I’ve never met a fluffier, more perfect pancake! These homemade sour cream pancakes are an indulgence – so delicious and incredibly quick to whip up!

Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

Thank you so much for all of your kind words on Friday’s post! I don’t mean this lightly: I really do feel like I have the best blog readers on the planet.

You truly are the reason I don’t need many friends in real life (totally weird, but true), the reason I actually like the internet, and the reason why I continue to take pictures of my food and share them with you nearly a decade later.

Thank you. Seriously, thank you.

I had a great birthday. Super low key, just the way I like it. Brian usually makes a birthday dinner for me (a little stressful for both of us, not going to lie), but for the first time in our whole career as parents, we took the family out to eat for my birthday.

Hilariously, we realized why we usually avoid doing this as my 8-year old kept shouting in the booth of the fairly nice restaurant we were at: “is this fast food? cause it’s taking a waaaaay long time to get our food” while his slightly older brother kept insisting that nothing beats McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Nothing.

I was never more relieved to get home and devour my portion of the Double Chocolate Mousse Torte.

Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

Let’s talk about these pancakes.

Oh, we love them. They are a highly requested breakfast and a bit of an indulgence (coming from a mom who loves to get in all the whole grains she can whenever she can and however she can).

So light and so fluffy, they are what every pancake aspires to be (and if they don’t, they are what I would call a pancake underachiever).

My kids know immediately when sour cream pancakes are happening.

They can tell just by looking at the griddle and seeing the light-colored batter sizzle into perfectly golden pancakes.

They hoot and holler and give big hugs and shout all sorts of exclamations about how I’m the best mom ever and they’ll never be mean to each other again (?!?) and they only want to eat pancakes, sour cream pancakes, for the rest of their lives.

Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

It’s all very dramatic.

Less dramatically, I have several whole grain, healthy pancake recipes I’ve posted over the years. You may be familiar with many of these recipes:

Overnight Buckwheat Oat Buttermilk Pancakes
Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes (our weekly morning staple)
Overnight Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes
Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix

We love them. All of them.

But there is something special about these sour cream pancakes, and no matter how delicious, the other recipes don’t get quite the same reaction as these delectable, fluffy pancakes.

Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

We often make these pancakes for company passing through town (which happens a lot as we are the middle stopping point for six of Brian’s siblings in Utah when traveling to see his parents in Oregon and vice versa; it’s awesome).

And these sour cream pancakes have become a go-to breakfast on weekends and for special occasions (like birthdays…and they’ll be happening tomorrow for Valentine’s Day breakfast!).

The homemade batter takes just minutes to whisk together, and since pancake better benefits from the least amount of stirring possible, this means less prep time for you!

Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

One of our favorite ways to make these pancakes (which I learned from the Camp Chef retreat at Bear Lake last year) is to slice a banana and sprinkle chocolate chips on the uncooked side of the pancake.

Flip that baby over to finish cooking, and you have the most delicious pancake ever filled with soft, creamy bananas and melty chocolate chips. Ridiculous. In a good way.

CampChef

You can top the pancakes (banana version or just the good old-fashioned classic pancakes) with a multitude of different offerings (flavored syrups, berries, cream, buttermilk syrup).

But 99% of the time we keep it simple with butter and maple syrup.

I use everything from this homemade maple syrup to pure maple syrup (usually buy at Costco) to this “healthier” (relative term, I know) brand of storebought maple syrup (cheapest at Walmart when Amazon’s price goes up).

A quick note about griddles: I’ve talked before about my favorite griddle that I’ve had for years. This 22-inch Presto griddle. It does leave little grid marks on the pancakes based on the surface material; certainly not a deal breaker, but worth noting.

My sweet mom recently gave me this larger griddle (Presto Tilt ‘n Drain) for my birthday after I saw it in action at my friend Deb’s house, and it’s pretty spectacular as far as griddles go, as well. (I gave my other griddle to a friend in favor of using this new one.)

Both are fabulous as far as nonstick griddles go. You can also use a nonstick skillet or cast iron pan on the stovetop, too, especially if you are making the pancakes for a smaller crowd.

Ok, enough talking! Make a plan to get these sour cream pancakes on your plate (and into your tummy) as soon as possible. You won’t be sorry!

Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

One Year Ago: Chicken and Black Bean Chili {Pressure Cooker}
Two Years Ago: Beef and Sweet Potato Stew with Corn and Green Chiles {Slow Cooker}
Three Years Ago: Cinnamon and Sugar Dusted Coconut Vanilla Breakfast Muffins

Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

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Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 18-24 3- or 4-inch pancakes

As written, these pancakes are an indulgence. Light and fluffy, especially with the all-purpose flour (I always use unbleached flour) instead of whole wheat flour. However, I have subbed half whole wheat flour before with pretty good results (not quite as light and fluffy but still delicious). Measure with a light hand if using whole wheat flour and consider decreasing by a few tablespoons and adding more as needed. Whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than all-purpose flour and you don't want the pancake batter too thick which will lead to dense, dry pancakes. 

In place of melted butter, you could try subbing in oil. The butter gives the pancakes a bit more flavor, but it's certainly not a deal breaker to use oil. 

I always cook pancakes on a nonstick griddle (had this one for years and now have this larger one) but you could use a nonstick skillet or cast iron pan on the stove. 

In case you are wondering, buttermilk subs great for the sour cream + milk (might need a few more tablespoons of buttermilk for the batter to be the right consistency). I've even used home-cultured kefir in place of the sour cream + milk - it works pretty well, but like most "baked" goods using kefir, the pancakes are a little more fragile and tender and not quite as sturdy. The way the recipe is written below (with sour cream) is our standard way of making them.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour (see note about using whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted (see note)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs and butter. 
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a spoon or spatula until just combined. The batter will be lumpy and it's ok if there are even a few streaks of flour here and there. Don't overmix! The key to light and fluffy pancakes is mixing just until combined.
  4. Let the batter rest while prepping the griddle.
  5. Heat a nonstick griddle to medium for 1-2 minutes until a drop of water sizzles (about 300 degrees F on my griddle, but every griddle will be a bit different). 
  6. Pour batter into rounds on the preheated griddle (I use my #20 cookie scoop to portion out the batter which holds about 3-4 tablespoons). 
  7. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface and the edges are set, 1-3 minutes, depending on the heat of the griddle.
  8. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so until golden and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.
  9. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 175 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Disclaimer: this post contains a few Amazon affiliate links for products I’ve bought there.


72 Responses to Perfect Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

  1. Kiersten says:

    We’ve made these probably 5-6 times already and love them! I used all whole wheat flour each time and they taste great.

  2. Mimsie says:

    I’ve made these twice in the past two weeks and everyone liked them very much.

  3. Aubri says:

    I am excited to try these pancakes (especially with the banana and chocolate chips!), but I was even more excited about the griddle recommendations! My griddle gave out 2 days after this post…so I was glad to have some input from you. I’m excited to try my new BIG griddle! Thanks Mel!

  4. Marcie says:

    We made these last week and they were good! My family still voted your zephyr pancakes as the best but we’ll definitely make these again when I don’t have heavy cream available. Thanks, Mel!

  5. Lauren says:

    I knew these pancakes were getting great reviews, but I had no idea I would love them as much as I did!! Since I had fat free plain yogurt on hand, I subbed it in for the sour cream-still they were unbelievably amazing!!! Adding sliced bananas & choc chips sent this recipe over the top for me, as I didn’t even need to add butter or syrup to mine.
    (Fam members did add a little butter & syrup.) Knowing now how incredibly yummy these are, esp w banana & choc chips, I would dash to the kitchen if I were you to make these for whatever your next meal (or snack!) is.

  6. Nancy says:

    We love Mel’s recipe for “Zephyr Pancakes”, but decided to give this new recipe a try today, and they were amazing! Perfect pancakes. It will be our new favorite pancake recipe! I also appreciated the tip for not over-mixing the batter. I probably did too much of that in the past with other recipes, which could have contributed to some “pancake recipe failures” 🙂

  7. Those look so amazing! ❤️

  8. Mel says:

    Hello Mel. Whenever I make pancakes with melted butter (which I love!) when I mix it with the cold dairy it hardens up into lumps. I have thought of melting the butter in the milk so the milk was warm but then I’m worried the eggs will scramble when I add them into the mix. Our house is cold in the mornings and hot pancakes are great … but how does one solve this problem of lumpy butter … or is it not a problem? (p.s. I don’t like oil so don’t want to substitute). Thanks.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Mel, it’s usually not a problem as long as the lumps are small. You can get around this by pouring the butter into the dry ingredients and then adding the other wet ingredients.

