Buttermilk Pancakes

Somewhere, at some point early in the days of the blog, I mentioned that I had a killer buttermilk pancake recipe. And I am dead serious when I say that we get more requests for that recipe than just about anything else and I can’t figure out where people are reading this!  I’ve been hesitant to post this recipe, not because these aren’t mouth-wateringly awesome pancakes, but because there is no way of getting around using at least three large or inconveniently shaped containers, plus a skillet or griddle, PLUS an electric mixer of some sort (unless you’re way more motivated than I am and have interest in whipping egg whites), plus, if you make Buttermilk Syrup (and you really, really, really need to), that’s another large pot. These are not your Bisquik pancakes, but you’re paying for them with one cupboard-ful of dishes. And there is nothing in the world I hate more than doing dishes.  What I’m saying is, these are worth it.

My children love them. And the older they get, the pancake requests become more frequent. What was once a few-times-a-year treat has become a staple for breakfast AND dinner at least two days a month. I’ve experimented and tried to streamline, but there are no two ways around it–these pancakes are going to make a mess. However…your family might just be so excited that you’re making something so amazing for breakfast that they’ll do the dishes for you when all is said and done!

The Best Buttermilk Pancake RecipeOne of the secrets to this recipe, that makes these pancakes SO light and fluffy, is that you whip the egg whites separately.  You’ll mix some wet ingredients, including melted butter, together,
The Best Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

And then after you combine that with the dry ingredients you’ll fold in the egg whites.

The Best Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

Then all you need is a hot skillet to make all your pancake dreams come true.

It takes a little adjusting to figure out where the temperature setting should be. If it’s too hot, the bottoms will cook too fast and the insides will be raw, but if it’s not hot enough, the outsides will get hard and dry and you’ll be spending all Saturday morning in front of your stove instead of buying bras in bulk at Costco. So the first round or two of pancakes might not be perfect, but just keep adjusting the temperature until you find the setting on your stove that works best for you.

Now…after you’ve poured the batter onto the skillet, keep an eye on the pancakes. When you start seeing bubbles, you’re almost there. When the bubbles pop and leave a hole, it’s time to flip. Gently slide a spatula/pancake turner/flipper (whatever you call it) under the pancake and quickly flip it to the other side. The other side won’t take quite as long as the first side–just check here and there and when the pancakes are golden brown on both sides, you’re good to go.

The Best Buttermilk Pancake Recipe
This is a big batch so it feeds a crowd.  If you have a bunch of eaters ready to go, you can just serve them straight from the skillet. But it really irks me to be flipping pancakes and have my family/friends/pets eating while I’m cooking and then by the time I’m done making pancakes, everyone ELSE is done eating and I have to eat MY pancakes in the dirty kitchen all by myself. Okay, who am I kidding, I’d probably take them into the living room and watch the inevitable Saturday morning Teen Mom marathon, but still…So what I usually do is turn my oven as low as it can go, put an oven-safe plate in there, and pop the cooked pancakes onto the plate so they’re still warm when everyone’s ready to eat.

Wanna know my favorite thing to do with these? Add some banana slices and drizzle with Buttermilk Syrup. You could throw some chopped pecans on there, too, and I’m sure it would be delish.

Feel free to toss in some blueberries or chocolate chips right before you fold in the egg whites. For some reason, though, I just like mine plain

and then I can top ’em off however I want. Mmmm…light…delicately crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Perfect kitchen-trashing pancakes…

Promise me you will try these at least once paired with this Buttermilk Syrup.

Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

Trust me when I say these are well worth the dirty kitchen.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Deliciously perfect, fluffy and light. These are what pancake dreams are made of.


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1/3 cup 5 1/3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, and the egg yolks. In yet a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Whisking constantly, add melted butter to the milk mixture. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (do not overmix; a few lumps are okay.)
  • When the flour has been combined but the batter is still a little lumpy, heat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium-low heat. While the skillet is heating, gently (but completely) fold beaten egg whites into the batter. When the skillet is hot, rub a stick of butter over the pan, or spray it with a little non-stick cooking spray and then ladle pancakes onto hot skillet. You can also put your batter in a pitcher to make pouring easier.
  • It takes a little adjusting to figure out where the temperature setting should be. When you start seeing bubbles, you're almost there. When the bubbles pop and leave a hole, it's time to flip. Gently slide a spatula under the pancake and quickly flip it to the other side. The other side won't take quite as long as the first side--just check here and there and when the pancakes are golden brown on both sides, you're good to go.


  • Feel free to add in extras before you fold in the egg whites. Blueberries, bananas, and chocolate chips are all popular at our house.
  • Freezer instructions: Cook pancakes and allow to cool. Place pancakes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. When frozen, transfer to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Pancakes can be reheated in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds each or in a toaster.
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. My kids love pancakes. They pretty much eat them EVERY Sunday. Their friends know this and plan to be there for them. I'm not certain I even want to give these a try. :)Joe and I might wind up spending the whole day in the kitchen instead of just the morning! They do look seriously delish…especially with bananas and that buttermilk syrup!

