Sourdough Pancakes are a delightful twist on the classic American breakfast favorite. The texture of these pancakes is so special, equally soft, spongy, and satisfying. Watch the video tutorial to see how simple it is to whip up these fluffy sourdough pancakes.

Inspired by my Mother’s Oladi Yeast Pancakes from my cookbook, Natasha’s Kitchen, this recipe incorporates sourdough starter (or discard), infusing the pancakes with a tangy flavor, light, airy texture, and added nutritional benefits.

Sourdough discard pancakes stacked on a plate with fresh berries and drizzled honey

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If you’ve jumped onto the sourdough train, you’re probably wondering what else you can do with your Sourdough Starter other than making the best Sourdough Bread. Look no further, these Sourdough Discard Pancakes are a must-try!

Sourdough Discard Pancakes Recipe

These Sourdough Pancakes are my daughter’s favorite breakfast – she could eat them daily and not get tired of them. And the best part? They’re wonderful with any kind of toppings. I personally love them with jam and sour cream, or drizzle of honey and fresh berries. I think the only thing that could make this breakfast even more perfect is Baked Bacon on the side and Fruit Smoothies (I’m making myself hungry!).

We make these buttermilk pancakes on repeat because they are such a family favorite and they reheat really well in the toaster or on a skillet, which is perfect for busy mornings. You will be thankful that this recipe makes a generous-sized batch. Unlike your typical baking powder and baking soda-leavened Buttermilk Pancakes, which are best enjoyed fresh, these sourdough pancakes taste just as good after reheating.

Sourdough Pancakes Video

Get ready to elevate your breakfast game with our irresistible Sourdough Pancake recipe! In this video, Natasha will guide you through the process of making fluffy, tangy sourdough pancakes – trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredients

The ingredients for Sourdough Pancakes are simple but each is important. If you’re a food nerd like myself, you’ll enjoy this little bit of science behind the recipe:

  • Warm water – use warm water (around 115°F) to kickstart the yeast, but not too hot, as that can kill the yeast.
  • Buttermilk – Adds moisture, richness, flavor, and tenderness to the pancakes.
  • Active sourdough starter or discard – Using an active starter is best because it has greater leavening strength. If using sourdough discard, the mixture may take longer to rise and double in volume, but rest assured, the pancakes will still turn out wonderfully if you choose to use discard. Note: Using a room-temperature starter will speed up the rising time.
  • Egg – Acts as a binding agent, helping to hold the pancake batter together and providing structure.
  • Oil – light olive oil, or vegetable oil adds moisture to the pancakes resulting in a tender crumb.
  • Sugar – Sweetens the pancakes and aids in the rise and flavor development.
  • Instant yeast – also known as rapid-rise yeast – provides additional leavening power, helping the pancakes rise.
  • Salt – balances the flavors and improves the fermentation process.
  • All-purpose flour – Forms the base of the pancake batter, providing structure and volume.
Sourdough Pancakes ingredients: water, buttermilk, sourdough starter, egg, oil, instant yeast, sugar, salt, flour

Don’t Forget Pancake Toppings!

Sourdough pancakes are the perfect canvas for you to add any of your favorite toppings. Why stick to plain ol’ maple syrup and butter when you could try:

How to Make Sourdough Pancakes

  • Combine water, buttermilk, sourdough starter, egg, oil, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl, whisking until well combined (Tip: I like to put my bowl on a digital scale and weigh the starter right into the mixing bowl).
  • Add flour gradually, one cup at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition until the batter achieves a smooth cake batter consistency.
  • Fermentation – Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or in a warm environment (such as the oven with the light on – around 100°F) for 1 hour. The batter should double in size and appear bubbly and airy when ready.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat (or use a hot griddle) and drizzle with oil to lightly coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, pour the batter onto the preheated skillet and cook for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until the edges turn golden brown. Add more oil as necessary after flipping. If pancakes are browning too quickly, reduce the heat.
  • Serve – Once both sides are golden brown around the edges, transfer the pancakes to a wire rack or serving platter and serve.

Pro Tip:

A trigger-release ice cream scoop or 2 spoons (one to scoop the batter and one to scrape it into the pan) work well for quick and even portioning.

scooping sourdough pancake batter with ice cream scoop

How Do You Know When to Flip Pancakes?

The classic indicator for when to flip is when you notice little bubbles forming on the surface of your pancakes and they begin to pop, leaving small holes behind. Flipping too early can result in a loose top that may pool when flipped, causing the pancakes to lose their shape. It’s important to allow the batter to partially set before flipping to ensure evenly cooked and perfectly shaped pancakes.

