These overnight sourdough pancakes are made with a batter that ferments while you sleep, and a secret ingredient to make them fluffy and delicious!
I’m usually hesitant to call one of my recipes “the best.” In fact, in the 7 years I’ve shared recipes on Buttered Side Up, I’ve only given 3 recipes that title.
It just feels pretentious when I haven’t tried all the recipes out there. There MIGHT be one that’s slightly better than mine! How do I know?!
But I feel confident in calling these THE BEST pancakes I’ve ever made. These are light and fluffy pancakes that have a wonderful tang from the sourdough and a secret ingredient I’ll reveal shortly.
Plus these sourdough pancakes are fermented overnight.
That way you can mix up the batter the night before, add a few more ingredients in the morning, and voila! You’ve got yourself some awesome pancakes.
I love overnight pancakes.
Okay, okay, you’re wondering what that secret ingredient is…it’s Kefir!
I’ve been making pancakes with it since I was a teenager. I don’t know exactly what it is about kefir, but it makes phenomenal pancakes.
And you know me: I’m a big fan of Kalona SuperNatural kefir. I love that it’s 100% grass-fed, certified organic, batch pasteurized to just 145° F, and non-homogenized. We all love it, including Anya. I don’t have a proper sippy cup for her ATM (my other kids wrecked the ones I have), so I feed it to her with a spoon. ?
Fun fact: Kalona SuperNatural kefir is made the traditional way with actual kefir grains!
You can also substitute yogurt mixed with a little milk to thin it out if you can’t get your hands on kefir.
Real quick before you begin: Make sure to check out my guide for how to make a sourdough starter from scratch! And if you’re having trouble with your starter, make sure to check out my Sourdough Starter Troubleshooting guide!
Okay, let’s makes some sourdough kefir pancakes!
Here’s everything you need for the simple batter:
- Flour: I recommend using organic all purpose flour in this recipe. I’m sure it would work with whole wheat flour as well, but these pancakes won’t be as light and fluffy if you do.
- Sourdough starter: You want an active sourdough starter for this recipe: don’t pull out your discard for this one! An active starter is one that has been fed 4-12 hours previously, has doubled in volume, is active and bubbly, and passes the float test.
- Eggs: I recommend using pastured eggs if you can find them!
- Kefir: Make sure to use a whole milk kefir. You could use homemade kefir if that’s what you have. And again, feel free to substitute yogurt diluted with a little milk if you don’t have access to kefir.
- Salt: I use unrefined sea salt. Redmond Real Salt is nice.
- Baking soda: This is the only leavening agent in these pancakes besides the sourdough starter. Since these pancakes contain kefir, you don’t need to use baking powder since the acidity reacts with the baking soda to activate it.
- Maple syrup: Make sure you use real maple syrup, NOT imitation pancake syrup! You can substitute brown sugar in a pinch.
- Butter: I used Kalona SuperNatural lightly salted butter. You may want to decrease the salt if you use regular salted butter.
How to Make Overnight Sourdough Pancakes:
First, you’ll need to make the overnight batter.
Stir together the flour, sourdough starter, and kefir in a large mixing bowl.
Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
Let the batter rest and ferment at room temperature overnight.
The fermenting time will vary based on how warm your kitchen is.
The next morning, it should have doubled and become quite bubbly.
Now it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients. Lightly whisk three eggs…
…and pour them over the batter.
Add the maple syrup…
…then the salt.
Whisk them in.
Pour in the melted butter and whisk again.
Sprinkle the baking soda over the batter. Give it one final whisk.
The batter will puff up once you whisk in the baking soda.
Frying the Sourdough Pancakes:
Now it’s time to fry your sourdough pancakes!
Preheat your griddle or pan over medium heat.
I like to use my cast iron griddle, but you can also use a large cast-iron skillet. If you have a favorite non stick pan, you could use that as well.
Ladle about a third cup of batter onto the hot griddle or frying pan. You can use a measuring cup to do this, but a great way to ladle pancake batter is to use an actual ladle!
At this point you’re going to think, “Erica’s crazy. This batter is way too thick for pancakes.” That’s what I thought when I made the first batch of these sourdough pancakes (besides referring to myself in the third person). But even though the batter is quite thick, these pancakes are light and fluffy.
The key is to make sure that you let your batter ferment long enough. I tried fudging and using an under-risen batter, and the pancakes weren’t quite as dreamy.
If your kitchen is chilly, it will probably take a good 10-12 hours for the batter to ferment properly. So if you’re planning on eating the pancakes at 8:00 in the morning, mix together the batter at 8:00 in the evening.
Quick Tip: You can keep the pancakes hot in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve.
Serve with plenty of butter and a drizzle of real maple syrup.
You can also serve these delicious pancakes with a glass of cold kefir (we like it plain!) or a kefir smoothie for an extra boost of protein and fat and some good bacteria.
The beneficial probiotics can get destroyed when cooking, so it’s a good idea to consume some fresh kefir as well!
- Of course you could mix your batter up in the morning and let it ferment all day to have them as breakfast-for-supper.
- If the batter seems way too thick, you can go ahead and thin it out with some extra kefir.
- I like to fry these pancakes in butter, which results in crispy, delicious edges. Add a new pat of butter with each batch you fry. You could also fry them in ghee or avocado oil.
- Feel free to experiment with adding blueberries (wild blueberries would be best), chocolate chips, or serving these sourdough pancakes with fresh fruit such berries, and whipped cream.
- To freeze these pancakes, you can place them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer until frozen solid. Then transfer to a freezer safe zippered plastic baggy.
Sourdough Bread Recipes:
- Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Healthy Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread
- Sourdough Banana Bread
- Sourdough Brioche
- Soft Sourdough French Bread without Yeast
- Sourdough Pull Apart Rolls
More Sourdough Recipes:
- Sourdough Dutch Baby
- Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- Overnight Sourdough Waffles
- Sourdough English Muffins
- Sourdough Donut Recipe
These sourdough pancakes are made with an overnight batter and kefir!
- 1 cup active sourdough starter (240 grams)
- 2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour (323 grams)
- 2 cups Kalona SuperNatural plain kefir (500 grams)
- 6 tbsp Kalona SuperNatural lightly salted butter, melted (84 grams)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (41 grams)
- 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- extra butter for frying
The Night Before:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sourdough starter, flour, and kefir. Cover and allow to ferment overnight, or about 8-12 hours (see note).
The Next Morning:
Whisk in the butter, eggs, maple syrup, and salt. Sprinkle the baking soda on top of the batter and whisk just to combine well. The batter will be quite thick, but you can thin it out with extra kefir if needed.
Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a good amount of butter. Ladle the batter onto the hot skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are nicely browned and the pancakes are bubbling in the center. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom as well.
Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter with each batch.
Serve hot with lots of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- An active sourdough starter is one that has been fed about 8-12 hours previously, and is bubbly and passes the float test.
- You want to make sure that the overnight batter is properly fermented, otherwise the pancakes won't be as fluffy. If your kitchen is chilly, this could take 10-12 hours. So if you want to eat your pancakes at 8:00 in the morning, mix up the overnight batter at 8:00 the night before.
- You can reheat the pancakes in a toaster.