Buttermilk pancakes take just minutes to whisk together for a delicious family breakfast you could make ahead and freeze for busy mornings.
You know when the very best time to make homemade buttermilk pancakes is??
Sunday at lunchtime.
I love making delicious restaurant-quality brunches for my family but I don't always love doing it when I'm tired and hungry early in the morning.
Smelling those gorgeous buttery pancakes on my hot griddle makes it impossible to wait to sit down as a family!
I love to make homemade pancakes mid-day during the weekend when I have more energy. I let them cool and then store them in the fridge for a week of breakfasts before school or pop them in the freezer for later.
Then when we want an early morning weekend breakfast?? I can just reheat the pancakes before I've even finished my first cup of coffee.
Why This is the Best Recipe
When I make brunch foods for my family, we tend to mix and match our main items between waffles, French toast, and pancakes.
I think this is the best buttermilk pancakes recipe because:
- Make Your Own Pancake Mix: You can mix together the dry ingredients to have a ready-to-grab DIY pancake mix in your pantry. Just store the whisked dry ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to six months.
- Tangy Buttermilk & An Easy Substitute: Buttermilk makes pancake batter extra thick and fluffy. It also adds a lot of flavor to the cooked pancake itself. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, just use my easy substitute.
- Golden Brown Buttery Edges: Griddle the pancakes in melted butter and then be amazed at the gorgeous golden brown pancakes and the super delicious crispy edges that they get!
Homemade buttermilk pancakes only need a few easy ingredients:
- Buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can use an easy buttermilk substitute using milk. See my note below.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
Best Buttermilk Substitute
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make this quick buttermilk substitute:
Measure 1 cup of milk. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir them together and let sit for 5 minutes.
For these pancakes, just double the substitute and use 2 cups milk with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice or vinegar.
DIY Pancake Mix
First, mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk them together.
This homemade pancake mix can be stored in an airtight container in your pantry for up to 6 months if you want to have a buttermilk pancake mix ready to grab for an easy breakfast.
Make the Pancake Batter
When you're ready to make the buttermilk pancakes, measure the buttermilk into a large measuring cup.
Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk them together till smooth.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir everything together.
For the lightest, fluffiest pancakes, you don't want to overstir the batter.
It's ok if you still have some lumps, just be sure there aren't any large pockets of dry flour hiding in the batter.
Let the pancake batter rest while you preheat the griddle.
I set my electric griddle to 375°F.
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the griddle top and let it melt.
Use a spatula to gently nudge the butter all over the surface.
I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion out the pancake batter and dropped 6 pancakes onto the griddle top.
You don't want to crowd the pan because you need room to flip the pancakes over.
When to Flip the Pancakes
Let the pancakes cook on the first side until you see bubbles rising up through the center of the batter.
I tried to capture a picture of them, but the bubbles kept popping! If you peek at the center of the pancake, you can see that the trace of bubbles is there:
Use a spatula to firmly get under the pancake and quickly flip it over onto the other side.
Cook the second side until golden brown, about 2 - 4 minutes.
How to Serve Pancakes Family Style
I like to tell my family that I'm not a short-order cook. When we make waffles, pancakes, or French toast I always serve them family style at the table.
Preheat your oven to 200°F. Place a large baking sheet inside the oven.
As you cook the pancakes, transfer them to the oven to keep warm while you finish the rest of the batter off on the griddle.
Make Ahead Tips
One of the biggest treats for the kids on a busy school morning is homemade pancakes.
I love that these homemade pancakes freeze so well.
If you want to make them ahead, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight bag for up to 5 days.
Or you can freeze them in a storage bag for up to 6 months.
It's a good idea to separate the pancakes with layers of parchment paper so they don't stick together.
To thaw frozen pancakes, let them sit in the fridge overnight or defrost them in the microwave on 50% power for 1 - 2 minutes.
To warm them up before serving, we like to pop them right in our toaster! This works great for just 1 - 2 pancakes and gives them a delicious crispy edge.
You could also heat them up in the microwave or on a large baking sheet in the oven if you're feeding a crowd.
These easy buttermilk pancakes are only the beginning. Once you learn the basics, the variations you can make for a family breakfast are practically endless.
Here are just a few of my favorite ideas:
Chocolate Chip Pancakes: Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter.
Strawberry Pancakes: Dice up 1 cup fresh strawberries and stir them into the batter.
Blueberry Pancakes: Stir 1 cup fresh blueberries into the batter.
The obvious way to serve classic buttermilk pancakes is with a pat of butter and real maple syrup drizzled over the top.
But plain pancakes also taste amazing with a spread of cream cheese, peanut butter, or any of my homemade jams if you want to mix things up.
My kids love to eat them plain as they're running out the door!
Make your own "McGriddles" breakfast sandwiches using two buttermilk pancakes with a baked egg patty and a sausage patty tucked in between.
Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes
For the Pancake Batter:
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- Butter for the griddle
Optional Mix-in's: Pick One
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- To serve the pancakes family style: Preheat your oven to 200°F. Set a large baking sheet inside the oven.
- Combine the dry ingredients first: Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk them together and set aside.
- Whisk together the liquid ingredients: Measure the buttermilk. Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk them together until smooth.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir them together. Do not over mix. Just make sure there are no more dry pockets of flour. Your batter may be slightly lumpy, that's ok.
- Preheat the griddle. I set my griddle to 375°F if you have that option.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter on the griddle. Use the back of your spatula to spread it around the surface.
- Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to portion each pancake and drop them onto the griddle top. Be sure to leave room for flipping the pancakes.
- Cook the pancakes on the first side until you see bubbles rising in the center of the batter on the pancake.
- Flip the pancakes over and cook on the second side until golden brown, about 2 - 4 minutes depending on your griddle.
- If serving your pancakes family style, transfer the cooked pancakes to the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining batter.
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes: Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter.
- Strawberry Pancakes: Add 1 cup diced fresh strawberries to the batter.
- Blueberry Pancakes: Add 1 cup fresh blueberries to the batter.
Buttermilk Substitute:If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make this easy buttermilk substitute: Measure 2 cups milk. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir together and let sit for 5 minutes before using in this recipe.
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