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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Yummy mistakes lead to a delicious success

Ruiyan Zhu
Jiggly and soft souffle pancakes from a cafe in LA.

For the longest time, my Instagram feed has been filled with a fluffy, delectable goodness: Japanese souffle pancakes. The thick, airy pancakes drizzled with warm syrup and whipped cream are perfectly placed on a plate with fresh berries. I started craving these pancakes so much that I decided to make it myself after trying it at a cafe in LA last December.

I’ve had a bad history with cooking and baking. I’ve burnt stuff, whipped heavy cream until it became butter (accidentally) and substituted salt for sugar. It would be an understatement to say I don’t have a talent for cooking.

Nevertheless, I vowed to not make any mistakes this round. I researched some recipes on Youtube, which has a myriad of souffle recipes in varying levels of difficulty. 

I eventually settled on a recipe by Qiong Cooking, which had a lot of useful tips in the comment section and good reviews. Following the instructions to a tee, I made the batter successfully. The cooking part, though, wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

For my first few pancakes, the heat was too high, so the bottom burned before the center of it was even cooked. To fix this, I microwaved them later to completely cook them.

Flipping the pancakes made me the most stressed out. While it looked deceivingly easy in the video, when I tried it myself, I ended up making a pancake omelet. The looks were a fail, but it still tasted delicious.

The last pancake I made was decent enough that my younger sister was willing to try it. It tasted amazing, and I felt like I was a mini baker. For a finishing touch, I sliced up some canned sweet peaches and topped everything off with white powdered sugar.

Photo by Ruiyan Zhu

Homemade souffle pancakes with sweet peaches and powdered sugar.

The pancakes definitely didn’t turn out as bad as I thought they would. I’ve learned that cooking is just like anything else: You simply need practice and repetition. By my third pancake, I had learned from my mistakes and made a fluffy, jiggly pancake that looked and tasted amazing. At least for cooking, your mistakes can taste good too.

Japanese souffle pancakes

Ingredients: 2 eggs, 4 tsp of milk, 3.3 tbsp of all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp of vanilla extract (optional), 2 tbsp of sugar


  1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Put in separate bowls. Mix the egg yolks with milk, flour and vanilla extract.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until slight bubbles form. Gradually add sugar to the egg whites until it becomes fluffy and can form stiff peaks.
  3. Add a scoop of the fluffy egg whites to the batter and mix. Then pour the rest of the fluffy egg whites into the batter. This helps the two mixtures incorporate better. Fold the batter using a spatula.
  4. Heat the pan to low heat and put oil. Scoop in the batter. Then place 1-2 tsp of water onto the same pan and keep the heat low. After 5-6 minutes, flip.
  5. Once done cooking, plate and add toppings! 
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