The Secret to Making the Best Pancakes Recipe

Learn the secrets to Making the Best Pancakes – Ever. Step-up your pancake making with these game-changing pancake making tips.

I have a confession.  Growing up, we used Bisquick to make pancakes (and even biscuits and for a southern gal to admit that is akin to heresy) Since I don’t make pancakes that often I just didn’t think too much about it since we like going out for breakfast.

Then I moved to Colorado and lived at 12,000+ feet and had to learn to cook and especially bake everything for the altitude.  That’s where I learned the secret to making the best-ever pancakes.


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Secret #1

The most important secret to making the best pancakes is to replace milk with buttermilk. 

Buttermilk is more acidic and the acidity makes the pancakes super tender and fluffy.

Why Buttermilk is the # 1 secret to making the best pancakes.

According to “The reason a lot of baking recipes use buttermilk has to do with the chemical reaction between baking soda and lactic acids. Remember making volcanoes in elementary school science class? The first time I saw that as a kid it seemed like magic: pour vinegar over baking soda and lots of bubbles pour out over the top of the vessel. Similarly (though not as dramatically) when baking soda and acidified dairy are combined in a batter, they release carbon dioxide bubbles that help leaven and lighten whatever you’re making—real, grown-up, baking magic!”

Buttermilk Alternatives:

Watered-Down Sour Cream

Whisk together equal parts sour cream and water. This works really well for pancakes and coffee cakes. Use immediately.

Add Lemon Juice or White Vinegar to Milk

To a liquid measuring cup add 1 T (tablespoon) add one tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar then add enough milk to create 1 cup. Stir, and let sit for five minutes before using.

This will work with non-dairy kinds of milk as well.


Secret #2 For Making the Best Pancakes

Don’t Over Mix The Batter

3 Steps for the Perfect Pancake batter.

Follow these steps when making a pancake batter.

Step #1:

Whisk all your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, making sure that baking powder and baking soda are well combined with flour and sugar.  Making sure there are no lumps in the dry batter.

Step #2

In a separate bowl whisk your wet ingredients together until well blended.

Step #3

Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients.  Using a whisk, mix just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Lumps are ok, they will dissolve on their own.


Secret #3 For Making the Best Pancakes

Add a little bit of orange juice.

Adding 2 T of OJ to your pancake batter works with the buttermilk to create fluffy pancakes.


More Secrets & Hacks For Making the Best Pancakes

The Best Way to Cook Pancakes

An electric or stovetop griddle is by far the best way to cook pancakes since you have plenty of surface area to make flipping your pancakes easier.

If you don’t have a griddle use a large non-stick skillet with sloping sides.  I like Calphalon’s Everyday Pan for pancakes.  (actually, I use my Everyday Pan for just about everything!)

I’m Out of Eggs – now what?

You Can Make Pancakes Without Eggs

Has this ever happened to you?  You are all ready to make pancakes only to discover that you are out of eggs.

Don’t panic or run to the store you can make pancakes without eggs, just increase the baking powder 1/2 teaspoon and incrementally add up to an additional 1/4 cup buttermilk, until you have a pourable batter.

I Don’t Have Buttermilk or Milk – You Can Make Pancakes Without Buttermilk or Milk

You can make pancakes with coffee, hot chocolate or orange juice or any other liquid even water. Just remember that the pancakes will take on the flavor of the liquid used. Reduce the amount of baking powder by 1/2 teaspoon and replace with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and use about a 1/4 cup less liquid to avoid batter that is too thin, since most liquids won’t have the same “body” as milk.

You can also use non-dairy milk for your pancakes.


The Secret to Making the Best Flavored Pancakes:

Berry Pancakes:

For berry pancakes, add a cup of blueberries or strawberries to the batter.

Banana Pancakes

For banana pancakes, add a mashed ripe banana to the batter.  Then add banana slices to the batter once it is on the griddle.  When you flip the pancake you’ll carmelize the banana.  Yum!

Pecan or Walnut Pancakes

For pecan or walnut pancakes, add 1/2 cup toasted, finely chopped pecans or walnuts.

Cream Cheese Pancakes

For cream cheese pancakes, add 3 ounces of finely chopped cream cheese to the batter.

Healthier Whole Wheat Pancakes

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, swap out half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat or buckwheat.



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Best-ever Pancake Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 858kcal
Author: Kelly DiMascio
Everyone loves pancakes.  Learn the secret of making perfect pancakes every time.  You'll never go out for pancakes again.
Print Recipe


For Pancakes

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1.5 t baking powder
  • .5 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 1/2 C buttermilk (can substitute whole milk)
  • 2 T orange juice
  • 4 T butter - melted
  • 1 t vanilla extract - pure
  • 2 large eggs
  • vegetable oil for brushing pan
  • 1.5 C pancake syrup



  • In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  
  • In another bowl whisk together milk, OJ, butter and, egg until well blended.
  • Pour wet ingredients in to dry ingredient well and whisk flour mixture just is moistened. ***Be careful not to over mix the batter.
  • Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat; brush lightly with oil. 
  • In batches, scoop a 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly and edges are dry. With a wide spatula, turn; cook 2 minutes more or until golden. If needed, transfer to a parchment paper lined sheet pan to keep warm in a 225°F oven.


Leftover Pancake Batter:
My preference is to make all the pancakes while the batter is fresh and after letting them cool, I either refrigerate them or freeze them with parchment paper between each pancake.
I know some people swear they can keep pancake mix for 4 or 5 days and I know some restaurants make giant batches of pancake batter and use over the course of several days, but the baking powder would lose its potency and you risk having dense and chewy pancakes. 
If you want to give it a try, cover the batter tightly and refrigerate in the coldest part of the fridge.  There would be no risk of spoiling, as long as you discard after 4 days.


Calories: 858kcal | Carbohydrates: 156g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 1147mg | Potassium: 506mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 810IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 279mg | Iron: 3.5mg
Did you love this recipe? Please Share!Mention @MermaidsandMojitos or tag #mermaidsandmojitos!
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