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Best Ever Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

4.7 from 13 votes

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This easy homemade pancake recipe is a keeper! Learn how to make big, fluffy and beautiful buttermilk pancakes from scratch.

A stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a plate with a fork and strawberries on top.

This old-fashioned buttermilk pancake recipe is without a doubt the tried-and-true favorite in our family.

It’s a simple, classic recipe you’ll want to keep in your recipe box.

Or better yet — learn it by heart — just like I have after making it on repeat practically blindfolded (well, more like in a sleepy morning stupor).

Light and fluffy pancakes

I’ve tried sooo many other pancakes over the years.

But they just don’t measure up to these big, puffed, tender and buttery beauties.

Maple syrup pouring over a stack of thick and fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a gray plate, topped with sliced strawberries, a pat of butter.

I grew up with my mom’s good old Bisquick pancakes, and I swear she must have worked some kind of magic into them besides following the recipe on the box.

They remain the standard against which I measure all pancakes, now until forever.

It took years to find the perfect, made-from-scratch pancake recipe that equaled those light, comforting stacks from childhood.

It must be the mom in me, but I sometimes add a tablespoon or so of ground flaxseed or wheat germ to the mix (ssshhh).

Somehow that makes pancakes seem more wholesome and less like a pillowy pile of carbs.

Seriously though, who are we kidding?!

Pancakes ARE SUPPOSED to be a carb dream.

A stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a plate with a fork and strawberries on top.

Warm, griddled and dripping with butter and syrup, puffy pancakes are slightly indulgent and approachable at the same time.

In other words, pancakes are the ultimate comfort food.

This basic pancake recipe makes delicious plain pancakes.

But you can also use it as a base for mixing in all your favorite pancake embellishments.

What to add to pancakes

Fold in about 1/2 cup of any one:

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Berries! Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries…etc.
  • Bananas

Add some spice (1/2 – 1 teaspoon)

  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Vanilla extract

Are pancakes better with buttermilk?

I think buttermilk adds something magical to plain pancake batter.

The buttermilk adds only a slight tang, so if you’re worried your pancakes will taste sour, rest assured they won’t.

What actually makes buttermilk so good in pancake batter is that it produces a more tender, puffed pancake than plain milk does.

The acidity in buttermilk activates the leavening power in the baking soda and baking powder, which helps the batter rise higher when heated.

A stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a plate with a fork and strawberries on top.

Sure, you can use regular milk (or even sub with a plant-based milk like homemade almond milk).

But every pancake I’ve made with milk compared to the ones made with buttermilk are flatter, less fluffy and all-around just meh.

Once you’ve tried real buttermilk pancakes, it’s hard to go back to making them any other way.

A stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a plate with a fork and strawberries on top.

Tips for making light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes

There’s nothing more basic than pancakes, but there are a few key things to keep in mind if you want a perfectly light, fluffy and buttery stack:

Heat your griddle over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it’s evenly hot but not smoking.

Use a flat griddle with a nonstick surface, or a well-seasoned cast iron pan rubbed with a little oil.

This is important! I know you’re in a hurry to dig right into the stack with your fork.

But if the griddle isn’t hot the batter will literally just sit there like a sad puddle.

No pancake for you.

On the other hand if you put the pan over a raging high heat, the pan will get too hot, causing the surface of the pancakes to brown (or burn) before the inside is finished cooking.

You’ll know when the pan is ready when you can flick a few drops of water on the pan and they sizzle, sputter and disappear after a few seconds.

Of course, you can always use a handy electric griddle set to 350 degrees, which will make the cooking step just about foolproof.

Maple syrup pouring over a stack of thick and fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a gray plate, topped with sliced strawberries, a pat of butter.

Check the date on your baking powder and baking soda.

If either of those have been sitting around in your pantry for some unknown amount of time they’re most likely stale.

Order some fresh containers and watch your pancake batter rise like a charm.

Flip the pancakes with spatula when small bubbles form and then burst on the surface, and the edges begin to set.

Can pancakes be frozen?

Yes, absolutely!

They won’t be exactly as soft and tender as freshly made pancakes, but they’re still delicious and so convenient on a busy morning (or a breakfast-for-dinner situation).

How to freeze leftover pancakes:

Cool the pancakes completely.

Place them in a plastic freezer bag or other container with a lid, preferably in one layer.

To serve the frozen pancakes, brush them with butter or oil and heat in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

You can also use a toaster or toaster oven to heat them, but use a medium setting so they don’t burn.

