Best Buttermilk Pancakes

My quest for a fabulous pancake recipe has followed a very similar path as my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Until I found “the one“, I searched high and low. Every recipe claiming to be the best I tried. And I kept trying until that fateful day when it was clear that I never had to try another chocolate chip recipe again. And so it has been for pancakes. I’m not going to lie – I love the Aunt Jemima mix. They come out perfect every time. But I just had to find a pancake recipe that I could make from scratch that was worth the little bit of extra effort. These came close, but I was still searching. I am officially ending the search here and now. And what better time? Valentine’s Day weekend is the perfect excuse for maybe some breakfast in bed, or something a little more fancy than a soggy bowl of cereal!

While the ingredient list is almost identical to the buttermilk pancakes I made previously with the exception of the sour cream in these (maybe that’s the secret ingredient!), these specific ingredients, these quantities, and this method just work. Perfectly. The pancakes cook up light and fluffy in the middle, full of flavor, yet not tasting at all heavy. They are definitely the best pancakes I have ever made. After a huge flop a couple of months ago with a different recipe, I was almost tempted to give up my quest for “the one” when it came to pancakes. I’m glad I didn’t, because it only took one more stop for me to finally find my go-to recipe!

Three years ago: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake

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Best Buttermilk Pancakes


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups buttermilk

¼ cup sour cream

2 eggs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 to 2 teaspoon vegetable oil, for greasing the pan



1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, eggs and melted butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; gently stir until just combined (batter should remain lumpy with a few streaks of flour). Do not overmix. Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes before cooking.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using a paper towel, carefully wipe out oil, leaving a thin film of oil on the bottom of the pan. Using ¼ cup measure, portion batter into pan in 4 places. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve pancakes immediately. Repeat with remaining batter, using remaining oil as needed.

*Note 1: This recipe was formulated using lower-protein flour such as Pillsbury and Gold Medal. If you use flour with a little higher protein content like King Arthur, you will need to add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of buttermilk. I forgot about this at first, and when I mixed the batter I saw how thick it was. I added 1½ more tablespoons of buttermilk and the batter was perfect.

*Note 2: If you make these on an electric griddle, preheat it to 350 degrees F.

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(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated)

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