A Simply Perfect Homemade Buttermilk Pancake Recipe Designed for Maximum Fluffy-Tenderness.
Buttery, rich and drizzled with real maple syrup, these supremely fluffy pancakes are everything you want them to be and more. You know what, maybe just double this recipe right off the bat, because they’re that good—you’re going to gobble them up for breakfast at home and then you might just want to enjoy them again at dinnertime. The pure, all-American comfort of a freshly-cooked stack of homemade pancakes—it’s a warm and cozy sight, an absolutely heavenly smell and (best of all) one of the most delicious ways to kick off the day. We’re not cutting corners here, so our pancake recipe is designed for perfection over ease. But even the fussiest pancake recipe (and ours is far from the fussiest) is still really quite easy because pancakes are inherently a really easy, humble, forgiving kind of food. Whether you’re on your first cup of coffee or your fourth, we promise you’ll be able to whip up these superb pancakes.
Are Pancakes Better With Buttermilk?
And what does buttermilk do in pancakes? Well, firstly, yes! We think that buttermilk makes pancakes into the very best version of themselves. It’s worth the extra grocery run! But why is that? What’s so magical about using buttermilk in pancakes instead of whole milk? Buttermilk works more than one kind of magic in our pancake recipe, actually! Firstly, the acid in buttermilk reacts with our chemical leaveners—that’s a fancy way of talking about baking soda and baking powder—to encourage lift (aka fluffiness!) in the batter. Secondly, buttermilk has rich dairy fat, which makes for a delightful tenderness in the crumb of these pancakes. Last but not least, buttermilk is here for its unique flavor—that slight tangy richness that makes the best pancakes truly divine and keep us coming back for more.
Everything You’ll Need to Make Ultra Fluffy Pancakes
Here’s the big secret about pancake mixes: you don’t need ‘em. They don’t save you all that much work, and they make for pretty boring pancakes. If you have a pantry with even the most basic baking ingredients in it, you can make pancakes from scratch. You might have to send someone to the store to grab buttermilk, but it’ll be so worth it (plus, they can grab some extra maple syrup while they’re there, and you’re going to want that). Here’s everything you’ll need to make our buttermilk pancake recipe:
How To Make Pancakes From Scratch
A light touch (and a few lumps) are the key to making the best pancake batter. P.S. You can store this dry mixture—the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt—in an airtight container for up to three months and have it on hand as a homemade pancake mix! Simply add the wet ingredients when you’re ready to make pancakes.
Dry ingredients first! Flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt into a large bowl.
Wet ingredients next! Whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir until just combined; batter will be slightly lumpy, and that’s what you want!
Whisk the egg whites until medium peaks form—a stand mixer or electric hand-held beater is very helpful for this. Whipping air into the egg whites is going to really ensure that your pancakes are light and fluffy!
Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the pancake batter. Your goal here is to lose as little air as possible (though you’ll notice the egg whites deflate a bit as you fold them in, and that’s inevitable).
Butter a warm griddle (or skillet) set over medium heat. When the butter is sizzling, pour ½ cup of pancake batter at a time to make pancakes.
Watch for bubbles in the batter—when you see them, it’s time to flip the pancake! Cook until the pancake is golden brown.
You can keep finished pancakes warm on a sheet pan in a 200°F oven while you cook the rest.
Stack, top as desired, and dig in!
What Can I Use Instead of Buttermilk?
Alright, so, these pancakes will be their fluffiest best if you use buttermilk. But we get it—sometimes, it’s just not in the cards and you want to make do with what you’ve already got at home. You can totally swap in milk—ideally whole milk—for the buttermilk. No harm, no foul. Breakfast will still be fantastic.
How To Store Leftover Pancakes (and Congratulations on Your Will Power, BTW)
If you have any leftover pancakes, they will keep in the fridge for up to five days. Or, you can freeze them! Stack them between pieces of parchment paper, and store them in a zip-top freezer bag for up to two months. To reheat them, you can just pop them in the toaster!