The Dish | Nana’s Fluffy Hots

I learned to love the art of cooking from my Nana, Melba Elaine Peterson. Born in 1923, to Swiss immigrants, she was a remarkable cook. In the kitchen, she was a perfectionist who kept her most special recipes top secret. I have deep and fond memories of watching her work in the kitchen, bringing to life a dish that was rich, memorable, and filled with flavor. Upon her passing over a decade ago, my mother found a box of recipe cards that were filled with handwritten instructions for her prized signature dishes. Some of my favorite meals to make are from this trove; they remind me of the power that preparing even a simple meal well, can live on in memory for a lifetime.  

Below is Nana’s recipe for her infamous “Fluffy Hots.” They are a staple in our kitchen most weekend mornings. Just like my grandmother did for me, I hope my making these pancakes helps to cultivate in my sons the same love for creating delicious meals for others. I can’t make them without thinking of her.


  • 1.5 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp – baking soda
  • 1 tsp – baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp – sugar
  • 1 tsp – salt
  • 1.5 cups – buttermilk
  • 3-4 Tbsp – salted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs – separated yolk and white


  • Heat griddle or large fry pan to medium heat. Make sure the pan is consistently hot before cooking — an even temperature cooking surface is key.  
  • Sift dry ingredients – flour, soda, powder, sugar, and salt. 
  • Separate egg yolks from whites.  
  • In one bowl, stir together buttermilk, melted butter, and separated egg yolks.
  • In another bowl, whip the egg whites until they have “wispy peaks” (Nana’s word’s). I use an electric hand mixer; it will take about 1-2 minutes.  
  • Mix together the buttermilk mixture and the dry ingredients to make the batter. Do not over mix! 
  • “Fold” the wispy egg whites, into the batter using a spatula.  They will be slightly lumpy, and this is perfect. 
  • Add a ½ tbsp butter to your griddle and spread evenly over the surface. Add a ladle full of batter to the griddle.  Flip only after ~10 “bubbles” appear on the surface.
  • Serve with your favorite topping (strawberries and powered sugar was always Nana’s favorite).   

2 thoughts on “The Dish | Nana’s Fluffy Hots

  1. The most beautiful looking, mouth watering hot cakes, I’ve ever seen! Will definitely be trying to make them look this good when I test out this awesome recipe – thank you JP for sharing your Nana’s fabulous Fluffy Hots, with the rest of us! XOXOX

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