Serves a Crowd

The Kitchn's Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes

January 27, 2016
16 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes 18 to 20 three-inch pancakes (serves 4 to 6)
Author Notes

"My theory is that the original maker of this recipe was supposed to beat the egg white but either forgot or decided to skip the step. And, to be honest, laziness was the reason I thought I would try it, too," Dana Velden, who's been making this recipe for over 15 years, told me. "I was more than willing to not beat egg whites at 7am." For extra fluffy pancakes, buy thick, local whole-milk buttermilk when you see it. You often won't have a choice, but when you do, take it. Whichever kind of buttermilk you use, thick or thin, stirring in the egg white (not beating it) at the end gives a noticeable puff and bounce to the cakes. Recipe adapted slightly from Dana Velden via The Kitchn. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (Editor's note: in testing, we used 300 grams unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk (for extra, extra fluffy pancakes, seek out thick, whole milk buttermilk)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon Canola or refined peanut oil for frying
  1. Heat the oven to 225° F and prepare a large baking sheet by setting a cooling rack inside. Place both in the oven.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, and milk. Add the melted, cooled butter and whisk until well combined.
  3. Pour the yolk and milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until barely combined. Add the egg whites and stir just until a thick batter is formed. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, film with 1/2 teaspoon of neutral oil such as canola or peanut oil. After about 30 seconds, when the oil shimmers but is not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and use a soup spoon to drop in heaping spoonfuls of pancake batter.
  5. The batter will spread into a pancake about 3 inches wide. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes. (If the pancake scorches or the oil smokes, lower the heat.) When the bubbles that form on the edges of the pancakes look dry and airy, use a thin spatula to gently lift one side and peek underneath. If the pancake is golden brown, flip and cook on the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the skillet to the baking sheet in the oven. Wipe any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet with a paper towel, add a little more oil, and continue to cook the remaining batter.
  7. Recipe Note: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can use plain yogurt instead. Just use about 2/3 cup and thin it with some milk until it reaches the 1 cup mark. You can also quickly make a buttermilk substitute by mixing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar with 2 cups of milk.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Tracy
  • Jen
  • Martin
  • mdelgatty
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

55 Reviews

SoCalGirl October 9, 2022
Sorry, the pancakes in the photo look kind of burnt and which seems to happen with pancakes that have sugar added to the batter. Everyone adds syrup or honey to the pancakes so why the need for sugar in the batter??? Maybe to cover the metallic taste of the baking powder/soda combo. For a classic light, fluffy, and golden (not dark brown) pancakes, look no further than the 6 ingredient Buttermilk Pancake recipe from Marion Cunningham . We call them Mary Poppin's Pancakes - Practically Perfect in Everyway. Cheers.
Amy February 26, 2022
The best pancakes ever! So delicious, light and fluffy. ❤️
bernadette.h January 10, 2021
OH. MY. GOODNESS. The BEST pancake recipe I have ever tried. Fluffy, crispy, light, flavorful. I will definitely be saving this recipe and recommending it to my friends.
mlsjazz November 1, 2020
Sadly, lackluster. Dry and lacking flavor. Did not develop the lovely golden brown of other recipes.
Liz K. November 1, 2019
These are absolutely the best pancakes. Now my son won't eat another pancake recipe.
aly May 1, 2019
didn't work at all. pancakes would not cook in the center. spent over an hour standing over a halved batch, so I expect I'd eat these for dinner if making the recommended amount.
Paul August 5, 2018
Best pancakes I have ever made. Never buying pancake mix again. Ingredients I usually have in my pantry.
Renée R. June 26, 2018
Made these last night for dinner. Added blueberries. Truly great pancakes. Will be my go to recipe. I'm able to get really nice full fat buttermilk at my supermarket. I think it made a difference. These were sensational.
Mary A. March 21, 2018
Just made these for our breakfast for dinner meal. My oh my, these were not only delicious but easy peasy to make, every last one gone. Thank you Food 52 but also thanks to the kitchn for sharing this recipe.
Tracy January 21, 2018
OMG good!! Thank you!
Veronika January 15, 2018
The dirty truth of Canola Oil: Websites that defend canola oil are barking up the wrong tree because they don't address the issue of the processing of canola oil and oxidation of the polyunsaturated component of canola oil, and formation of large amounts of free radicals, which is what makes it unhealthy for human consumption, and why it causes massive inflammation in your body and harms your cell membranes.
No way I would use Canola Oil, I would prefer olive oil or extra virgin Olive oil.
Veronika January 15, 2018
NO Canola---its been labeled as 'toxic'.....personally I would avoid Canola Oil at all costs....Canola oil is made from something called rapeseed. Rapeseed actually had to be bred over the years to reduce the percentage of a problematic component of rapeseed, which is erucic acid. one of the biggest problems with highly processed and refined vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, and yes, even canola oil, is that the polyunsaturated component of the oil is highly unstable under heat, light, solvents, and pressure, and this heavily oxidizes the polyunsaturates which increases free radicals in your body.

The end result of all of this refining and processing are oils that are highly inflammatory in your body when you ingest them, damaging your cell membranes, contributing to heart disease, weight gain, and other degenerative diseases.
txchick57 May 19, 2022
spare us the food poilce
MB M. January 7, 2018
I was lucky enough to find some local, full fat buttermilk, and I made these yesterday morning. They were fantastic, and I can't wait to enjoy the leftovers for upcoming weekday breakfasts!
SweetSusan July 30, 2017
I just made these for my daughter and son-in-law who are hunkered down upstairs with a brand new baby (my first grandchild!). I'm GF, so substituted my own GF flour blend, reduced butter to 8 tbl (GF flours don't seem to absorb as much fats as regular flour), but otherwise followed the recipe exactly as written. The pancakes were absolutely delicious!!! Enjoyed by everyone. Thank you Food 52. (P.S. And thank you for including grams for amount of flour.)
Barbara M. July 18, 2017
Came out well, though a bit hard to manage while cooking. I imagine they'll be even better (and easier to cook) next time, if I remember to get the melted butter out of the microwave... ;-)
Jen June 1, 2017
Oh these were wonderful AND I made two mistakes! I mixed the egg white into the egg yolk/milk/butter mixture rather than as the last ingredient into the bowl. And, my butter hadn't cooled enough so I had to skim off a bit of cooked egg.
But it didn't matter... they turned out fluffy and yummy!
What I did do for the oil in the pan was swirl in a bit, let it get hot, and then clean up the excess with a wadded up paper towel (so it wasn't too hot to hold).
I love it when a recipe works with mistakes, especially when a night person is attempting a breakfast. :)
Thanks for the recipe!
ginny March 10, 2017
come on people, the plural of measurements does not have the S at the end, but after the mode of measurement I.E cup, spoon.
mdelgatty March 12, 2020
diane March 1, 2017
My grandson and I LOVE these pancakes they are the best we have had, and we try many recipes.
tina February 17, 2017
just made these and they were perfectly fluffy. however, although i cooked them on low, i did find that they cooked on the bottom before any bubbles were rising to the surface so in the end a few pancakes didn't quite cook all of the way through. my batter was rather thick, perhaps that was the problem. am considering adding some club soda to thin them out...
Martin February 11, 2017
I have tried these like 3 times and never did they look like that. They taste nice, but super greasy. I'll have to look elsewhere for a pancake recipe to call my own.