The Secret Ingredients Trisha Yearwood Adds To Her Pancakes

There's no denying that fresh hot pancakes are the one of the ultimate breakfast foods, but sometimes — say, when you're still half asleep and manning the breakfast station — they can land a little flat on texture and taste. Like the way you feel before and after your morning coffee, it really doesn't take a lot for pancakes to perk up and reach their fluffiest, flavor-packed potential. A few simple tricks and ingredients can ensure perfection every morning (or night, if breakfast is what's for dinner). 

Looking for sky-high airiness? Separate the egg yolks from the whites and fold them into the batter at different stages, with the egg whites unwhipped (via The Kitchn). There's many ways to go about adding flavor. On the one hand, you can add chocolate chips, nuts, or fresh fruit. But if your pancakes are missing a little zing, take a page from Trisha Yearwood's handbook and brighten up your pancake batter with two other ingredients.

Lemon zest and sour cream brighten up Trisha Yearwood's pancakes

One of the keys to country-music-star-turned-cooking-show-host Trisha Yearwood's blueberry pancakes is a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (via Food Network). You can do without it, of course, and still have a great stack of flapjacks. But on an ingredient list that's packed with dairy products including milk and butter, lemon zest swings in to provide some zippy brightness in what might otherwise be a pretty rich, one-note pancake batter.

With their tartness and sweetness, blueberries and lemons always come together to make baked goods taste like fruity sunshine. Yearwood's fellow Food Network star, Ina Garten, grates lemon zest into blueberry muffins (per Food Network) and the dynamic fruit duo can elevate creamy cheesecakes — take it from chef Rachael Ray's sister (via Rachael Ray Show)! Clearly both professionals and home cooks swear by lemon zest as a hero ingredient in elevating an array of dishes. 

In Yearwood's blueberry pancakes, lemon zest gets a boost from another surprising ingredient: Sour cream. Though she mentions in the recipe's video tutorial that "before this recipe, I'd never heard of sour cream in pancakes," the addition makes total sense because according to Martha Stewart, sour cream behaves like buttermilk to produce an ultra tender texture while providing a layer of tangy flavor to complement the lemon. If you're not a breakfast person, Trisha Yearwood's lofty, lemon-lifted blueberry pancakes may flip you into becoming one.