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Sunday Brunch: The Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Best Buttermilk Pancakes

One of the first recipes I made on this site was for buttermilk pancakes. The recipe was one I used frequently, probably for years, with only tiny variations as I never really looked at a written recipe when I went to make them. Those pancakes are slightly thicker a puffier, although still tender and not too heavy.

This new recipe is why it sometimes pays to experiment a bit and no just stick with the same old thing, no matter how good the original was.

When I started on this recipe I thought that I wanted to make pancakes that would be slightly thinner and lighter than my standard, without going all the way to the crepe end of the spectrum. I used more liquid and omitted the baking powder, which gave the first cakes an extra lift during cooking. These turned out to be a bit thinner, but it was the texture that was the real difference. They are lighter and more tender than the original and where you can eat only a few of those cakes, you can have a whole pile of these (if you’re so inclined). They have a lot of buttermilk flavor, so there is no real need to add a lot of butter to the batter, though a bit on top of the cakes as you’re eating them wouldn’t hurt!

The Best Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tsp vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
Heat a skillet or griddle over high heat until a drop of water placed on it skitters around the surface. It’s too hot if the water evaporates instantly on contact. Drop by large spoonfuls (to make desired size) into the preheated pan and cook until golden on both sides, turning once.
Serve with maple syrup.

Serves 2-3

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  • Lydia
    November 6, 2006

    I love pancakes that have a real buttermilk tang. Thanks for this recipe.

  • Lauren
    November 6, 2006

    I made buttermilk pancakes this morning! I love the buttermilk flavor in the pancakes.

    This recipe is a bit different than the one I used.. we only got 4 pancakes out of the batter.

  • yaezakura
    November 6, 2006

    Pancakes are very simple but
    I couldn’t find a delicious recipe. I want to try this recipe!

    Thanks for the recipe.

  • Holly Dart
    November 6, 2006

    thanls for all the great recipes and photos! can’t wait to try this one!

  • Nic
    November 6, 2006

    4 pancakes, Lauren? I guess you made them quite a bit bigger than I did! I make mine on the small size (about 3-in in diameter) and I had enough batter to make quite a few, but I imagine that even with really large pancakes you’d still be able to feed two or three people, since they’d be eating the same amount of pancake.

  • Julie
    November 6, 2006

    Just what I need…a recipe that makes it easy for me to eat MORE pancakes. I love buttermilk pancakes (or maybe I just love them because they’re such good conduits for syrup). You make a good point about experimenting!

  • Brilynn
    November 6, 2006

    How nice of you to make these for me on my birthday! Now I’d like to see what else you can do, I’m tagging you for the Foodbloggers Welcome Dinner, I hope you’ll participate!

  • Claire
    November 7, 2006

    LOVE pancakes. I just had some last week when I went to visit my parents. Daddy makes the best (no bisquick for me!). Another thing you can do to lighten the batter is to separate the egg and beat the white. Fold this in right before using it. Extra fluffy. That works for waffles, too!

  • Hendria
    May 16, 2007

    I just love this recipe. It is the best one I have ever found.
    Love your site as well.

  • adey
    September 20, 2007

    I love this recipe. I have made them twice in the last week. They are great as is or with bananas and chocolate chips. This morning I tried it with 1/4 c whole wheat flour and they were still light and delicious.

  • Daddy Cakes®
    June 16, 2008

    Hi Laura,
    Here’s a tip for those that don’t want to start from scratch – Daddy Cakes® makes 9 flavors of Just Add Water Pancake and Waffle mixes. We use real fruit, organic flour, and whole grains in our mixes because we were tired of seeing all the lower end bleached flour pancake mixes that are so widely used. Hope this gives some people an alternative to your yummy sounding recipe. Have fun!


  • Laura
    December 13, 2009

    I make pancakes, a lot. I make your pancakes a lot. This is the first time I made these and I think these are hands down the best pancakes I have ever made. I made them with 1/2 c whole wheat, 1/2 c wheat germ instead of all white flour and they are fluffy, amazing pancakes. I am so full but I can’t stop eating these..

  • Rachel
    May 2, 2010

    This was one of the first recipes I ever tried when I started experimenting with cooking and baking one year back and I still love it! I’ve messed up this recipe so many times (forgot sugar, forgot the egg) or made substitutions (yogurt and regular milk in place of buttermilk) and they always come out perfectly and incredibly tender.

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