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Good Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes

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buttermilk pancakes


Nothin’ better on a chilly Saturday or Sunday morning than a hot stack of light and airy pancakes made from scratch with buttermilk! Oh, my!

Topped with sunny slices of sweet Amish butter and drizzled with never-ending streams of fresh-tapped, rich, warmed maple syrup! Even the finest of Bed & Breakfast inns can only evenly compare, but not best this!

Many years ago I came up with a recipe that is no-fail, easy and quick to make, and simply the best buttermilk pancakes out there! They take literally minutes to whip up, and use staples you already have on hand. (Including a simple formula for making a quick buttermilk substitute that I’ve been using since high school that works darn well in a pinch.) 😉

One of my most favorite times to enjoy pancakes or a full-fledged breakfast is at suppertime, actually! It was and always will be such a treat and something special as simple as it is! But I suppose some of the most humble of things always insure the biggest smiles due their plain honesty, simple integrity and child-like innocence. If buttermilk pancakes were a person, I think they’d be “Aunt Bea”. 




The best tips I can give you to make the most wonderful pancakes you’ve ever had are firstly, to always whisk well the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, then stir them together until incorporated but still having little lumps. These lumps will cook out and help to keep the pancakes light and airy. Never, ever over-mix the batter until creamy unless you’re making crepes.   

Secondly, never fry pancakes. You don’t want to end up with greasy pancakes. You only want to lightly grease your pan or griddle by wiping with an oil-soaked paper towel is all. The best surface to cook them on is a well-seasoned cast iron griddle, but any pan will work.

Test to see if the pan is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water onto the surface. If they skitter around and sizzle, then your pan is ready. *Don’t pour too much batter making them too big. Keeping them smaller will make them much easier to turn. A third cup measuring cup works really well for this. Two to three tablespoons works well for “silver dollar” pancakes for the kidlets. 

Lastly, is when to turn. Don’t turn them too early, let them “bake” like a cake. After all, that’s basically what they are when you think about it, hence why they are called “pancakes”. You are actually baking a thin cake on a flat surface.





Bubbles will form on top and pop. Turn when no more bubbles form, edges look a bit “dry”, and peek underneath just before for brownness. Raise heat if pale, lower if too dark. (*You can make one little mini “cake” first to test if you’d like, and adjust the heat to where you want it.)

Use a sharp spatula, if the pan-type allows, to get underneath loosening all the way around, and turn keeping spatula close to the pan. If you raise it up high, you’ll splatter batter all over the place when the uncooked side hits the pan and knock the air out of it, too.

Never press them, either, for the same reason. You want them to be light and fluffy inside. *The second side will cook at least twice as fast as it’s almost all the way cooked by the time you turn them. So keep an eye on it, and brown the second side nicely keeping an even, steady, medium heat. 

If you’re making a lot of pancakes at once, they reheat extremely well in the microwave, or you can keep them warm in a low oven *between sheets of damp paper towel on a foil-lined baking sheet and loosely covered with foil.

Pancakes also freeze well, too! So if you’ve made too many, (never a problem at our house ha!), you can freeze them on a tray, then simply stack them and place into a ziploc freezer bag. Thaw and rewarm in the microwave.  





So when you get a hankering for some good, old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes, hunt no further for a standby recipe. You’ve just found it. Perfect every single time. I hope you enjoy and whip up a batch this weekend! Quick, easy and family -pleasing! Enjoy! Talk to you later! 🙂 



Serves 3-4 


Dry Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1 Tbl. sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda


Wet Ingredients:

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk, (*easy substitute at bottom)

2 Tbl. canola or vegetable oil, *cooled melted butter also works well for this but whisk in quickly

1 tsp. vanilla



In medium-sized bowl, whisk dry ingredients well until very well mixed. 

In second small to medium bowl, whisk egg until fluffy. Whisk in rest of wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until combined, all is moistened, but still lumpy.

Get pan hot over medium heat until a few drops of water sprinkled on surface skitter around and sizzle. Lightly oil surface with a canola or vegetable oil-soaked paper towel using tongs. Pour circles of batter onto pan, not too close together, using a 1/3 cup measuring cup. (*2-3 tablespoons for “silver dollar” pancakes, and 1/2 cup for larger pancakes.) Cook pancakes until browned on the bottom, bubbles have stopped forming on the surface and have popped, and edges look “dry”.

Turn pancakes carefully by getting underneath on all sides to loosen, and turn holding spatula close to the pan so as not to splatter. 

Cook other side, watching carefully, for about half as long or until second side is also browned.

Serve hot with butter and warmed maple syrup.   

*Out of buttermilk or don’t have any on had? Simply place 1 Tbl. lemon juice concentrate or white vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup and fill the rest of the way with regular milk (whole or 2%) to make the one cup. Gently stir so you don’t spill, and set aside for about 10-15 minutes to thicken. Not as good as the real deal, but works just fine in a pinch!



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