Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

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.

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

    • Fork Lift Operator

      Don’t pour the batter until the griddle is the correct temp. I mentioned that’s when a drop of water dances and crackles on the hot griddle. That’s not entirely true. The water will start to dance around 350 degrees F. That’s not quite hot enough. That will give you champagne colored pancakes, but not golden brown. You want the griddle to be a little hotter, 375 and no hotter than 400 degrees F. If you can afford an infrared thermometer, they are great for checking griddle, frying pan and oven temps.
      If you don’t have an IR thermometer, let the griddle heat up a couple more minutes after the water starts to dance and crackle. If the griddle is too hot the centers won’t cook through while the outsides are overly browned.

      Don’t fret is your pancakes have hard exteriors as they come off the griddle. They will soften up as the steam makes its way from the center outwards.

      Again, if you are using a non-stick griddle, don’t grease it. The grease will give your pancakes a mottled browning instead of perfectly uniform browning.

      Make sure you are also using fresh pancake flour or fresh baking soda/baking powder. As those ingredients get stale over time the pancakes will lose their ability to rise. This is also true if you over mix your flour. Keep your pancake flour in a zip-loc bag. You can usually fir the whole box into a gallon bag.

      I also recommend keeping your flour in the freezer.

      This is especially true for wheat flour. Un-milled flour will have a long shelf life. Once it’s milled flour starts to lose some of its nutritional value.

      Keep your flour in a zip-loc bag in the freezer to keep it fresh.

      • Fork Lift Operator

        375F for the griddle temp seems right on. Made a batch this morning and monitored the griddle temp. It stayed between 375 and 380. I had perfectly golden browned pancakes. So forget I said 375-400. Just do 375.

  • 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!

    • Elise

      I’m so glad you liked them Anna!

  • 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!

    Beth

    • Elise

      Hi Beth, I’m so glad you like the pancakes!

  • Jesse Gardner

    Nothing beat’s breakfast… for dinner! :)

  • Arcey

    I’ve been substituting sour cream for buttermilk in a certain cake I make, and haven’t noticed any difference in the results. Both seem to do the job, and I’m more likely to have sour cream on hand, as opposed to buying a quart of buttermilk for one cup or less, and then tossing the rest after it’s been in my refrigerator for a few months. :)

    Several people have mentioned yogurt as a substitute (which I also always have on hand), but no one has mentioned sour cream. Anyone know if sour cream would work as well in this recipe? I might try the coddled milk anyway, but just wondered about the sour cream.

    Thanks. These look so good. I’ve made the “sour milk” pancakes from Joy of Cooking for the past few decades, and they’re also great, but I think I’ll try these soon.

    • Fork Lift Operator

      Buttermilk is often called for when there’s baking soda or baking powder in the recipe.
      The acid in the buttermilk reacts with those to get the “fluff” in the pancakes. I would think the sour cream is much less acidic but if you are getting good results, that’s all that matters.

  • Chad McKenna

    I’ll try these, I’ve been using an old sour dough start (50 years) to make Hill’s Montana Hotcakes. Mine always have Blueberries.

  • Anita

    I did not know I was craving pancakes until I saw this recipe. Just made up a batch (minus the blueberries because I did not have any on hand) and they were indeed, very light & fluffy & delicious! Thank you once again, for a marvelous recipe!

  • Sandy S

    Perfect use of the first handful of blueberries. In my book, making pancakes should be compulsory for all kids! Preferably out of doors on a campfire. Reason? They will always be taken back to their childhood whenever they smell pancakes on the griddle! Wonderful pictures Elise! Made me crave blueberry pancakes the minute I saw this recipe.

  • MaryJane

    In my part of Saskatchewan there are wild Saskatoon’s. They work in this recipe just fine. I like them better, the rest of my family disagrees with me. But we agree, this is a good recipe.

  • Bebe

    Whew! I’m glad I can use regular old all purpose flour. Your recipe sounds like a winner. As for the addition of the blueberries, that is a wizard trick I learned from a friend’s husband in Maine – watching him make the breakfast pancakes in their family’s longtime “rusticating” summer home on Vinalhaven Island.

    I believe the lumps in the batter may just be shortening that stays clumped a bit in the flour and melts out during cooking. With pancakes, lumpy batter is a good thing.

    Pancakes are a kind of baking, done on a griddle. Baking is chemistry. Mess with the basic formula too much – ingredients and technique – and the results can be problematic.

  • Gretchen

    These were great! We had to make a few substitutes since we are a family of allergy’s….
    We used Bob’s cup for cup Gluten-Free Flour substitute, and almond milk for the buttermilk (with 1 tsp white vinegar added for the 1/2 buttermilk).

    My husband and two young boys gobbled them up! Thank you for this recipe and so many others. This is a great blog.

    • Elise

      Thank you Gretchen! I’m so glad the gluten-free flour and almond milk substitutes worked for you. I love Bob’s Red Mill flours.

  • Pati

    …Oh, I forgot to tell you that I replaced one cup of flour for whole wheat flour and instead of buttermilk I used yogurt. Yummy!

  • Pati

    I don’t have enough words to thank you (and Audrey!) for this recipe. I’ve got tired of having cereal for breakfast and I’m trying to learn new recipes I can do during the weekend and freeze for weekdays. My toddler loved it! (and me too!)

  • Nis

    I tried this for breakfast last week-end and it was so delicious. Thanks a lot for such a wonderful recipe Elise.

    Can not find Blueberries in my country so I tried with preserved Olives and the taste was so good. (Olive never tasted that good.)We have a lot of dried grapes here and I have a feeling that the recipe would work well with those too. I’m going to try this with dried grapes next time.

    I used whole-wheat flour because my husband likes whole wheat flour very much. Couldn’t wait to go and buy buttermilk (that’s also not commonly available) and tried with fresh milk instead. However, with all these changes, it was a great recipe. Thanks again.[Later saw the Coddled milk recipe posted by Robin and going to try it for next time.]

    Keep up good work and would love to see more of easy to cook and nutritious recipes…

    p.s. I accidentally came across your blog when I was looking for a cake recipe, and now its in my ‘Bookmarks’ list. Thanks…

    • Fork Lift Operator

      Strange to know that buttermilk is hard to come by. You might also try kefir. It’s a fermented milk, probably very close to buttermilk in acidity if not in flavor.
      I would expect it’s widely available in Europe and absolutely it’s available in Russia as every Russian kidnichka grows up on the stuff. Kefir is generally available in the US…at least from my experience.

      • Fork Lift Operator

        I have a bag of frozen blueberries in the fridge. They are from Stahlbush Island Farms and grown in the USA. Even though frozen they are quite good…large and sweet.

        Don’t complete discount frozen berries or vegetables. Did you know a frozen turkey is actually fresher than a “fresh” turkey?

        My point is…even though you might not have fresh berries, there might be something suitable in your store’s freezer section.

        They also make frozen blueberries that come in syrup and of course blueberry pie filling. Those might not be a good idea for pancakes though.

        The Earth is becoming an increasingly small place and it’s becoming easier to find many of these things.

  • Julia

    Elise,
    thank you for this wonderful pancake recipe!! They were easy, absolutely delicious and a big success with all my friends who came over for Brunch.

  • Fiona

    Wow!! Made these for lunch today for my husband (who had never had blueberry pancakes!!!) and he devoured them!! They were perfect! Have a big family gathering this weekend & plan on making these as our Saturday breakfast!! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Mary Ann

    These pancakes were the perfect way to use the blueberries we picked yesterday morning. Thanks!

  • sajee

    I just made this pancake, it’s soooo yummyyy! Thnx a lot Elise.

  • Mariam

    Unfortunately these did not turn out great. They were pretty bland and tough/thick.

