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!

Let’s talk about these pancakes.

They are a highly requested breakfast around here and are so light and so fluffy, they are what every pancake aspires to be.

A stack of pancakes with syrup dripping down the sides on a white plate.

Simple Pancake Batter

The batter for these sour cream pancakes is super simple and comes together fast.

Whisk together:

  • Flour (all-purpose – I’ve also subbed in half whole wheat flour with good results)
  • Sugar (just a tiny bit)
  • Baking powder + baking soda + salt

And then stir in:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Eggs
Glass bowl with flour, butter, eggs and milk.

Don’t Over Mix!

As with all good homemade pancake batters, don’t over mix! The pancakes won’t be as fluffy and soft if you do.

Start mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and watch the clumps of dry ingredients closely.

Glass bowl with lumpy pancake batter with some dry flour streaks.

Mix until those dry streaks JUST barely disappear.

A few little lumps will remain. And that’s fine! It’s what you want, actually.

Rubber spatula lifting up pancake batter with batter dripping off into bowl.

How to Cook Pancakes

  1. Preheat a griddle or skillet/pan over medium heat until it is hot enough to sizzle a little drop of batter (but not so hot that it burns or smokes). This might be the most important step to cooking perfect pancakes!
  2. Drop the batter by large spoonfuls on to the hot griddle or pan. I use a #20 cookie scoop for about 1/4 cup or so of batter per pancake.
  3. Let the pancake sit without disturbing it! The batter will spread into a round shape. Let it cook until little bubbles start to pop at the surface (if you lift up an edge of the pancake with a turner, it should be golden brown on the bottom before flipping).
  4. Flip the pancake. DON’T PRESS ON THE PANCAKE AFTER FLIPPING. Let the pancake cook, adjusting the heat, if needed, until cooked through and golden on the other side.
Portioning pancake batter onto hot griddle with large cookie scoop.
Two golden baked pancakes on hot griddle.

Diner Style Flapjacks

Pancake perfection!

These fluffy sour cream pancakes are reminiscent of the pancakes you can score at any decent breakfast diner around town.

Soft but sturdy, they are epically fluffy and define breakfast comfort food at its finest.

There are no better pancakes than these, I’ll bet my last bag of chocolate chips on it.

A fork taking a bite out of a stack of four pancakes covered with butter and syrup.

Buttermilk Pancakes vs Sour Cream Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes are one of the most popular pancake recipes out there. For good reason. They’re delicious!

So why does my recipe use sour cream instead of buttermilk?

Mainly, because of availability. While I love buttermilk and have many recipes that call for it, I wanted this pancake recipe to be doable for the majority, and I figured more of us keep sour cream on hand than we do buttermilk.

(And even though homemade buttermilk isn’t difficult to whip up with a bit of lemon juice and milk, in my recipe testing, the homemade buttermilk didn’t fare as well as a sub in classic buttermilk pancakes.)

What I found, when I recipe tested with sour cream, is that I love the result of using sour cream in pancakes just as much, if not more, than using buttermilk.

Syrup getting poured over a stack of pancakes with a pat of butter on top.

A Tried-and-True Favorite

These fluffy sour cream pancakes are a tried-and-true favorite. We make them very often on the weekends, but they’re quick enough to make on a weekday morning, too.

I’ve also subbed in half whole wheat flour in the recipe with great results.

The pancakes are delicious slathered in butter and maple syrup…or jam…or even just eaten plain. And they are our go-to breakfast when company comes to town. Classic and yummy, that’s a great combination!

A stack of four pancakes with syrup on top and dripping down the sides and a pat of butter on top.

Freezer-Friendly Pancakes

These pancakes are great for a make-ahead breakfast option. The baked and cooled pancakes can be stored in the freezer for a quick and easy breakfast!

I like to store them in a gallon-size freezer ziploc bag between sheets of wax paper or saran wrap.

They can be defrosted in the fridge overnight OR a 20-30 seconds in the microwave right before you want to eat one (or three) does the trick!

A stack of fluffy pancakes on a white plate topped with syrup and a pat of butter.

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

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Fluffy Sour Cream Pancakes

4.63 stars (275 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (426 g) all-purpose flour (see note for whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tablespoons (27 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups (340 g) sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 3 large eggs (150 g out of shell)
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) butter, melted (see note)

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs and butter.
  • 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.
  • Let the batter rest while prepping the griddle.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface and the edges are set, 1-3 minutes, depending on the heat of the griddle.
  • Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so until golden and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Serve immediately or keep warm in a 175 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes.

Notes

Flour: 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. 
Butter / Oil: 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. 
Cooking Methods: 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. 
Sour Cream + Milk Substitutions: 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 (with sour cream) is our standard way of making them.
Serving: 1 pancake, Calories: 170kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 214mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g
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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Recipe originally published on February 2017; updated August 2022 with process photos, notes, etc.