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Sunday Brunch: Epic Rice Cooker Pancake Recipe

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If you wander around Tokyo, you’ll start to notice random line ups outside restaurants. People might be politely queuing for that ultimate bowl of ramen, a bag of artisanal popcorn, or (and this is the most likely) a plate of pancakes. Pancakes are extremely popular. So popular that on any given day you’re bound to come across a crazy long line of girls (it’s always girls, with maybe a boyfriend or two thrown in) patiently waiting for pancakes.

pancake cake recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com pancake cake recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

pancake cake recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com pancake cake recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

With their love of pancakes, it’s no surprise that the Japanese came up with an inventive way to make epic pancakes in their tiny kitchens: in a rice cooker. Yup, you can use your rice cooker for more than just rice! The pancakes kind of end up more like a steamed sponge cake, but they’re easy to make and fun to eat.

Since I’m in Tokyo I decided to do what the Tokyoites do and make a rice cooker pancake. Only thing is: I don’t really read much Japanese so I couldn’t really figure out the difference between all the white powders that were baking powder and baking soda. Asking an employee resulted in a lot of sign language, laughter and, um, no baking powder or soda. What the kind lady did find me though, was a package of “hot cake” mix. I rolled with it because I really wanted to make an epic pancake and I wasn’t about to let a lack of ingredients stand in my way.

Our tiny kitchen (two burners and a combo microwave oven/toaster) came with a rice cooker so after buying the hot cake mix I was pretty much set. I mixed up the batter according to the helpful smiling egg and milk characters on the back of the package, spooned it into the rice cooker and waited.

An hour and a bit later, success! My pancake was golden, fluffy and shaped like a curling stone. I topped it off with some softly whipped cream, the tiniest ruby-red strawberries and a diced kiwi. Not pictured are the copious amounts of sweetened condensed milk I drizzled over the whole thing. I was so happy with the way this giant pancake turned out – it’s just the thing for a celebratory Sunday brunch or maybe even Christmas morning.

pancake cake recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Rice Cooker Pancake Recipe
serves 4-6

  • 1 box pancake mix, plus ingredients listed on the box*
  • softly whipped cream
  • strawberries and kiwi, or fruit of choice
  • syrup or sweetened condensed milk

In a bowl, make the pancakes as instructed on the box. Spoon the batter into your rice cooker and press the start button. Cook the pancake for 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Your rice cooker will most likely turn off, so keep and eye on it and re-start it as needed. The pancake is done when it’s domed and a toothpick comes out with just few crumbs sticking to it.

Flip the rice cooker bowl onto a plate. A this point you can either: top it with whipped cream and fruit and then slice it or you can slice it and then top with with whipped cream and fruit. Enjoy warm with plenty of syrup or sweetened condensed milk.

Note: Alternatively you could make this with your favorite pancake recipe, but I haven’t tried it. If you do, be sure to not fill up your rice cooker too high as the pancake will rise and stick to the top. Aim for 2-3 cups of batter max.

pancake cake recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com pancake cake recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

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32 Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    How cool is that. Pancakes in a rice cooker. Love the Japanese ingenuity.

  2. I am dreaming to try the rice cooker baking when I first read it in the Manga a year ago! It looked too good to be true. So pretty! It could be a birthday cake.

  3. Alyssa says:

    Majority of houses in Japan, Korea and even in the Philippines have rice cookers. So a lot of food are cooked there besides rice and pancake :) I sometimes cook ramen or some soup dish in there.

  4. Takara says:

    I need to seriously try this out! I basically sleep with my rice cooker because I love it so much XD

  5. This looks absolutely amazing!! I love how cute it is!

  6. MizzJ says:

    What a genius idea!

  7. Allyn says:

    Hot damn! I so need to try this!

  8. What a beauty!! This is one gorgeous puffy pancake!

  9. Trang says:

    this’s so cool. Definitely will try.

  10. Lily Sheng says:

    Lovely! Do you think Bisquick will work for this recipe?

    1. steph says:

      hi lily! yes, i think bisquick will definitely work – just make sure you don’t use too much batter! you don’t want the pancake to stick to the top of the rice cooker :)

  11. This is the coolest thing EVER. And your story about the baking powder v. baking soda is too hilarious — hahaha! When you have mixes with smiling milk and egg characters, making pancakes from scratch suddenly seems totally unnecessary. I love this so much <3 so genius!

  12. Kate says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I cannot wait to give this a try with our regular pancake batter. You never cease to amaze!

  13. Oxana says:

    Wow! That is a great idea! So cute and funny but looks like a real cake=)

  14. Alright, this could be epic. Can’t wait to try it! :)

  15. Bec says:

    Well it’s decided… you’re a genius! A rice cooker genius.

  16. Taylor says:

    How big is the box of pancake mix that you use?

    1. steph says:

      hi taylor,
      it was 300 grams. hope that helps!

  17. Lakay says:

    I think it’s not good way for using rice cooker. It’s much better for multicooker, I use Redmond 4502 for it, because the recipe enough difficult and It is so simple to do it in the wrong way! But it is very great! Everyone should try it! ^____^

  18. Claudio says:

    Do I need to grease the pot before adding the batter?

    1. steph says:

      I didn’t and the pancake released just fine, but a light coating of oil or butter probably would ensure that it comes out smoothly!

  19. kero says:

    Smart, smart, smart!! Can you use any size rice cooker? It looks like mine might be bigger than the one you used. TY!!

    1. steph says:

      you can, just keep an eye on the “bake” time. also, if your rice cooker is bigger, your pancake won’t be as high. hope that helps!

  20. Tj Walakani says:

    This is such a great idea to make a pancake. Will definitely try to make it soon!
    I am such a great fan of you and your blog. I my self a beginner blog and admiring all the amazing recipes you have.

  21. kennetht3 says:

    This is about a year late, but I just made this and its a bit heavy and not as fluffy. Anyone know what i can do to fix this?

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      hi kenneth! i think it really depends on your pancake mix as well as how much mix you put into the rice cooker. you should definitely leave a good two inches at the top. if the batter comes up to high and hits the top of the rice cooker, it will cause the pancake to be more dense. hope this helps!

  22. Amelia says:

    Hello! That was amazing! I really want to try it now :)

    May I know approximately how many times did you had to restart and press down the “cook” button again within 45 mins?

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      the rice cooker i used had fuzzy logic so it knew when the pancake was cooked. i would press it once extra, then check on it. hope that helps!

  23. Marie Ward says:

    Wow looks delicious. Making this Easter Sunday.

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