Diner-style buttermilk pancakes

Since I'm still waffling about whether or not I should buy a waffle maker, I keep busy flipping pancakes on the weekends!  Truth be told, it's a good crisp waffle that I crave more often than pancakes but because my son and husband enjoy pancakes so much, I make them all the time (as you might have noticed).
In the last few years that I started making pancakes at home (from scratch, because, yes...I once used boxed pancake mix), I have discovered some delicious recipes and I make most of them very often.  It dawned on me recently that I don't have a basic buttermilk pancake recipe.  

The buttermilk pancakes I do make are Gwyneth Paltrow's overnight recipe; honestly, those babies are so delicious that I didn't really feel the need for another buttermilk pancake recipe but they are quite different from your typical diner-style buttermilk pancakes.  Whereas the diner ones are your fluffy, relatively mild-tasting flapjacks, the overnight recipe makes relatively thin, super-soft, ultra-tender and tangy pancakes.  The overnight sitting is pretty much a necessity and I like the idea of having a simpler, more familiar buttermilk pancake recipe in my repertoire.
Well, mission accomplished.  I spotted this diner-style buttermilk pancake recipe from the latest issue of Food Network Magazine.  I was particularly intrigued by the idea of adding a little baking soda in the pancakes to help with even browning.  I do have to say, even after making these, that I'm pretty convinced that the evenly browned pancakes we get from our diner comes from a well buttered griddle more than anything else (I use a little cooking spray). So while my homemade buttermilk pancakes didn't look exactly like the ones I get at our local diners, they were fluffy, moist, and tender, with a familiarly milder buttermilk flavor that we recognize.

I'm happy to have this easy, tasty recipe for buttermilk pancakes that I can whip up very quickly for breakfast.  Since I always find myself with extra buttermilk whenever I do buy it for a recipe, I know it'll come in handy.

My scaled-down version of this Food Network recipe will make about eight 4-inch round pancakes.  Depending on your need (how much buttermilk you have on hand), and since pancakes freeze so well and reheat easily for a quick weekday breakfast, it would certainly make sense to make a full batch (double my recipe below).  I did trim down the amount of butter a bit and I'd mention that I like to make my pancakes a bit smaller than the traditional diner-style ones.  I use a 1/3 cup measure to drop my pancake batter; for those diner sized pancakes, go with about 1/2 cup of batter per pancake.
Speaking of pancakes and breakfast, we recently took a trip to Chicago and went to a great place, Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe, for breakfast based on a recommendation. We got there a bit after 9am and after a good walk, I was a bit "hangry" by that point. There was about a 20-minute wait (actually quite reasonable given the group of about 50 students waiting outside for seating) and I'm glad I stuck it out because I realized it was well worth the wait after tasting everything from their sizzlin' skillets to waffles and bacon & eggs.  My husband also had their signature "berry bliss" pancake that was topped with vanilla anglaise, blackberry coulis, and mascarpone, which he loved (clearly, the man has a serious sweet tooth).  They had some creative pancakes at this place (think tiramisu to fruity pebbles), which goes to show I'll never run out of pancake recipes to try even if I never get that waffle maker!  


Recipe:

Diner-Style Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from April 2015 issue of Food Network magazine (recipe here)

- Makes approximately eight 4-inch round pancakes - 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter together to combine.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking until just combined (there should still be some lumps in the batter).

Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Lightly grease the griddle with cooking spray or butter.  Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake and cook until bubbles begin to appear on the top of the pancakes, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side, about another minute.  Keep pancakes in a warm 250 degree while making the batch, if necessary.

Serve right away with maple syrup, or whatever you enjoy.





42 comments:

  1. My mouth is watering - perfect pancakes are so wonderful! These are lovely. I personally prefer pancakes over waffles but my husband adores waffles. I should make them more often. I recently tried making mashed potato waffles - haha (total failure). There is a guy with an entire cookbook about things you can make in a waffle iron. I don't remember the name but I am sure you can google it and find what you're looking for. That may help you decide if you want to buy one or not! Thanks for the great homemade buttermilk pancake recipe - I will try this!

