Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Raise your hand high if you love blueberry pancakes! This is a quick and easy blueberry buttermilk pancake recipe taught to me years ago by my young friend Audrey. Buttermilk is a classic ingredient in pancakes, adding both a light tang in flavor and some acidity for leavening. We don’t always have buttermilk in the fridge though, but you can easily substitute it with some diluted plain yogurt.

Do you know the secret to making thick and fluffy pancakes?Just resist the urge to over mix the batter. Let there be lumps. While we don’t want lumps in our mashed potatoes or cake frosting, if you let your pancake batter be a little lumpy, your pancakes will be light, tender, fluffy, and thick.

Now, if you prefer your pancakes to be thin and firm (some people do), just beat the heck out of that batter, until smooth as porcelain.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

A final tip. Audrey was all of ten years old when she showed me how she keeps the blueberries from bleeding into the batter and turning it purple. She likes to add them individually to each pancake once the batter is poured out onto the griddle. This way you can space them out well and they don’t turn your pancakes blue.

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2005.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4

Don't have buttermilk? You can substitute the 1/2 cup of buttermilk called for in the recipe with a 1/2 cup of milk to which has been added 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice (let sit for several minutes). Or you can mix in 1/4 cup of plain yogurt with 1/4 cup of milk.


Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Other ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp warm melted butter
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Butter or vegetable oil


1 Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk, and buttermilk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine, using a wooden spoon. Mix only until the batter just comes together. Stir in the melted butter. Do not over-mix! The mixture should be a little lumpy. Lumpy is good. A lumpy batter makes fluffy pancakes.

At this point you can either gently fold in the blueberries, or wait until you pour the batter onto the griddle, and then place the blueberries into the surface of the pancake batter. Placing the blueberries into the pancakes while they are cooking will help keep them from bleeding.

2 Heat a griddle or large pan on medium to medium high heat. (A large cast iron pan works great for cooking pancakes.) Oil the pan with either a little butter or vegetable oil. Ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle to the desired size (a quarter-cup measure works well for this), anywhere from 4 to 6 inches wide. If you haven't already added the blueberries to the batter, you can place several in each pancake while it cooks.

3 When air bubbles start to bubble up to the surface at the center of the pancakes (about 2-3 minutes), use a flat metal spatula to flip them over. After a minute, peek under one for doneness. When golden or darker golden brown, they are done. Note that cooking the second side takes only about half as long as the first side. And the second side doesn't brown as evenly as the first side. Continue to make the batches of pancakes, putting a little oil or butter on the pan before each batch so the pancakes don't stick.

Serve immediately. Serve with butter, maple syrup, and extra blueberries.

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Oatmeal Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes from the New York Times

Showing 4 of 53 Comments

  • Mark

    There’s basically two ways to make pancakes…thick or thin. A typically buttermilk batter tends to be thick. That presents a problem in that you can end up overcooking the outsides while still having raw batter in the middle. One or two is all you need to be filled up. I prefer thin. You can skip the buttermilk and the lumps. The pancakes will rise just from the steam. When you do thin, you don’t end up with bulky flapjacks. Your pancakes will be cooked clean through.
    If your first group of pancakes is very light, it’s because you didn’t let the griddle get hot enough. Use an infrared thermometer to bring the griddle to 375F degrees. If you don’t have one of those, flick a couple droplets of water onto the griddle. If they crackle and dance you’re getting close but it’s probably still not hot enough.

    To get nice golden evenly browned pancakes use a non-stick griddle. No grease. Grease is what causes blotchy light/ dark browning.

    If you don’t have buttermilk, just leave it out and use milk. You won’t notice the difference. The main reason buttermilk is used at all is for the leavening the acid provides. Buttermilk is barely perceptible taste-wise.

    I typically add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter to my batter

    You may need to thin your batter so it flows smoothly. It should pour smoothly from the container so you get nice round pancakes. It should be thick, not watery but it should pour smoothly. Again, you don’t need the lumps. Not sure why people want lumpy batter other than because somebody said that’s how you do it but never understanding why. If you’re making batter with baking powder and an acid (buttermilk) then you don’t want to over mix the batter. It’s like shaking a bottle of soda and letting out all the “fizz”. You won’t get the leavening from the acid if you over mix but you really don’t need it. The steam will raise your pancakes. That’s the only reason for having lumpy batter IMHO. Don’t end up with thick pancakes, overcooked on the outside, raw batter in the middle.

    Add the blueberries after you pour the batter onto the griddle. Just drop them by hand or with a spoon. Fresh blueberries will “explode” from the heat. So don’t be alarmed by the blueberry juice on the griddle. You won’t have as much blueberry juice on the griddle if you use frozen blueberries.

    To sum up…
    Use a thin batter.
    You don’t need buttermilk or lumps
    And if you’re not using an acid e.g. buttermilk, then you don’t need baking powder
    No buttermilk?…just substitute milk
    Heat your griddle to 375F
    No grease (!) on your non-stick griddle

    Try my suggestions. You will have golden brown, light and fluffy pancakes that Martha would be proud to serve.

  • Fork Lift Operator

    I am a bit skeptical that you need 2 tablespoons of sugar in the flour. Assuming you put maple syrup on them, they will be plenty sweet. Use real maple syrup, not the commercial brands that are noting but artificially flavored corn syrup. Most of the so called blueberry syrups are pretty obnoxious as well.

    Elise, your cakes appear to be a bit burnt. Also it appears you greased the pan.

    Pancakes are one of the few things I recommend using a non stick pan/griddle for.

    Heat the pan on medium heat until drops of water dance and crackle when dropped onto the griddle. If you own a infrared thermometer, use that to get the temp. I have a griddle that spans two burners so I can easily cook 4 pancakes at a time.

    No need to grease the non-stick griddle. The butter or oil in the batter negates the need for that.

    When you start to see bubbles coming up in the pancakes lift an edge to see how the browning is coming. You should get nice evenly golden pancakes…just like the ones Aunt Jemima makes.

    Elise looks like she cooked her cakes too hot and with too much grease on the griddle.

    That said, you do need to be patient and make sure the center is cooked…not doughy.

    What’s fun is putting your batter into a cream whipper. You get really fluffy pancakes because the batter is essentially carbonated…although you’re using nitrous oxide, not CO2.

  • Anna

    This recipe makes the best pancakes I’ve probably ever had in my entire life. Light as a cloud, and they taste *perfect*. Your site never lets me down!

  • Amy G

    I have made these several times with blueberries, without blueberries and even with raspberries, which are my sons favorite. Each time using 1/4 c yogurt and 1/4 c milk in place of the buttermilk. Great results every time..thanks for the recipes

  • Beth Wilson

    I am so glad I found this recipe and even gladder that I tried it! I went EXACTLY by the directions, to the letter. Let me just say this: Once you make these, you will never, ever buy the boxed pancake powder from the store, again!

    Now; this is just me, but I do admit that I LOVE the boxed pancake powder – that popular brand, I grew up with. It’s absolutely delicious! That being said, I have become aware of GMOs and I know how much “frankenfood” is in our food now. I do not like eating plastic and basically, that is what you’re eating, when you buy the boxed stuff – plastic!
    It may be good, but it’s plastic!

    Anyway, I made these and they tasted JUST LIKE the store bought pancakes. And trust me, that is a compliment! But the best part? I know what I’m not eating! No imitation flavors, preservatives, or GMOs in this recipe!

    I used organic eggs, organic milk, organic buttermilk, organic sugar, organic butter and organic blueberries.

    These are delicious and I will be making them again and again and again and…………..well, you get the picture!

    THANK YOU so much, for sharing this recipe with us!


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