Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles We all know how impossibly fluffy and golden brown they are, and how they soak up any amount of syrup you can throw at them until they become sopping wet sponges of life-giving corn syrup and laboratory-invented maple flavoring. But that, friends, is only the beginning of the story. Here's are a few things you might not know about McDonald's pancakes. It's quite a sight: The perfect pile of fluffy buttermilk pancakes stacked three or four high, with real melted butter. Not a sad scrape from the top of a cold tub of Country Crock or chemical mishmashes of hydrogenated goo — the real deal. McDonald's — while not nearly as photogenic — seems to place a lot of pride in its inclusion of "real butter" with each order of its pancakes, and even makes sure to call it out on their menu. But their syrup is another story. Unfortunately, it's the customary blend of flavored corn syrup you'll find in crummy diners nationwide. The restaurant's website lists "natural flavors" in its table syrup blend, but we get the distinct feeling that, unlike the real stuff, no maple trees were harmed in its creation. We don't think that anyone who's trying to cut calories and improve muscle tone is seriously considering sitting down to a massive platter of McDonald's hotcakes every morning. But the nutritional information on McDonald's hotcakes is particularly worrisome, even by ordinary pancake standards. A standalone order of hotcakes including butter and syrup clocks in at 600 calories, with 16 grams of fat, 45 grams of sugar, and a whopping 102 grams of total carbohydrates. And those numbers are before you add any tempting sides, or a big cup of orange juice. In fact, order your hotcakes as a part of McDonald's "Big Breakfast with Hotcakes" along with a medium OJ, and you're starting your day with 1550 calories, 65 grams of fat, 88 grams of sugar, and 201 grams of carbohydrates. Good morning? Good night. McDonald's hotcakes are so reliably and consistently delicious that it almost seems like they've been a part of our lives since the beginning of time, doesn't it? Not so. Anxious to expand its dining options to include breakfast in the early 1970s, the chain began testing breakfast items like the Egg McMuffin, but didn't roll out the full morning menu until later that decade. Hotcakes were added to the McDonald's menu in 1977, as part of the corporation's introduction of a full breakfast lineup that included the traditional "Big Breakfast," along with scrambled eggs, hash browns, and a Danish. The menu additions were such a hit that by 1986, McDonald's was serving one out of every four breakfasts eaten outside of the home. When you place an order for a plate piled high with McDonald's hotcakes, do you imagine a team of skilled professional teenagers springing into action, whisking together bowls of flour, egg, and milk, scooping batter lovingly by the spoonful onto a scorching hot griddle, where the perfectly round pours of fresh batter bubble into golden brown perfection before being expertly flipped with a spatula? If so, you're way off base. The reality is more like this: Frozen, pre-formed, pre-cooked hotcakes made on a giant assembly line get a quick zap in the microwave before they're served up, just like some frozen Jimmy Dean meal you bought back in college. Sorry, folks: these flapjacks ain't fresh. "Mmm. Microwave?" "Microwave." Looking to level up your McDonald's pancakes? Try this "hack" from McDonald's HQ: Purchase your flapjacks. Purchase a McDonald's Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait. Roll pancakes up around dollops of yogurt and fruit, then pour on maple syrup and sprinkle the whole shebang with the included granola packet from the parfait. Boom: You're a chef! The more creative amateur fast food menu hackers among you may have brainstormed about the possibilities of creating a sort of budget version of chicken-and-waffles, by eating the chain's fried breaded chicken patties with a few forkfuls of delicious fluffy hotcake. And as it turns out, the corporate chefs at McDonald's HQ were on exactly the same page. The chain tested a Chicken McGriddle in 2016, combining the salty, savory crunch of chicken wrapped in sweet, comforting pancake that could be eaten one-handed while driving your car. Though the item never made it to the national menu in wide release, don't despair, because you can cobble one together yourself, if you don't mind getting your hands a little greasy. Thanks to the new all-day availability of most breakfast items, you can just order a Sausage McGriddle and a plain McChicken. Just slide that hot chicken breast between those two sweet pancakes, where it belongs, then dunk each bite in maple syrup, for additional palate-confusing awesomeness. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite treats are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.