Best Buttermilk Pancake Recipe | Pancakes Recipe | Best Recipes

My friend Yolanda has probably had pancakes in every city in the world. As an intrepid traveler and the mother of a first-grader (see her amazing family travel blog Travels with Clara), she’s shortstacked and griddlecaked her way through the last six years. So when she came back from Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley last year proclaiming she’d had the best buttermilk pancakes ever, I believed her. Imagine my delight when I found out

the recipe exists in the diner’s made-for-moms Pancake Handbook. Not only that, there’s a whole section on upping the fun factor for kids. (As if pancakes need any help in that department.) I thought I’d share a few:

Use this basic recipe:

Bette’s Diner Buttermilk Pancakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, buttermilk, milk, and butter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once, stirring just to blend. The batter should be slightly lumpy and quite thick. Let the batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or heavy skillet over medium-high heat (357°F on an electric griddle). Cook according to kids’ variations below. If you are making regular pancakes, portion 1/4 cup measures of batter onto the hot griddle, spacing them apart. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until bubbles cover the surface of the pancakes, and their undersides are lightly browned. Gently turn them over and cook for about 2 minutes more, until the other sides are browned.

Kid Variations:


  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

    Place a pineapple ring on the griddle. Put a cherry in the center of the ring. Ladle 1/4 cup pancake batter over the pineapple and cook as directed for buttermilk pancakes. How fun is that?


  • Mickey Mouse Pancakes

    Pour enough batter onto the griddle to make a normal-sized pancake; immediately ladle 2 more tiny circles of batter so that they attach themselves to the first pancake to make mouse ears. Before serving, place raisins or blueberries on each pancake to make the eyes and nose and add a strawberry slice for the mouth.


  • Alphabet Pancakes

    Make pancakes shaped like letters to spell out names or initials. Remember that the letters need to be poured onto the griddle in mirror writing, so that they will read right when the pancakes are flipped.


  • Pancake Sandwiches

    Spread jam, jelly, or a combination of peanut butter and jelly on a cooked pancake. Top with a second pancake. Allow the sandwiches to cool slightly so that kids can eat them with their hands. This is a good to-go option – Iris, my Boston Terrier puppy, seems to think so, too.


  • Silver Dollar Pancakes

    Kids can’t resist miniature food. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake.


  • Snowman Pancakes

    Using the same technique described for Mickey Mouse Pancakes, make 3 circles, one above the other, each slightly smaller than the one before. Use raisins or currants to make a face and buttons. Warning: Do not attempt this when you have a bus to catch. Flawless flipping here is hard negotiate even under no-pressure conditions.


  • Granola Griddle Cakes

    Sprinkle a little granola into pancake batter for added crunch and sweetness.


  • Chocolate Chip Pancakes

    Add mini chocolate chips and chopped toasted walnuts to the pancake batter before cooking.


  • Cartoon Pancakes

    Thin some pancake batter with a little milk and put it in a squeeze bottle. Use this batter to draw a small, simple cartoon on the griddle. Choose something with a clear outline-a face, a picture of an animal, and so on. Allow to cook for 30 to 45 seconds before ladling regular pancake batter over it, so that the batter fills in the drawing right up to the outline. When you flip the pancake, your line drawing will appear darker on the surface.


  • Freezing Pancakes

    Pancakes and waffles can be frozen and reheated with perfectly acceptable results, so you can whip them up for hungry kids in a few minutes. To freeze, allow cooked pancakes or waffles to cool completely, then wrap them individually in plastic wrap or plastic bags.

    Reheat them in a toaster oven, conventional oven, or microwave.

  • Reprinted with permission from The Pancake Handbook by Steve Siegelman, Bette Kroening, and Sue Conley, copyright © 2003. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Click here to buy it from


Your turn. What’s your favorite twist on the traditional buttermilk pancake?


Article Posted 8 years Ago

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