      • Melissa says:

        Don’t do this! I tried pouring the melted butter into the dry ingredients last night, then added the wet. I got HUGE lumps of wet buttery flour all in my batter. After using a whisk and potato masher, I eventually had to use my hands to break up the huge lumps. The pancakes were DELICIOUS, though, so totally worth it. My kids INHALED them! I think next time I’ll go back to my old method of warming the wet ingredients if the butter hardens into lumps, then whisking, then adding to dry.

  9. Emily says:

    I realized today as I was making these pancakes I have an almost identical recipe for waffles that I’ve been making for years. The ratios are slightly different and the waffles include whipped egg whites. My family LOVED these pancakes!!! These are my go-to pancake recipe from now on. I’m not sure why I didn’t think on my own to make our “Fluffy Waffle” recipe into a Fluffy Pancake recipe.

  10. Kara says:

    Wow…I do not love pancakes, but I make them all the time because my kids love them. I’ve tried so many recipes and have never found one that I love, but these have changed my mind about pancakes. They are amazing! Thanks for giving me a go-to pancake recipe that I can actually enjoy eating!!

  11. Erica says:

    We made these for a special Valentine’s brinner tonight. So good! Thanks, Mel!

  12. Nancy Bauman says:

    Mel, I made these this morning for a special Valentine’s breakfast for my husband. We agreed they’re the best pancakes we’ve ever eaten. I cooked the extras with the addition of some chocolate and peanut butter chips and wrapped them in plastic wrap for my granddaughter. She had them as an after school snack with a big squirt of whipped cream. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  13. heather says:

    How thick is this batter supposed to be? Mine is muffin-batter-super thick. I am a regular cook and have been using Mel recipes since 2010 … but this looks just … off. Measured and mixed exactly as recipe instructed. Giving it a few minutes, hope it … does something … otherwise into the trash. ARGH!!! So frustrating.

    • Mel says:

      Don’t throw it out! Just add a bit more milk/buttermilk/sour cream until it thins out a little. The batter is definitely considered thick, not thin, so it may be fine.

    • Katie says:

      I subbed yogurt for the sour cream and my batter was SUPER thick for the first batch. I thinned it out with milk for the rest but they were all delicious.

  14. Whitney H. says:

    I made these last night, and they were delicious. My little kids at all of theirs.Also, thanks for mentioning the cookie scoop. It was super useful.

  15. Katie Dean says:

    I used greek yogurt in place of the sour cream (it’s what I had on hand!) and they were delicious! Everyone loved them.

  16. Tanya Donahue says:

    Yummy!! We LOVE pancakes in our house!! I usually make a large batch for supper or Saturday breakfast and the kiddos will warm up the leftovers for breakfasts the following week. (and snacks if I’d let them!) We use peanut butter instead of butter and hmmumm is it good. (not to mention healthier but shhhh don’t tell them)

  17. Teresa says:

    Yum, those do look indulgent! But what a great treat to try–I love sour cream in anything. Hoping you had a wonderful birthday celebration and wishing you a year full of more joy and happiness!

  18. Jill says:

    These are exactly what I was looking for to make a special little pre Valentine breakfast dinner…since mornings are a little crazy at our house! So light and delicious! Hope you had an awesome birthday! We love you so much…you do make us Rock the kitchen and that keeps our families happy! Thanks a bunch!

  19. Melissa says:

    If you sub kefir for the sour cream as you mentioned, do you use 1 1/2 cups of kefir, and then an additional 1 1/2 cups of milk? Thank you!

  20. Angelina says:

    I have tried many pancake batter recipes and haven’t found “the one” yet. I only have cake flour and bread flour but no ap..can I use cake flour ? I’m sure bread flour would be too dense. As far as griddles I’m fortunate enough to have a boyfriend that works for a big food company and I’ve taken possession of his portable grill he is supposed to use at food shows and demos. They are the best going from making 3 pancakes at a time in a pan to 12 at once on the grill.

    • Mel says:

      Awesome griddle! About cake flour, I’m not sure how 100% cake flour would do. This is just a guess, but I’d probably use 2/3 cake flour and 1/3 bread flour to get the right amount of gluten.

