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"Restaurant: Impossible" star Robert Irvine, who recently released an inspirational self-help book titled Overcoming Impossible, shares his "perfect" pancake recipe. "This is a spin on one of the first recipes I ever learned," he says. "Without fail, it always turns out perfect." He flavors the light and fluffy pancakes with lemon and poppy seeds and tops them with whipped cream cheese, warm maple syrup, powdered sugar and lemon juice. What a way to start the day! 

Pro Tip from Robert: If you'd like to gild the lily, add this simple warm blueberry compote to the toppings. In a small saucepan, simmer 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup sugar, ¼ cup water and 2 teaspoons lemon juice for about 10 minutes. 

For more popular recipes from Robert, check out his Gnocchi with Pancetta and Mushrooms and Roasted Radish and Yellow Beet Salad


For the Whipped Cream Cheese:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 scant cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
For the Pancakes:
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
For Serving:
  • Whipped Cream Cheese (above)
  • Warm maple syrup
  • Powdered sugar
  • Lemon juice


Serves: 4 to 6


For the whipped cream cheese, in a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, then set aside. 

For the pancakes, in a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, lemon juice, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and poppy seeds. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients, then cover and set aside. 

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add enough butter to coat the bottom. When it melts, form pancakes using a 2-ounce ladle (make sure not to overcrowd the pan). Cook until bubbles form on the surface, a few minutes, then flip and cook about 2 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to plates or a platter and repeat with the remaining batter, greasing the skillet as needed. 

Serve with whipped cream cheese, warm maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.