancake tests, like the rubbery "Oops, I have no milk or eggs" or the high-protein pancakes that burned on the outside while remaining runny inside. True pancake love isn't just about enjoying the perfect recipes; it's also about accepting the flawed ones.


If he lasts long enough to try these three pancake recipes, he's a keeper:

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1. Granola pumpkin pancakes

Fold granola into this spiced pumpkin pancake batter for a bit of crunch.

Serves: 4 

Ingredients (15)

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

2 eggs

2 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup granola

Maple syrup (optional)


Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through salt).
Mix together buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Whisk into flour mixture. Fold in granola.
Spray the griddle with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Spoon batter onto griddle 1/4 cup per pancake) and cook over medium heat, flipping when tiny bubbles appear in the pancake. Continue cooking until golden on each side. Serve with maple syrup, if using.


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2. Zucchini-cinnamon pancakes

Tender and delicious—and chock-full of healthful zucchini—these pancakes are a great breakfast treat.

Serves: 4 

Ingredients (12)

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 cup 2 percent reduced-fat milk

3/4 cup grated zucchini, excess liquid squeezed out

Cooking spray


Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through salt).
In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, butter and milk. Add to flour mixture, and whisk to combine. Stir in zucchini.
Spray griddle with cooking spray. Spoon batter onto griddle (1/4-cup per pancake) and cook over medium heat, flipping when tiny bubbles appear in the pancake. Continue cooking until golden on each side. Great served with maple syrup and blueberries.


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3. Cornmeal pancake


1 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour


1 cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Cooking spray, for greasing pan

Butter and syrup, garnish


Gather the ingredients. In a small pot on medium-low heat, add the milk with the butter and cook until the mixture begins to simmer. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend.  Add the hot milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk to blend. Whisk in the beaten egg. Let batter sit for 10 minutes to hydrate.

Coat a large nonstick or cast-iron griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, ladle 2 tablespoons of batter per johnnycake onto the pan and spread to about 3 inches in diameter, leaving a few inches of space between. Cook until golden brown on both sides, 11 to 12 minutes total. Spray the pan with a fresh coating of cooking oil between batches.


Serve hot with butter and syrup as for pancakes, or serve them as bread with butter. 

With these recipes, you'll be a chef in no time, and learn to have better eating habits!

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