The Chemistry of Pancakes


I chose pancakes for my chemistry project because it is my favorite thing to have for breakfast. When I was eight I had my first pancake and thought I was in love. After eating pancakes for about nine years I wanted to learn more about them. I also wanted to learn more about the composition of pancakes. Not just what is in it but how it is formed. How it starts out into a mixture of various liquid ingredients and then turns into a solid platform that we can eat. After it is all said and done you have a beautiful solid and soft texture of pure greatness. Pancakes are a delicious part of breakfast and should be enjoyed by everyone.

Composition of ...

  • Baking powder NaHCO3
  • Glucose C6H12O6
  • Gluten exorphin C C14H45N5O8
  • Water H2O
  • Canola Oil C22H42O2

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

The two main components: Baking Powder and Gluten Exorphin C

Baking Powder

Baking powder is a leveling agent, a mixture of carbonate or bicarbonate and a weak acid, and is used for increasing the volume and lightening the texture of baked goods. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide in the batter through an acid base reaction, Causing bubbles to expand in the wet mixture thus leveling the mixture. This is important because without this we would have something relatable to a crape not a pancake. The chemical formula for Baking powder is NaHCO3.


Glucose is what gives the pancake its great taste. Without this the pancake would not be as popular as it is today. Glucose is made up of carbonate ions. The chemical formula for Glucose is C6H12O6. All forms of glucose are highly soluble in water.

Chemistry's Role

Chemistry is a large part about making pancakes, as it is in making any other thing for breakfast. Pancakes are made up of a mixture of dry and wet which forms a homogenous mixture. The dry mixture consists of baking powder, glucose, sodium, and flour. The wet ingredients include water and or milk and canola oil. When the wet ingredients are mixed together with the dry ingredients the baking powder releases carbon dioxide in the batter through an acid base reaction. As this happens, this levels the mixture so it allows in to rises as it is being cooked. Giving it its volume and texture. Also when the wet and dry ingredients are being mixed together flour is creating gluten. Gluten is formed when two proteins are linked together through the wet mixture of ingredients. The two proteins are called glutenin and gliadin. When moistened and mixed, these proteins link together to form a sticky molecule known as gluten. The chemical formula for gluten is C14H45N5O8.

Background Research

Glucose was first isolated in 1747 by a German chemist named Andreas Marggraf. This is important because without this great German chemist we would have pancakes that were salty rather than sweet. Also another leveling agent can be used in pancakes. Baking soda can be used as well. It is recommended that if you use buttermilk instead of regular milk that you use baking soda as your leveling agent because it helps the glutenin and gliadin form quicker. If you were to use regular milk it is recommended that you use baking powder as your leveling agent for the same reason.


baking powder is used as a raising agent.

composed of dry and wet ingredients.

gluten is an important factor in the formation of the pancake.

makes a compound when mixed together

Buttermilk pancakes are a favorite to most by its light and fluffy texture.

one egg for every cup of flour

Not much of a difference in how much baking soda that should be added to this recipe.

There are many different recipes to make pancakes.

pancakes like other recipes hide various chemical reactions

The two ingredients that make this chemical reaction are baking powder and buttermilk.


Gluten exorphin C C14H45N5O8

Baking Powder NaHCO3

Glucose C6H12O6

Baking Powder NaHCO3

Glucose C6H12O6


About the Author

Ryan Dick is a senior at Billings Senior High. He enjoys learning about accounting and will attend MSU Billings. In hopes to become an accountant after he graduates college. He has lettered in Football for three years. He also enjoys sports, watching or playing them. In his free time he likes to play video games and watch T.V.