Recipe for Mom’s Fluffy Pancakes: Natasha Kravchuk of ‘Natasha’s Kitchen’ Reveals Her Secret

Natasha Kravchuk’s mother, affectionately referred to as Baba by her children, has perfected the art of making Ukrainian pancakes, a tradition that takes place every Sunday in their household.

Without fail, these delectable creations are devoured within minutes. Similar to their American counterparts, these pancakes possess a delightful lightness and fluffiness.

However, what sets them apart is the incorporation of yeast into the batter, which imparts a unique and enhanced flavor profile, as well as a more substantial texture.

As they sizzle in the hot oil of the pan, these pancakes undergo a remarkable transformation, puffing up akin to the beloved doughnut.

This culinary marvel is a testament to Baba’s skill and dedication, ensuring that each Sunday morning is filled with a feast that leaves everyone satiated and content.

Kravchuk expresses her admiration for the make-ahead nature of the batter, which she finds particularly appealing.

Additionally, she notes that the taste of the pancakes improves as they sit and ferment in the refrigerator, resulting in what she fondly refers to as “Baba’s Fluffy Oladi Pancakes.”

This fermentation process lends the pancakes a subtle sourdough-like flavor, further enhancing their overall appeal.

The ability to prepare the batter in advance not only saves time but also allows for a more convenient breakfast or brunch experience.

Furthermore, the added depth of flavor achieved through fermentation adds an element of sophistication to the pancakes, making them a delightful and unique culinary creation.


This recipe serves approximately 6-8 individuals and requires a few key ingredients to create a delicious and satisfying dish.

To begin, you will need 1 cup of water that has been warmed to a temperature of 115°F.

Additionally, you will require 1 cup of buttermilk, 1 large egg at room temperature, and 2 tablespoons of either extra-light olive oil or vegetable oil, with additional oil needed for greasing the pan.

In terms of sweetness, 2 tablespoons of sugar will be necessary, along with 1½ teaspoons of instant yeast and 1¼ teaspoons of fine sea salt.

Finally, you will need 2¾ cups of all-purpose flour to complete the dough. Once prepared, this dish can be served with honey or jam of your choice, as well as a dollop of sour cream for added flavor and richness.


To begin the process, one must first gather a large bowl and whisk together the essential ingredients. These include water, buttermilk, egg, oil, sugar, yeast, and salt.

The purpose of this initial step is to ensure that all the components are thoroughly combined, creating a cohesive mixture.

As the ingredients are whisked together, it is crucial to add the flour gradually, one cup at a time, to facilitate efficient incorporation.

Whisking diligently after each addition is vital to guarantee that the flour is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

This meticulous process will ultimately result in a smooth batter with a thin, cake-batter consistency, which is essential for the desired outcome of the recipe.

To ensure optimal results, it is recommended to cover the bowl containing the batter with plastic wrap. This will create a sealed environment that promotes proper rising.

The batter should be left undisturbed at room temperature for a duration of 1½ to 2 hours. Alternatively, if a warm place is available, maintaining a temperature of approximately 100°F, the batter can be left to rise for 1 hour.

During this time, it is crucial to monitor the progress of the mixture. The desired outcome is a significant increase in volume, with the batter becoming noticeably bubbly.

This indicates that the yeast has been activated and is actively fermenting, resulting in a lighter and fluffier final product.

To prepare a delicious batch of pancakes, it is recommended to use a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet. This will ensure that the pancakes do not stick to the pan and will result in a desirable texture.

Prior to cooking, it is important to coat the bottom of the skillet with enough oil to prevent the pancakes from sticking. When adding the batter to the skillet, it is advisable to work in batches, using heaping tablespoons of batter for each pancake.

It is crucial to space the pancakes apart, ensuring that they do not touch and can be easily flipped. Cooking time for each side is approximately 1½ minutes, or until the pancakes turn a golden brown color.

It may be necessary to add more oil to the skillet after flipping the pancakes to prevent them from sticking.

If the pancakes are browning too quickly, reducing the heat can help regulate the cooking process. It is important to continue with the remaining batter, ensuring that the skillet is well-oiled between batches.

This will guarantee that the pancakes have crisp, tasty, and beautifully golden edges, resulting in a delightful breakfast treat.

In order to complete the preparation of this delectable dish, it is essential to transfer the freshly cooked pancakes onto a suitable platter.

This step ensures that the pancakes are presented in an appealing manner, ready to be savored by those fortunate enough to partake in the culinary delight.

Furthermore, it is highly recommended to serve these pancakes while they are still warm, as this enhances their taste and texture.

To further enhance the flavors, it is suggested to accompany the pancakes with a drizzle of honey, which adds a touch of natural sweetness.

In addition, a dollop of raspberry sauce can be generously spread over the pancakes, providing a burst of fruity tanginess that complements the overall taste profile.

Lastly, for those who desire a subtle tang, a small serving of sour cream can be offered alongside the pancakes, adding a creamy and slightly acidic element to the dish.

By following these recommendations, one can ensure that the pancakes are not only visually appealing but also a delight to the taste buds, leaving a lasting impression on all who indulge in this exquisite gastronomic experience.

Pro Tips & Tricks

It is worth noting that the recipe at hand is designed to produce a substantial quantity of food, which may not be suitable for all occasions.

However, it is important to recognize that the recipe is versatile enough to be adapted to meet the needs of smaller gatherings or individual servings.

By halving the ingredients, one can easily adjust the recipe to suit their requirements, while still maintaining the same level of quality and flavor.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the recipe’s reheating capabilities are exceptional, making it an ideal option for those who want to prepare a large batch of food in advance.

By simply using a toaster, one can easily reheat the dish, making it an excellent option for busy individuals or those who wish to save time in the kitchen.

Overall, this recipe is a fantastic option for anyone looking to prepare a delicious and versatile dish that can be adapted to meet their specific needs.