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Make Ahead Pancakes


make ahead pancakesLong before I had children, I envisioned myself waking my little babies up from 12 hours of sound sleep, and welcoming them to the day with a freshly made stack of pancakes and fresh squeezed orange juice.  I would have my teeth brushed and be dressed (with makeup no less) for the day.  Then I had children.  The reality is that they wake up long before I do.  (6 am is just too early if you ask me.) And I usually wake up to one of my 3 babies about 3 inches from my face demanding to be fed.  I get my whits about me, and scuffle to get my glasses and head into the kitchen.  I do make them pancakes, but I have learned a few tricks to make a weekend breakfast a little more attainable and a lot less offensive for the night owls.  You know who you are.

  1. Make the pancake batter ahead of time.  I like to do it right before I go to bed.  This recipe needs to sit overnight.  I make a double batch and keep it in the fridge until morning.
  2. Set the breakfast table the night before.  At the very least, set out the plates and fork ahead of time.  Breakfast is the hardest meal to make in my opinion.  Everything needs to be hot and served all at the same time.  Not an easy task.  But if you get everything ready beforehand, it makes getting breakfast on the table a whole lot easier.
  3. Pour the juice and milk into glasses and they will be ready to go when you sit down to eat.  Fill the coffee maker with coffee and water and turn on when you wake up.  Get out the mugs and spoons.
  4. Have the kids help you.  They love to whisk.  They can help serve and clear the table.

make ahead pancakes1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons melted butter (cooled)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
about 1/2 cup whole milk for thinning the batter
sliced strawberries
pure maple syrup

make ahead pancakesIn one bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, and buttermilk.

make ahead pancakesPour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Whisk until the batter is just combined.  It is okay if it is a little lumpy.  Cover the batter and keep in the fridge overnight.  I like to use a pitcher with a lid, it makes pouring the batter into the pan so much easier.

make ahead pancakesThe next morning, take your batter out of the fridge.  Start slowly and whisk in some whole milk.  Add enough milk to get the consistency that you like for pancakes.  I made this batter fairly wet, and it resulted in a thin and delicate pancake.  It was a nice change from the super thick ones.  Preheat a skillet or griddle, and set to medium to medium-high heat.  Cook on the first side until you see bubbles rise to the top of the pancake.  About 2 to 3 minutes.  Flip and finish cooking the other side.  You can keep them warm in a 250 degree oven on a baking sheet, or serve them right away.  Top with sliced strawberries and pure maple syrup.

make ahead pancakesrecipe adapted from My Father’s Daughter.

About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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  • Audrey

    These did not turn out for me at all. They were greasy, dense, and had lumps in the finished pancake. I made a single batch, following the recipe nearly exactly. My only substitution was that I used 2% milk and apple cider vinegar for the buttermilk, which I have done with many other recipes without issue. In fact, after these failed I used this same substitution in my tried-and-true Joy of Cooking recipe and as always those were perfect.

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  • Lynn G

    These did not turn out for me either. I added 1/4 c. of milk to the batter this morning, and I regretted it. The batter was almost crepe-like and the pancakes wouldn’t cook right on the inside. I followed the recipe exactly, so I’m not sure where things went wrong.

  • Rachel

    I made these recently, and they did not turn out well. It could very easily have been something I did wrong, though. I followed the recipe exactly but I doubled it. I made the buttermilk with 2% and cream of tartar. Perhaps that’s what caused the lumpy, runny batter, the sour taste and the flat, rubbery, dense pancakes? I don’t know–anyone know what I did wrong?!

    • thecreativemama

      I am sorry that these did not turn out the way that you wanted them to. My first guess would be the doubling. Some recipes do not double well. And when I sub buttermilk, I prefer to use milk and vinegar or lemon. I find the results to be more consistent. Hope they are better for you next time.

  • Anonymous

    Worked great for me. I didn’t add any extra milk.

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  • The Art of Doing Stuff

    Found you from a Homepodge Tweet. Thanks for this! My fella makes pancakes every weekend … this oughtta help him out. – from a fellow night owl, Karen.

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  • Stephanie Allen

    Would the pancakes still be good with fat-free regular milk instead of buttermilk? I don’t have any buttermilk or vinegar!


    • Bree

      You can easily make buttermilk. Just add a teaspoon or so of white vinegar or lemon juice and let it stand for a few minutes. It will curdle and become buttermilk. I suggest doing this over regular milk because the buttermilk adds a tang and a thickness that milk does not.

    • Juli

      Do you have lemon juice? and no, recipes like this aren’t as good without buttermilk. The buttermilk reacts with the baking powder and creates delicious pancakes. Just my opinion though.

    • Guest

      here’s a buttermilk substitute if you have lemon juice or vinegar: