The Best Pancake Recipe - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Breakfast

The Best Pancake Recipe

By Tessa Arias
February 19th, 2019
4.96 from 44 votes
4.96 from 44 votes

The ONLY pancake recipe you'll ever need! These buttermilk pancakes are fluffy in the center, crispy and buttery at the edges, and so easy to make. The whole family will love them!

Yield: 12 pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The buttermilk makes these pancakes super flavorful, and when coupled with real maple syrup and fresh fruit it's breakfast perfection! Texture: Ultra tender and fluffy with slightly crispy buttery golden brown edges. Obsessed. Ease: Super easy, though my first pancake is always the ugly one. Pros: This may very well become your go-to pancake recipe every weekend from here on out. Cons: None!! Would I make this again? Always and forever.

This is the recipe that will swear you off pancake mixes forever.

At least I hope so!!

Tall stack of pancakes with butter, maple syrup, and berries

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a huge pancake fan. I usually prefer French toast or waffles.

I think that’s because pancakes at most restaurants are so boring and bland both in terms of flavor and texture.

Stack of pancakes cut into with a fork

But these babies are the opposite. I LOVE pancakes with crispy caramelized buttery golden brown edges. The contrast of those edges with the fluffy and tender interior is my favorite. Add a healthy dose of maple syrup and it’s heaven on a plate.

Overhead look of pancakes with golden brown cripsy edges

How to Make the BEST Pancake Recipe

Do I have to use buttermilk?

For best results, yes. And you want the best right? That’s why you’re reading about the BEST pancake recipe!

I’ve done extensive side-by-side testing on buttermilk vs. buttermilk substitutes or vs. regular milk. You can read about my experiments here: Buttermilk 101.

At the end of the day, I find nothing quite compares to the taste and thick texture of the real thing. So if you can, I’d recommend using real buttermilk.

If you can’t, you can use this substitute: 2 scant cups whole milk + 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar or lemon juice

How to Make Fluffy Soft Pancakes

There are two keys to fluffy pancakes. First, make sure your baking powder and baking soda are FRESH. You can learn more about chemical leaveners and how to test if they’re fresh here.

Second, don’t overmix the batter! There must be some lumps and even streaks of flour remaining in the batter. Be gentle here! Even a little bit of overmixing can produce pancakes that are rubbery and tough instead of tender and fluffy.

How to Cook Pancakes with Golden Crispy Edges

First, a large nonstick skillet or griddle or a cast iron pan are best for frying up pancakes. You want to make sure the butter is hot before you pour any batter into the pan, but you only want the pan heated to medium heat. This will help you get golden edges with pancakes that are perfectly cooked through in the center.

So start by heating the pan over medium until it feels hot. This will take a few minutes. Place pats of butter on the pan where you will pour out the batter. Don’t cook more than 3 pancakes at once if you’re using a 12-inch pan.

Allow the butter to melt completely and get hot before ladling the batter by the 1/4 cup into the pan. This will make sure you get those golden crispy edges. However, if you don’t like those edges, you may want to cook a little lower and slower.

Allow the pancakes to cook without touching until large bubbles appear all over the surface of the batter, about 3 minutes (less time for a paler pancake). Using a thin wide plastic spatula, flip the pancakes with confidence through the wrist and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until done. I find the first one or two pancakes are always the ugliest and they make great chef’s samples 😉

How to Make Pancakes Ahead of Time

If you’re making a big batch, keep the oven warm at 200°F and transfer the cooked pancakes to a cooling rack set over a rimmed sheet pan. The cooling rack helps prevent the pancakes from getting soggy. Only keep the pancakes warm for about a half hour using this method.

Freezing pancakes:

Place a sheet of parchment paper between layers of pancakes and place in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat in the microwave uncovered for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.

Pancake with a piece cut out on a fork

More Pancake & Breakfast Recipes

4.96 from 44 votes

How to make
Best Pancake Recipe

Yield: 12 pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
The ONLY pancake recipe you'll ever need! These buttermilk pancakes are fluffy in the center, crispy and buttery at the edges, and so easy to make. The whole family will love them!


  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, melted, plus more for frying
  • Maple syrup, for serving


  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir until combined with a couple streaks of flour remaining. Don’t overmix. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.
  3. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add a generous pat of butter and allow to melt and become hot. Drop the batter by 1/4-cup spoonfuls into the skillet then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the bubbles form all across the top of the pancakes then flip and continue to cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4. If not serving the pancakes immediately, keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven. Serve with maple syrup and extra butter, if desired.
Course : Breakfast
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Andreana Saenz — October 18, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Good consistency but very bland. These need vanilla extract and more flavor.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 19, 2022 at 7:57 am

      Hi Andreana! Thanks so much for the feedback. Did you use real buttermilk? Some of the buttermilk powders and substitutes won’t carry the same flavor as the real thing, and therefore will seem a bit lacking in flavor when used. We recommend using the real thing, both for consistency and height of your pancakes, but also for unparalleled flavor. Feel free to add some vanilla extract next time, too – 1 teaspoon should do the trick. Thanks again and happy baking!

