The Best Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Looking for the BEST Fluffy Pancake recipe? You’ve come to the right place! These Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes use a simple trick to create light, airy, diner style pancakes that are perfect for a lazy morning at home or an absolutely epic pancake bar party.

fluffy pancakes on a white plate with butter on top

The Best Fluffy Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

Guys, this is big news. HUGE news.

Like, “we landed on the moon!” huge. Or, “we’re caught up with laundry!” huge.

I’ve finally found it. The most fantastical, delightful, fluffy buttermilk pancake recipe.

It’s been a long road, friends. We’ve eaten a lot of flat pancakes. We’ve consumed more than a few rubbery pancakes. We’ve eaten pancakes salty with the tears of futility (okay, that was perhaps a little dramatic).

But that’s all over now, because we’ve finally found our very own diner style pancake recipe, so we can skip the lines and recreate our own sticky table and weak coffee experience at home.

fork stabbing a piece of fluffy pancakes

Diner Pancake Recipe

Let’s talk about what makes perfect restaurant style pancakes, because that’s what these are. Yes, I said it. They are P-E-R-F-E-C-T! Everything I’ve ever wanted in a pancake.

These are:

  • Fluffy pancakes. 
  • Puffy pancakes.
  • Buttery pancakes.
  • Airy pancakes.
  • EASY pancakes!

The best homemade fluffy pancakes are thick but never dense, and flavorful enough they don’t even require butter and syrup.

Of course, that shouldn’t stop you from pouring on the syrup anyway. Let’s face it, the night we’re having pancakes for dinner is not the night to practice restraint.

Adding syrup to diner pancakes really takes them over the top. The syrup soaks into every little nook and cranny so every bite has the perfect balance of puffy, buttery pancakes and sweet, sultry syrup. Nooks and crannies, people. Nooks and crannies in. your. pancakes.

stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes with syrup being poured on top

How to Make the Best Fluffy Pancakes

Now that I’ve hyped the heck out of these pancakes let’s talk about how to make them! First, let’s gather our supplies, which are mostly pantry staples.

If you don’t normally buy buttermilk, this post shows you how to freeze buttermilk so you can always have it on hand! You can also use the leftovers to make your own Homemade Buttermilk Syrup!

Ingredients in Homemade Fluffy Pancakes

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking soda and powder
  • Separated Egg
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Milk

The Secret to Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

These pancakes follow the pattern of most pancake recipes, except for one key difference.

  1. First, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  2. Then, whisk together the wet ingredients–the butter, buttermilk, and milk. Here’s the secret–SEPARATE the egg and whisk just the yolk in with the other wet ingredients.
  3. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Then, add in the remaining egg white and stir gently until it’s mostly incorporated. It’s ok if some white streaks remain.
  4. From here, you’re ready to cook! We love to use an electric skillet to make pancakes since you can do so many at once. You can cook pancakes in bacon grease or a neutral oil, but they actually do fine without any oil at all. If you want them really crispy around the edges, use an oil. Otherwise, skip it!
stream of syrup on a pile of fluffy pancakes

Tips and Tricks for Pancake Success

  1. Do not skip the separated egg! It’s the key to the fluff factor. I have no idea why, but this trick really works!
  2. Sometimes the butter forms little solid slivers when it combines with the cold milk. Don’t worry about it! It will melt right back in as the pancakes cook.
  3. Use a light hand when stirring. Pancake batter should be lumpy and bumpy, not whisked until smooth.
  4. The buttermilk is key for both the flavor and the fluffiness of these pancakes. We have tried it with buttermilk powder, and while good, it’s not quite the same. The same goes for the milk + lemon juice substitute. It’ll get you by in a pinch, but full fat buttermilk is the absolute best. If you absolutely can’t use buttermilk, I think the next best substitute is plain, full fat yogurt.
  5. Use a fairly hot skillet for cooking pancakes to get those golden edges! The skillet is ready when a drop of water sizzles and evaporates on contact.
  6. Flip the pancakes when little bubbles begin to appear on the top side of them.
buttermilk pancakes stacked on a fork

How to Freeze Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes freeze very well. Simply cook as usual, allow them to cool, then line them up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flash freeze for 1 hour, then remove and stack them in a freezer container or bag.

Reheat frozen pancakes in the microwave, pop them in the toaster, or heat in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until warmed through.

interior of a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes

More Fluffy Pancake Recipes You Might Enjoy

We’ve used this fluffy pancake recipe as the base for so many of our other favorite specialty pancakes, including Strawberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Banana Pancakes, and Apple Nut Pancakes.

You can find loads more toppings ideas in this Pancake Party post!

We love using these pancakes as the base for this Overnight Pancake Casserole, which is a great way to feed pancakes to a crowd!

If you’re looking for something a little different (but don’t want to lose out on the fluffiness!), try these Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes.

fork stabbing a piece of fluffy pancakes

Perfect Fluffy Pancakes

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes are my take on classic Diner pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Canola oil

Instructions

  1. Heat a griddle over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, soda, and baking powder.
  2. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, butter, buttermilk, and milk.
  3. Add yolk mixture to dry mixture and stir gently until barely combined.
  4. Add egg white to the mixture and stir until a thick, lumpy bumpy batter forms. Stop before the batter smooths out! The egg white may not even be all the way incorporated. That's okay! We like lumps and bumps in our pancake batter.
  5. Drop mixture by the half cup full onto the preheated pan. Sprinkle blueberries, chocolate chips, or other mix ins onto the surface of pancakes. Cook until bubbles start to appear on the exposed surface of the pancake. When bubbles appear, flip pancake and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until browned. Keep finished pancakes warm in a single layer on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 200 degrees or serve immediately with butter and warm real maple syrup. (I know, I know, the real stuff is expensive. But as they say, ain't nothin like the real thing baby!)
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 935mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

Did you make this recipe?

