How to Make the Best Buttermilk Pancakes

Here is how to make the best and fluffiest pancakes to eat for breakfast.

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This post is all about how to make the best homemade pancakes.

Old fashioned buttermilk pancakes are one of the best foods to eat for breakfast. Here is our favorite way to make them. These pancakes tend to disappear from the table quickly, so it’s not unusual for us to make a double batch to have some pancakes for now and some for later.

At the end of this post is a delicious and easy recipe for tender and fluffy buttermilk pancakes that can feed about 6 people. That gives you plenty of pancakes for a small brunch or family gathering.

You can also double the recipe if you need to make more pancakes, or want to cook pancakes to freeze for a make ahead brunch. This pancake recipe is also good to use for making pancakes for a pancake breakfast bar.

The secret to making soft, fluffy pancakes is to use buttermilk to make the pancakes. Real buttermilk is best, but if you don’t have buttermilk then it’s easy to make a buttermilk substitute. Find out more about how to make a buttermilk substitute below.

How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute

Buttermilk is the secret ingredient in this recipe to make tender, fluffy pancakes. If you don’t have buttermilk, then it’s easy to make a buttermilk substitute using lemon juice or vinegar.

To make a buttermilk substitute: Mix 2 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes. The milk should start to thicken over time. Stir the buttermilk substitute before adding it to the other ingredients.

What Foods to Serve with Pancakes?

Pancakes are a great breakfast food to serve for many reasons. Their sweetness makes them taste like a dessert, but their bread-y nature makes them the ultimate breakfast food. Here are some ideas on what foods to serve with pancakes.

  • Eggs. Fluffy scrambled eggs make a great side dish for pancakes. Other egg dishes that go well with pancakes include omelets, mini frittatas, and breakfast casserole.
  • Bacon. Bacon is a classic breakfast food and side dish for pancakes. Oven baked bacon can make it easier to cook bacon for a crowd.
  • Sausage. Both pork sausage and turkey sausage make great pancake side dishes. Plant based breakfast sausages are good, too.
  • Fried Apples. Cinnamon fried apples have a great savory flavor that makes them perfect to serve on top of, or alongside, homemade buttermilk pancakes.
  • Fruit Salad. The wonderful fruity, sweet and sour flavors of a tangy fruit salad can go a long way toward balancing out the sweet flavors of pancakes and powdered sugar or pancakes and syrup.
  • Potatoes. All kinds of breakfast potatoes, from seasoned potato wedges to hash brown casserole, make great side dishes for pancakes. Potato side dishes can also be extra filling when you are trying to feed a crowd.

Can You Freeze Pancakes?

One of the best things about homemade pancakes is that you can prepare pancakes as a make ahead breakfast, and then freeze the pancakes to eat later.

First, prepare the pancakes according to the recipe. Make sure the pancakes are fully cooked before freezing them.

Once the pancakes are fully cooked, allow them to cook completely. You may find it helpful to let the pancakes cool, and then refrigerate them in an airtight container overnight, before packaging the pancakes up to store in the freezer.

Cut squares of parchment paper to place in between each pancake to help prevent them from sticking together in the freezer. (The parchment paper pieces should be about the same size as each pancake.) Place a piece of parchment paper on top of each pancake, to help separate the pancakes as you stack them.

Label a freezer bag with the date and contents of the bag. Place stacks of pancakes inside the bag. Do not overfill the bag. Press excess air from the freezer bag, and then seal it up.

Place the bag in the freezer, where the pancakes can be frozen for up to two months.

Thaw the pancakes in the refrigerator overnight before reheating them.

You can reheat pancakes by heating them in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and then heating the pancakes in 10 second intervals until the pancakes are fully warmed through.

For larger amounts, pancakes can also be reheated in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange the pancakes on the parchment paper in a single layer. Use a pastry brush to spread soft butter, coconut oil, or olive oil over the pancakes, if desired.

Cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil. Then bake the pancakes for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the pancakes are completely heated through. Serve the reheated pancakes immediately.

How to Make Buttermilk Pancakes

Here is how to make easy and delicious, fluffy buttermilk pancakes.

Coat the inside of a griddle pan, well seasoned skillet, or nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat to allow the pan to warm up.

Tip: You want the pan to be hot but not too hot, before adding the pancake batter to the pan to cook. You can test if the pan is ready by carefully sprinkling a few drops of water onto the surface. If the water drops sizzle and evaporate, then the pan is ready.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, until the ingredients are well combined to form a dry mixture.

Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract to a separate bowl, and whisk until these ingredients are well combined.

Start with 2 cups of buttermilk. You want the pancake batter to be thick, but not too thick. The pancake batter should hold it’s shape once added to the pan.

