Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes
I’m not really a pancake-maker. My last blog recipe for pancakes was January 2010.
But these were so good and easy that I won’t wait three more years to post another pancake recipe.
One of the reasons I’ve never been very into them is they do require some babysitting. Standing at the stove, watching, waiting, flipping; repeating. Baking French Toast in a pan, especially with an overnight-make-ahead option, is easier and more efficient. Throw it all in a pan and bake; no flipping or grease splattering on my forearms required.
But some spare buttermilk needed to be used and fluffy buttermilk pancakes came about.
Buttermilk is a workhorse when it comes to keeping baked goods soft, light, tender and fluffy. When buttermilk meets up with baking soda, carbon dioxide bubbles form, and the bubbles create lift and lightness, keeping Banana Bread light and Cinnamon Rolls soft and fluffy. It does the same for pancakes.
If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand, add 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or lemon juice) to 1 cup regular milk, let it stand for 10 minutes to curdle, stir, and you have cheater’s buttermilk. Or combine 3/4 cup milk with about 1/4 cup of yogurt and stir. Don’t use buttermilk shortcuts when you’re making a fancy cake or a fussy recipe, but for pancakes, cheat freely.
To make the pancakes, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl – flour, baking soda, baking powder, optional salt, and whisk to mix. Pour 1 cup buttermilk in a large measuring cup, add 1 egg, oil, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Pour the wet over the dry and stir to just moisten.
The batter will be lumpy but don’t overmix because this will develop the gluten, creating tough pancakes. The batter will also be quite thick, but if it’s too thick for your preference, add a small splash of buttermilk to thin it.
Warm a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat, spray with cooking spray, and add one-quarter cup batter. I comfortably fit 3 pancakes in my skillet at once. The recipe only makes 6 pancakes so the total babysitting time isn’t much.
After the batter is in the skillet, add a small handful of diced strawberries to each pancake. I used 1 cup frozen whole strawberries that I diced into smaller pieces. If using frozen fruit, don’t thaw it first; just add it frozen. It won’t bleed, run, or be as hard to work with. If you have fresh berries, great. I don’t cook much with fresh berries. They get consumed as-is and I cook and bake with frozen because frankly it’s cheaper.
If you want to use blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, a mixed berry blend, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, or another favorite fruit, feel free. Sprinkling in coconut flakes, chocolate chips, or other favorite add-in’s to the batter are fun twists. But I had sprinkles on the brain.
Allow the pancakes to cook for about 3 minutes on the first side. That old trick about looking for bubbles to appear as your clue that the pancakes are ready to be flipped didn’t work for me. I didn’t see many bubbles even when the underside had turned golden and was time to flip. Plus, with strawberry pieces covering a majority of the surface area, it’s tricky to really see if there were bubbles present. Maybe my kitchen is just too dark or I need glasses, which are entirely possible. But after 3 minutes, I’d check to see if the underside is golden and set and prepare to flip.
Right before flipping, sprinkle each pancake generously with sprinkles, at least 2 tablespoons each. Then, flip. Cook on the second side for about 3 minutes, or until done.
Flipping pancakes is a scary job.The only thing that’s worse is omelets. I use two spatulas (flippers) and do my best to scoop it up and then plop the raw side face down, without turning my nice round discs into raggedy-looking, oblong shapes that are folded into themselves. But in the end, the oddly shaped and perfectly shaped pancakes taste the same.
Before serving, I garnished with a few more strawberries for an extra pop of color and taste before dousing them in Vanilla Maple Butter. It’s an infusion of melted butter and warm syrup, spiked with vanilla, and it’s my favorite thing to top pancakes, French toast, and waffles with. Strawberry Butter isn’t too shabby either.
Make a double batch as long as you’re at it, and refrigerate or freeze the extra. Reheating them on busy weekday mornings is a great timesaver. Not as perfect as fresh, but I’ve never met a kid or husband who would turn their nose up at homemade pancakes if their choice was leftover homemade or an Eggo.
They’re soft, tender, fluffy, and as light as a pancake that’s loaded with sprinkles and berries can be. The smell of strawberries being cooked is just scrumptious, and they add texture, flavor, and remind me of warmer weather and summer days.
Sprinkles go with everything and make everything taste better, even warm, buttery pancakes loaded to the max with strawberries and dripping in syrup.
Note to self. Make pancakes again sooner rather than later.
Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes
Buttermilk helps create soft, tender, and fluffy pancakes that are bursting with strawberries. Sprinkles go with everything and make even warm, buttery pancakes, dripping in syrup and loaded with berries, taste just that much better.
Yield: 6 generous pancakes
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt, optional
- 1 cup buttermilk + splash more, if necessary
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- about 1 cup roughly chopped strawberries (I use frozen and if using frozen, keep them frozen; substitute with fresh berries or alternate fruits) + additional for ganishing
- about 1/3 cup sprinkles+, divided
- In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and whisk to combine; set bowl aside.
- In a large measuring cup, add 1 cup buttermilk, egg, oil, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Pour wet ingredients over dry, and mix until just moistened. Don't overmix! Lumpy batter is what you're looking for and it'll be quite thick. If it seems too thick for your liking, add an additional splash of buttermilk (1 to 3 tablespoons). I used 1 cup plus about 2 tablespoons.
- Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-low to medium heat. Once skillet it hot, using a one-quarter cup measure, scoop batter into skillet. I make 3 pancakes at once. Sprinkle on about a dozen strawberries pieces to each pancake. Cook first side for about 3 minutes, or until underneath is golden and set (the tip about bubbles appearing in the pancakes when it's time to flip wasn't my experience and with strawberries covering a large surface area, even harder to see any bubbles; don't wait for them to appear).
- Right before you're ready to flip the pancake over to cook the second side, sprinkle generously with sprinkles, at least 2 tablespoons per pancake. Flip carefully and cook second side until done and golden, about 3 minutes. Repeat process with remaining batter. Serve pancakes immediately with butter, jam, syrup, confectioners sugar, Strawberry Butter, Vanilla Maple Butter or your favorite pancake topping.
- Batch can be doubled or tripled and extra pancakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat gently in the toaster, microwave, or over low heat in a skillet.
- Optional variations and substitutions - Use blueberries, blackberries, mixed berry blends, peaches, nectarines, mangoes; stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes or roughly chopped chocolate or chocolate chips to the batter.
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Do you like pancakes? Have a favorite recipe for using up buttermilk?
Please share your favorite recipes, links, tips and tricks for the perfect stack.