Best Ever Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Karen Tedesco
This is homemade pancake recipe is a keeper: Learn how to make the best light, fluffy buttermilk pancakes from scratch. The recipe is easily doubled to make a bigger batch.
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4.7 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12 4-inch pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (210 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (60 g) granulated sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • cups (375 ml) buttermilk, whole milk preferred
  • Maple syrup, warm
  • Optional garnishes: Fresh berries, softened butter, powdered sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 200 (100 C) degrees. Place a nonstick griddle or seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • In a second bowl, whisk together the egg, butter and buttermilk.
  • Pour the buttermilk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir just until the flour is incorporated (don’t overmix).
  • Pour 1/4 cup scoops of batter onto the hot griddle (a few drops of water flicked on the pan should sputter), spacing about 3 inches apart.
  • Flip the pancakes when bubbles start to appear on top and the edges become set, after about 2 minutes. Scooch the edges of the pancake with the spatula if you want a neater edge. Cook the other side until golden brown.
  • Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet or ovenproof platter and put in the oven while you make the remaining pancakes.
  • Serve the pancakes with warm maple syrup and whatever garnishes you like.

Notes

  • The pancakes can be kept warm for about 20 minutes before serving. You can brush the cakes with a little extra melted butter to keep them moist.
  • Keep an eye on the heat and adjust up or down as necessary, as all stoves are different.
  • How to freeze leftover pancakes: Cool the pancakes completely, then seal in a plastic freezer bag or other container with a lid.
  • To serve frozen pancakes, brush with butter or oil and heat in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. You can also use a toaster or toaster oven to heat them, but use a medium setting so they don’t burn.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram!!

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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22 Comments

  1. Hi, I really want to try these but it seems like a lot of sugar? 1/4 a cup? is that correct?

    1. That is the correct amount of sugar. However, you can easily reduce the amount by half or even more if you prefer less sugar in your pancakes, especially if you’ll be adding maple syrup or other topping. Hope that’s helpful!

  2. 5 stars
    This is by far the best buttermilk pancake recipe I’ve ever tried. They are incredibly good. WOW! What a wonderful breakfast this morning. They will be a Sunday morning staple from now on.
    LOVE! Thanks Karen.

  3. I have about a cup and a half of buttermilk left after making my mom’s southern cornbread recipe. Was wondering what I was going to do with it. Now I know.

  4. Just came across this very tempting recipe of yours and I have to say it looks amazing. I’m a huge pancake fan so this is going on my ‘to make’ list. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Karen: thanks for a GREAT recipe! I’m a veteran pancake maker (as just about every mom of small kids?) but this is the best buttermilk recipe I’ve ever tried. They were perfect: cooked thru (sometimes difficult w/ fluffy cakes), almost crispy on the outside if you oil the pan well, great flavor. I thought the strawberry sauce was simple, pure, delicious. I used frozen berries (whole, unsweetened) and it still turned out delicious!
    This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your blog…now you’ll have big shoes to fill…I’ll be back! Often! Thanks!

  6. I am seriously drooling over these! Mmmmmmm!

  7. Tom in Boston says:

    Hi–I made these Sat. a.m. and they were great. Thanks for the recipe. I usually make these cakes without baking powder, sugar or vanilla, so these were sweeter than I’m used to; vive la difference! It was dessert on Saturday morning. Next time I would make smaller pancakes than I did.

  8. Heavens! Those look scrumptious, and I’m not even a big lover of pancakes! I’d like to eat that whole plateful, though. Beautiful.

  9. Just fantastic. Your a talented girl. Pancakes are truly family style food!

  10. Dani Spies says:

    Wow..you’re not kidding when you say fluffy…these look YUMMY!! Great picture too!

  11. Janelle – Now your kids will be rousing you on Sunday mornings. Get ready!

    Valentina – I’m never sure of my camera skills, so thank you. And right after I took the picture, my son dove right in.

    Patricia – Thanks! It’s always good to make you hungry.

  12. Patricia Scarpin says:

    These pancakes look wonderful, Karen! OMG!

  13. valentinA says:

    oh dear, this photo truly is irresistible Karen!
    Love the pancakes & the strawberry sauce drizzled over makes it even more yummier!

  14. Karen:

    Thanks for the recipe; I am printing it off right now. I needed a good pancake recipe!

  15. those look wonderful. maybe we can have those next Sunday! with blueberries.

  16. Abi Jones says:

    Wow. I suddenly crave a stack of pancakes, though I know that I couldn’t possibly find any like those at this time of day. Yum.

  17. SteamyKitchen says:

    OMG you are killing me softly with your buttermilk pancakes…..

  18. Pinkeagle, I adore Nigella, but I avoid bananas since they give me hives!

    Ina Garten has another great recipe for pancakes in her Family Style cookbook – sour cream pancakes with bananas. They are my second favorite, without the bananas of course!

    Anh, thanks! Strawberry sauce is a nice thing, especially since I have some left over to pour over my yogurt tomorrow.

  19. You have made great pancakes! And I like the strawberry sauce, too…. 🙂

  20. Pinkeagle says:

    Wow these look great 🙂 I love pancakes. Have you tried the banana buttermilk ones from Nigella Lawsons book Feast? They’re to die for!!