Best Buttermilk Pancakes
These buttermilk pancakes are thick and fluffy, with delicious flavor from the buttermilk in the batter. They are quick and easy to make and perfect for a weekend breakfast!
I believe that everyone needs a delicious from scratch buttermilk pancake recipe in their recipe collection. These buttermilk pancakes are my favorite because they are so soft, light and fluffy. My kids request these pancakes for breakfast all the time – try them and you will see why!
I first shared this buttermilk pancake recipe back in 2012. Since then, I have done a lot of recipe testing to find what makes the best pancakes. We make pancakes for breakfast most weekends, so needless to say I have made a lot of pancakes over the years!
Today I’m sharing my improved recipe plus secrets and tips for making the best homemade buttermilk pancakes.
Tips for Making the Best Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
- Don’t over-mix the batter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they are just combined. There will still be a few lumps in the batter, but you shouldn’t see streaks of flour. If you over-mix your pancake batter your pancakes could turn out flat or chewy, instead of thick and fluffy.
- Use a thick pancake batter. A thick batter leads to thick, fluffy pancakes. Makes sense, right? Avoid adding too much milk (or in this case, buttermilk) to your batter.
- Use buttermilk in your pancake batter. Using buttermilk instead of milk helps to produce light and fluffy pancakes for two reasons. First, buttermilk is thicker than milk so you end up with a thicker batter. Second, the acid in the buttermilk will react with your leavener (baking soda and/or baking powder) to create air bubbles that will give your pancakes a light texture.
Is it possible to make light and fluffy pancakes without buttermilk? Yes! See my favorite healthy pancake recipe for example. Those pancakes are thick and fluffy, and made with milk. My lemon Greek yogurt pancakes are extra thick and made with Greek yogurt, milk and lemon juice.
How to Make Buttermilk Pancakes
Making these pancakes is so simple. You’ll start by mixing up the pancake batter.
First, whisk together the dry ingredients:
- Flour: I make this recipe using half all-purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour. You can make these pancakes with only all-purpose flour or only white whole wheat, depending on what you have in your pantry.
- Sugar: Just one tablespoon of sugar adds a touch of sweetness.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: These will help your pancakes to rise so that they will be light and fluffy.
- Salt: Adding a little bit of salt to baked goods brings out the flavors.
Then, whisk together the wet ingredients in another bowl:
- Eggs: You’ll use two eggs in these pancakes.
- Buttermilk: If you forgot to buy buttermilk at the store you can make your own buttermilk substitute. See my post to learn how to make buttermilk.
- Vanilla: Vanilla adds flavor and a little bit of sweetness.
- Melted Butter: The melted butter adds a rich, buttery flavor to the pancakes. You can melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove.
Finally, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix everything together until it is just combined. The batter will be thick and will have a few lumps.
How to Cook Pancakes
I like to cook pancakes on an electric griddle because I can cook about eight at a time and it is easy to control the temperature. This electric griddle is similar to the one that I have used for years. You can also cook your pancakes in a non-stick skillet. Non-stick is best because it will keep your pancakes from sticking to the pan.
Cook pancakes over medium heat. I set my electric griddle to 325 degrees F and it is perfect. You can cook one pancake as a test to see if you have the right temperature.
I like to serve pancakes with maple syrup and fresh berries or sliced banana. Sometimes I make a batch of Instant Pot hard boiled eggs to go with our pancakes. If you like bacon with your pancakes, follow my tips for how to cook bacon in the oven.
Cooking Tips for my Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe
- You can make these buttermilk pancakes with whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour. I usually use a combination of white whole wheat and all-purpose.
- If you run out of buttermilk, you can make my homemade buttermilk substitute. I recommend reducing the amount of buttermilk by 1/4 cup if using homemade buttermilk because it is usually thinner than the buttermilk you buy at the store.
- Mix the pancake batter just until the flour is incorporated, being careful not to over-mix. The pancake batter will be thick. Over-mixing can lead to flat pancakes.
- When you cook your pancakes, you’ll know that they are ready to flip when bubbles form on the top and the bottoms are golden. I have a secret trick to tell when pancakes are done cooking on the second side: the pancakes will feel lighter when you lift them with a spatula.
- This small spatula is my favorite for flipping pancakes. It works every time! The small size gives you better control when you flip the pancakes. (We make our pancakes on the smaller side – about the size of your fist.)
- Pancakes freeze well. Let the pancakes cool completely and then freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw and warm before serving.
More Pancake Recipes
Best Buttermilk Pancakes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour*
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Melt the butter and set it aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Whisk in the melted butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Whisk until just combined, being careful to not over-mix. A few lumps will remain in the batter but you shouldn't see streaks of flour. The batter will be thick.
- Heat an electric griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Grease the griddle or skillet with cooking spray.
- Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the pancake batter onto the griddle. Let pancakes cook on the first side until bubbles form and the pancake bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook them on the second side until golden. Serve pancakes with maple syrup, if desired.
- You can make this recipe with 2 cups of all purpose flour or 2 cups of white whole wheat flour instead of 1 cup of each.
- Extra pancakes freeze well, wrapped airtight, for up to 3 months. Thaw and warm before serving. You can thaw pancakes in the microwave, on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
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