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    1. Thanks so much, Tricia! You are so creative - good for you for trying something different! I think you can relate to this...I know I could use/would enjoy a waffle maker but there's already a ton of things that I want to make and so little time when everyone's around to feed and sit down together. So do I really want a waffle maker to take up all that 'space'? I don't know...I would definitely make and freeze but just not sure because there are tons of breakfast things I like to cook and share with my family on those precious weekends when we are home and have time...

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  2. These pancakes stopped me in my tracks Monica! They looked so wonderfully light and I can only imagine the great 'tangy-ness' achieved by an overnight rest. Now this post is quite topical for me. I like my kids to have a 'good' breakfast (by this I mean something with eggs, milk, wheat, fruit) so I mostly make pancakes, usually the crepe variety. I also wanted a waffle maker for quite sometime to achieve a bit of variety at breakfast and was lucky enough to receive a waffle maker for a gift last year. After the initial excitement, I made vanilla and chocolate versions (to keep everyone happy), I was a little disappointed - so much batter over, quite messy etc. However, over the past couple of weeks we have fallen for our waffle maker again, thanks to the ability to freeze the waffles and have instant, mess free waffles a second and third day. I am quite excited about the prospect of experimenting a bit more with waffle flavours too. I digress. Beautiful pancakes, by the way....

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    1. Thanks so much, Jo. I love when you digress like this so please do. ; )
      I understand..the mess and excess is an issue for me to think over. There's only the 3 of us. That said, I would definitely make and freeze because quite frankly, I buy frozen whole grain waffles for my son that I heat up on some weekday mornings! So that might be a good enough reason for me to go homemade right there! On the flip side, it just feels like another thing, another piece of equipment to make use of. My husband tells me I should go out and have someone else make my waffles - why we don't apply that logic to anything else is something I haven't figured out. I'll keep mulling it over. ; ) Btw, your kids have good breakfasts!
      And these pancakes - sorry if I'm so wordy it gets confusing. This fluffy one here is a quick-make recipe. The thin, super-tangy overnight ones are another recipe you'll find in the link in text. Those are a-mazing!! I think you would like them since you make crepes often.

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  3. These pancakes are so very soft and fluffy!

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    1. They are very fluffy and tender. : ) I wanted to have the recipe here so I can have an easy, go-to recipe for buttermilk pancakes when I have buttermilk and need something quick, without prep.

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  4. I love diner style pancakes - and yes, generous butter on the griddle certainly helps - and yours look perfect! I wish I had a stack for lunch right now :)

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    1. Love pancakes (and other breakfast type eats) for lunch or dinner, too!

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  5. Funny - I don't have a go-to buttermilk pancake recipe either. I'd love to try this one. Great idea to let it sit in the fridge overnight!

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    1. Right! I just made the other buttermilk recipe (the overnight ones) this morning and it's just so soft and good. I wonder if letting any buttermilk pancake batter (like this one) would create a similar effect...

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  6. Making them the night before means less bleary eyed activity in the morning! Win! :D

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    1. That is definitely a plus of the overnight recipe. It's good to have options, Lorraine!

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  7. Monica, they are the most fluffy pancakes I've seen. Looks so so good. My little ones would eat pancakes everyday if they could. THe wee one asks always for the fluffy ones. This is something I will be trying this weekend for sure. I've made batter few times and the remains have been in the fridge, it makes it so good. I need this recipe. Thanks for sharing it sweety.
    Off topic: sorry that the commenting was not working, don't know why. It's been a bit chaotic last couple of weeks, couldn't visit your blog too. Missed it. Have a great week my dear.

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    1. I was always thinking that you can't let batters w/ baking powder sit in the fridge but it's all so vague and so many different 'rules'. I just need to keep trying a ton of recipes, I suppose.
      Glad your site is working again. I really wanted to tell you my husband was just talking about shishito peppers after having them at lunch one day. Your peanut spiced stuffed ones sound genius. : )

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  8. These pancakes look so fluffy and delicious, Monica! The color is so light and perfect! Pancakes and waffles are my son's favorite although I have to admit, I haven't made either for him in a while :( That definitely needs to change! Oh and the cafe you went to in Chicago sounds awesome! Tiramisu and Fruity Pebble pancakes? Yum!