  2. There is no substitute for "real" pancakes. This recipe is almost exactly the same as mine. I've got some buttermilk in the fridge right now aching to be added to some batter. 🙂

  3. I think Alton Brown's Buttermilk pancake recipe is wonderful. I may try this, but Alton's is not so labor intensive and I love them. I will try the syrup though. Never had it, but sounds great. My first comment, but love your site so far.

  4. My kids are always asking for pancakes like they have at the Breakfast Restaurants and I have tried and tried to duplicate them. This looks like it may be the winner! One thing our family does is we put peanut butter, sour cream and syrup. I know it sounds odd but everyone that has tried it LOVES it. Give it a whirl!

  5. Made these this morning after seeing the post yesterday. My boys said they were the "best pancakes ever!" I didn't have buttermilk so used the milk/vinegar trick and we thought they were really good. I'm going to make them again this weekend with the buttermilk syrup and add blueberries. Thanks so much!

  6. The one ingredient ice cream sounds so wonderful. I love frozen bananas.
    Thanks for a great blog

  7. Your photos are mouthwatering! These pancakes are so very close to my recipe.

    To answer Jennifer, I always make a large batch and cook them all. I let them cool and pop them into plastic freezer bags. Warm them up in the toaster (but don't toast them!) and they are fabulous and taste like you just took them off the griddle. Time saver!!

  8. Jennifer–Definitely not forbidden to make them ahead of time and freeze them–in fact, that's usually what I end up doing. Also, you can keep the pitcher for 1-2 days in the fridge, so if you want pancakes for few days in a row, you can do that, too.

    Bendixens–One of the reasons why I make the buttermilk syrup along with this is that it if you buy 1 quart and use 3 c. for the pancakes and 3/4 c. for the syrup, you only have 1/4 c. to deal with. I like the real buttermilk because it's thicker, so it keeps the batter from becoming too runny and because I really do think it makes the pancakes more tender. That said, if you really want to do the lemon juice (or vinegar) trick, it's 1 Tbsp. per cup (minus 1 Tbsp.) milk.

  9. Yum… your pancakes sound wonderful! I wonder if this recipe would work well in my filled pancake pan? I think I'll have to give it a try!

  10. I just saw your comment Rob and Jen. . A while ago at Walmart I saw powdered buttermilk so I decided to try it since I never buy buttermilk. I used it in the recipe when I made it today and they tasted great to me! But I haven't had them with normal buttermilk. Just thought I'd share 🙂

  11. I love, love, love making pancakes on Saturday mornings. I can't wait to try these… I do have a question about the buttermilk, can I use the lemon juice and milk trick instead of buying buttermilk (which will eventually go to waste). And if that will work, what is the exact ratio of milk to lemon juice? Love your blog!

  12. I just had these for dinner! YUM they were good. Only thing is its just me and my hubby so you can imagine how much batter went to waste! Have you ever cut the recipe down? I thought of doing it but didn't want to take the time right now. 🙂 If you have ever cut it down and have the measurements I'd love them!! Oh and I had it the way you like with the banana and buttermilk syrup. Dang it was good! Thanks!

  13. Oh my! I thought I had a good buttermilk pancake recipe. I think this one may just beat mine….lol. I'm going to have to try these soon 🙂

  14. Danielle–I was having a hard time formatting it that way for this recipe; old habits die hard and this recipe had a lot of commentary. 🙂 I'll try again next time…

  15. yummmmmmmmmmmmm!! Just need to get some buttermilk – just might be the perfect breakfast for dinner on a rainy/stormy socal night!!

  16. Oh, and hey, what happened to posting the full recipe at the bottom of the post for easier copy-pasting?

    It would be really helpful if you could stick with that format. Thanks!

  17. My favorite things to add to buttermilk pancakes are lemon zest and grated fresh ginger. YUM!

    And they are excellent with fresh blueberries on top. (I prefer them on top rather than in the batter.)

  18. Um… I'm thinking that this would be a FABULOUS way to start Valentine's Day! I'll forward it to the beau! Hahah!!

  19. I have a recipe similar to this but we call them Cloud Cakes. They are my weekend-only pancakes. During the week I make plain old buttermilk pancakes for the kids (still from scratch though! I do have some pride!)

    I avoid pancakes, waffles, etc because I'm not a huge fan of maple. But I tried that buttemilk syrup and OH MY GOSH!!! It was heaven. The waffles merely became a vehicle for more and more syrup! I couldn't get enough!

    We have a Daddy DAughter Valentines Breakfast for Activity Day next month and your buttermilk syrup is on the menu. Have you ever made a huge batch of your pancakes? Any advice?

  20. Would it be "forbidden" to make a huge batch of these and then pop some in the freezer for a quick breakfast when there isn't time to start from scratch that day? Anyone done this?

  21. This is the exact recipe that my mom has been following since the dawn of time (before I was even born)… and I can testify that they are in fact the most amazing pancakes EVER!

    I plop my blueberries on once I have the batter in the pan. RonChops loves these puppies!!!

    I'll have to give the buttermilk syrup a shot next time I make them.

  22. Grandma's waffle recipe is like this… lots of dishes, but really yummy! Thanks for sharing! I love pancakes,let me rephrase that I love GOOD pancakes and haven't found that one recipe yet! These just might be them!