Sourdough pancakes lined on a cooling rack, with crispy golden edges.

What Is Sourdough Starter?

Sourdough starter is a mixture of flour and water that’s been naturally fermented, housing wild yeast and lactobacilli bacteria. It serves as a powerhouse leavening agent, lifting baked goods like sourdough bread to lofty heights. During daily feedings, a portion of the starter is discarded, aptly named “discard” or “inactive starter.” If you’re just starting on your sourdough journey, dive into “How to Make a Sourdough Starter” to unlock a whole category of sourdough discard recipes waiting to be created in your kitchen.

Can I Make These Without a Sourdough Starter?

Yes, if making these pancakes without a starter, reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons and keep the rest of the recipe exactly the same, just omit the starter. The hydration percentage remains the same and you essentially will have my mom’s Yeast Pancakes.

Make-Ahead

Leftover sourdough pancakes with yeast will keep well in the refrigerator and reheat beautifully. I like to make a big batch at the start of the week to enjoy leftovers on busy mornings.

  • To Refrigerate: Once pancakes are cooked and cooled to room temperature, cover and store in the fridge for up to a week. 
  • Can I freeze sourdough pancakes? These pancakes freeze well. Let them cool to room temperature and then place them on a baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to flash freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag.
  • To Reheat: To thaw, set the pancakes out at room temperature or pop them into a microwave for about 30 seconds. Reheat in a toaster or on a skillet just until heated through.
Sourdough pancakes with honey being drizzled on top with a honey wand. Mixed berries are scattered on top of the pancakes on a white plate.

Get ready to savor each fluffy, tangy bite of these sourdough pancakes. They will soon become a breakfast staple in your home!

More Pancake Recipes

If you love these sourdough pancakes, then you won’t want to miss our collection of top-rated pancake recipes. Who knew there were so many delicious ways to enjoy pancakes?

Sourdough Pancakes (VIDEO)

5 from 6 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Sourdough discard pancakes stacked on a plate with fresh berries and drizzled honey
Sourdough Pancakes are a delightful twist on the classic breakfast favorite, with a soft and spongy texture infused with tangy flavor from sourdough starter. They're a satisfying treat!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Fermentation Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 17 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 6 servings

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together water, buttermilk, sourdough starter (or discard), egg, oil, sugar, yeast, and salt until combined.
  • Add flour 1 cup at a time, whisking to incorporate with each addition before adding more. Continue whisking until the batter is smooth and cake-batter consistency.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the batter rise at room temperature for 1 ½ to 2 hours or in a warm place (about 100°F) for 1 hour. When ready, the batter will have doubled in size and will look very bubbly and airy.
  • In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add a generous drizzle of oil (or enough to lightly coat the bottom). Once the oil is hot, spoon batter into the skillet. A trigger release ice cream scoop works well for quick and even portioning. Cook for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side or until golden brown at the edges. Add more oil as needed after flipping. If pancakes are browning too quickly, reduce the heat.
  • Once both sides are golden at the edges, transfer to a wire rack or a serving platter. Serve warm.

Notes

  • An active sourdough starter is a starter that has been fed and is at its peak of bubbling and rising action. Using an active starter is best because it has greater leavening strength. If using sourdough discard rather than active sourdough starter, the mixture may take longer to rise and double in volume. Rest assured, the pancakes will still turn out wonderfully if you choose to use discard. 

Nutrition Per Serving

1serving Serving318kcal Calories55g Carbs10g Protein7g Fat1g Saturated Fat1g Polyunsaturated Fat4g Monounsaturated Fat0.003g Trans Fat29mg Cholesterol559mg Sodium159mg Potassium2g Fiber8g Sugar58IU Vitamin A0.4mg Vitamin C61mg Calcium3mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Sourdough Pancakes (VIDEO)
Serving Size
 
1 serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
318
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
7
g
11
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
0.003
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
29
mg
10
%
Sodium
 
559
mg
24
%
Potassium
 
159
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
55
g
18
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
10
g
20
%
Vitamin A
 
58
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
0.4
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
61
mg
6
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sourdough discard pancakes, Sourdough discard recipe, sourdough pancakes
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $
Calories: 318
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Jane
    June 1, 2024

    Wow, Natasha, I’d give this 10 stars if I could. Sure, you have to wait an hour for the batter to rise, but the end results are worth it! So light! So fluffy! The lofty rise and the depth of flavor … the sourdough and the yeast make for such a flavorful batter, and the generous use of oil in the pan ensures that crispiness. These are really first level, and a great way to use 100g. of mature sourdough starter that would otherwise be discarded. I look forward to seeing how successfully these reheat in the toaster. In any case, hot of the frying pan, they are perfect!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 1, 2024

      That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Jane!

