49er Pancake … Sort of

49er pancake
 One of our favorite breakfast haunts is the Original Pancake House, not to be confused with the International House of Pancakes or IHOP. The Original Pancake House is also a chain, but one of greater distinction. Founded in 1953 in Portland, Oregon it is still a family run business with franchises coast to coast.

We’ve been patrons of the Original Pancake House since the early 1990s. We can’t remember who introduced us to this culinary delight, which is a shame since a sincere “thank you” is owed.

Our favorite meal at the Original Pancake House is the 49er pancakes. They are large, crepe-like pancakes that are both tender and chewy. Over the years, I’ve tried various recipes seeking to duplicate or at least approximate this family favorite. Recipes online often call for a sourdough starter, but I’ve never tasted sourdough in the 49ers.

A friend recently shared a recipe for Palacsinta, a Hungarian Crepe that her grandmother used to make for her. I made her recipe and it was oh so close to 49ers. The next try, I adjusted the recipe slightly by cutting back on the sugar, adding a bit of salt and a bit more flour. We now have something that comes close enough to satisfy our 49er cravings, at home and on the cheap.

I now use my blender to mix the batter the night before as a tip from Alton Brown when making crepes. It’s easy and quick. The batter can be used right away, but the overnight stay in the refrigerator helps the bubbles escape and improves the flavor.

Vegan Version Update (May 2014)

I’ve missed these pancakes since becoming vegan. After a few failed attempts, I’ve finally created a vegan version that is as good as the original. So, if you also follow a vegan diet, try this version.

 
Print Recipe
49er Style Pancake
A similar recipe to the Original Pancake House's 49er pancake.
49er pancake
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword crepe, pancake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword crepe, pancake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
49er pancake
Instructions
  1. Blend the sugar, salt, eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla in a blender for 3 seconds. Add the flour and blend until combined, 5 – 10 seconds more. If any flour remains on the sides, scrape down and blend again for a few seconds until combined.
  2. Pour batter into a covered container and refrigerate one hour or overnight.
  3. When ready to cook the flap jacks, preheat a 10″ non-stick skillet or crepe pan on medium low heat until the pan reaches 325º or until a drop of water “dances” across the surface. If it evaporates immediately, the pan is too hot. Turn down the heat and try again. Brush the surface of the pan with melted butter and pour 1/2 cup of batter in pan. Swirl pan to cover the bottom evenly with batter. Cook until the edges begin to brown. Flip over the flap jack and cook until the other side browns lightly.
  4. Serve with pure maple syrup and slices of lemon.

13 Comments

  1. Amy on March 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    delicious! Actually I was a hostess at OPH and while the recipe is a secret I do know (and they will only let you in on this part) but it does start with a sourdough culture surprisingly enough. one of these days i plan to experiment!

    • Syl on April 25, 2010 at 10:10 am

      Amy, thank you for the tip. I had read somewhere that it does have a sourdough culture. These are not exactly the same, but it does scratch that itch when I want some at home.

      • Carol on July 31, 2013 at 9:18 am

        I had an friend that worked at the OHP and she said that there were five ingredients in the 49er flapjacks:
        1. flour
        2. nonfat milk
        3. eggs
        4. peanut oil
        5. ? she wouldn’t divulge the fifth ingredient.
        I would guess that the fifth ingredient would be sourdough starter. However, if not, it could be a very small amount of white vinegar.
        She said that there was no sugar or vanilla in the recipe.

  2. Michael Procopio on March 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Wow. I woke up with a hankering for pancakes this morning and did nothing about it. You have just inspired me to get off my ass and make some this week.

    And I’m gonna use this recipe.

  3. Syl on April 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I hope you like them. I made some again last Sunday.

  4. Jess on December 22, 2012 at 8:43 am

    My husband and I always drive 45 min to get to the original pancake house just for their 49er flapjacks and we were thrilled to find your recipe!! Finally- an easy replica we can make at home..my husband won’t stop raving about them. Thanks, fellow flapjack lover, for our new go to recipe!!

    • Sylvia on December 22, 2012 at 8:47 am

      Thank you for the kind words. It’s not exact, but close enough to satisfy that 49er craving. Glad you and your husband are enjoying them.

  5. Margarita Darcy on December 23, 2012 at 8:31 am

    So goooeeeyyyy! So goooeeeyyyyy!! I grew up in Anaheim right by the OPH and loooooovveeddd all of their food..especially the 49erss…So gooeeyyy! Love the easy recipe! Did I mention i love the gooey ness! Scrumptious Chica! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Sylvia on December 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      So glad you like it!

  6. Catherine on February 23, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I just found this recently when I was on the mad search for 49ers recipes. I don’t have sourdough starter and having grown up with a father that was a mad man with his sourdough… not going there. This recipe was great as is but second time I made it with low fat buttermilk which gave it a little tang! Making some tonight to sit in my fridge until breakfast!!! Thanks!

  7. Christina on May 10, 2014 at 7:43 am

    These are very, very close to the 49ers. My husband is very picky and thinks they are better than OHOP! We both prefer thin pancakes and these are absolutely Delicious. I will never use another pancake recipe! Great job and thanks!

    • Sylvia on May 10, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Thank you, Christina. I’m glad you like them.

  8. Joel on March 8, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    This was excellent!! I’m Not the chef in the house but they came out very well on the first try. Your method for getting pan temp right was a huge help for a non chef 🙂

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