      • #
        Andreana Saenz — October 19, 2022 at 8:57 am

        Thanks so much for the response. I did redo it with real butter milk and a little bit like vanilla extract and they do taste amazing. thank you for clarifying that.

        • #
          Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 19, 2022 at 1:10 pm

          Yay! So glad to hear that, Andreana 🙂

  2. #
    Honey — September 12, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! I was a bit intimidated making pancakes for the first time, but this recipe was easy to follow and the results were delicious!!! 10/10 recommend.

  3. #
    Heather — September 11, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    Made these this morning and they are so light and fluffy! I’m not normally a pancake fan but these are so good! Will be my go to recipe for pancakes from now on. My husband said they are awesome and the best he has had! Thanks for another outstanding recipe!

  4. #
    AM — July 10, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    These come out amazing even with non dairy substitutes (oat milk and vegan butter). I can only imagine how great they are with the real thing! This is the first pancake recipe I’ve tried that acutally worked out!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 13, 2022 at 12:56 pm

      I’m so happy to hear those substitutions worked well for you, and that you enjoyed these pancakes!

  5. #
    Michelle — May 25, 2022 at 6:47 am

    Nutrition information?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 1, 2022 at 11:38 am

      Hi Michelle! Here at Handle the Heat, we don’t count calories or carbs. We firmly believe that desserts and baked goods should be an indulgence and should never be punished. You are welcome to use a calorie counter online to assist with calculating the nutritional information, though! 🙂

  6. #
    karen — March 9, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Luckily, tonight I couldn’t find my recipe book of crepes from a French Convent which are fantastic. I googled a recipe until I found the amazing looking ones here. Before I even put them on the griddle, I knew these were super special. Very light but crispy outside… we will be making these over & over. AMAZING. I didn’t have buttermilk so used reg. milk… Next time I will use buttermilk and can’t imagine how awesome they will be ! Thanks so much for sharing this. (from Karen & all my kids & husband who were all equally smitten !)

    • #
      Emily — March 15, 2022 at 8:40 am

      So happy to hear how much you and your family loved this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to comment, we appreciate hearing from you 🙂

  7. #
    Patti — January 4, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    I made half the recipe for my small family, topped them with pure maple syrup and fresh berries and (voila!) there was merriment at the table in 2022!

    • #
      Emily — January 5, 2022 at 4:54 pm

      Sounds divine! A perfect way to start 2022, glad everyone loved them!

  8. #
    Shae — November 9, 2021 at 8:56 am

    These were the best! I split the recipe in half for pancakes for dinner and omg! I felt like I was at IHOP yummy! :p

    • #
      Emily — November 9, 2021 at 11:34 am

      Wonderful! So happy you loved them, Shae! Breakfast for dinner is the BEST!

  9. #
    Dr. Beni — September 11, 2021 at 5:33 am

    Simple and instructive. Many thanks.

  10. #
    Heather Rosati — September 5, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Absolutely fantastic. I added a just a little more butter (salted, so I didn’t add extra, but if I end up with unsalted I will be sure to add in appropriately) plus a splash of vanilla extract. They earned their name as they were THE BEST PANCAKES I have ever made. Measurements are easy enough to cut in half, or increase by half as well.

    • #
      Emily — September 7, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      So happy to hear that, Heather, YAY!!

  11. #
    AHMAD — July 23, 2021 at 9:13 am

    I will make these in the morning

    • #
      Emily @ Handle the Heat — July 23, 2021 at 9:33 am

      Can’t wait for you to enjoy them this weekend! Check back in with us to let us know what you thought of the recipe! 🙂

  12. #
    Courtney — July 10, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Just made these for the first time today and, like all of Tessa’s recipes, they are phenomenal! My husband and daughter raved about them. They are perfection – so fluffy and delicious.

    • #
      Tessa — July 12, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear they were such a hit!

  13. #
    Veronica — May 31, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    At first the batter seemed way too thick, but they turned out phenomenal! Literally the fluffiest most delicious pancake I’ve ever tasted!

    • #
      Tessa — June 1, 2021 at 1:56 pm

      Hooray!! I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂

  14. #
    PAUL WHITE — May 22, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    What size eggs do you use in your recipes??

    • #
      Tessa — May 24, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      I use large eggs 🙂

  15. #
    Grisel Sandoval — May 18, 2021 at 10:15 am

    The BEST pancake recipe!! Great flavor and super easy to make!!