  • Michelle Mortensen

    I made these pancakes this morning and they were absolutely the best I’ve ever made! I made 3 of them without adding the blueberries until they were on the griddle, which turned out fine except the top side of the blueberries were totally exposed, and I like my blueberries more incorporated. So I added the rest of the blueberries into the remaining batter and cooked them that way, and they didn’t bleed (my blueberries were not wet) and they cooked perfectly. The batter was a little thick but that’s exactly how I like my pancakes – not so runny and thin that they go all over the griddle. I will definitely be making these again, and my kids ate around the blueberries and still loved them so I think this recipe would work great without any fruit (although I’m going to try to convert them to eating blueberries in pancakes – those are the best!!) and this recipe is the best one I’ve tried by far. I followed the ingredients and instructions exactly and they were amazing!!

    • Fork Lift Operator

      The reason blueberries bleed is they tend to “explode” when they get hit with the high heat…much like an egg would explode if you put it in the microwave.

      If the skin on the berry is intact it can still bleed when they are dropped onto the pancakes. It’s just that the juice will not go as far before the batter sets.

  • Ashley

    Hmm…I’m so baffled. I also found that the batter was way too thick. I had to add quite a bit more milk to get them to work, and initially that left me with a very lumpy mixture (that somehow worked itself together in the end). I just don’t understand how the majority of people were able to follow the original recipe. What might be the difference in my ingredients?

    • Fork Lift Operator

      Although I have not made this particular recipe, I have been making pancakes for well over 50 years. I don’t see anything unusual in the ingredient quantities. It should yield a pretty normal better, enough for 3 to 4 people. If I had to guess, I would think this will actually be a bit too wet.

      Most of the all purpose flour in the USA will be unbleached.

  • April

    My family loves pancakes. We do not use dairy so I substitute almond milk (which I make in my blender with almonds and water then strain through cheese cloth) for the milk and leave out the eggs and oil. I substitute apple sauce for butter/oil.

    Even without these ingredients my pancakes are a huge hit.

    The last time I made pancakes, I used a slow rise batter with yeast. I mixed the batter the night before (in my blender) and set in the fridge over night. The next morning I added a little more milk to my blender jar and pulsed it a time or two, then poured the pancakes right from the jar. No mess and only one dish to wash (except for the skillet).

  • David

    Do not attempt this recipe with gluten-free flour!

  • Jim McNulty

    Very light and fluffy. Added a little extra milk to thin them out a little more. Doubled the fresh blueberries to get almost a blueberry in every bite. This will be a “make again” recipe. So simple you can’t screw it up.

  • Gaby

    Made these this morning. A lovely way to start off a snowy day! I used yogurt instead of buttermilk and it worked wonderfully! I would definitely make these again.

  • Janice

    These were so good!! Made them without fruit added and they were the most tender pancakes I ever tasted. Would make them thinner next time, but gosh, they were wonderful. Thanks for this recipe.

  • Nicky

    I make a version of pancakes similar to this recipe, but I separate the eggs and beat the whites to add some extra help to the leavening along. They make the fluffiest cakes I’ve ever had.

    Michele, absolutely yogurt is a great substitute for the milk fat needed in pancakes.

    I haven’t tried any of the recipes here yet, but am looking forward to using this site for a goto for my family’s weekly menus.

  • Jess

    My husband made these for breakfast yesterday. Even without the berries, they were excellent. Thank you! I’m beginning to think of buttermilk as a kind of super hero. I don’t think I’ve ever had a recipe that includes buttermilk fail me.

  • Anna

    Hi Elise,

    I just made these today – this is a great recipe, thank you! I used half whole wheat flour and half regular unbleached flour – a bit more healthy and still very delicious!
    Thanks again,
    Anna

  • Diane

    Thanks for another great recipe! I made waffles instead of pancakes (used a little less milk for thicker batter) and they were so yummy!

  • Ben Cousins

    I had these for breakfast this morning – delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Epoca

    Could someone tell if plain yogurt would work in this recipe?

