Buttermilk Pancakes – Barefeet in the Kitchen

Light and fluffy, slightly tangy, Buttermilk Pancakes – these are the diner style pancakes that you love. This recipe is the reason there is always buttermilk in our fridge.

Topped with maple syrup, buttermilk syrup, brown sugar butter syrup, berry sauce and whipped cream, or whipped strawberry butter, you can’t go wrong with any of these combinations.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Stavs Diner

For over 20 years now, I’ve held fast to our family’s favorite pancake recipe. And, yes, I still think those are some of the best pancakes you’ll ever eat, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty more awesome pancakes to enjoy.

And these buttermilk pancakes? This recipe is the reason there is now a perpetual stash of buttermilk in my refrigerator.

There is a diner here in Ohio that makes absolutely amazing pancakes. They’re diner-style buttermilk pancakes like no others I’ve ever tasted. Sean and I stopped for breakfast at Stav’s Diner one morning several years ago when we visited Columbus while looking at houses before we moved.

We’ve been back to Stav’s several times since we moved, it’s always worth the drive to Bexley. If you’re in the area, this is a great open kitchen place and we’ve never had a bite there that wasn’t delicious.

Buttermilk Pancakes cooked in oil

Diner Pancakes

These diner style pancakes are made with buttermilk and the buttermilk changes the flavor and texture of the pancakes. This is a thick, scoopable batter. I use this dough whisk for pancake and waffle batter.

I find it easiest to scoop the pancake batter onto the griddle with a large scoop vs trying to pour it. The pancakes will thin out as they cook.

Buttermilk Pancake batter

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk is the not-so-secret ingredient that creates a very unique flavor and texture for these pancakes. And just a heads up, this is not a recipe where a Buttermilk Substitute will work the same way.

You will want to use store-bought buttermilk for these pancakes. You can find it in the dairy case in most grocery stores.

Buttermilk pancakes cooked in oil on an electric griddle

Buttermilk Pancakes

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • buttermilk
  • eggs
  • butter

Diner Style Pancakes

You’ll notice that these pancakes are also cooked in oil, creating those crispy edges that I associate with terrific diner pancakes. (The first photo below illustrates pancakes cooked on an oiled griddle.)

The pancakes are still absolutely delicious when cooked on a dry griddle, but to replicate the taste and texture from Stav’s, the oil is necessary. (The second photo below illustrates pancakes cooked on a dry griddle.)

Buttermilk Pancakes with butter and maple syrup

Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

Start by whisking together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt and set aside. Add the buttermilk and the eggs to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. (I like to use this dough whisk for pancake batter.)

Add the butter, whisk once more, and then let the batter rest while the griddle or pan heats. Be careful not to overbeat the pancake batter, lumps are fine. This is a very thick batter and the pancakes will thin out as they cook on the griddle.

Heat a flat-bottom nonstick skillet or electric griddle (this is my favorite griddle) over medium heat. Oil the skillet or griddle generously (using about a tablespoon of oil) and then pour about ⅓ cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake.

Let cook until the pancakes begin to bubble on top and they are lightly browned on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until golden brown. Serve warm with the toppings of your choice.

Buttermilk Pancakes - cooked on a dry griddle

We enjoy a hot breakfast every chance we get and sometimes it’s hard to choose between all of the sweet and savory options. Luckily, pancakes are a favorite that never gets old.

My oldest son loves these 2-Ingredient Cream Cheese Pancakes and would happily eat them every week. For so many years, while we were dealing with allergies, these Light and Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes were our go-to.

The slight tang of buttermilk pairs perfectly with sweet, ripe blueberries in these light and fluffy Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes.

Banana Coconut Pecan Pancakes are hearty, fluffy banana pancakes filled with irresistible bits of sweet coconut and chewy pecans.

Naturally sweet and bursting with blueberry freshness, banana blueberry pancakes are a weekday breakfast must in our home.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes are simultaneously light and hearty and we love them topped with peanut butter and syrup.

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Servings: 16 4-inch pancakes

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  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt and set aside. Add the buttermilk and the eggs, whisk to combine, and then add the butter.

  • Whisk once more and then let the batter rest while the griddle or pan heats. Be careful not to overbeat the pancake batter, lumps are fine. This is a very thick batter and the pancakes will thin out as they cook on the griddle.

  • Heat a flat-bottom nonstick skillet or electric griddle (this is my favorite griddle) over medium heat. Oil the skillet or griddle generously (using about a tablespoon of oil) and then pour about ⅓ cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake.

  • Let cook until the pancakes begin to bubble on top and they are lightly browned on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until golden brown. Serve warm with the toppings of your choice.

Calories: 120kcal · Carbohydrates: 16g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 5g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 32mg · Sodium: 214mg · Potassium: 125mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 3g · Vitamin A: 180IU · Calcium: 71mg · Iron: 1mg

originally published 2/1/21 – recipe notes and photos updated 1/15/24

Buttermilk Pancakes - just like your favorite diner!

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