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Make breakfast a winner with these Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes

How To Make Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes

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Light, fluffy, and golden brown crisp edges, my Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes are so amazing you might not even need syrup! 

Hi Bold bakers!

Time and time again I get asked this very important question: How do I make the perfect buttermilk pancakes?

Well bakers, my Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes recipe here to answer all of your questions, troubleshoot all of your pitfalls and ensure that every time you have that pancake craving —  you can deliver with Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes. Light, fluffy, and golden brown crisp edges, My Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes are so amazing you might not even need syrup!

I have tried every recipe under the sun for American style pancakes and hands down this is the best recipe I have. To say that it’s tried and tested is an understatement. I used to have a breakfast catering business in San Francisco where I would create elaborate, over-the-top breakfasts (sound familiar?).

The Road To The Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes

I had never made buttermilk pancakes before, but I was determined to master the Perfect Buttermilk Pancake Recipe because I wanted to make those thick stacks of fluffy, light pancakes that you got in diners. I was convinced that everyone was using a boxed pancake mix and that’s how they got perfect pancakes every time. I am actually pretty sure most diners do use box mix, however — that’s not for me.

God bless the poor guinea pigs I catered for, because regardless of the result they ate them. But without my hungry audience and the demand for “bigger and bolder” breakfasts, I never would have created Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Churro Waffles and Cinnamon Roll Pancakes.

Where it all started, though, was this basic, humble recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes.


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Why do you need buttermilk to make pancakes?

The tangy flavor of buttermilk is not the only reason it’s important in creating the perfect buttermilk pancake. Buttermilk actually helps to activate the baking soda or raising agent in the pancake batter. This means before the pancake even hits the heat, it’s being made light and fluffy and bubbly from within the batter.

Buttermilk also acts as an acid, eating away at the flour or gluten in the pancakes. This is what makes the cakes so tender and soft.

How to mix the perfect pancake batter?

There is a skill to making the Perfect Buttermilk Pancake Recipe. After making 1000’s of them, I have mastered it. It comes down to 2 very simple things: mixing the pancakes and mixing in your melted butter.

Don’t overtax your pancakes! It is tempting, I know. I still do it, but DON’T! The less the you mix, the thicker and fluffier they will be. All of those lumps that you are worried about will disappear when the pancakes rest.

Why do you need to let pancake batter rest?

Let the dough rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before you use it. This allows the butter to set, so when they hit the hot griddle the butter will create steam, and steam evaporates and creates bubbles! Boom! Science lesson.

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4.54 from 65 votes
Make Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
resting time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Light, fluffy, and golden brown crisp edges, my Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes are so amazing you might not even need syrup! 

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 143 kcal
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/57g) butter, melted
  • 2 cups (10oz/280g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (16 floz/ 1/2 litre/480ml) Buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. First, melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl.

  3. In a jug, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract.

  4. Add the liquid to the dry mix and starting lightly mixing together. The secret to thick, fluffy pancakes is not to over mix. My trick is to stir it enough times to spell P.A.N.C.A.K.E, and then stop.
  5. Slowly drizzle in the cooled butter and stir another 3 times. Lumps are ok, resist the urge to mix more
  6. Put in the fridge for 10 minutes. This helps the butter to chill and bubbles to form in your batter.
  7. Put a heavy bottom frying pan or griddle on medium-low heat.

  8. Spoon one big spoon of the batter per pancake.
  9. Cook for roughly 4 minutes on one side. It is time to turn them over when you see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake and the edges turn color (forming bubbles on top is really important because they hold your pancake up and keep it thick, I call them pancake pillars :))
  10. Flip and cook for another on the other side a little longer, until brown. Enjoy with butter and maple syrup.

Watch the Recipe Video!

Nutrition Facts
Make Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes
Amount Per Serving (1 pancake)
Calories 143 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 49mg16%
Sodium 494mg21%
Potassium 17mg0%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Joshua Terri on October 12, 2019 at 5:52 am

    What do you mean by spelling pancake??? Pls reply as I want to make these for breakfast.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2019 at 3:19 am

      Hi Joshua,
      It means that when you are mixing the batter you spell the word, slowly, PANCAKE, and then stop mixing the batter and allow it to rest. That is it.
      They also say that when you are washing your hands in the kitchen you should sing ‘happy birthday’ to make sure you give it enough time! I do not know, but it works too <3

  2. Gina G Smith on September 17, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Will this recipe work with waffles?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 18, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      Yes Gina, it absolutely works for waffles also.

      Happy Baking!

  3. RF74 on September 2, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Hi Gem! These pancakes were ammmmmmazing! Just as my mother-in-law ‘s what I’ve been craving for . Light, fluffy and perfectly flavored!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2019 at 10:47 am

      Hi Rachel! Mahalo! What a delight to know of success stories by bold bakers. It warms my heart and inspires me to share my kitchen diaries with you. Thank you.

  4. Akshara on August 20, 2019 at 3:57 am

    Hey Gemma, what can I use to substitute eggs in this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 21, 2019 at 1:04 am

      Hi there,
      the buttermilk pancakes can be made without egg. You can also add a little plain yogurt, that will work well too.
      Do try it, you can make a little sample to try it. Rest the batter before you fry them, even overnight, then it will be ready for the morning!
      Gemma 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on August 21, 2019 at 11:45 am

      Hi Akshara,
      Buttermilk pancakes do not really need the egg. If you wish you can add a little natural yogurt with milk and that will do it for you. Allow the batter to rest before proceeding. You can prepare it at night and rest it, covered, in the refrigerator ready for the morning.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Minette on August 3, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Gemma!
    I love your recipes! May I know if we can “meal prep” pancakes? Thanks! ☺️

    • Gemma Stafford on August 4, 2019 at 7:32 pm


      I’m not sure I understand what you mean by ‘meal prep’ pancakes?

      you could weight the wet and dry separately and then mi together just before you want your pancakes.

