Perfect Homemade Pancakes

perfect pancakes

For years I’ve struggled with homemade pancakes.  I don’t know what it is — I can make gourmet dinners, cakes and cookies from scratch, waffles, and french toast with ease, but homemade pancakes?  Forget it.  I finally resorted to Bisquick to get a decent pancake.

On one of my mom’s visits a while back, she made homemade pancakes, as she often does, and they were delicious.  She even used my cookbook!  So I fell at her feet, clasped my hands, and pleaded for the secret — HOW DOES SHE DO IT?  How does she make a yummy homemade pancake?  I am such a failure.

What recipe do you use? she asked.

THAT one! I exclaimed.

Do you use buttermilk?

Ummmmmmmm… no.

Well, that’s your problem! she proclaimed confidently.

Buttermilk?  That’s it?  Could it be that buttermilk makes THAT much of a difference?  The next time my hungry clan was begging for pancakes, I tried it.  I took out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and made the buttermilk version of her pancakes, and they were {almost} as good as my mom’s.  We’ve been happily using that recipe ever since.

Here are my tips for perfect homemade pancakes every time:


2) Do not over mix the batter.  It WILL be lumpy.  That’s okay.

3) Make sure your baking soda is fresh.

4) Wait until the bubbles are starting to pop before flipping — and flip gently.

Do you have a fool-proof pancake recipe for homemade pancakes?  I’d love to try it!

Here’s mine:

Perfect Homemade Pancakes
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Jo-Lynne Shane
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
Recipe from Betty Crocker
  • Betty Crocker’s Buttermilk Pancakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil or butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • OPTIONAL: mini chocolate chips or blueberries
  1. Beat egg.  Add remaining ingredients in order listed and stir until smooth. Butter preheated griddle to 375 degrees.  Be sure it’s fully hot before putting batter down.
  2. Pour batter onto hot griddle. Turn pancakes as as they are puffed and full of bubbles but before bubbles break. Bake other side until golden brown.
  3. We double this recipe for our family of 5.

Join The Conversation

30 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing these recipes. I’m an Alton Brown fan too! Do you buy the buttermilk or do you make it with milk and lemon juice/vinegar? I usually make pancakes on a whim, but don’t usually have buttermilk in the house. Thanks!

  2. Nicki, I TRY to keep buttermilk in the house, but these were made with the milk/vinegar mixture, and they turned out just fine! 🙂

  3. I normally use a mix of anytype and then add two eggs, applesauce instead of oil, vanilla, a dash of cinnamon, and a little milk. This makes them more fluffy and not so flat! But I am going to have to try these recipes!

  4. Nothing beats home made pancakes. A mix is certainly easier, but home made is way better!!! Thanks for the recipe

  5. Thank you! I’m “pancake challenged” so I rarely make them! I’m going to give it another try!! 🙂

  6. I have never been able to use anything other than Bisquick and never thought of buttermilk! I’m going to try this recipe this weekend!

  7. How funny that you wrote about Good Eats today…..last night my 16 yo and I ended up watching an episode (melons) and he said the almost the same thing you did! His words were, “this show is so cheesy but I do learn a lot!” and he nailed it – lol!!

    I just made homemade cinnamon buns last weekend and now I HAVE to try your pancakes 😉 Such torture!!

  8. I see another How-To post in my future! 🙂 But I’ll let you in on the secret — 1 Tbsp vinegar to 1 cup milk, let it set for 5 minutes, voila! Buttermilk! Or close enough for government work.

  9. Aha! Buttermilk! I LOVE, LOVE pancakes, and my mom makes the best ones from scratch. (Okay, I confess – Perkin’s pancakes are better, but please don’t tell my mom! thanks.) Anyway, I recently thought I’d give Bisquick a go, but those pancakes were so dull and boring and well, not tasty! I want to try your recipes (well, at least one of them) this weekend!! Thanks. 🙂

  10. Yum. I LOVE a good pancake! I’ll have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. I don’t think I followed the rules correctly for the “What I learned this week”. Bah. Will try to remember all of them for next time.

    Peace out.

  11. I LOVE Alton Brown. I learned how to carve a turkey from him, lol.

    We don’t do pancakes often, because I use a mix and don’t always like the mess.

    How do you use vinegar to make the buttermilk? I am confused on that one. I will try these out, maybe tonight for dinner!

  12. We love Alton so much we own one of his DVD sets. The one with the Christmas cookie episode with Santa.

    Back in August I posted one of his youtube video clips about icing and cake. I love how he uses lumber and a hacksaw to level a cake.

    Science and food. Good stuff.

  13. Alton’s best technical tip is to wipe away all butter from the griddle or pan with a paper towel so that only a film remains before pouring the batter. Now my pancakes are always evenly browned instead of splotchy!

    I’m going to try these recipes.

    1. Thank you for that fab tip! Typed in “why are my pancakes splotchy?” and this came up! First two were ugly-splotchy, wiped the griddle down and the rest were beautifully browned!

  14. They make powdered buttermilk (that stores in the refrigerator when opened for months). It’s in the dry milk section.

  15. Hey, Jo-Lynne! I made these this morning and they were awesome (especially since I added a 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips!). The kids inhaled them. Btw, I was the one person out of 10 who didn’t know the substitution for buttermilk — so that came in very handy. 🙂

  16. Just tried these today! Ironically- I can get pasture fed buttermilk up here in MA but not other milk. I have made the ABrown ones and now the BCrocker ones – and the Betty Crocker ones were MUCH better! Thank You!
    How are you finding cooking with Coconut Oil these days? I have switched over fully but as the weather has changed now my OVCO is solid… have you had this problem? BTW I did use coconut oil in the pancakes…mmmm!

  17. I also think the buttermilk version of this recipe is way better. I make them with all whole wheat flour, and they are still great!

  18. I can’t believe I haven’t tried the Betty Crocker recipe – that is my go-to cookbook!! I *think* I use buttermilk. We have switched to almond milk (since we don’t have a source for raw milk), and I did learn that you CAN make buttermilk with it. I’ll definitely try this -thanks!

  19. I just tried these yesterday morning. I discovered I was out of my Aunt Jemima buttermilk pancake mix, so I went to my “go to” cookbook, Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook, that I’ve had since the early 1990s, and found this exact recipe. I substituted the cup of milk with a tablespoon of white vinegar added for the buttermilk, and I used canola oil. I also added a teaspoon of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla. They were really good and pretty much tasted the same as the Aunt Jemima version. I’m posting this recipe on my “Breakfast Recipes” Pinterest board.

  20. This really is *the* pancake recipe. I’ve made these 3 Sundays in a row with rave reviews from my partner each time! It’s my new go to recipe ★★★★★

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