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    1. We live in Jersey so there are plenty of good diners but I can't help but want to make everything at home. Yes, Chicago is full of good food everywhere. There was even like a cinnamon bon pancake of some sort at the place...it sounds outrageous but everything was done tastefully.

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  9. These look like EXACTLY like diner pancakes...and I mean that in the best way. Now I know what fun food I'm making this weekend!

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    1. Yes...haha! That's the look/taste I was going for. Yay for diners.

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  10. I'm the complete opposite! I never make pancakes! Only waffles! haha We should trade for a day :)

    But oh do these look good. So fluffy! I've never been to Chicago ... but it's on my list of places I'd like to see (at some point!)

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    1. Your waffles make me want more waffles, Ashley!
      Chicago is so crazy stuffed with great food everywhere - seriously. We had great weather and a really nice time not only eating but sightseeing and being tourists.

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  11. I just saved these to try this weekend. They really do look straight out of a diner! I was just in Chicago - wish I tried that place.

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    1. Awesome...such an easy, fast recipe and saves you a trip to the diner. Chicago was great!

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  12. I have an old school waffle maker but don't have an open flame so can't use it...I've been contemplating whether I should get one too...so in the mean time I think I'll be flipping pancakes too. :P Your version looks so fluffy!

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    1. That old school waffle maker sounds rad, Jenny! : ) Yes, flip some pancakes and think deep about that waffle maker. I will continue to do the same at my end.

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  13. Confession time! I rarely make pancakes (maybe 3x in my life?), but I see these, which are so perfect, and it makes me want to run to the kitchen and whip up a batch.

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    1. So much to make and so little time!! I have the little one so I think that's how the pancake business began. Just made a batch (the overnight ones this time) this morning! : )

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  14. These buttermilk pancakes look perfect! I'll take a pancake over a waffle any day!

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    1. If that's the case, I've got you covered! ; )

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  15. Replies
    1. They're 'perfectly' easy, that's for sure. ; )

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  16. Pancakes are the one breakfast food both babies eat willingly so they make an appearance on our table fairly often :) I love the golden, crispy edges on yours!

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    1. Hope the babies are thriving! : ) I bet they eat really well.

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  17. To be honest, I have neither eaten too many pancakes nor waffles for breakfast. I love them when they are stacked with the crispy exteriors soaked in syrup but it's more of a children's breakfast in Australia. Over here people are more into savory brekkies though I would love to trade them with sweet pancakes. Especially if they look so fluffy and mouthwatering as your's.

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    1. Personally, I prefer savory for breakfast but there are definitely times when something sweet totally hits the spot. My fellas enjoy their weekend pancakes and I love flipping them. We like all kinds and there's plenty of opportunity to try all these things, which is nice.

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  18. Ahh! I love Wildberry! Their "berry bliss" pancake is definitely on point; your husband made a good choice ;) Sounds like you had a good time in Chicago! Also, your pancakes look so perfect and fluffy

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    1. Chicago was a great time. We had fun sightseeing, eating, and making sure we went to Ghirardelli a couple of times. : ) I am so glad we waited for a table at Wildberry...it was a great recommendation from my husband's coworker.

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  19. I totally want some pancakes now! Pancakes for lunch sound delicious! :P You should really get a waffle maker! I had one now, but I want a better one. I want one that makes thick and crispy Belgium waffles.
    By the way, the pancakes from Wildberry look fantastic! Gotta check out the place when I visit one day.

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    1. I always order a Belgium waffle when I go to the diner or someplace that has it so it has to be a Belgium waffle maker. I know exactly the one I want...but can't seem to commit. : )

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  20. So, maybe because i'm hungry, but when i first read this, i read "DINNER-style pancakes" and I'm all "YEAH SO MUCH YEAH!" - and then i realized it was diner-style and i was STILL excited. :) These could be my dinner-style pancakes tonight...you never know. :)

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