The Best Buttermilk Pancakes
It’s not an exaggeration— these really are the best buttermilk pancakes! They’re light, fluffy, and full of flavor.
Lazy weekend mornings are made for pancakes, and when it comes to pancakes I promise you won’t find a better recipe.
These tender melt-in-your-mouth pancakes are slightly sweet, with lots of great flavor thanks to buttermilk, vanilla, and real butter. So this weekend go ahead and skip the boxed mix and make these homemade buttermilk pancakes instead!
What makes these the best buttermilk pancakes?
- They’re tender and fluffy
- With a slightly sweet and buttery flavor, and hints of vanilla
- And they’re nice and thick, and great for stacking with your favorite toppings
This pancake recipe has proved time and time again to be better than any other recipe I’ve tried over the years. It’s the only one we make in our house!
We all enjoy them a little differently— my husband goes traditional with butter and real maple syrup, the kids love theirs with jam, and my favorite combo is whipped cream, syrup, and berries. Whatever you like for toppings, one thing for sure is that you’re going to love these pancakes. Give them a try this weekend and let me know what you think!
Ingredients you’ll need
Let’s make some pancakes, shall we? Here’s everything you’ll need to get started:
- Melted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Maple syrup (or your favorite topping), for serving
What is buttermilk? Can I use something else?
Buttermilk is the flavorful liquid left behind after churning cream into butter. It’s full of natural cultures and has a tangy taste, and it’s a great addition to baked goods.
Buttermilk is key to the flavor and texture of these pancakes, so do not substitute with regular milk and try to find real buttermilk if you can. If needed though, you can make your own “buttermilk”. It’s not quite the same, but it will work in a pinch.
To make your own buttermilk: add 2 tablespoons lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup and add enough milk to make 2 cups. Let sit 5 minutes.
How to make the best pancakes
- Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Mix it all together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine with a whisk or spoon only until no streaks of flour remain. Do not over mix the batter! And it’s okay if it’s a little lumpy. This will produce a more tender pancake.
- Cook in butter. Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium high heat and add a pat of butter, and then add batter in roughly 1/3 cup portions. Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles on the top start to burst, about 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook for another minute or 2 on the other size.
- Keep warm in the oven or serve immediately. If you aren’t ready to enjoy these pancakes right away, keep them warm in a 200°F oven.
- Top as you like! More butter and maple syrup are a classic choice, but feel free to add your favorite toppings.
More tips for making these fluffy & delicious pancakes
- I’m going to say this again, do not overmix the batter or your pancakes will be flat and not as fluffy. Mix only until just uniform.
- The batter will be very thick, and that’s okay! Thick batter means tall pancakes. Measure your flour correctly so the batter isn’t too thick. You can always add more buttermilk a tablespoon at a time if needed.
- Adding melted butter to cold eggs and buttermilk will cause the butter to harden into little bits (that won’t change the cooked pancakes), and if you want to avoid that have your other wet ingredients at room temperature, or add melted butter separately when you combine the wet and dry ingredients.
- I prefer to use a cast iron skillet or griddle for pancakes, as it creates a great golden exterior. Any griddle or heavy-bottomed skillet with straight sides will work also.
- Adding more butter to the pan with each batch of pancakes you make adds even more flavor. However, if the pan is too hot the butter can burn, so adjust heat as needed.
- To keep pancakes warm and crisp while you work, place them in a single layer on a sheet pan in a 200°F oven.
- Pancakes freeze really well! Place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper in between each pancake inside a ziplock bag or plastic container. Store for up to 1 month. Reheat in the toaster.
- Another make-ahead option is to try my homemade buttermilk pancake mix. The results are almost as amazing, and it makes pancake mornings even easier.
Other weekend breakfast ideas
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Note: The recipe was originally published September 2014.
The Best Buttermilk Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (25 grams)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk (475 ml)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled (56 grams)
- Additional butter or oil, for the pan
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat and grease with butter or oil. Pour 1/4-1/2 cup of batter (depending on pan size and desired pancake size) into the pan and cook until edges appear dry and bubbles are visible on top, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side 2-3 minutes.
- Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in the toaster.