  6. Emily A on May 18, 2019 at 12:02 am

    As an American expat in the UK, I really struggle to find things that will fill the pancake-shaped hole in my heart/stomach. I love crêpes but despite sharing the name ‘pancake’ with it’s American counterpart, it is certainly not the same. This recipe is gorgeous and the best I’ve ever found — just like being back in an iHop, so thank you for sharing it!

    Thank you for also sharing (in response to one of the comments) how to make a substitute for buttermilk which is something I often struggle to find here — the only place that stocks it regularly (unless they run out) is our local Whole Foods which is still a fair distance from us.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 18, 2019 at 1:05 am

      Hi Emily,
      I know! it is a big adjustment, and even just finding things which are similar to what we are used to is a big problem for most expats. for me, here in the US, and from Ireland, it is sausages and ‘rashers’ otherwise known as bacon. At home, I did not eat these too often but when that is what I wanted, nothing else would do. Graham crackers are similar to digestive biscuits, but not the same, and I know where you are coming from with the pancakes.
      I hope however that you are enjoying your time in the UK, nice people and beautiful country and architecture.
      Thank you for this very kind review,
      Gemma <3

    • Gemma Stafford on May 18, 2019 at 1:59 am

      Hi Emily,
      at the risk of repeating this response, which seemed to disappear, here goes.
      I am with you! I am in the expat category here in the US, and I get longings for things like Irish sausages, and rashers (bacon)! I am delighted you are finding the pancake recipe useful, and the buttermilk one is handy as you can make just what you need for one recipe.
      Graham crackers are a big one too, digestive biscuits in the UK will be similar, but not the same. ( and you can make your own too.
      I do hope you are enjoying your time in the UK, nice people, culture and beautiful country and architecture.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Elvina on May 8, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Instead of all purpose flour can we use other non gluten flour like rye

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2019 at 2:21 am

      Hi Elvina,
      Yes! generally, though you will use a blend of flours for this purpose. Rye flour is commonly used in Blini, pancakes made with yeast. I suggest you mix the rye in with a good all purpose gluten free flour blend for best results,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Kristina on May 5, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Happy Sunday!! Just made a big batch of our FAVORITE pancakes! This recipe is Restaurant quality, actually better than anything you can go out and buy!! Thank you again Gemma ????????????????????????????????

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2019 at 4:27 am

      I am so happy to hear this Kristina. Most of what you make from scratch at home will be better than what you can buy, it is great that you think so too,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. kaia on April 27, 2019 at 9:37 am

    they’re very good! all that I have to say is that you should not ‘slightly’ mix the egg, but fully mix it instead.
    also I had no butter milk so I soured a mixture of oat and cow milk.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 27, 2019 at 11:38 am

      Hi Kaia,
      I am not sure I said slightly mix the egg, but certainly, you do not over mix the batter as this develops the gluten, and toughens the pancake.
      That was a good idea, we make a similar buttermilk substitute here (, great to be able to figure these things out, well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Saman Jawad on April 21, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Hello Gemma
    Thank You for making life easier with your incredible easy recipes .Wanted to ask you can we leave the Pancake batter longer in the fridge like 4 -5 days .
    Thank You

    • Gemma Stafford on April 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Hi, i would not suggest making this more than 1 day in advance as the raising agent will start activating right away.

  11. Dita on April 20, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Is it okay to leave the batter in the fridge overnight? I don’t have much time in the morning and I would love to just take it out and make right away.

    Big thank you from the Czech Republic!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 20, 2019 at 3:42 am

      Hi Dita,
      Good that you are with us in the Czech Republic, we are lucky to have such a diverse following of bold bakers!
      Yes, I do that all the time, it will be perfect!
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Mercilicious on April 19, 2019 at 3:58 am

    Hy Gemma i love your recipes, i try most of them and i come out with amazing results i’m absolutely grateful,
    Thank you for sharing with us this recipe and so much more. I learn so much from you everyday..all thanks to you
    I’m from Nigeria so i don’t get some of the ingredients..the ones i can get, i try to make them and i love my results…since i discovered bigger bolder baking..i haven’t stopped making new things..most of them are not our kind of food but i’m learning and loving them…..thank you Gemma, i heart you big time

    • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2019 at 5:24 am

      Hi there,
      how lovely to have you with us in Nigeria, so many bold bakers all over the world now. Thank you for your kind words, I do understand that ingredients change as we go from country to country, always good to hear how you manage these.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. VictorBarcelona on April 16, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Hey Gemma, I just wanted to update my picture on your bombdiggity (delicious) buttermilk pancakes. I have move to east coast now and I have shared these with my girlfriend who is very impressed with me on cooking these babies tasty and golden delicious.

    Many, Many thanks again to you and your team, including your hubby, for all the joy you bring to people because of your passion for baking and sharing it with the world. I want to wish y’all sweet dreams and realized dreams..Hang in there…or here…or wherever you are, Gemma’s got your back when it comes to baking!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 16, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      Wow, thank you so much for this lovely message, I am absolutely delighted to hear that!

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