This has been our everyday buttermilk pancake recipe for decades!
The recipe uses common pantry ingredients and rewards you with incredibly fluffy, buttery pancakes with minimal time and effort. It's not an exaggeration to say that we've been eating these about once a week for years and no one around here is mad about it.
Everyone needs a delicious, no-fail, super quick pancake recipe, and this is mine. I hope it will become a favorite in your home as well.
As much as I adore Blueberry Pancakes and Apple Cinnamon Pancakes, and supremely decadent Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, THESE are the pancakes I make the most often.
They are our morning breakfast on most weekends and on many evenings. Because no one in my house ever said no to pancakes for dinner, least of all me.
The recipe is easily cut in half if you're only making pancakes for 2 or 3 people. Or, if you're making pancakes for a crowd, it's easy to double or even triple the recipe.
Ingredients Needed to Prepare This Recipe:
I've got nothing against pancake mix. I just feel that if you're the type of person who typically has staples like flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and milk in your kitchen, pancake mix is... unnecessary.
Mixing up the batter for these Everyday Homemade Pancakes takes about 5 minutes, which is hardly a time commitment for anyone. And, since the reward is a tall stack of fluffy, buttery pancakes, it's always time well spent.
Here's what you need to make these buttermilk pancakes:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Granulated sugar
How To Make The Fluffiest Buttermilk Pancakes
For all of you cooking and baking nerds, I've included more detailed information below about the science behind tender, flavorful, fluffy pancakes. If you'd rather just cut to the chase, here's what you really need to know to make super fluffy, flavorful pancakes:
#1. Don't over mix the batter
When mixing pancake batter, less is more. Stir the batter JUST until all the ingredients are combined. Getting too vigorous with your mixing can cause the gluten in the flour to develop and make the pancakes chewy and tough.
So, slow your roll, and mix just until the batter is relatively smooth. It's perfectly fine if the batter is a bit lumpy.
#2. Monitor the temperature of the skillet while the pancakes cook
If the skillet gets too hot, the outside will burn before the inside of the pancakes are cooked through. On my stovetop, that usually means starting out at medium heat and then adjusting down to medium-low after the first batch or two.
Just pay attention to how quickly the outside of the pancakes are browning, and adjust the heat as necessary.
#3. For the most buttery pancakes, cook them in butter
Let me ask you a super obvious question: Do you want pancakes or do you want buttery pancakes? That's what I thought.
The thing about cooking pancakes in butter is that you've got to wipe out the skillet in between batches, or the butter will start to burn. I usually just give the skillet a quick rinse in the sink before setting it back on the burner, adding a fresh pat of butter, and cooking more pancakes. But, you can also wipe the skillet out with a towel or paper towels.
#4. Buttermilk makes the most tender, fluffy pancakes
For years, I made these pancakes with regular milk and none of us complained. Then I tried using buttermilk instead and have never looked back. Honestly, I'm not sure what took me so long.
Buttermilk does 3 super delicious things for pancakes:
- Buttermilk reacts with baking soda to help pancakes rise to their fluffiest potential.
- Buttermilk breaks down the strands of gluten, which as we've already discussed, results in super tender pancakes.
- Buttermilk adds flavor and a lovely, subtle tang that compliments and balances out the sweetness in these pancakes.
Pro Tip! How to Keep Pancakes Soft and Tender
Making a plate of soft, tender, fluffy pancakes really comes down to one thing: Gluten. Or, lack thereof.
Wheat flour contains two proteins that, when combined with liquid, form gluten. Maximizing gluten development is imperative when making homemade bread or fresh pasta. Gluten creates the structure bread needs to rise and gives it that delicious chewy texture.
Since gluten development creates structure, toughness, and chewiness, it's something we want to avoid in cakes, cookies, pie crust, and pancakes.
So.... how do we prevent gluten development in pancake batter? Two ways:
- Mix the batter as little as possible will ensure low gluten development in the batter. You can mix the batter with a spoon or a whisk, stirring just long enough moisten all the dry ingredients. There will be some lumps in the batter, and that is ok. In fact, it's what you want.
- Butter! Fat helps make these pancakes flavorful and moist, AND inhibits gluten development. Fat also breaks the gluten that is formed into shorter strands, giving these pancakes a tender texture.
Buttermilk Pancakes FAQs
A: It's the eggs in pancake batter that hold everything together and provide structure for the little air bubbles that cause the pancakes to rise while they cook.
The other thing that eggs do for pancakes is provide richness and flavor, mostly from the fatty yolks. But, just like butter, too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. Too many eggs in pancake batter will make them dense and custardy... more akin to a soufflé than a pancake.
Not enough eggs will make the pancakes dry and with a texture that's similar to biscuits. (Which is exactly why we don't put eggs in biscuits.)
In this recipe, 4 eggs is the magic number, striking that delicious balance between flavor, structure, and tenderness.
A: No buttermilk? No problem!
For each cup of milk, replace 1 tablespoon with lemon juice or vinegar. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes until the milk thickens to a buttermilk-like consistency.
I usually prefer the subtle flavor difference of using lemon juice over vinegar, but either works nicely.