A thicker batter is more likely to make pancakes that rise, rather than become runny, when added to the pan. But if the pancake batter is too thick, then thin it out by adding a few additional tablespoons of buttermilk at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in small batches, and gently stir until just combined.

Be sure not to overmix the pancake batter—having a few lumps in the batter is okay. Overmixing pancake batter can make the pancakes tough.

Let the pancake batter to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Stir once or twice help the dry flour mixture incorporate into the wet buttermilk mixture. (This helps to hydrate the flour mixture.)

Add a small amount of butter or oil to the griddle pan or skillet and spread it evenly around the pan with a heat resistant spatula or pastry brush.

Pour ¼ cup of pancake batter onto the hot griddle for each pancake. (Use a ladle or measuring cup for even portions.) Leave some space between the pancakes to allow the pancake batter to spread.

For a 10 inch frying pan or skillet, you may be able to fit 2 to 3 pancakes in the pan at one time—more if you are making smaller pancakes, like silver dollar pancakes.

To make pancakes for a crowd, consider making the pancakes on a griddle pan or electric griddle, where you can make more pancakes at one time.

Let the pancakes cook for about 3 to 4 minutes without disturbing them. Once you see bubbles forming on the pancake surface and the edges look set, then carefully flip the pancakes over with a spatula.

Cook the buttermilk pancakes for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pancakes are golden brown and cooked through. Serve the pancakes with your favorite toppings.

Tips

Here are some more tips for making the best buttermilk pancakes.

1—Keep the pancakes warm.

To keep the pancakes warm, place the cooked pancakes on a plate and cover them with a clean kitchen towel while you cook the remaining pancakes. You can also place the pancakes on a baking sheet and place them in the oven, if your oven has a warm setting.

2—Use an electric griddle to make larger batches at a time.

An electric griddle can make it easier to cook a large batch of pancakes at one time. Heat the griddle to medium high, use a few drops of water to test whether the griddle is hot enough to cook pancakes, and then add pancake batter and cook the pancakes just as you would in steps 7 through 10 in the recipe below.

A well seasoned cast iron griddle pan can also be used to make everything from eggs to pancakes for a crowd. One drawback is that the pans may be heavy for some, but they can also be a versatile tool to use in the kitchen.

3—Add flavor using berries or baking chips.

You can change up the flavor of the pancakes by adding about a cup of additional ingredients to the pancake batter. Good add ins include 1 cup of blueberries, 1 cup of diced bananas, or 1 cup of diced strawberries. Other good ingredients to add to pancake batter include 1 cup of chocolate chips or 1 cup of peanut butter chips.

Now you have some ideas for a fantastic pancake recipe that can easily feed about 6 people when the pancakes are served as a breakfast side dish.

Once the pancakes are done, it’s time to enjoy your homemade buttermilk pancakes, and don’t forget to consider making a pancake breakfast bar to make things even more fun when it comes to serving pancakes for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.

The Best Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Here is our favorite homemade buttermilk pancake recipe that makes delicious and fluffy pancakes.

Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes

Easy homemade buttermilk pancakes with just a hint of spice are sure to be a hit when it's time for breakfast. These pancakes also make a great brunch main dish or pancake dinner.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword breakfast recipes, brunch recipes, holiday recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting TIme 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Sweet Bacon & Pecans

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Scant pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk or more as needed
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter, oil, or lard for cooking
  • Optional toppings: maple syrup, fresh berries, sliced bananas, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, butter, or whipped cream

Instructions

  • Coat the inside of a griddle pan, well seasoned skillet, or nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place the pan or skillet on the stove over medium heat. You want it to be hot but not too hot. You can test whether or not the pan is ready by carefully sprinkling a few drops of water onto the surface; if they sizzle and evaporate, then it’s ready.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg until the ingredients are well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract until these ingredients are well combined.
  • Next, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in small batches, and gently stir until just combined. Be sure not to overmix the pancake batter.
  • Let the batter to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Stir once or twice help the dry flour mixture incorporate into the wet buttermilk mixture.
  • Add a small amount of butter, oil, or lard to the griddle pan or skillet and spread it evenly around the pan with a heat resistant spatula or pastry brush.
  • Pour ¼ cup of pancake batter onto the hot griddle for each pancake. (Use a ladle or measuring cup for even portions.) Leave some space between the pancakes to allow the pancake batter to spread. Let the pancakes cook for about 3 to 4 minutes without disturbing them.
  • Once you see bubbles forming on the pancake surface and the edges look set (this usually takes about 3 to 4 minutes), then carefully flip the pancakes over with a spatula.
  • Cook the buttermilk pancakes for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pancakes are golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Serve the pancakes with your favorite toppings, such as maple syrup, fresh fruit, or a dusting of powdered sugar.

This post was all about how to make the best buttermilk pancakes.

  • Featured photo by AnaMOMarques / Canva
  • Photos and images are for illustration purposes only.

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