      Reply

  • Janine
    May 25, 2024

    I must have done something wrong. I am an experienced sourdough baker and have excellent starter. I made the recipe as directed and put it in the oven with the light on. I have a gun thermometer to measure oven and it was 100 degrees. After 45 min it was double so I put the pan on the stove to warm it and by the time it was warm the dough shrunk down by 25%. I made them and they didn’t rise as high as yours, they were a bit gummy and tasted sour. My starter isn’t acidic it is fed all the time and didn’t smell acidic before being used. My very unpicky husband ate them but I couldn’t.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 26, 2024

      Hi Janine, did you start with an active bubbly starter? Another thing you might check is if your yeast is fresh and not expired. My cookbook recipe rises really well with just the yeast and no starter and there definitely should be plenty of leavening in this sourdough pancakes recipe between the yeast and the active starter. The other thing is maybe your oven heats too much with just the light on? Did you check the temperature of the oven towards the middle and end of the timing? If it doubled in 45 minutes, I suspect you may have exhausted your yeast and starter with too high of heat. I hope that helps for next time. This recipe is such a treasure in our house that I think it’s worth another try.

      Reply

  • Fatima
    May 19, 2024

    What is sour dough ? Please tell what could be the alternative for it?

    Reply

  • Claudia
    May 19, 2024

    These were tender and delicious. I had them as suggested with honey and berries. I froze some. I will try them next time with sour cream and jam. I had never heard of that on pancakes before but if you say it’s good I believe it! I’m hoping you do more sourdough recipes. Bagels, pizza dough, English muffins, baguettes!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 19, 2024

      Yes, that’s the plan. Stay tuned for more! Glad to hear that you loved this recipe!

      Reply

  • Sandy
    May 18, 2024

    I am inspired to make a sour dough starter and try, what sounds like a very tasty recipe.
    I have your cookbook on order and hope the recipe is included. Your videos are always so fun to watch.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 19, 2024

      Hi Sandy, this is a new recipe same with the sour dough started and they’re not in my cookbook yet but there are tons of new recipes there that you can try!

      Reply

  • Lori
    May 18, 2024

    Can i mix all the ingredients together and put it in the refrigerator overnight to slow rise (instead of rising for 1-2 hours at room temperature) so the mix is ready to use in the morning?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 18, 2024

      Hi Lori, that will work but I would do slightly less flour if making the batter overnight – it usually ends up a little thick otherwise. You also will want to let it sit at room temperature for a bit before cooking them so you don’t really save much time having them in the refrigerator overnight. I’ve had the most consistent and most fluffy results making this recipe the same day but overnight would work.

      Reply

  • Sha
    May 18, 2024

    Thanks you included a video! So easy to follow. Mine turned out sooo good! We love it!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 18, 2024

      Hi Sha, thank you for that awesome feedback. I’m so glad to hear that. I hope they become a new favorite for you!

      Reply

  • Irena Tluczek
    May 17, 2024

    Thank you for the recipes,much appreciated, can’t wait for your new recipes to make

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 18, 2024

      Thank you Irena! I hope you love every recipe you try. We’ll definitely be adding more sourdough recipes in time. I already have another one coming up for using sourdough discard. Stay tuned!

      Reply

  • Lisa
    May 17, 2024

    Can i make the batter the night before and leave it in the fridge so it’s ready to go for breakfast? So i don’t have to wait an hour for them to rise in the morning.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 18, 2024

      Hi Lisa, that will work but I would do slightly less flour if making the batter overnight – it usually ends up a little thick otherwise. You also will want to let it sit at room temperature for a bit before cooking them so you don’t really save much time having them in the refrigerator overnight. I’ve had the most consistent and most fluffy results making this recipe the same day but overnight would work.

      Reply

  • Kristyn
    May 17, 2024

    Sourdough makes the best pancakes!! I am going to make sure I have some ready for me at all times, so I can make these again & again!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 17, 2024

      I’m so glad you loved them, Kristyn!

      Reply

  • Mel
    May 17, 2024

    I have never had better pancakes in my life! These were unreal!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 17, 2024

      I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us, Mel!

      Reply

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