Cast Iron Pancakes

When it comes to a simple homemade breakfast from scratch, nothing beats a stack of warm fluffy buttermilk pancakes cooked on a cast iron skillet.

These thick, fluffy pancakes are topped with maple syrup and are perfect for quick weekday breakfasts. 

This post will share simple tips and the best recipe for making homemade pancakes on a cast-iron pan.

Stack of Buttermilk Pancakes

Cast Iron Skillet Pancakes

There’s nothing quite like freshly made buttermilk pancakes slathered with butter or peanut butter and drizzled with maple syrup.

Cooking pancakes on a cast iron skillet yields perfectly delicious pancakes every time.

Serve these buttermilk pancakes with a side of fried bacon or over easy eggs for the ultimate breakfast!

Stack of Homemade Pancakes

Why You Will Love this Recipe

  • No Sugar: While many pancake recipes call for sugar, this one has no sugar. All the sweetness comes from the amazing flavor of pure maple syrup drizzled over the top.
  • Quick and Easy: Only five minutes of your morning will be needed to whip up a large bowl of pancake batter.
  • Pantry Ingredients: You probably already have all the ingredients you need in your pantry. If you don’t have buttermilk in your refrigerator, you can easily make your own.
  • Fluffy Pancakes: This recipe provides the ideal fluffy pancake recipe in a cast iron skillet,
  • Family Favorite: The perfect recipe for starting the day or enjoyed as a simple, comforting dinnertime meal, these pancakes are one of our favorite family’s recipe.
Pancakes on a Plate Drizzled with Maple Syrup

Cooking Pancakes on Cast Iron

Have you ever wondered if cast iron is good for cooking pancakes? A cast iron skillet’s ability to retain heat makes it an excellent choice for pancakes and, in my opinion, the best method to cook pancakes!

Pancakes require a continuous heat source to cook evenly, which is exactly what the cast iron skillet delivers. Having consistent heat helps to avoid hot spots on a skillet that results in uncooked pancakes,

Cast iron is also a natural non-stick surface if you have a well-seasoned skillet.

And finally, cooking pancakes on cast iron gives them an incredible flavor with a crisp golden brown color on the outside yet tender and fluffy on the inside.

Kitchen essentials You May Need

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You can find my favorite kitchen essentials can be located in my Amazon storefront. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and link replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Cast Iron Skillet: If you choose to use a cast iron, the round cast iron griddle is best because it has low sides, making it easy to flip the pancakes. Choose a skillet close to the size of your burner, as this will help ensure that you get even heat distribution.
  • Small and Large Mixing Bowl: a good heavy set of stoneware mixing bowls, like what grandma would have used, is one of my favorite kitchen essentials. These stoneware bowls can be purchased individually for large, medium, and small bowls.
  • Dough Whisk: The quintessential bread dough whisk, just like your grandma had in her home kitchen.
  • Large Spatula: a nice strong, sturdy spatula for flipping the best pancakes.
Cast Iron Pancake Recipe

Cast Iron Pancakes Ingredients

If you have a pantry with even the most basic baking ingredients in it, you can make the best pancakes on an iron skillet from scratch.

  • Buttermilk: the special ingredient in this pancake recipe; when combined with baking soda, this makes the pancakes thick and fluffy. 
  • Large Eggs: I always recommend farm fresh or organic eggs, and for this recipe, you will need just one egg unless, of course, you make a double batch or triple the recipe.
  • Butter: Melt butter first so that it has time to cool a bit before adding it to your buttermilk and eggs.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: The combination of these two leavening agents will help the buttermilk pancakes rise as they cook so that they will turn out light and fluffy.
  • Salt: I always recommend using Celtic Salt.
  • Flour: I recommend using organic all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour is not recommended, as the baking powder and salt are already accounted for.
buttermilk pancake batter

How to Make Pancakes in a Skillet

Step 1

Whisk together 1 cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Step 2

Whisk together 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 egg in a separate bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter to the buttermilk mixture while whisking. Add to the bowl of dry flour mixture ingredients.

Step 3

Very swiftly whisk together the wet and dry ingredients with a few swift strokes. Don’t overmix, and ignore the small lumps that you may see in the batter.

