Nothing says breakfast quite like a stack of good ol’ fashioned buttermilk pancakes. The fluffier the better. This pancake recipe is as easy as it is delicious and produces fluffy buttermilk pancakes every time.
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The Very Best Fluffy Buttermilk Pancake Recipe
Ok, full disclosure – pancakes are my favorite food. Well, maybe I’m a lover of breakfast food in general, but pancakes definitely rank near the top for me. If I don’t make pancakes for breakfast over the weekend, then there is a distinct possibility they make the dinnertime rotation one night that week. They are just that easy and satisfying.
Now, I love to experiment with different recipes, so I have tried my fair share of pancake recipes. But I always return to this particular recipe that I first came across nearly 15 years ago. It’s fool-proof and yields consistently delicious, fluffy buttermilk pancakes every time. Since I am a self-proclaimed pancake aficionado, I confidently declare this buttermilk pancake recipe to be the very best.
Worthy Pancake Mix-Ins and Toppings
I don’t think pancakes require much more than a generous pad of butter and a quality maple syrup. But every now and again, I do enjoy experimenting with different mix-ins. Here’s a list of some of my faves:
- Blueberries – Aside from straight-up buttermilk pancakes, blueberry pancakes are my next favorite. Especially when serving fresh blueberries on top of the stack in addition to including them in the batter. For more controlled distribution, try adding the blueberries to your pancake once added to the skillet before flipping.
- Chocolate Chips – Chocolate chip pancakes are, hands down, my daughters’ fave. I like to use mini chips but have also been known to use a chopped-up chocolate bar. When I feel particularly generous, I add some whipped cream and a cherry on top. Ya know, so breakfast basically doubles as dessert. I think chocolate chip pancakes really shine when eaten cold.
- Nuts – Pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts are delicious in pancakes or served on top.
- Fresh, Seasonal Fruit – Fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are all classic pancake toppers and understandable so. Peaches, pears and apples are also delicious additions.
- Shredded Zucchini – Last year, our garden produced an absurd amount of zucchini. So I put zucchini in everything until my family begged for mercy, at which point I resorted to freezing my reserves. I can happily report that the zucchini made delicious pancakes. I recommend wringing out the excess water before adding zucchini to the batter.
- Vanilla Powdered Sugar – Ever since I discovered I could easily make my own vanilla powdered sugar, I look for an excuse to use it. Pancakes are as good an excuse as any, and it is really yummy. Use in lieu of or in addition to syrup. This is, after all, a judgment-free zone 🙂
- Peanut Butter – I’m a big fan of peanut butter. I keep a jar of peanut butter in my desk drawer at all times so that it is readily accessible when I need a quick snack. I highly recommend a pancake, peanut butter and banana sandwich for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.
Reheating Leftover Buttermilk Pancakes
As voracious pancake eaters, we don’t generally end up with a ton of leftover pancakes. What pancakes are left after breakfast – or sometimes dinner – I simply pop into an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Leftover pancakes make for a quick, wholesome breakfast that is particularly convenient on school days. When served with fresh berries or banana, this is honestly my girls’ breakfast of choice throughout the week.
To reheat, I pop a couple of pancakes in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. While I often find reheating leftovers in the microwave yields mostly disappointing results, pancakes do well well with this method. They remain tender and fluffy and are ready to eat in seconds flat.
On mornings when we are on the move, I’ll drop the pancakes right into the toaster for about a minute. The exterior of the pancake toasts slightly while the interior stays pretty soft. Toaster pancakes make a perfect hand-held breakfast to be consumed en route to school for the days when we’re running behind. And with two girls, let’s just say this is a handy little trick to know…
Freezing These Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
A question that I often pose when tackling different food is – does it freeze well? To me, that is a winning quality in any dish. Luckily, pancakes possess this likable quality in spades.
To freeze pancakes, lay flat in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then place in a freezer-safe bag with parchment between each pancake and place back in the freezer. Properly sealed, pancakes will keep in the freezer for roughly 2 months.
Be sure to label the freezer bag with the date. We all have enough on our minds. We don’t need to try to remember which day, month or year those particular pancakes were frozen 😉
To reheat frozen pancakes, I use the same methods as refrigerated pancakes, but I add a little extra time to each method. For microwaving, an additional 15-30 seconds is generally sufficient while an extra 30 seconds works well in the toaster.
*Please note that appliances vary, so reheating times may need to be adjusted based on your particular appliance. It’s a good practice to start with less time and add in small increments as needed.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t have buttermilk on hand? No problem! Mix two cups of milk or cream with two tablespoons of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Real buttermilk yields a more flavorful pancake, but in a pinch, homemade buttermilk is perfectly acceptable and pretty cool to make.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust your heat as you cook your pancakes. With my current stove-top, I keep the heat on the lowest setting when using a cast-iron skillet for pancakes. However, medium-low heat proved to be optimal on every other stove-top I have used. Keep playing with the heat until you figure out the optimal temp for your pancake-making endeavors.
- I cannot stress this enough – do not overmix your batter! This took me years to learn the hard way, so I get it. It does not seem right to leave the batter lumpy, but as the batter rests, it will continue to hydrate and the ingredients will continue to integrate. So gently mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula and stop when it is mostly mixed but still lumpy. This is crucial in achieving tender, fluffy buttermilk pancakes.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix your batter. It is ok if there are still some lumps and minimal bits of dry flour. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.
Place a ¼ cup of pancake batter on a dry, preheated skillet over medium-low heat. I use this cast-iron skillet for pancakes, but this skillet from Misen is one of the best non-stick skillets that I have owned. I find that cast iron holds a more even, consistent heat that is important to quality pancakes.
If you’re using a cast-iron skillet, I highly recommend these silicone handle holders. They have single-handedly reduced burns that would have otherwise occurred when I inevitably grab the hot handle of a cast-iron skillet. Safety first!
*Note that I do not use any butter or fat in the skillet. If you don’t have a cast-iron or non-stick skillet, add a pad of butter before adding the pancake batter to prevent sticking.
Once the batter starts to bubble around the edges, carefully flip the pancake and cook for an additional minute or two.
Repeat until all of the batter has been used and enjoy!
Simple and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk and melted butter.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together gently until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix your batter. The batter will be lumpy. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.
- Place a ¼ cup of pancake batter on a dry, preheated cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
- *Note that I do not use any butter or fat in the skillet. If you don’t have a cast-iron or non-stick skillet, add a pad of butter before adding the pancake batter to prevent sticking.
- Once the batter starts to bubble around the edges, carefully flip the pancake and cook for an additional minute or two.
- Repeat until all of the batter has been used.
- Serve with your choice of toppings, syrup or sauce and enjoy!
Whip up a batch of these fluffy buttermilk pancakes post haste and let me know what you think in the comments!
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