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.

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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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. 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.)

  6. 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!

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  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. 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.

  12. 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!!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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. 🙂

  17. 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!

  18. these were not nearly as labor intensive as I thought they would be, even with my husband and 3 year old "helping" me. They were so worth the effort it took, AMAZING!! And, of course, the buttermilk syrup was the icing on the (pan)cake. If you are considering trying thses, just do it, you will not regret it! Thanks so much for the fabulous recipe, keep them coming!

  19. Can you make the batter up the night before and get all your dishes done and just fry them up in the morning???? Sounds like that would be the plan for me. 🙂

  20. We LOVED these pancakes. Thank you so much for the post. Totally worth the effort as I am mostly a "just add water" kind of cook. My husband dug a whole on the top of each pancake after they were poured on the griddle and plopped a in a dollop of butter before they were turned over. He called them "Butter hole pancakes". Everything tastes better with more butter. 🙂

  21. I just discovered your site, and you're killing me. I'm going to gain so much weight! Thanks for the awesome recipes

  22. I made these for Pancake Day and I almost died and went to heaven on the first bite. The second bite was just as delicious. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  23. oh. my. goodness. I have died (from drinking the buttermilk syrup probably) and gone to heaven. Talk about the best comfort food. I love the banana combo w/the mouth savoring syrup.
    You guys are soley responsible for how much I love to cook. I have learned so much about cooking and have LOVED every recipe I have tried from your blog. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  24. Ahh, these look/sound like the pancakes that I grew up on and are the reason that I can't eat Bisquick type pancakes because I was spoiled! DELICIOUS!! 🙂 My kids love pancakes like I do but my husband just seems to put up with them–weirdo! What else would make a Saturday morning better?!!! YUM! 🙂

  25. I found this recipe on allrecipes today and noticed that they don't separate the eggs. Have you ever just thrown all the eggs in without beating the whites? Does it make that much of a difference?

  26. I have made these time and time again. Adored! adored! syrup was so good that i made a double batch and pretty much drank and ate it for a week.
    John – you HAVE to seperate the egg whites as the whites get beaten til fluffy, so you can get some air in them

  27. I make these pancakes ALL the time and they are so good! It is one of the few meals that everyone in my family will eat. Tonight I made them and decided to try making pumpkin pancakes as well. I used the pumpkin recipe from this site (love it), added cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, and brown sugar into the buttermilk pancake mix, topped with maple syrup it was pure heaven! Mmmmm!

  28. Hello, Im having a breakfast at home with my friends this saturday and we are making pancakes (of course with the caramel syrup)
    we are 10 grils… do u think i should double the recipe? How many pancakes with 1/2 cup come out in this recipe?
    Thank you! Im in love with this blog!

  29. Ginnette–It's really hard to say. You could always double it and freeze the extras, or you could just make one batch and then if it looks like you're going to need more, you could make another. 10 girls would PROBABLY be okay with one batch (although it might be pushing it).

    Hope that helps!

  30. Ok, this is my first time making pancakes from scratch and I must say that the pancakes came out GREAT!!! Soft and light, oh, I didn't have any baking soda or buttermilk (I know, I know, why bother with "buttermilk pancakes" if you're not using buttermilk – It was tasty regardless!) so I didn't add any. My oldest and I scarfed down the first 4 and the Mr. said "they're good", getting that type of response from him says a lot about it. I'm putting this in my recipe draw, thanks a million. I'll be using this recipe instead of pre made mixes =)

  31. Perhaps it's the domestically challenged person in me coming out…..but you say to beat the egg whites….then you never say what to do WITH those egg whites!!! Help! I'm making these shortly, and I don't want to mess up!

  32. These pancakes are the best! When my in-laws come over we make these up with pecans, blue berries & chocolate chips… they are always a hit! Thanks for the recipe!!

  33. I made these for breakfast this morning. They were awesome! My MIL introduced me to buttermilk syrup some time ago and I have been unsatisfied with maple ever since! This is definitely a great combo. I love bananas on top, too, but you should try raspberries. The tart raspberry/sweet syrup combo is incredible.

  34. I made these for the first time today along with the buttermilk syrup. all I can say is OMG! They were both great!

  35. Heaven on a plate! It’s so awesome when the best pancake I ever ate was made by…ME! You are my go-to cooking website. I look here before anywhere else. And I appreciate the sense of humor that you both have. Keep it up! Dinner time is a lot more heavenly because of your tricks, tips and tutorials and amazing recipes.

  36. Ok I have never left a comment on here but I HAVE to today. Everything I try on your site is magic first of all. But I make pancakes every sunday before church and I’m a total Bisquick mom, sorry to say, however I made these this morning and the praise and thank you’s I got was amazing and quite frankly has never happened before! You made me look so good with my family so I just had to say thank you for your amazing recipe. They were surprisingly easy and the most delicious things I have ever tasted! My new sunday staple for sure!!!

  37. Wow. I mean wow. I am typing this with a mouthful of deliciousness made by me using this recipe. I found that 300 degrees on my electric skillet was perfect and made this SO easy…. It did create a lot of mess, but I was able to clean it up while waiting for each pancake to cook. This was so worth it!
    I think my husband loves me even more today! Hah!!

  38. I have been looking for a fluffy pancake recipe and was so excited when I found this one. I’ve made this recipe twice and it has not worked out either time. I understand not mixing it too much, but when I don’t, I have enormous lumps of powder in my cooked pancakes. Also, halfway through cooking them, the egg whites separate from the batter and I’m left with runny batter and flat pancakes. Am I doing something wrong? I follow every direction exactly.

    1. Sounds like you might need to mix them a little more thoroughly. You don’t want giant lumps, but you just don’t want it to be completely smooth. Maybe no lumps bigger than a pea? I hope that helps and that we can get these to work for you! 🙂

  39. I tried these tonight for my 2 year old’s birthday dinner. I’m not sure what I did wrong. They were super flat and didn’t cook all the way through. Any ideas what I did wrong?

  40. I’d like to let all super lazy/piece of crap moms know that it doesn’t work to just put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir. I was really pissed off that I made tennis shoe style pancakes. And you know what fancy pancakes? Go to hell. I’m sticking with bisquick.

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