Back to Basics with Breakfast – Go-To Pancakes

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Everyone needs a reliable and easy pancake recipe. Something that you can whip out on a whim with the ingredients you have on hand. No fancy gadgets, no extra trip to the grocery store…just something super simple.


I’m usually a savory breakfast kinda girl and under normal circumstances, I’m eggs and bacon over pancakes, French toast or waffles. Sometimes however, especially after a good workout or other less noble activities (recovering from a hangover?), a solid carb with my go-to eggs and bacon is a serious must.

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Tips and Tricks with Pancakes:

  1. Don’t have buttermilk? – That’s okay! Use 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for every 1 cup of milk.
  2. Do ahead – Mix the batter the evening before, cover well with plastic wrap and you’re ready to go in the AM!
  3. The pan matters – Make sure you have a good griddle or pan. Brush with some butter or oil and you’re good to go.
  4. Even steven – I use a griddle pan for my pancakes and there are hot spots and some not so hot spots. You will learn very quickly where these are when you flip your first batch.
  5. Heat matters – don’t crank the heat on your pancakes or they will burn before they cook through. I heat my griddle on medium.
  6. Keep’em warm – preheat you oven to 225°F or warming drawer. Keep the cooked pancakes warm until you are ready to serve or between serving.
  7. Mix up the flours – If I’m being healthy, I will do 1/2 buckwheat and 1/2 wholewheat. If I’m feeling decadent, try 1/2 AP and 1/2 cake flour (remember to sift!) for a fluffier Aunt Jemima-like pancake.
  8. Additions – Try folding in chocolate chips (naughty) or blueberries (nice) into the batter. How about some grated lemon or orange zest? Thinly slice some banana or apple and lay them on top of the batter on the griddle.

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes


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  • 2 cups flour (my recent go-to is 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 cake flour or see Tips and Tricks #7)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • Additions – see Tips and Tricks #8


Heat your griddle or pan and preheat your oven. Place an oven-proof plate in the oven to warm.

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

In a smaller bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and pour over the dry ingredients. Using a whisk or a wooden spoon, slowly work the flour into the wet ingredients. Try not to over mix.

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Grease the griddle and pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake leaving enough space between pancakes. Careful, they will spread and I’m going to guess that you don’t want to end up with one giant pancake. Watch your first batch very carefully to see that your griddle temperature is correct. Adjust if necessary.


Once some bubbles have formed, flip with a spatula. Once the second side has browned, remove and keep warm in the oven.

Serve with lots of maple syrup or my quick and dirty berry compote below…

Makes about 16-20 pancakes depending on how generous you are with the batter.


Continuing with our theme of keeping things super simple and easy, I often make this quick and dirty berry compote while flipping the pancakes. Combine 1 1/2 cups of frozen berries, 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium until it begins to bubble gently and reduce heat to low. Give it a good stir and continue cooking for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Add a Tbsp of Grand Marnier…if you are feeling well, grand. Adjust the seasoning by adding more sugar if desired or some more lemon juice and serve with the warm pancakes!


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