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The Best Sourdough Pancakes

These overnight sourdough pancakes are made with a batter that ferments with natural yeast while you sleep, and a secret ingredient to make them fluffy and delicious!

A stack of sourdough pancakes with a pat of butter and maple syrup dripping off the sides.

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.

 

 

Here’s a quick video tutorial in case you learn better that way. The written tutorial and printable recipe are below!

Holding a bottle of Kalona SuperNatural kefir.

Ingredient Spotlight:

Okay, okay, you’re wondering what that secret ingredient is…it’s Kefir!

I’ve been making homemade pancakes with it since I was a teenager. I don’t know exactly what it is about kefir (maybe the tangy flavor?), but it makes phenomenal pancakes. It takes regular pancakes to the next level!

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.

I haven’t personally tried it, but I’m sure you could also substitute buttermilk to make sourdough buttermilk pancakes.

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 homemade sourdough pancakes!

Ingredients:

All of the ingredients for sourdough pancakes laid out on a marble surface.

Here’s everything you need for the simple batter:

  • 2 1/4 Cups 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.
  • 1 Cup of Starter: You want an active sourdough starter for this recipe: don’t pull out your leftover sourdough starter 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.
  • 3 Eggs: I recommend using pastured eggs if you can find them!
  • 2 Cups 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.
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt: I use unrefined sea salt. Redmond Real Salt is nice.
  • 1 Teaspoon 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.
  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup: Make sure you use real maple syrup, NOT imitation pancake syrup! You can substitute brown sugar in a pinch. 
  • 6 Tablespoons 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:

Ingredients for the overnight batter laid out on a marble surface.

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 of the overnight sponge will vary based on how warm your kitchen is.

The fermented sourdough pancake batter.

Next Day…

The next morning, the overnight pancake batter should have doubled and become quite bubbly.

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 as the first time. A couple of hours probably won’t cut it.

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.

Plus you’ll get more of that delicious sourdough flavor!

Lightly whisking the eggs in small bowl on a marble surface.

Now it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients. Lightly whisk three eggs…

Pouring the eggs into the fermented batter.

…and pour them over the batter.

Adding the maple syrup.

Add the maple syrup…

Adding the unrefined sea salt.

…then the salt.

The bowl of batter on a marble surface with a whisk in it.

Whisk them in.

Pouring the butter into the sourdough pancake batter.

 

Pour in the melted butter and whisk again.

Sprinkling the baking soda on top of the batter.

Sprinkle the baking soda over the batter. Give it one final whisk.

There’s no need to whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately as long as you do a thorough job of whisking! 

The final batter in a large bowl on a marble surface.

The batter will puff up once you whisk in the baking soda.

Ladling the sourdough pancake batter onto a hot griddle.

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. 

Add some butter to grease the pan and to fry the pancakes in. You could use coconut oil or olive oil (as long as it has a high smoke point) instead, but I love the flavor of butter.

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 are some light and fluffy sourdough pancakes. Trust.

Fry them until they’re golden brown on the first side, and starting to get dry around the edges. Flip and fry until the second side is golden and crispy around the edges as well.

This should take about 2-3 minutes per side.

Quick Tip:  You can keep the pancakes hot in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve.

Drizzling maple syrup onto a stack of sourdough pancakes.

Serving:

Serve with extra 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 consuming some fresh kefir is the perfect way to get the beneficial bacteria!

Here are some other serving ideas:

  • Fresh berries (fresh blueberries would be amazing)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Jam
  • Honey
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lemon Curd
  • Softened Cream Cheese
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • Experiment with savory toppings such as bacon, breakfast sausage, etc. 

 

A stack of sourdough pancakes with a pat of butter and drizzle of maple syrup on top.

Notes:

  • 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 (AKA freezer bag).

So that’s my best sourdough pancake recipe! Make sure to check out my other sourdough recipes below:

More Sourdough Breakfast Recipes:

More Sourdough Recipes:

 

Recipe Card and Printable Recipe:

A stack of sourdough pancakes with a pat of butter and maple syrup dripping off the sides.
5 from 4 votes
Print

Sourdough Pancakes

These sourdough pancakes are made with an overnight batter and kefir!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Pancakes, Sourdough
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Fermenting time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 416 kcal
Author Erica Kastner

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

The Night Before:

  1. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter with each batch.

  4. Serve hot with lots of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • 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.

Post updated on August 2, 2023. Originally published on: Mar 25, 2020 at 08:00.

Recipe Rating




Annelise

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

As I make these for the thousandth time, I’m finally remembering to leave a review :) They are SO good. I love to double the recipe and freeze half to include with meals I am taking to friends (e.g., sickness, babies, etc.). I gave them to two families recently and both asked for the recipe. They’re that good! Especially using blueberry kefir and adding some blueberries in the morning, right before scooping them onto the griddle. These are absolutely 10/10.

Erica Kastner

Monday 13th of February 2023

Thank you so much for leaving a review! It really helps the blog out! Ooooh...blueberry kefir sounds delicious! My kids would be over the moon happy if I made these that way!

Sarah

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you for the great recipe! I made 1/2 recipe (using 2 small eggs and half of all other ingredients), and substituting buttermilk for the kefir, and they turned out delicious!

Erica Kastner

Monday 22nd of February 2021

So happy you enjoyed them! And thank you for letting us know about what worked for you! ❤

Denise

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

Good morning. I have never worked with sourdough starter but I am very interested. Could you share your method on how to get started?

Erica Kastner

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

Hey, Denise! Here's where you can find my tutorial for making a sourdough starter from scratch: https://www.butteredsideupblog.com/sourdough-starter-from-scratch/

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