  21. Becky says:

    My oldest daughter is turning 11 on Friday and asked for pancakes with homemade strawberry raspberry topping for her family party dinner on Saturday! I’m going to make these and add a generous handful of mini chocolate chips to the batter, too!

    Can’t wait to try them!

  22. Megan G says:

    I’m making these right now and subbed whole milk plain yogurt for the sour cream. They look amazing!

  23. Linda says:

    OMG Mell, I had no idea it was your. birthdsy last week so Happy Birthday ! I’m
    sure I speak for all of your fans that we think you’re the BEST food blogger EVER!’ Not only are you hilarious and thoughtful,
    but you are an amazing cook who shares the best no fail recipes. I hope your birthday was as fabulous as you !’ I LOVE your blog and LOVE your recipes !

  24. Katelyn Moss says:

    Can you sub nonfat plain greek yogurt for the sour cream?

  25. Nicole H says:

    I am a sucker for good pancakes. These fluffy little guys look great!
    Oh, and I totally laughed out loud while reading about your two boys comments during your eat out birthday dinner. Happy late birthday!

  26. Monica says:

    These look delicious!
    Do you have a recipe section of all your 30min or less meals? I wanted to share with a friend. I thought I remembered seeing it as a button on the right side once, but maybe my tablet isn’t showing it. I searched the recipe archives but didn’t see one. Thank you!

  27. Paige says:

    I had never heard of sour cream pancakes until we made them for my roommate in college on her birthday because they were her favorite! They’re super yummy! I’m going to try this out this week!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  28. Fayette says:

    Sounds wonderful, Trying this recipe out today.
    Do you think I could make the pancakes and freeze for later?

    Also, can I use this recipe for waffles?

    • Mel says:

      Yes, I think these pancakes would freeze very well. I haven’t used the recipe for waffles…but I think I’m going to make heart shaped waffles in the morning with the batter and I’ll report back!

  29. Anna says:

    I have a banana sour cream pancake recipe that I love; it’s similar to this but you mash the bananas and stir them into the batter. It is my favorite ever, and it works with whole wheat flour too. It’s amazing what that sour cream does to the pancakes! So good!

  30. Jen T says:

    Awesome! Going to try to attempt to make these in heart shapes for tomorrow morning! Wish me luck! Having these for breakfast and your double chocolate mousse torte for dessert. It is going to be a great day!

  31. Heather bell says:

    Was just thinking of heart shaped pancakes for tomorrow and this post comes up. #mindreader ps happy birthday!!

  32. Aimee G. says:

    These look so yummy! And your dining out experience sounds way too familiar…we try it every once in awhile with our 5 kids and we always leave thinking, “So was that supposed to be fun?” Also, I’m wondering if I could sub yogurt for the sour cream in the pancakes?

    • Tanya Donahue says:

      I’ve subbed yogurt for sour cream and the results are much the same.

    • Mel says:

      Glad you get what I’m talking about! As for yogurt, I haven’t tried it, but it probably stands a good chance of working. Like the note I made about sour cream, though, I’d opt for a Greek yogurt that isn’t fat-free, but that’s just me.

  33. RossC says:

    I have been using sour cream in a variety of dishes lately, mostly with great success.. I will try this recipe for certain.. I use my CI 2 burner griddle for pancakes and love the way they cook up..
    Thank you for another interesting take on a family staple… :o)

  34. Erica says:

    The link to the 22″ griddle is pointing to the yummy syrup from Wal-mart. Can you adjust?

  35. Nicole says:

    Does it need to be full fat sour cream or would low fat sour cream work? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I’ve made them with both; it’s probably just my imagination, but I think the full fat sour cream makes a yummier pancake (more rich and tender). But I would never go to the store to buy full fat sour cream if I had low fat in my refrigerator, so I’d say use what you have on hand (although I’d caution against using fat free sour cream).

  36. Kelsey says:

    These look great! We did our fancy family Valentine dinner yesterday and I was planning on heart-shaped pancakes for dinner on Tuesday. We will give these a try!

  37. Marisa says:

    These look amazing! I think I’ll treat my kids (and myself!) to these for a fun Valentine’s breakfast-for-dinner. They love all variations of pancakes.

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