Step 4

Pour 1/3 cup of batter on a preheated hot skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown on each side. See my tips below on how to cook pancakes.

Step 5

Serve hot buttermilk pancakes with slightly warm maple syrup, a pat of butter, or toppings of choice. Amazing pancakes are even better when topped with fresh fruit or peanut butter on top of the pancake.

If pancakes are not served immediately, keep them on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven.

Never stack individual pancakes one on the other without something between them because the steam they produce will make the pancakes flabby.

How to Cook Pancakes on Cast Iron

Warm the Cast Iron Pan: preheating your skillet on medium heat before cooking on it is essential to keeping a non-stick cast iron skillet.

Test the Heat: Before cooking pancakes, test the cast iron skillet by dropping a few drops of cold water on it. If the water bounces, the skillet is ready to use. If the drops of water sit, the skillet is not quite hot enough, and if the water vanishes, the skillet is too hot.

Pancakes Sticking: To avoid cast iron pancakes sticking to the skillet, add a small amount of butter to the skillet.

Round Pancakes: For a well-rounded pancake, don’t drop the batter from on high, but instead, let the pancake batter pour from the tip of a spoon or measuring cup.

Does Pancake Batter Need to Rest

If you find that your pancakes are resulting in less-than-perfect pancakes, you might be making one mistake.

For the fluffiest stack of pancakes, let the batter rest. In one of my old cookbooks, it is recommended that the batter rests for a minimum of 3 to 6 hours for superior results.

The resting period allows the gluten in the flour to relax, making the pancakes light and fluffy.

Unless I make the batter the night before and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, I do not allow that many hours for the pancake batter to rest.

However, let the batter rest for at least 20 minutes, covered and at room temperature.

In the meantime, you can get your toppings prepped, fix another cup of coffee, do a little kitchen cleanup, and then heat your griddle or cast-iron skillet.

When to Flip Pancakes

When Do You Flip Pancakes

Knowing when to flip a pancake is an important step in getting a perfectly golden brown pancake without burning it.

Pour 1/3 cup pancake batter onto the skillet or griddle, and cook pancake for 2-3 minutes before flipping.

When air bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes before the bubbles break, lift the pancakes with a spatula and gently flip them.

Turn the pancakes once and continue cooking until the second side is finished. Cooking the second side only takes about half as long as the first side.

Perfect Cast Iron Pancakes Tips

What is the secret to a steaming stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes on a cast iron skillet?

With this easy recipe, follow these tips, and you’ll be making classic buttermilk pancakes perfect for a lazy weekend morning.

  • Mix the Wet Ingredients with the Dry Ingredients: Wet ingredients should be mixed in a separate medium bowl and then added to the dry ingredients. This helps prevent over-mixing the batter, which results in flat tough pancakes.
  • Don’t Squish the Pancakes. Resist the urge to use the spatula to flatten the pancakes while they are cooking. This results in squishing the air pockets that make the pancakes fluffy.
  • Don’t Skip the Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a special ingredient in making thick pancakes. The buttermilk is acidic and helps to activate the baking soda in the pancake batter. Buttermilk also helps to break down the gluten in the flour, which results in tender pancakes.
  • Lumpy Pancake Batter: Ignore the small lumps, and rest assured that you don’t want to overbeat the batter. Give the batter just a few simple turns with a wooden spoon to barely moisten the dry ingredients. Mix until the flour streaks have disappeared, leaving the batter lumpy. Having lumpy batter results in taller, fluffier pancakes.
  • Rest the Batter: Superior results are achieved if pancake batter is mixed and then covered and rested for 3 to 6 hours. I rarely make the batter up that far in advance, but I generally let mine rest for at least 30 minutes.
Maple Syrup Drizzled on Pancakes

Best Toppings for Pancakes

The possibilities are unlimited if you are looking for ways to add some character and make more flavorful pancakes, whether classic, sweet, or savory. Here are a few choices that taste delightful on top of a short stack.

