Lemon Poppy Seed Japanese Souffle Pancakes

I am still in disbelief I was able to pull off these Japanese souffle pancakes! They are truly the only pancakes I like! I made them with lemon, poppy seeds, and vanilla extract!

They were fluffy, light, citrusy, and sweet! I topped them with fresh raspberries and real maple syrup (if you live in North America this is a big deal).

japanese pancakes

Why Japanese Pancakes?

Japanese pancakes are these tall, fluffy, delicious-looking, giggly stacks of pancakes all over social media! I absolutely love them! And I hate pancakes – American, Bulgarian, greek, you name it, I don’t like it!

But these fluffy souffle pancakes truly stole my heart and are the only type of pancakes served on my breakfast table!

How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Japanese Pancakes?

Prepare your ingredients

Let’s start by saying these beauties are not a walk in the park and require patience and love! I tried to make them probably five times before I getting down the recipe.

I threw away countless raw or burnt pancakes, switched molds, and mixed flavors. But don’t be intimidated! I spent hours of research and trial and error to deliver the ultimate recipe! It is all about the eggs! Let’s get started!

The batter consists of a yolk mixture (flour, milk, yolks, sugar, and flavor) and an eggwhite mixture (eggwhites and flavor) and it is super important that they are incorporated correctly.

Yolks – This is the easy part – mix yolks, whole milk, sugar, all-purpose flour. The flavor for this recipe is vanilla extract, lemon zest, and poppy seeds.

Eggwhites – this is the fun part! Make sure to use completely clean metal whisks and glass or metal bowls since these don’t hold any oil residue. Whisk the egg whites with sugar and a bit of lemon juice to fluff up and look soft and glossy. You know they are done when you are able to form stiff peaks with the removal of the whisk (just like on the image on the right below).

Lets Cook!

Mix – Once you are done mixing the batter and fluffing the egg whites, it’s time to put it all together. Mix in the egg whites with the yolk mixture working in batches and folding them in super slow so you don’t lose the fluffiness.

Heat – use a large, flat skillet with a lid. Heat it to the lowest setting but make sure it is hot. Brush olive oil and then wipe lightly with a paper towel. You want just slightly greased so it doesn’t mess with the pancake batter. Do the same with the mold.

Cook – Fill 2/3 of the mold with the pancake mix and cover. Cook and then flip carefully but quickly so the batter doesn’t spill. Cover again and finish cooking.

Enjoy! – After all the work, sweat, and tears these delicious Japanese pancakes are absolutely worth it! I promise – especially with the lemon poppy seed flavor and the fresh raspberries.

japanese pancakes ingredients

Molds or No Molds

This is the question I’ve asked myself several times. To be honest, I never tried making them with no molds because I am super intimidated by these souffle pancakes.

In my opinion, molds are much easier but if you don’t have any you can rock them without or make them out of aluminum foil.

How to Make Aluminum Foil Molds for Japanese Pancakes?

Here is a pretty simple DIY Japanese Souffle Pancakes Mold:

  1. Take a large sheet of aluminum foil.
  2. Fold it inward to make a two-inch wide and thick strip.
  3. Cross over the ends so the batter doesn’t spill through the cracks.
  4. Staple or in my case fold slightly the top to make sure the mold doesn’t open when you pour the batter.


I had some leftovers I ate the next day and to be honest, they were even better! But that’s just my opinion and it often is unorthodox. Store in an air-tight container for a few days since there are a lot of eggs in the batter.

Enjoying breakfast? Try these recipes to go with your pancakes!

Vegetarian Shakshuka Brunch Skillet

Ramen Breakfast Bowl

Mini French Toast

P.S These are the molds I used for this recipe and they came in several shapes which were super cute. However, I would suggest you stick to the round or square shape since it is easier to handle.

Lemon Poppy Seed Japanese Pancakes

These fluffy, citrusy and sweet poppy seed and lemon japanese pancakes topped with fresh raspberries and real maple syrup will outshadow their american version on your table. Easy to make, filling, and perfect for meal prep.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Servings 4 people
Calories 303 kcal


  • Deep flat skillet
  • Small cake molds* see notes



  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Zest from 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds


  • 8 Eggwhites
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar


  • In a large mixing bowl combine the yolks, sugar, milk, flour, and baking powder. Whisk until there are not clumbs. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and poppy seeds and mix one more time.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the eggwhites while slowly adding the sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until the eggwhites turn into a glossy white meringue and you can form stiff peaks when pulling out the whisks.
  • Transfer the eggwhites 1/3 cup at a time in the yolk mixture. Make sure to fold and completely incorporate the eggwhites slowly without loosing the fluffiness of the mixture.
  • Heat a flatt skillet on low and grease the molds very lightly if using any. Fill 1/3 of the mold with the pancake mix and cover.
  • Cook for 10 minutes on one side. Carefully flip, and cook for another 5-10 minutes covered.


Cake Molds – if you don’t have molds you can make them out of aluminum foil. Fold a sheet of aluminum foil into a thick 2-inch strip and cross over the ends. Staple on top and bottom so it stays in place and there are no cracks where the mix can escape from. 
Keyword fluffy pancakes, japanese pancakes, lemon poppy seed pancakes