Start your morning off right with a big stack of these fluffy and melt in your mouth Buttermilk Pancakes. This old-fashioned recipe is so easy, tastes way better than a boxed mix, and gives you pancakes with the most perfectly crisp edges and soft fluffy centers.
This is one of my Breakfast recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Let’s talk breakfast… the most important meal of the day right? Well, who knows for sure, but all I know is that breakfast food is ah-mazing!
Now I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t eat much for actual breakfast. A cup of tea and a granola bar or bowl of cereal, and I’m good to go.
But I crave breakfast food pretty much all other times of the day! Breakfast for dinner (Brinner) is one of my family’s favorite meals, especially if I’m serving up a big stack of these buttermilk pancakes! 🙂
This recipe has been hanging around here on the site for about 6 years, but it’s been republished with updated photos and more helpful information. The recipe has not been changed.
How to make homemade buttermilk pancakes?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Mix dry ingredients. This is the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix wet ingredients. This is the buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, egg and butter.
- Stir the wet into the dry. Be careful not to over-mix, so just stir them together until you don’t see any more streaks of flour. Lumps are okay.
- Heat griddle or skillet. The secret to great pancakes is to be patient. You want the heat set at MED LOW. Add a bit of butter to griddle/skillet.
- Ladle batter onto griddle. I like to use a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup, so the pancakes are equal in size.
- Cook. Let the pancake cook about 2-3 minutes. Watch for a lot of bubbles popping up on the batter side of the pancake, and for the edges to appear set.
- Flip. Flip the pancake over and cook another 2 minutes.
Go easy on the whisking. Pancake batter is easy to over-mix, which means your pancakes won’t be as fluffy and soft as they should be. When whisking the dry and wet ingredients together, just stir until you don’t see streaks of flour. Lumps are perfectly fine; you don’t need to whisk those out.
Variations of this recipe
- Buttermilk substitute – if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own! Add 2 Tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Pour in enough whole milk to reach 2 cups. Stir and let it sit about 10 minutes. It may look a bit curdled, but that’s okay. Stir and use in the recipe.
- Regular milk – alternately, you could just use regular whole milk, although we really prefer the flavor and texture of the buttermilk pancakes.
- Chocolate – semi-sweet chocolate chips are a classic stir-in idea, but other flavors of chocolate are great too.
- Fruit – sliced bananas, blueberries, sliced strawberries, etc are all great in these pancakes.
- Nuts – try adding some chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter!
- Flavors – you can omit the vanilla/cinnamon if you’re not a fan, but alternately, you could try adding some lemon juice (especially if you’ll be stirring in, or topping the pancake with some berries).
How to tell when a pancake is ready to flip?
This is a common question, so if you’ve been wondering and not sure how to ask… I’ve got you covered.
There are two main things I look for when deciding if I should flip my pancakes.
- Bubbles. As the pancakes cook, bubbles form and rise to the surface. When those bubbles have come through and popped, it’s a good sign the pancake is ready.
- Edges. The edges of the pancake will start off looking very wet, and as it cooks, they’ll dry out and appear set.
Buttermilk does two main things in this pancake recipe. First, it adds a beautiful slight tang to the flavor of the pancakes. Secondly, it reacts with the leavening agents in the batter (the baking powder and baking soda) to help the pancakes rise and get nice and fluffy.
You definitely want to use non-expired baking powder for this recipe, or your pancakes won’t puff up. To test your baking powder, add a bit to hot water. If it bubbles and fizzes, you’re good to go! However, if your baking powder is older than 6 months, it’s best to just get a new can. The older one can still be used for cleaning purposes!
Butter is a classic, and what I use most of the time. However, for the best crispy edges and boost of flavor, try using a bit of bacon drippings!
Making buttermilk pancakes ahead of time
Unfortunately making the batter ahead of time doesn’t work very well, since the leavening agent (the baking powder), will start activating as soon as the ingredients are mixed.
This means when the pancakes are cooked, they won’t rise and turn into fluffy goodness.
If you end up with way too many pancakes leftover, you can freeze them!
Just make sure they’ve completely cooled down, then add the pieces to a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place the whole thing in the freezer for 1-2 hours, until the pancakes are hard.
Add the pancakes to a freezer container, label it with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator and warm up in whichever way you like best.
Leftover pancakes should be refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within 3-4 days.
I love this brand of silicone coated spatulas, since they’re all heat safe, easy to clean and hold up really well! This one is larger and makes getting that perfect pancake flip super easy!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Melt the butter and set aside to cool down slightly.
- To a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to combine all dry ingredients well.
- In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, vanilla, ground cinnamon and egg. Whisk to combine. Add melted butter and whisk again.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking and stirring to mix it all together. Once it’s combined, stop mixing. If you over-mix, your pancakes won’t be light and fluffy.
- Set pancake batter aside and heat up a large skillet or griddle over MED-LOW heat. Add a bit of butter to the preheated griddle and spread it out.
- Use a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop the pancake batter onto the griddle or skillet. Slowly pour it onto the surface, circling outwards to make a nice circle.
- Let the pancake cook about 2-3 minutes. You'll notice bubbles popping up on the surface of the pancake, if the edges look set, carefully flip the pancake over. Cook another 2 minutes on the other side.
- Remove to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel. Alternatively, you can place the pancakes on a baking sheet and keep it in a low heat oven (175-200 degrees), until you’re ready to serve.
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- 1. Please note that the amount of flour may vary, as things such as humidity, brand of flour and the way you measure your flour will effect how things turn out. For reference, I use Gold Medal all purpose flour and measure it by spooning it into my measuring cup, then leveling off with the back of a butter knife.
- A dash of nutmeg is also a great addition to these pancakes.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of vanilla and cinnamon to your liking.
- If you leave out the vanilla and cinnamon, you have a great basic buttermilk pancake recipe.
- This recipe makes enough for 4 people, so feel free to double the recipe in order to feed more people or to freeze some.
Any nutritional information shared is an estimate, and is automatically calculated through a program. If calorie count is important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
The Chunky Chef is not a nutritionist and doesn’t provide full nutritional information for recipes as there is a potential for error and we wouldn’t want to potentially and/or unknowingly pass along incorrect information.