Another great buttermilk substitution is to mix equal amounts plain, unsweetened yogurt and milk. If you happen to have some plain unsweetened yogurt in your refrigerator, this is the easiest option.
A: You can, but I don't recommend it.
Too little butter creates pancakes that are tough, dry, and almost crispy. In contrast, too much butter makes pancakes flat and dense.
In this recipe, I've found that 4 tablespoons is the perfect amount, giving the pancakes a delicious buttery flavor and tender, fluffy texture.
What to Serve with Buttermilk Pancakes
- Maple syrup!
- Cherry Sauce: “This sauce is simple, easy and delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it was what I was looking for to use on pancakes.”
- To make chocolate chip pancakes: Stir a cup (or more!) of mini chocolate chips into the batter.
- Top pancakes with a smear of Nutella, peanut butter, or any kind of nut butter
- Spread pancakes with any kind of jam or preserves. Two of my favorites are Strawberry Rhubarb Jam and Peach Preserves.
- Sprinkle them with powdered sugar
- Top pancakes with fresh fruit and a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream
Everyday Pancakes is a Building Block Recipe
Building block recipes are tried-and-true recipes that I consider foundational to great home baking. They are the kind of recipes I come back to over and over again, sometimes baking them as is, but often using them as a jumping off point to create something new. > Scroll through all Building Block recipes.
+ For a step-by-step video of how to make these pancakes, click here.
Everyday Buttermilk Pancakes
This has been my go-to pancake recipe for more years than I care to count because it produces tender, fluffy pancakes with minimal time and effort.
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (255 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
- 5 tablespoons (62 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups (16 ounces/ 454 grams) buttermilk (*seen note below for substitution)
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) melted butter, PLUS an additional 4 - 6 tablespoons (56 - 84 grams) butter for the skillet
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine.
- Add the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter and whisk just until the ingredients are combined. You will have a few small lumps - that's ok. It's important to not overwork the batter.
- Set a skillet over medium heat and add enough butter to generously coat the bottom of the skillet.
- When the butter has melted, add the batter to the skillet to form pancakes. I usually use about ⅓ cup of batter per pancake.
- When the tops of the pancakes are covered in small bubbles and the sides look set, they are ready to flip. Use a spatula to flip them over and cook until browned on the second side. (*See note below about monotoring temperature.)
- Flip the pancakes out onto a plate, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, or rinse it briefly in the sink, add a new pat of butter, and continue cooking pancakes until all of the batter has been used.
- Serve with plenty of maple syrup or whatever you like to top your pancakes with.
Don't have buttermilk? No worries.
You can make a great substitute for buttermilk with milk and lemon juice or vinegar. For each cup of milk, replace 1 tablespoon with lemon juice or vinegar. So, for this recipe, measure out 2 cups of milk, remove 2 tablespoons, and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar. Stir and let sit for a few minutes until the milk thickens to a buttermilk-like consistency.
Another great buttermilk substition is to simply mix equal amounts plain, unsweetened yogurt with milk.
Homemade Pancake Tips:
- When mixing pancake batter, the goal is to whisk JUST until all the ingredients are moistened and combined. Mixing the pancake batter to vigorously can cause the flour's gluten to develop and make the pancakes chewy and tough. For light, fluffy pancakes, you want to mix just until the batter comes together. It's perfectly fine if the batter is a bit lumpy.
- It's important to monitor the temperature of the skillet while the pancakes cook. If the skillet gets too hot, the outside will burn before the inside of the pancakes are cooked through. On my stovetop, that usually means starting out at medium heat and then adjusting down to medium-low after the first batch or two of pancakes. Just pay attention to how quickly the outside of the pancakes are browning, and adjust the heat as necessary.
- When cooking pancakes in butter it's important to rinse or wipe out the skillet in between each batch and add a new pat of butter. If you don't, the butter will start to burn, flavoring the outside of your pancakes with the taste of burnt butter. I usually do this in the sink, running water from the tap into the hot skillet, swishing it around and dumping it out. I don't even bother drying the skillet - the heat from the burner will quickly evaporate any droplets of water. You can also wipe the skillet out with a rag or paper towel.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 977mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 11g
Meg Hunt says
I made these pancakes today (recipe halved) with eggnog, dropping the sugar as you suggested. Fabulous, but not a strong eggnog flavor. Next time I will try with the buttermilk.
Rebecca Blackwell says
I'm so glad to hear that the eggnog worked! I'm going to try it later this week! Thank you for taking the time to let me know. And thank you for participating in the bake club! xo
Barbara Meineke says
This is a delicious “Everyday Buttermilk Pancake” recipe. I followed every direction and instruction tip you offered. The only alteration of the recipe was to cut it in half as there are only 2 of us plus an elderly neighbor I send meals to often. The heat instruction was a big tip I watched closely. I used less than a 1/3 of a cup of batter for each pancake as my skillet was small and I wanted smaller cakes. They turned out golden just like your photo and they were light and fluffy. Thanks so much for a great recipe.
Rebecca Blackwell says
I am so happy to hear that you liked this recipe Barbara! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment for me! I truly appreciate it! xo