  • Michele

    Rebekah – GF flour is really tricky to work with. You will probably have the best luck using a tried and true GF pancake recipe.

    I made these tonight for dinner and they were delicious! According to my husband, the batter was the best he’d ever had. I used the coddled milk recipe (though forgot to warm the milk first but it still turned out okay). I also doubled the recipe to make extras to freeze, though ended up using it to make muffins instead. They look really good!

  • Rebekah

    I was really disappointed with this. I used nearly an entire 1/2 gallon of milk and the dough would not thin out. It was like bread dough. I’m not sure if this was due to gluten-free flour but the dough just wouldn’t work. Any suggestions from anyone? I haven’t had pancakes in three years and these look WAY too good.

  • Jen Yu

    Elise, I love your site and especially this evening… I’m in a picky state right now because of my chemo treatment and nothing tastes good to me. For some reason, soft, sweet pancakes sounded good (everything sounds good, but then it tastes like absolutely nothing when I try to eat it). I made this recipe on a lark tonight, with raspberries instead of blueberries (it’s what I had in the fridge) and they were delightful and I didn’t feel ill! Plus, my husband, who is not a pancake fan, said this was the best recipe he’s EVER had, that he LOVES them! So thank you – you’re wonderful. xxoo

  • Jennifer

    WoW! I have never been able to make pancakes from scratch successfully. Finally a recipe that even I can’t screw up. I will never use the box again. Thanks so much for this!

  • Lois Brown

    Hi Audrey & Elise,

    I wanted to make my mum some blueberry pancakes for her Mother’s Day breakfast. Since blueberry pancakes aren’t common here in Scotland, I couldn’t find any recipes in her cookbooks. Fortunately I came across your recipe. It was easy to follow and was a huge hit with my mum (and my dad). Thank you for sharing it.

    Lois

  • wendee

    AWESOME recipe! Just made it tonight. Used about 1.5 cups of the buttermilk and .5 to .75 cups of sweet milk. Plus, no blueberries. I dont care if they bleed or not, but just wanted plain cakes tonight. Also, I use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. They came out GREAT. My boys even ate them up, and they dont usually care for cakes made with buttermilk. Keep up the good work.

  • Jan Mohr

    Many thanks for the “coddled” milk. I need to make Irish soda Bread for my Irish sweetie.
    Happy St. Patrick’s day to all.

    From his “Italian Colleen”

  • Elise

    Hello Nidha –
    All-purpose flour is made from wheat and is used for many baking needs – bread, cake, pancakes, muffins, etc. It is not “cake flour” even though it can be used in many cake recipes. It is made of wheat, but it is not “whole wheat flour”. All-purpose flour is the most common flour you’ll find in the market.
    If the batter is too thick, you can thin it out a bit by adding a little more milk.

  • Nidha

    Just made these pancakes. The batter turned out to be a little too thick though, which could be why they didn’t bubble up. And when you say all-purpose flour, do you mean wheat flour or the one that’s used in cakes?

  • Anna

    I just made this, and it’s soo good! So easy to make and so delicious. I used coddled milk instead of buttermilk. Awesome! Btw, no, they didn’t bleed! :) Thanks Audrey and Elise!

  • Robin

    Buttermilk Substitute

    My family never buys buttermilk anymore we make coddled milk and use it instead. I make buttermilk waffles once a week using this and they are always fantastic.

    Coddled Milk (substitute for Buttermilk Directly 1 cup=1 cup)

    1 cup milk (whole is best, works with fat-free though)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar

    Warm milk to room temperature (15 second in the microwave is enough). Then add the acidic lemon juice or vinegar and leave undisturbed for 15 minutes. The result is thicker and lumpy than milk and doesn’t taste too good straight but is great in baking and cooking. This recipie scales up and down perfectly.

    • Fork Lift Operator

      Sounds a lot like the beginnings for a recipe for homemade ricotta.