Cultured buttermilk pancakes are a healthy and wholesome breakfast option. They can easily be made with gluten free flour, or replace the buttermilk with milk kefir or yogurt.
The secret to these pancakes is an overnight culturing which gives them a delicious sourdough-like flavour. Warm, fluffy and filling, these pancakes are sure to become a favourite!
These buttermilk pancakes are a perfect base for all sorts of different flavours.
Savoury pancakes are perfect for serving with eggs and sausages. When making savoury pancakes, don’t include the vanilla extract or sugar. Try one or more of the following flavours:
- Fresh herbs: parsley, chives, rosemary, basil (1/4 cup)
- Green onion: 1/4 cup, diced
- Parmesan cheese: 1/4 cup, grated
Traditional pancakes are usually sweet, which is why I have included sugar in the recipe. However, the sugar is always optional and isn’t necessary if you add in other sweet flavours. Here are a few sweet options:
- Chocolate: 1/4 cup of tiny chocolate chips
- Apple cinnamon: 1/4 cup of grated apples with 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- Blueberry: 1/4 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, tossed in 1 tbsp of flour before added to the batter
- Strawberry: place sliced strawberries on top of the pancake after it has been ladled out on the grill
- Orange Julius: add 1/2 tsp of orange zest and a full 1 tsp of vanilla
Setting up the pancakes for an overnight ferment is not necessary. However, it’s the only way to get a really nice cultured flavour.
Soaking and fermenting grains also has a number of benefits:
- It breaks down anti-nutrients and hard to digest complex carbohydrates, so your breakfast wont leave you feeling bloated.
- Increases the nutritional value by making the nutrients more accessible.
- Gives baked goods a delicious, sourdough-like flavour.
- Gluten free flours really benefit from fermenting, which improves both the texture and flavour.
Cultured pancakes can be made with either wheat flour or gluten free flour. However, they need to be handled in slightly different ways.
- Gluten free flour really benefits from a long soak, so mix the entire amount of flour (1 1/2 cups) with all the buttermilk (1 3/4 cup.)
- Wheat flour will develop a gluten structure which will result in a bread-like pancake. To avoid this, only mix 1 cup of flour in the buttermilk, then add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the rest of the ingredients in the morning.
- Cover the culturing flour with a tea towel and leave it in a warm location to ferment for 8-24 hours.
Whether you use milk kefir, yogurt or buttermilk, these pancakes are delicious with a rich flavour of cultured sourdough. This recipe is perfect with wheat or gluten free flour and can be flavoured with fruit, chocolate chips or cheese! See the sections above for more details.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: American
- 1 3/4 cups milk kefir, buttermilk or yogurt (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups flour (wheat or GF – see notes)
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp sugar (optional)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- To culture the pancakes for a delicious sourdough-like flavour see the section above. The instructions will depend on whether you are using wheat or gluten free flours.
- Start by preheating a frying pan on medium.
- If you didn’t do the overnight ferment, then start by mixing the flour into the buttermilk.
- Next mix in the eggs, oil and vanilla extract into the buttermilk and flour mix.
- When the pan is hot mix in the sugar, baking soda and baking powder. The baking soda will become active immediately as the whole mixture is quite sour.
- Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the preheated pan. Cook until brown on both sides (about 3 minutes a side).
- Serve immediately.
- Milk kefir and buttermilk can be used interchangeably. If using yogurt, avoid thick Greek-style yogurt. You may also need to add in a few extra spoonfuls of yogurt because it is thicker than buttermilk.
- I have made this recipe with both whole wheat flour and gluten free flour. The only difference is in how they are cultured as you don’t want to develop a bread-like gluten structure. If you are planning on doing an overnight ferment, see the section above for specific details on how to ferment wheat versus GF flour.
- For the LIGHTEST and FLUFFIEST pancakes separate the egg yolks and whites. Add the egg yolks in with the oil and vanilla. Mix the rest of the ingredients as described. Then beat the egg whites until frothy and fold the egg whites into pancake batter.
- I like using a cast iron griddle (affiliate link) so I can make 3-4 pancakes at once.
Keywords: traditional, soaked, prefermented, overnight, gluten free, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, cheese, onion, herb, lemon