I’ve got breakfast covered today with my classic Buttermilk Pancakes recipe — made completely from scratch (and tips to make them if you don’t have buttermilk, too!)! I’ll be showing you how to make thick, fluffy pancakes that can be ready in under 15 minutes! Recipe includes a how-to video!
The Best Pancake Recipe
Buttermilk pancakes are an American classic breakfast food, but despite their unfussy ingredient list, too often people grab for the box mix because it’s just “easier”. Too many home bakers have struggled with dense, flat, or rubbery pancakes, or ones that have charred exteriors, raw centers, or are just all-around lacking in flavor. Today we’re going to fix that with my favorite, fool-proof buttermilk pancake recipe.
While you’d be hard-pressed to find a truly complicated buttermilk pancake recipe, many recipes sadly leave out important tips and tricks that can make or break your breakfast. Do you know the right time to flip? The right heat for your stovetop? Which substitutions are acceptable and which definitely aren’t? How to make buttermilk pancakes if you don’t even have buttermilk?
My recipe has not only been carefully perfected to yield fat, fluffy, and super flavorful pancakes (the cousin to my paper-thin crepes), but I’m also answering all of these questions and sharing my super simple tips and tricks so you’ll never reach for that box mix ever again.
Grab your (preferably non-stick) skillet and get ready for perfect, golden pancakes every time. Let’d do this.
What You Need for Perfect Pancakes
This recipe is easy and uses pantry staples, but let’s talk about a handful of the ingredients before we get started:
- Buttermilk: When combined with the baking soda, this gives the pancakes a nice lift, making them thick and fluffy. It’s purpose isn’t only a chemical one, though, it also gives buttermilk pancakes a great flavor with a classic but subtle tang. See my FAQ section below to make this recipe if you don’t have buttermilk.
- Eggs. Ideally these should be room temperature. Ideally all your ingredients should be so that the batter combines easily but I’m realistic about the fact that most people aren’t going to wake up two hours early to set their buttermilk out to come to room temperature and I’d never ask you to do something I don’t do myself. Fortunately, this recipe is fairly resilient.
- Butter. This should be melted. Do this first so it has time to cool a bit before you add it to your buttermilk.
- Baking powder and baking soda. The combination of these two leaveners give the pancakes the perfect fluffiness and lift.
- Flour. I recommend using all-purpose flour. You can experiment with substituting some of the flour with whole wheat flour, but since that is a much thirstier flour you might need a bit more buttermilk to keep the batter from being too thick. Self rising flour is not recommended as the baking powder and salt are already accounted for.
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Buttermilk Pancakes
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla separately and drizzle the melted butter into the mixture while whisking. Add to the dry ingredients.
- Very gently fold together the wet and dry ingredients until almost completely combined. Don’t overdo it or your pancakes will be flat and dense rather than fluffy.
- Cook on medium heat until golden brown on each side. Don’t crank up the heat, this will yield pancakes with burnt outsides and raw centers, and that’s just sad 🙁
SAM’S TIP: You can tell your buttermilk pancakes are ready to flip when the edges begin to look set and the bubbles in the batter begin to burst. At this point you should easily be able to flip a spatula underneath to gently lift up an edge and take a peek: look for a golden brown color!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Zach and I often make a half batch of buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, it divides easily and results are exactly the same! For the buttermilk, you would use 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons.
You can use my buttermilk substitute recipe instead (you only need milk and vinegar or lemon juice). Pour 2 Tablespoons + ¾ teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a large measuring cup then add milk until you have the 2 ¼ cup called for. Stir.
However you should know that “homemade” buttermilk is thinner than the real thing. You may not need to use the full 2 ¼ cup called for, it could make your batter runny and your pancakes too thin. If using the substitute, set aside about ½ cup of your buttermilk (so only use 1 ½ cups) and use the recipe as indicated. If the batter seems too thick, gradually add more of the buttermilk substitute as needed.
Most likely this is a result of over-mixing the batter, this can yield flat, dense, or even rubbery pancakes. Do not over-mix your pancake batter — I can not overstate how important this is. When combining your wet and dry ingredients, gently fold together with a spoon or spatula until just combined. A few flour streaks remaining in the batter is actually a good thing!
Absolutely! You can add up to a cup of add-ins to your buttermilk pancake batter. Because you want to avoid over-mixing your batter, it is best to fold these in when your flour is halfway incorporated rather than waiting until you’ve already mostly combined your wet and dry ingredients.
You can also skip the mix-ins and instead top off your pancakes with whipped cream or blueberry sauce, instead. Or do mix-ins and fancy toppings, I don’t judge!
Yes you can! While I have a waffle recipe that I love and would recommend, my buttermilk pancake batter actually makes delicious waffles, too.
These are great with simple butter and syrup, but sometimes I like to get fancy and add whipped cream, strawberry sauce, blueberry sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate gravy, or hot fudge sauce!
Have you ever tried a pancake sundae before with ice cream and toppings? Not health food, but so good!
Alright, I think that pretty much covers it! I hope you’ll try these out and please let me know what you think!!
Other Breakfast Recipes You Might Like:
Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe
- Non-stick skillet
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, until well-combined.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together buttermilk,, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Take your melted butter and slowly drizzle it into your wet ingredients while whisking, stirring until well-combined (the butter may separate and curdle if your other ingredients are cold, this is OK, just whisk to combine).
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir until just combined — do not overmix your pancake batter or your pancakes will be flat. Use a light hand when stirring, and a few flour streaks in the batter are fine.
- Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray or lightly brush with canola oil and place on burner on medium-low heat.
- Allow skillet to preheat before adding batter (about 5 minutes, it's good for your pancake batter to sit several minutes as well, which is why you prepared that before preheating your pan), and once skillet is heated (I usually test this by hovering my hand several inches above the pan and making sure I can feel the heat radiating from it) scoop pancake batter into pan (I use about ½-⅔ cup of batter per pancake).
- Allow pancake to cook until edges begin to appear cooked and bubbles in batter begin to burst. Using a pancake spatula, carefully flip pancake and continue to cook several more minutes until pancake is golden brown.
- Repeat until all batter is used — I recommend spraying or brushing the pan between each batch of pancakes.
- Serve warm topped with salted butter and maple syrup!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Buttermilk Pancake recipe originally published 01/29/2018, updated just in time for Fat Tuesday! Recipe is unchanged but additional tips have been added and a video is now included!