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Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

83 Comments

  1. I have tried many “best ever pancakes” and have been sadly disappointed until this recipe. These truly are the BEST pancakes and are easy to make! I have never left a review for a recipe before, but this one was so good that I went back through the blogs from The Food Charlatan to The Neighborfood Blog to The Kitchn. Thank you for sharing this! I will continue sharing the recipe, too. Separating the eggs and including melted butter in the recipe is amazing!

    1. Woohoo! I absolutely love to hear that. I’m so glad you enjoyed them. They are our absolute favorite as well.

  2. My favorite breakfast dish. Only I love them with chocolate cream or plain sugar. And I also make small ones in a small frying pan to make it easier to eat. Brilliant recipe, thank you for adding it.

  3. How am I 40 and just found the best pancake recipe out there?!?!!
    THESE ARE INCREDIBLE!!!
    The 3 yr old helper and I have tested see of the double batch and we approve!!!!

  4. Excellent! I constantly look for new and innovative pancake recipes – always with buttermilk. These came out fluffy and delicious!

    One tip, use oil in the griddle instead of butter – makes them nice and brown and crispy on the outside. I used whole milk buttermilk, too.

    This is a keeper – thanks for sharing!

  5. Just made these and I must say, they are AMAZING! I have made numerous pancake recipes and this recipe is by far the best. I will be using this for my daughter’s pancake and pajamas theme birthday party this Saturday. Thank you so much!!

      1. Thanks for the advice. I made the pancakes the night before the party. Everyone asked where I had bought the pancakes from. They couldn’t believe that I had made them myself. So delicious and they freeze beautifully!

  6. These are so amazingly good. It’s going to be my go to recipe from now on. How do I convert this into waffle batter?

    1. That’s awesome and a great question! I’ve never tried converting to a waffle batter before, but I might have to experiment with that soon.

  7. I made this recipe this morning chocolate chips for the kids and blueberries for hubby and I. I’ve been searching for a recipe for the perfect fluffy pancakes and this is it! My husband loves it. He asked me to make these again tomorrow morning. These pancakes are the best I’ve ever made and eaten. You have to try it for yourself! Thanks for sharing this will be my pancake recipe for life!

    1. Everyone LOVES these, but I’ve definitely noticed some times when it’s just too salty, so now I just skip the salt.

  8. I don’t even… thank you so much for this! I’ve been searching for a recipe that would give similar results to restaurant pancakes, and stumbled on this… I made my own buttermilk with white vinegar and milk, and these are absolutely perfect (didn’t use any oil, I used my crepe pan). They are amazing. Thank you!

  9. Oops. Meant to post a comment, not just my name 🙂 Made these this morning – amazing, yummy, fluffy, and I love that they hardly have any sugar in them. I used vinegar + milk instead of the buttermilk b/c I didn’t have any in the house. Made a double batch and am freezing the leftovers for breakfast for next week. Thanks!

  10. I have some leftover buttermilk in the fridge. Thank goodness for Shrove Tuesday. I’m looking forward to trying these.. they look amazing! Thanks REE!

  11. It’s true – these are mind-blowingly good. I wanted to make those big, fluffy, fruity pancakes you find in good brekky cafes and this recipe was perfect, went without a hitch and going straight to my recipe journal. Thanks for my delicious brekky 🙂

  12. Hi Courtney! I just wanted to leave a comment and say that these pancakes are amazing and thanks so much for the recipe! Instead of cooking them the traditional way, I baked them in a cupcake tray and added a berry sauce, they were amazing! here’s a picture if you’re interested! http://instagram.com/p/YlihqiuqCN/# thanks again!

  13. Awesome pancakes. My son asked for pancakes yesterday so I am surprising him this morning. I hope he gets up before mommy eats all the goodies hahaha. No need for butter or syrup, good news for a diabetic.

  14. So…I made these. And they are def my new fav from-scratch recipe. Even reheated, they’re so fluffy and nice and crisp on the outside! I used white whole wheat flour and replaced the buttermilk with almond milk + apple cider vinegar and they were still fabulous 🙂 Just when I was losing hope that I would never find a homemade recipe as good as restaurant-made pancakes…

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them! It seems you can make quite a lot of changes and substitutions and they still turn out great so the magic must be in that separated egg. I can’t wait to try these with white whole wheat flour. Great idea!

  15. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I had it saved on foodgawker and finally got around to trying it. I doubled it, did not have buttermilk so I used whole milk and saco buttermilk powder. Added a tsp of vanilla. Used half butter and half organic coconut oil. These were the best pancakes I’ve ever made! SO tender. No rubbercakes here! Thanks again!

  16. I had already eyed the ones on the Kitchn before finding your version. Surprisingly their photos weren’t worthwhile, which is what kept me going on my search. I ended up trying out this recipe today, subbing in coconut oil for the butter, and they are exactly what I’ve been looking for in a non-whole wheat pancake. Thanks!

    1. Saw your recipe and made them right away. I too was on the road to find the perfect pancake recipe. And yours is truely is most fantastical, delightful, lovely pancake recipe ever!!!
      Thank you from the bottom of my very full tummy!
      Katie H.

  17. I am totally making this for breakfast. I have been searching for the best pancake recipe too. I will be following the procedure to the dot. Excited much. Thanks!

  18. These look incredible! I am so making brinner tonight. And you made me laugh probably 4 different times while I was reading this. Such a winnning combination, reading about delicious food and laughing while doing so….now to get to the eating!

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