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The best buttermilk pancakes are light and fluffy with richness from butter, tang from buttermilk, and subtle vanilla-scented sweetness. A hot stack of pancakes is perfect for a special breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner!

close up of stack of buttermilk pancakes

This is going to sound nuts, but I was never really much of a pancake person.

Then the other day we ordered breakfast-for-dinner from Denny’s. I hadn’t had pancakes in years, so on a whim I thought I’d give their buttermilk pancakes a try.

It was a prime example of how tastes can change; two bites in and I was converted! And so of course the first thing I wanted to do was make a homemade version.

buttermilk pancakes

I’ve been making waffles for years, so I started there. I whipped up a batch of waffle batter with just a couple tweaks, and cooked it as pancakes. Diving into a stack of homemade pancakes, I realized that there is something completely blissful about the simplicity of pancakes topped with salted butter and real maple syrup.

This buttermilk pancakes recipe makes gorgeous golden circles that are soft and fluffy inside with a slight crispness outside. Butter adds richness, buttermilk makes them tender and adds a slight tang to balance out the sugar. And a touch of vanilla makes their aroma completely irresistible.

I found my go-to when I’m craving breakfast-for-dinner and I think you will too!

pouring maple syrup on stack of pancakes

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and easy. The batter whips up in 1 bowl in just 5 minutes!
  • You can make the batter or the pancakes ahead of time. I give instructions for both!
  • Pancake perfection. I’m telling you, buttermilk is the trick here. Use full-fat real buttermilk (not a mix of milk + vinegar) and get ready for pancake bliss. A mixture of milk and vinegar works well as a buttermilk substitute in a lot of recipes, but you really will taste the difference when you use real buttermilk for pancakes!
best buttermilk pancakes recipe

The Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Ingredients

pancakes ingredients
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Unsalted butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Egg
  • Vanilla

Step-by-Step Instructions

how to make pancakes
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla to the dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk just to combine, being careful not to over-mix.
  4. The batter will be fairly thick. For the fluffiest pancakes, let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, brush the bottom with a little coconut oil or butter.
  6. Scoop the batter into the hot greased skillet (about 6 tablespoons of batter per pancake), and let it spread out on its own. Turn the heat down slightly to medium-low.
  7. Let the pancake cook on the first side without flipping until the bubbles that form on the surface pop and the pancake looks like it’s starting to dry out a bit along the outside (this takes about 3 minutes).
  8. At that point, use a thin metal spatula to flip the pancake and let it cook on the second side until light golden brown (this takes about 2 minutes).

How to Store Pancakes

You can store pancake batter covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Once they’re cooled to room temperature, you can store cooked pancakes wrapped well in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 2 months in the freezer.

best pancake recipe

Tips

  • Don’t over-mix the batter. This is crucial to light and fluffy pancakes!
  • Let the batter rest. If you mix it up and let it sit for 10 minutes, you will have noticeably fluffier pancakes. For the most amazing flavor, let the batter rest in the fridge overnight.
  • Customize your pancakes with add-ins. You can add in up to 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, fresh berries, chopped nuts, coconut, or a mixture of any of these to the batter.
  • Make the cooking process go faster. Use two skillets or a griddle to cook the batter.
  • Keep the pancakes warm until serving. While you’re cooking the batter, you can put the cooked pancakes onto a parchment paper-lined tray in a preheated 200F oven until all the pancakes are made to keep them warm.
  • Make waffles. Yes, you can use this same batter to make waffles!
the best buttermilk pancakes graphic

Buttermilk Pancakes FAQs

How Do You Know When to Flip Pancakes?

Pancakes are ready to flip when the bubbles that form on the surface pop, the pancake looks like it starting to dry out a bit along the outside, and it’s a golden color on the bottom.

How Do You Reheat Pancakes?

You can reheat pancakes in a toaster, in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. The toaster is super easy, especially if you’re only reheating one serving of pancakes!

However, my favorite method for reheating pancakes is the oven for a few reasons: 1) I find that that the pancakes’ texture is as close to fresh as possible, 2) you can reheat multiple pancakes at a time using this method, and 3) it’s hands-off!

To Reheat Pancakes in the Oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange your pancakes in a single layer on the prepared tray.
  3. Sprinkle a tiny bit of water on the pancakes. I like to wet my hand and just flick the water a couple times on the pancakes. This will steam the pancakes and help them stay moist!
  4. Cover the tray with foil.
  5. Put it in the oven until the pancakes are warm, about 8 to 10 minutes.
bite of pancakes on fork

More Sweet Breakfast and Brunch Treats to Make

buttermilk pancakes recipe

Let’s Connect

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The Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
The best buttermilk pancakes are light and fluffy with richness from butter, tang from buttermilk, and subtle vanilla-scented sweetness. A hot stack of pancakes is perfect for a special breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner!

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Ingredients
 

Serving Suggestions:

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  • Add the butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Whisk just to combine, being careful not to over-mix. The batter will be fairly thick. For the fluffiest pancakes, let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, brush the bottom with a little coconut oil or butter.
  • Scoop the batter into the hot greased skillet (about 6 tablespoons of batter per pancake), and let it spread out on its own. Turn the heat down slightly to medium-low.
  • Let the pancake cook on the first side without flipping until the bubbles that form on the surface pop and the pancake looks like it’s starting to dry out a bit along the outside (this takes about 3 minutes).
  • At that point, use a thin metal spatula to flip the pancake and let it cook on the second side until light golden brown (this takes about 2 minutes).
  • Repeat this process until all the pancake batter is cooked.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This makes about 8 pancakes; each serving is 2 pancakes for a total of 4 servings.
  • Nutritional Information: The information for this recipe was calculated without the optional serving suggestions.
  • Don’t Over-Mix the Batter: This is crucial to light and fluffy pancakes!
  • Let the Batter Rest: If you mix it up and let it sit for 10 minutes, you will have noticeably fluffier pancakes. For the most amazing flavor, let the batter rest in the fridge overnight.
  • Add-Ins: You can add in up to 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, fresh berries, chopped nuts, coconut, or a mixture of any of these to the batter.
  • To Make the Cooking Process Go Faster: Use two skillets or a griddle to cook the batter.
  • Keep the Pancakes Warm: While you’re cooking the batter, you can put the cooked pancakes onto a parchment paper-lined tray in a preheated 200F oven until all the pancakes are made to keep them warm.
  • Make Waffles Instead: You can use this same batter to make waffles instead of pancakes.
  • Make-Ahead: You can store pancake batter covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Storage: Once they’re cooled to room temperature, you can store cooked pancakes wrapped well in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 2 months in the freezer.
  • Reheating: You can reheat pancakes in a toaster, in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. The toaster is super easy, especially if you’re only reheating one serving of pancakes!

To Reheat Pancakes in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange your pancakes in a single layer on the prepared tray.
  3. Sprinkle a tiny bit of water on the pancakes. I like to wet my hand and just flick the water a couple times on the pancakes. This will steam the pancakes and help them stay moist!
  4. Cover the tray with foil.
  5. Put it in the oven until the pancakes are warm, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pancakes | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 457mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 533IU | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe, Best Pancakes Recipe, Buttermilk Pancakes, Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe, Fluffy Pancakes, Pancakes

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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