    • #
      Tessa — May 18, 2021 at 2:03 pm

      So happy you enjoyed this recipe, Grisel!

  16. #
    Thao — May 8, 2021 at 5:52 am

    My go-to best buttermilk pancake!! Always a hit with the family. So easy to whip up too, I make the batter the night before if I want a sleep-in and the hubby will make it for the kids for breakfast

  17. #
    Amanda — March 7, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    My husband said this is his new favorite pancake!

    • #
      Tessa — March 8, 2021 at 1:22 pm

      That’s wonderful to hear! Yay!

  18. #
    Ummi — February 24, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Lovè your recipe, easy & clear to be followed specially for bègìnner likè me

    • #
      Tessa — February 25, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      So glad you enjoyed these pancakes!

  19. #
    Pete — February 20, 2021 at 8:02 am

    great taste and fluffiness. What are the nutritional values for 2 pancakes?

  20. #
    Sonia — February 16, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Best pancakes EVER!

  21. #
    Lauren — October 31, 2020 at 5:57 am

    Since I only made this recipe for one, I halved all of the ingredients but kept the butter at 2 tbsp. It was wonderful.

    • #
      Tessa — November 5, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      So glad to hear this!

  22. #
    JT — October 3, 2020 at 6:50 am

    These were the best homemade pancakes I’ve ever made-delicious and fluffy! Thank you!!

  23. #
    Rima — October 2, 2020 at 2:25 am

    Hii ,i did this morning your pancake recipe and it was sooooo yummmy, fluffy and it’s the best recipe i ve ever did.thank you so much FOR sharing your recipes.

  24. #
    Steve Ruple — September 25, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Hi Tessa,
    Can you use this recipe for making waffles ?

  25. #
    Ashleh — September 15, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Have you ever used a ratio of flour and almond/flax meal? If so, is it a 1:1 conversion?

  26. #
    Precious — September 12, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    I love this recipe and all the other recipes from you I’ve tried. I have only one question. If I refrigerate the batter the day before, can I cook the batter straight from the refrigerator or do I need to wait?

  27. #
    Cathy Lavelle — August 16, 2020 at 3:35 am

    I have 3 words de-lice-ious. So good!

  28. #
    Mercy — August 12, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve made this recipe several times and absolutely love these pancakes. I’ve also shared this recipe with friends, whether they’ve asked for it or not. I do have a question however … I’m trying to eat fewer carbs and I was wondering if you’ve ever tried this recipe with an alternate flour? Maybe almond or coconut? How would this substitution change the rest of the ratios? Thanks! I don’t want to give up this recipe! It’s my favorite!

  29. #
    Lucia R — August 11, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    These pancakes are the BEST I have ever had. This is a recipe I am going to save forever as they were so delicious, so thick and fluffy, and full of flavor. This is exactly how I imagine all pancakes to taste like. Fluffy perfection with the perfect crisp texture on the edges and mouth full of deliciousness.

  30. #
    Katie — July 28, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    These are the best pancakes I’ve ever made. And I’ve made a lot of pancakes! I watched your video on why you need to use real buttermilk so I wanted to give it a try. It will be hard to make pancakes any other way! They are perfection.

  31. #
    Cherise — June 21, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    I’ve made these a few times and I like them but I feel that even with only two eggs, they are noticeable.
    I do hamowever love the oil vs butter tip! Using oil really cooked the pancakes different which I could see and didn’t effect the taste. Unless it brings out the egg flavor…
    Thank you for the recipe

  32. #
    Uju — May 30, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Made a double patch for family visiting. Received so many compliments.

  33. #
    Staci R — May 9, 2020 at 10:07 am

    My go to recipe for pancakes. Love the crispy edges! A real treat.

  34. #
    Maria — April 26, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Made these for dinner tonight! So good!

  35. #
    Shandra — April 25, 2020 at 10:42 am

    SO. GOOD. My family has used the same pancake recipe for years, but after seeing the amazing reviews and wanting to try something different, I knew I had to give this recipe a try. This is my new go-to pancake recipe. It’s super easy to throw together, even if you use the buttermilk substitute, and the taste is out of this world! This is what a buttermilk pancake should taste like! Tessa is a genius and I have yet to be let down with any of her recipes.

  36. #
    Christine — April 10, 2020 at 6:00 am

    SO FLUFFY! SO DELICIOUS! Husband and I agree, these were quite possibly the best pancakes we’ve ever had! Definitely our new go-to recipe

  37. #
    Sierra — March 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

    These turned out just perfect! I didn’t have fresh baking soda or baking powder, but that’s only because I can’t get through the containers fast enough and I refuse to throw them away before using them. I still think these were phenomenal and would make again!!

