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Lemon buttermilk pancakes

Slightly sophisticated pancakes, perfect for weekend brunch.

When I was in college, my friends and I hung out at International House of Pancakes (IHOP) on Sunday mornings. Despite the ridiculously long menu and dozens of variations of pancakes, we always ordered the same thing: chocolate chip pancakes for half the group, and basic buttermilk pancakes for the rest.

Nowadays, I don't eat pancakes very often, so when I do, I want something more sophisticated, like these lemon buttermilk pancakes. The delicate, tangy hint of citrus wakes up your palate, like a glass of orange juice first thing in the morning. And, because they're thin, you can eat several without feeling overstuffed. Don't forget the maple syrup on top; believe it or not, maple goes really well with lemon.

Lemon buttermilk pancakes: breakfast for grown-ups.

Lemon buttermilk pancakes

From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose unbleached flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, granulated sugar, eggs, lemons, buttermilk or powdered buttermilk, unsalted butter.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, January 2001, this recipe makes 12-15 thin pancakes (serves 4).


2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Zest of 2 lemons
3 cups buttermilk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 tsp for griddle


Heat a griddle to 375°F. (I use my panini press with the griddle plates.)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add eggs, lemon zest, buttermilk and 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk to combine, but don't overmix. Batter should have small to medium lumps.

When the griddle is hot, brush on the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter.

Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, pour the pancake batter onto the griddle, leaving a few inches in between each one (this will make 4-5" pancakes). When the pancakes have bubbles on top and begin to brown slightly around the edges (2-3 minutes), flip to the other side. Cook for one minute more, until golden on the bottom.

Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot, topped with butter and maple syrup.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More pancakes and waffles for breakfast:
West Bay jonnycakes, by The Perfect Pantry
Cranberry, orange and walnut buttermilk ricotta waffles, from The Perfect Pantry
Whole wheat, oatmeal, and banana pancakes, from Andrea Meyers
Cinnamon streusel pancakes, from Two Peas and Their Pod
Poppy seed pancakes, from 101 Cookbooks

Delicate lemon buttermilk pancakes are perfect for a fancy brunch buffet.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I love lemon pancakes! Wish I'd read this before I just had my boring slice of toast this morning. Next time! (and excellent use of your Griddler :-)).

this made my mouth water, thank you

how does this compare to the amazing lemon yogurt waffles you posted last year?? i can't wait to try these :)

Kathy, I always forget how good lemon tastes in the morning. And, thanks to you, I'm inspired to use my Griddler for all kinds of cooking now.

Satonahat, oh yes, they're that good.

Amy, these pancakes are more delicate, and a bit more tart I think, than the waffles. But if you love those, and you love lemon, you'll love these.

Yes, I love a touch of lemon in pancakes. I also remember once making a lemon ricotta pancake that was really lovely and tender. Now I'm craving pancakes for dinner ...

I haven't had pancakes in so long, but I do remember the lazy days of waiting in line at IHOP. Would love to try lemon in pancakes - I would think the buttermilk would make these pretty fluffy.

Perfect. Nothing beats a good pancake really.

TW, now I'm craving lemon ricotta pancakes!

Jeanette, IHOP was a tradition when I was in college, and every now and then I drive past one and see the full parking lot and remember those days fondly.

EB, I agree. Must have something to put the maple syrup on!

Made these delicious pancakes for brunch and received rave reviews for the light and tangy buttermilk and lemon flavors. We topped them with real maple syrup and apples sautéd in butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

Oh how I LOVE lemon anything! Thanks for this really great recipe...I wonder if you thinned the batter a bit could you use it as a crepe? hmmmmm....

Lydia, these pancakes are perfect! And I love the idea of lemony pancakes! My son is home this weekend and his is our pancake fanatic! I must try these for him! Delicious!

I made these this morning with orange zest and almond extract. They were fantastic!Thank you!

This is a perfect recipe for both my lemon board and my breakfast board on Pinterest. Yum!

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