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The best fluffy pancakes ever, made with buttermilk to ensure maximum rise. Serve with maple syrup and some cut fruit for the perfect breakfast!
This post was originally posted in October 2018 and was updated in May 2019 with added detail and photos.
As you may have guessed from the title of this post, today we will be discussing the best fluffy pancakes.
Well, you may ask, who are you to judge which fluffy pancakes are the best?
And I will answer, you are reading this post, aren’t you? It looks like you agree that I can be the best fluffy pancake judge.
All joking aside, I’ve tried lots and lots of pancake recipes over the years. Maybe that makes me a little crazy, but I really like pancakes, and I really wanted to make good pancakes.
When I was a kid, my father sometimes made us pancakes for breakfast on Sunday mornings (hi, Da!) from a recipe on the side of the whole wheat flour bag. So naturally, the first time I wanted to make pancakes, I asked him for the recipe.
He dashed all of my hopes and dreams when he told me that he hasn’t made pancakes in years and doesn’t have any copies of the recipe.
And thus my quest began.
The Quest For the Best Fluffy Pancakes
I tried recipes using milk, and recipes using juice, and one recipe using sour milk, and they all came out like sad, flat little pancakes.
At one point, I read that buttermilk in pancakes is what helps make the pancakes fluffy.
I read through a bunch of buttermilk pancake recipes, but they all seemed to call for tons of melted butter, and I just wasn’t interested. (Do people really melt a whole cup of butter and then put it in batter?)
Then I found a recipe on Fine Cooking that looked like it would fit the bill. It only called for three tablespoons of butter, and I misunderstood and thought that the butter was for greasing the pan. I didn’t realize that the butter was supposed to be melted and mixed into the batter.
In any event, my pancakes came out great, even without the melted butter, so I never bother putting it in since.
Now that I know how to make the best fluffy pancakes, my five-year-old is constantly asking for them. Whenever I ask him what he wants me to make him for lunch, he says “pancakes.” (Why do I even bother asking?)(And no, I don’t make them for him all the time.)(But it’s still pretty often.)
Before getting into the recipe, here are some tips to make sure your best fluffy pancakes actually come out best and fluffy. (Did that sentence make sense? It did in my head.)
How to ensure fluffy pancakes:
- The recipe calls for buttermilk. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can substitute regular milk instead; the buttermilk is necessary to help the pancakes rise and get fluffy in the pan. (Apparently it reacts with the baking powder and baking soda to cause air bubbles.)
- If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own (which I always do. I’ve never, ever purchased buttermilk. I don’t think they even sell it where I live.) Mix regular milk with a few splashes of lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes till it curdles. (Seriously.) Voila. Homemade buttermilk.
- The recipe calls for a lot of baking powder and baking soda. Make sure to use it all. As mentioned above, it is necessary to make the pancakes fluffy.
- Here is the most important tip yet: Do not over-mix the pancake batter!!! Mix a few times until ingredients are only just combined and there are still lumps and bumps in it. Trust me. Over-mixing your batter will lead to sad, flat pancakes.
- Make sure the oil in the frying pan is hot before adding the pancake batter.
- The pancakes are ready to be flipped when there are bubbles rising to the surface and the edges are starting to look brown and cooked.
Also important to know (if you care about these types of things)(although I usually don’t whoops) :
How to make your pancakes round
There are various tips floating around the internet on how to achieve the perfect round pancakes. Here are some of the best:
- Use a cute mini skillet to make perfect individual pancakes. This works but is extremely time-consuming
- Use a pancake pan with perfectly shaped pancake holes. You can also find some with fun designs, like this one that makes cute little animal-imprinted pancakes.
- Use an empty, washed ketchup bottle or other container with a pouring nozzle. Fill it up with batter and then squeeze out the batter onto the pan in whatever shape you want. This probably won’t work with a clumpy batter, like this recipe has
- Pour the batter into the pan from a height of at least 20 inches. I’m not joking, I legit saw this recommended as a life hack. I have no clue if it actually works but it seemed pretty cool…
- Use round metal cookie cutters. Put the cookie cutters in the pan, pour in the batter, and when the pancake is ready to flip, carefully remove the cookie cutter with tongs (because it will be hot!) This is the method that I used for the pictures with the perfectly round pancakes. It works, but it can get a bit difficult and messy to remove the cookie cutters.
Now that we’ve gotten the tips for the best fluffy pancakes out of the way, let’s get on to the actual recipe, shall we?
Best Fluffy Pancakes Recipe
adapted from: finecooking.com
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (Or 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice + slightly less than 2 C milk)
oil for frying
Put lemon juice and milk in a large measuring cup and let it sit to curdle. (Skip this step if you are using regular buttermilk.)
Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat.
Mix dry ingredients. Pour in the buttermilk. Crack eggs into the cup the milk was sitting in (why get another dish dirty?), beat, and pour into the batter.
Mix all ingredients until just combined and batter is still lumpy.
Use a large serving spoon/ladle/measuring cup to measure out the batter, depending on what size pancakes you like. Pour the batter in circles into the hot frying pan. Fry on one side until bubbles form and edges are brown.
Flip and fry on the other side another minute or so until that side is golden brown.
Transfer pancakes to paper towel-lined plate to soak up some of the oil.
Serve with syrup or dusted with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.
And there you have it. The best fluffy pancakes. Guaranteed.
For a different, fun breakfast, try these Zombie Brains Breakfast Ice Cream!
Not interested in a sweet breakfast? Garlic knots from scratch should hit the spot!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk, Or 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice + slightly less than 2 C milk
- 2 eggs
- oil for frying
- Put lemon juice and milk in a large measuring cup and let it sit, to curdle. (Skip this step if you are using regular buttermilk.)
- Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Mix dry ingredients. Pour in the buttermilk. Crack eggs into the cup the milk was sitting in (why get another dish dirty?), beat, and pour into the batter.
- Mix all ingredients until just combined and batter is still lumpy.
- Use a large serving spoon/ladle/measuring cup to measure out the batter, depending on what size pancakes you like. Pour the batter in circles into the hot frying pan. Fry on one side until bubbles form and edges are brown. Flip and fry on the other side another minute or so until that side is golden brown.
- Transfer pancakes to paper towel-lined plate to soak up some of the oil.
- Serve with syrup, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 20 pancakes (approx)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 218mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information was calculated by a third party nutrition calculator.