  • Maple Syrup: Forget about using pancake syrup which is usually filled with artificial ingredients. Nothing stacks up to classic pure maple syrup drizzled over the top of warm pancakes.
  • Peanut Butter: this is our family’s favorite way of eating pancakes. Slather peanut butter on each pancake and stack them high before drizzling them with warm maple syrup.
  • Fresh Fruit: slices of sweet bananas, juicy peaches, and fresh berries or a little seasonal fruit make a delicious pancake topping.
  • Whipped Cream: if you have time, whip up a batch of homemade whipped cream to serve on top of pancakes.
  • Chocolate Chips: if you love chocolate, you can not go wrong with a few chocolate chips sprinkled on the top of a stack of pancakes.

How to Store Leftover Pancakes

Refrigerator: If you have any leftover pancakes, they will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days if sealed in freezer bags.

Frozen: Pancakes can be frozen, let them cool completely and then stack them between parchment paper before storing them in a zip-top freezer bag.

Re-Heat: To reheat pancakes, defrost frozen pancakes in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat pancakes in the oven or pop them in a toaster.

Printable Recipe Card

Yield: 7

Best Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes are the comfort of a simple homemade breakfast from scratch. A freshly-cooked stack of buttery pancakes, drizzled with real maple syrup, this buttermilk pancake recipe will cook up perfectly every time.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Whisk together 1 cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Whisk together 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 egg in a separate bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter into the buttermilk mixture while whisking. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  3. Very swiftly whisk together the wet and dry ingredients with a few swift strokes. Don’t overmix and ignore the small lumps that you may see in the batter.
  4. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter on a preheated hot griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown on each side. See my tips below on how to cook pancakes.
  5. Serve hot buttermilk pancakes with slightly warm maple syrup, a pat of butter, or toppings of choice. If pancakes will not be served right away, keep them on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven. Never stack pancakes one on the other without something between them because the steam they produce will make the pancakes flabby.

    Notes

    This recipe, as written, makes 6-7 small pancakes. If you wish to make a larger batch, double or triple the recipe.

    • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Wet ingredients should be mixed in a separate medium bowl and then added to the dry ingredients. This helps prevent over mixing the batter which results in flat tough pancakes.
    • Don’t pat down the pancakes. Resist the urge to use the spatula to flatten the pancakes while they are cooking. This results in squishing the air pockets that make the pancakes fluffy.
    • Don’t skip the buttermilk: Buttermilk is the key ingredient to making thick pancakes. The buttermilk is acidic and helps to activate the baking soda in the pancake batter. Buttermilk also helps to break down the gluten in flour which results in tender pancakes.
    • Don’t overmix: Ignore the lumps and rest assured that you don’t want to overbeat the batter. Give the batter just a few simple turns with a wooden spoon to barely moisten the dry ingredients.
    • Rest the batter: Superior results are achieved if most pancake batter is mixed and then covered and rested for 3 to 6 hours. Now, I rarely make the batter up that far in advance but I generally let mine rest for at least 30 minutes.

    HOW TO COOK BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

    Before cooking, test the griddle by dropping a few drops of cold water on it. If the water bounces, the griddle is ready to use. If the drops of water sit and boil, the griddle is not quite hot enough, and if the water vanishes the griddle is too hot.

    To keep the pancakes from sticking, add a small amount of butter or other choices of oil to the large skillet. If the butter gets too brown between batches, you may have to wipe it out before cooking the next batch of pancakes.

    For a well-rounded pancake, don’t drop the batter from on high but instead, let it pour pancake batter from the tip of a ladle or measuring cup.

    After you pour the 1/3 cup batter onto the skillet or griddle, let the pancakes cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping. When air bubbles appear on the upper surfaces, but before they break, lift the pancakes with a spatula to see how well they have browned.

    Turn the pancakes once and continue cooking until the second is done. Cooking the second side only takes about half as long as the first side. The second side will not brown as evenly as the first.

    Did you make this recipe?

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    FAQs

    More Delicious Buttermilk Recipes

    Now that you have the best buttermilk pancakes recipe check out my other recipe that uses buttermilk!

    Originally posted on October 28, 2021, and updated on October 10, 2022

    Thank you for sharing!

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