  38. #
    Mama G — March 8, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    This pancake recipe is legit. And easy like Sunday morning.

  39. #
    Laura — February 26, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    These are delicious and very easy to put together quickly.
    Thank you for a great recipe

  40. #
    sara — February 22, 2020 at 9:00 am

    hi Tessa im from Venezuela and here we can´t find the buttermilk so i made by myself, and the results was perfect.!! my family love this pancakes..

  41. #
    rumaana — February 21, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Tessa. I made these today. They came out amazing. Thank you so much from SA
    Also i added like a 3/4 tsp of vanilla and they still came out amazing

  42. #
    Laura — February 21, 2020 at 8:45 am

    The links in your email this morning took me to a page that made a warning pop up on my screen about the page! You might want to check.

  43. #
    Ana — February 21, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Can we use plant based milk instead?
    Thank you

  44. #
    Julie — November 16, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    My batter turned out way too thick. It wouldn’t even pour into the pan. Had to kind of scoop it out with a spoon and spread it with a spoon. Even on medium and then low for the second one they were way too think to cook all the way through and burned long before the middle was done. I followed the exact directions. We ended up just kind of eating the edges which were done and it tasted fine.

  45. #
    Sonia — October 20, 2019 at 9:48 am

    This has become my Sunday morning breakfast go to recipe. My husband raves about these pancakes. They are light, fluffy and the sugar adds a nice, mild sweetness I highly recommend.

  46. #
    Emilie — August 19, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Hi Tessa ! How delicious these pancakes are ? There are no words to describe them … they are fluffy, moist, sweet enough, rich, so flavorful, tender, perfect … Yes, I LOVE them. I found this recipe as good as another one. (A secret recipe) I added a few chocolate chunks, a few blueberries, a zest of a lemon… It was AMAZING. I truly recommend making this recipe (all weekends)
    Thank you 🙂 Xo

  47. #
    Cammy — August 19, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Fabulous pancakes! So much better than a mix. I was surprised by how thick the batter was but they cooked up nicely & were delicious

  48. #
    SusyMae — June 7, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    So delicious and yummy!

  49. #
    Mary — March 29, 2019 at 5:42 am

    Can I use a buttermilk substitute. I don’t keep buttermilk on hand and it’s 30 min drive to the store. Have Neve heard of buttermilk powder our stores don’t carry it.

  50. #
    Cherise — March 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    These pancakes were delicious! Thank you for the recipe I will be sharing with family and friends like always.

  51. #
    Sonia — March 9, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Light as clouds!! Amazing!!! I didn’t have buttermilk so I had to substitute 2 cups of milk & lemon juice. That had me worried. The pancakes are amazing.

  52. #
    Ronald — March 7, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Too perfect thank you for sharing the secret of making such delicious cakes. 123movies

  53. #
    Linda — March 7, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    How do you get that malted taste you have in pancakes at the pancake houses? Thank you.

    • #
      LailaBakes — February 24, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      Replace a couple tablespoons of sugar with 3 to 4 Tbsp malted milk powder. That’s what Diners do.

  54. #
    Lora — March 5, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Tessa, I tried this recipe a while ago and my kids loved it. Its fluffy and tasty. The sweetness is jut right to pair with other toppings. This recipe helped me make my breakfast menu complete. Thanks tessa. Good job!

    • #
      Tessa — March 6, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      Woohoo!! So happy to hear this.

  55. #
    Andrew Gomes — March 5, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks, very Nice.

  56. #
    Brittany Fowle — March 5, 2019 at 8:31 am

    You have turned me into a rock star. This recipe embodies everything I love about pancakes and I am so happy I have found you! I have also made a couple of your other recipes and all winners. Thank-you so so much!!!

    • #
      Tessa — March 6, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      YAY!! What a wonderful comment!! xo

  57. #
    Ramona Robuck — February 23, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Made these pancakes this morning for my 7 year old grandson. He said they’re “super good” & “Granny, you have to give my mama your recipe”! That’s the highest praise attainable!

    • #
      Tessa — February 25, 2019 at 3:27 pm

      Awe that’s so wonderful!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  58. #
    Brenda J Dodd — February 22, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I keep buttermilk ‘powder’ in my pantry. Can I use this or do i need to use the liquid? If I can, then how do I use it here?

  59. #
    Barb — February 22, 2019 at 7:14 am

    I’d like to cut back on the sodium. How would the recipe turn out if I omitted the salt? There is a lot of sodium in the leaveners. Thank you.

    • #
      Tessa — February 22, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Barb – I wouldn’t recommend omitting the salt completely otherwise you’d be left with very bland pancakes.

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