Buttermilk Pancakes Plain And Simple And My Nephews!


January 11th is my Dad’s birthday – every year. Always. This January 11th was super special because it was my Dad’s 85th birthday and it also happened to be a Saturday. A big-number birthday on a Saturday – woo eee! – calls for a party. So that’s what they did – they made a party. The first most fabulous part of the birthday party weekend was, for me, when my nephew Zac texted me to say that he was coming down from San Rafael where he lives (although he goes to school in Boulder, CO), for the birthday party and that he was bringing his brother Eli (who hasn’t been to L.A. in maybe a million years and who is also my nephew!) and his father who is my brother Phil. That text made me super happy. I just absolutely and completely adore my nephews.

Zac and Eli

Eli and Zac


Birthday Cake

Alex and Poppa

The second most fabulous part of the birthday party weekend was, for me, when Phil, Zac and Eli arrived at my house Friday night at around 11:30 p.m. Their arrival made me super happy. Of course, there had been a lot of text messages in between the beginning of their road trip and the end of their road trip – and those text messages were fun too – but the arrival was great.

In anticipation of their arrival I made peanut butter cookies. That small effort was an homage both to my husband who loves all things peanut butter and to my wonderful nephews who, notwithstanding their advancing years, are undoubtedly still boy enough to enjoy a cookie. I’ll post about the cookies another day. Today is about pancakes.

So we talked until late and then on Saturday morning I got to make my nephews breakfast and that was also fabulous but the breakfast was definitely NOT my best. In fact it was heavy and yucky and I wished all day that I hadn’t eaten it. Then on Saturday afternoon or maybe evening Zac and Eli were looking at my blog and became interested in Nanna’s buttermilk coffee cake recipe (See, Post from May 13, 2012 – Buttermilk-Cinnamon Coffee Cake from the Café Beaujolais Morning Food cookbook) and asked if I would make it for them.

That was the third fabulous thing of the weekend. Would I make that for them? Are you kidding? Like yes and how many! Then after that, somehow pancakes became the topic of conversation and we were all about making pancakes. I thought that they should be buttermilk pancakes since I would have buttermilk left over from the coffee cake. And that tale is the genesis of the carbo-filled Sunday morning breakfast and this post about Buttermilk Pancakes plain and simple.

Buttermilk Pancakes

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, “Everyday Pancakes”) I doubled this recipe because there were 5 men/boys eating breakfast and I wanted one too. These are best served right out of the pan but you can keep them warm for about a half-hour in a 200° oven and then serve them all at once.



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ to 2 cups buttermilk

2 Tbsp melted butter, cooled

Heat the griddle or pan over medium-low heat while making the batter.

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Beat the eggs and then mix with the buttermilk and 2 Tbsp melted butter.

Stir this liquid mixture into the dry ingredients leaving it lumpy – you really just want to moisten the flour. If the batter is too thick add some additional buttermilk or regular or low-fat milk.

If you’re using a non-stick skillet then just go for making the pancakes. If your skillet is not non-stick then grease it up with butter or canola or grapeseed oil of safflower, etc. As soon as the skillet is very hot ladle batter onto the griddle or skillet making pancakes the size you want.

You know it’s time to flip the pancakes when the bubbles that come to the top of the pancakes start to pop. Maybe about 2 to 4 minutes but that will depend on the heat of the pan and you definitely do not want to burn the bottom of the pancakes. Check to make sure that the bottom is appropriately browned. Then flip the pancakes and cook until done.

This is a super versatile recipe and you can adapt it in many ways including adding sliced bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, orange zest or orange zest and orange juice (reduce the amount of buttermilk), ¼ cup cocoa powder. One of our all time favorites is to add pumpkin puree for pumpkin pancakes. They’re delicious.

Serve with butter and warmed maple syrup.

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