This Buttermilk pancakes recipe is so easy and produces the best pancakes. Light and fluffy and so delicious, they are a simple and satisfying breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner) made in under 30 minutes!

Syrup being poured on a stack of buttermilk pancakes, fresh fruit also visible.

There’s something about making your kids homemade pancakes in the morning that makes you feel like you’re winning at parenting. Waking up to the smell of pancakes made from scratch is a memory many of us have and want to carry on for our loved ones.

This easy step-by-step recipe results in the fluffiest pancakes that taste amazing and will give iHop a run for its money. No need for store-bought pancake mixes or anything from the freezer aisle ever again because once you’ve tried these, there is no turning back.

Stack of fluffy pancakes on a plate.

About this recipe

Tasty, light, and fluffy pancakes that almost melt in your mouth are the perfect jumping-off point for adding all kinds of yummy optional ingredients and toppings. Once you’ve mastered the perfect buttermilk pancake, you can then start to get creative!

Make a batch of these and freeze some for later. When you’re ready to eat them, just pop them in the toaster or microwave. Top with a dollop of whipped cream & sprinkles, or perhaps some blueberry sauce, strawberry sauce, or chocolate sauce. But there’s nothing wrong with keeping it classic, dripping with melted butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. You could also try a fun butter, like maple cinnamon butter or gingerbread butter!

Stack of pancakes on a plate, with a wedge removed on a fork.

Have the kids serve mom breakfast in bed with a side of crispy bacon, fresh fruit, and a glass of OJ or enjoy a stack all on their own. Easily double the recipe for a crowd, or make just enough for two.

However and with whoever you’re enjoying a delicious pancake breakfast, it is the perfect way to start your day!

Overhead view of buttermilk pancakes with butter and syrup on a plate.

How to make buttermilk if you don’t have any

If you’re not familiar with buttermilk, it’s typically the ingredient you don’t realize you don’t have until you’re halfway through the recipe. Anyone relate?

Buttermilk is actually the leftover liquid that remains after churning a big ole batch of butter. It’s thick, low in fat, slightly tangy, and has a ton of natural cultures. Oh, and it’s also what gives pancakes that signature fluffy texture.

Having the real deal is great but if you don’t have any, don’t fret, you can easily make your own buttermilk.

You’ll need milk and an acid, either lemon juice, white distilled vinegar or cream of tartar. For the milk, you can pretty much use any kind, even coconut milk if you’re looking for a non dairy option.

Just add a tablespoon of your acid into a 1 cup measuring cup. Then continue filling that measuring cup with your milk. Stir gently and let it sit for about 5 minutes. You should start to see it curdle a bit at which point it’s ready!

Pile of pancakes on a white plate. Berries and syrup also visible.

What you need

Buttermilk pancakes don’t use any strange ingredients, so no need to worry about hunting things down at the grocery store! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter, melted
  • Buttermilk
  • Egg, beaten
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
Buttermilk pancake ingredients on a marble background.

How to make the best buttermilk pancakes:

In a large bowl, add melted butter and slowly drizzle in the buttermilk, while whisking. This will prevent the butter from clumping.

Buttermilk being whisked into melted butter.

While continuing to whisk, add in egg and vanilla.

Wet ingredients in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and gently mix together on top of the wet ingredients before whisking it all together, until just mixed. Do not overmix, you may activate the gluten which will cause a tough and chewy texture. If you see lumps those are ok!

Pancake batter in a clear bowl with a wooden handled whisk.

You can even let the batter sit for a few minutes. You’ll notice the baking soda and buttermilk working its magic as it starts to foam a bit. The time it takes to preheat your griddle is a great amount of time for the batter to rest.

Uncooked pancakes on a griddle.

Scoop onto a preheated griddle using an ice cream scoop or a small measuring cup and spread the batter out as needed. This is a thick batter so it won’t spread as easily as a thinner batter would.

Golden brown cooked pancakes on a griddle.

Cook until golden brown on each side and cooked through.

Don’t feel like flipping? Try buttermilk sheet pan pancakes.

How to make these pancakes your own:

  • For thinner pancakes, add 1/4 cup regular milk to the batter.
  • Add some cinnamon and applesauce for added warmth and seasonal flavors.
  • Turn them into chocolate chip pancakes by added white, milk, or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Cut up some fresh fruit to serve right on top.
  • Warm up the syrup before you serve it.
  • Add blueberries, strawberries, bananas, or lemon zest to the pancake batter. Or try strawberry buttermilk pancakes or orange buttermilk pancakes.
  • For healthier swaps try buckwheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Use coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar and top with some almond butter or pumpkin seed butter.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, set up a little build your own pancake station or a pancake board and have everyone pick their own candy toppings. Are pancakes on someone’s birthday breakfast request? Put some sprinkles right into the pancakes for a fun colorful treat.

Make-Ahead Tips

The great thing about this recipe is not only are these pancakes a make-ahead recipe but so is the batter. The batter will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, just don’t add the baking powder and baking soda in until just before you’re ready to use it.

Storage Suggestions

Pancakes will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you’ve made a big batch or have a lot of leftovers, they freeze very well.

Once completely cooled, freeze them individually laid out on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes before packing them together in a freezer-friendly airtight container or Ziploc bag. This way, they won’t stick together and you can take out whatever you need.

Reheating Directions

To reheat, the toaster is quick and easy if you’ve got only 1 or 2 that need heating up. Keep in mind, it won’t be a soft pancake, it will be exactly that, toasted!

To regain the softness, use the microwave! Microwave on high power for 20 seconds for every 1 pancake (give or take depending on your microwave).

Stack of pancakes with a wedge cut out and pictured on a fork.

Serve with these drinks!

Buttermilk pancakes are a great breakfast staple. Add a few other items to really round out your meal. Here are a few of our favorites breakfast beverages!

Pancakes piled on a white plate.

Get the Recipe: Buttermilk pancakes

This Buttermilk pancakes recipe is so easy and produces the best pancakes. Light and fluffy and so delicious, they are a simple and satisfying breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner) made in under 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Add the melted butter to a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the buttermilk while whisking. This prevents the butter from clumping.
  • Whisk in egg and vanilla.
  • Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and gently mix together on top of the wet ingredients before whisking it all together, until just mixed.
  • Scoop onto a griddle preheated over medium heat, spreading batter out as needed.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Notes

  • This is a thick pancake batter, and it works best with a scoop. If you prefer thinner pancakes, add 1/4 cup regular milk to the batter.
Serving: 2pancakes, Calories: 232kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 468mg, Potassium: 130mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 333IU, Calcium: 139mg, Iron: 2mg

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