An easy, one-bowl recipe for fluffy, homemade sourdough pancakes using leftover sourdough starter discard. The batter can be made overnight or on the same day- it takes less than 10 minutes to do!
When writing Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, the most interesting chapter to research was sourdough discard recipes. I had no idea how fun and versatile it could be. I was literally inspired to “sourdough-ize” everything I could get my hands on. Sourdough pancakes were no exception. Is there anything more enticing than a warm stack of pancakes (or sourdough waffles!) drenched in sweet maple syrup and fresh mixed berries? After all, it’s quintessential weekend breakfast.
And I’ll tell you something, when pancakes are made with sourdough discard they become uniquely different than regular pancakes: they’re extra fluffy, super flavorful and easier to digest (the butter-fried edges get me every time). Best sourdough pancake recipe ever? You be the judge.
How to Make Fluffy Sourdough Pancakes
Ingredients you will need:
- Sourdough starter (100% hydration, either leftover discard or bubbly)
- All purpose flour
- Fine sea salt
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Large eggs
Best Tips for Making Pancakes
First and foremost, the ratio of liquid to flour needs to be on point. Too much flour, and the pancakes will be thick and doughy (like English muffins). Too much liquid and they’ll be thin and chewy like crepes. One way is neither right or wrong; it all depends on the style you want.
For fluffy sourdough pancakes, the batter should be thick, bubbly and pourable.
See that gorgeous aerated texture? You can actually “hear” it when you drag a spoon through the batter. It should drip down in slow, stretchy ribbons and not just plop into the pan.
Use a combination of baking power AND baking soda. Baking powder will make the pancakes fluffy and baking soda will lighten them up. You need both. Some fluffy pancake recipes call for whipped egg whites, which definitely works, but it’s an extra step you can bypass altogether.
You’ll need about 1 cup of leftover sourdough discard. Bubbly is fine too- use what you have. When baking soda merges with the natural acids in the sourdough starter it tenderizes the texture (like buttermilk pancakes). So now you have light, fluffy and tender.
For best results, use a 100% hydration sourdough starter. Its thick, batter-like texture is perfect for fluffy sourdough pancakes. Try my Beginner Sourdough Starter Recipe or use what you have adjusting the liquid if it’s too thick.
Why Make Pancakes from Scratch?
For me, homemade has to include two things: flavor and convenience.
Here, I’ve combined the best of both worlds with an overnight pancake batter. As the batter sits, the flavor will intensify making a notable difference when compared to regular pancakes.
You’ll also get the added benefit of fermentation. On the overnight, the natural acids in the starter help to break down those pesky glutenous enzymes making these pancakes easier to digest. My son who is gluten sensitive does really well with this recipe.
And for convenience?
The batter is prepped ahead!
No mess. No stress.
TIP: When using the overnight method, for thick and fluffy pancakes add the baking powder and baking soda in the morning (not to the overnight mixture). This will ensure the batter is nice and bubbly before cooking. For thin and fluffy pancakes, add everything all at once. You’ll get a really nice melt-in-your-mouth texture with this option. Alternatively, the batter can be made fresh on the same day. Instructions for both options are included in the recipe below.
A Few More Thoughts…
- Do yourself a favor get a wide 6-inch spatula for flipping. Most likely, your standard spatula is too narrow. A wide one makes flipping so much easier and helps with splatter control.
- For crispy, golden fried edges fry your pancakes in a small pat butter. I use Kerry Gold salted butter.
- Use a cast iron or non-stick skillet for cooking the pancakes- both options are fine. It’s the heat that you need to pay attention to. Always make a mini test pancake first!
More Recipes to Try with Sourdough DiscardPrint
Best Sourdough Pancakes
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: (10) 6-inch pancakes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Skillet
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
An easy, one-bowl recipe for fluffy, homemade sourdough pancakes using leftover sourdough discard. The batter can be made overnight or on the same day- it’s takes less than 10 minutes to do!
- 1 1/2 cups (190 g) all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 tbsp. (24 g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup (240 g) sourdough starter (sourdough discard or active sourdough starter)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk, plus more as needed
- 3 tbsp. (42 g) melted unsalted butter or oil, plus more to coat the skillet
- Pure maple syrup
- Fresh berries
- Powdered sugar
For thick and fluffy pancakes: Combine the wet and dry ingredients EXCEPT for the baking powder and baking soda. Whisk well, cover and chill overnight. The next day, sift the powders directly over the bowl and whisk again to combine. The texture should be thick, bubbly, and pourable. Add extra milk, 1 tbsp at a time, to thin out the texture if needed. Let the batter sit for at least 5 minutes to aerate; it should be nice and bubbly before using. The batter can be used cold.
For thin and fluffy pancakes: Add all of the ingredients together and chill overnight. No need to add the leavening agents separately.
Same Day Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 250 F.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients. Whisk gently until a smooth batter forms; some lumps are ok.
In a large 10-inch skillet (cast iron or non-stick), melt a small pat of butter over medium-low heat. Swirl the pan around to coat.
Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, lowering the heat as needed. When the edges begin to puff up and bubbles appear on the surface, flip it over. Cook for another minute or so. Place the pancake onto a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest.
To continue, use a scrunched up paper towel to wipe out the skillet. Add more butter if the pan gets too dry. Repeat the cooking process until you are finished with the batter.
To serve, stack the warm pancakes on a platter for your guests to help themselves. Have plenty of pure maple syrup, fresh berries and powdered sugar at the ready.
Keywords: homemade pancakes, fluffy sourdough pancakes, how to make pancakes, sourdough discard pancakes
Love this recipe! Could I freeze the pancakes?
This recipe was perfect for my Sourdough discard. I had a little more discard than your recipe so I used it all and it was still so yummy. I substituted monk fruit for sugar because sugar always gives me a food coma. I used almond milk instead and mixed it with the flour and let it sit for 30 minutes before adding the other ingredients but I think I’ll try your overnight prep next time. I used coconut oil to fry the batter instead of butter because the butter always burns. They turned out perfectly golden brown from start to finish. I love that you provided same day and overnight preparations. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
These really are the best!!!! So so good. I was wondering if I have leftovers if I can make the rest the next morning?
I used the overnight method (for thick fluffy pancakes) early in the morning planning to serve pancakes at lunch. They had a few hours in the fridge and we all commented on how thick and fluffy they were. I added some vanilla because vanilla makes the world a better place :D They tasted WONDERFUL!
These are so delicious! I’ve tried many discard pancake recipes and this is by far the best. Approved by kiddos and hubby! I use soy milk or almond milk, and did applesauce instead of eggs to make them vegan. I also leave out the sugar. They are great with blueberries mixed in too! I make these at least once a week. So so good!! And easy.
These are my fave fluffy pancakes. Snuck in a little spinach so my toddler would at least get one vegetable in today and then they became the most beautiful fluffy green pancakes. Big win.
brilliant idea to sneak some veggies in!
Tried these and they turned out so good! My toddler devoured them too!
I have made this overnight and same day. Both are very delicious. So flavorful and easy to make. Great way to use the sourdough. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.
I have lost track of how many times I made this recipe. These are amazing! I have tried the recipe as written, as well as replacing the milk with almond milk and the eggs with flax eggs to make it vegan, and it worked really well with these changes! Works well when I sub half the all purpose with whole wheat too. It is on regular rotation here and my toddler LOVES them.
Absolutely delicious !
I wondered if there was any way I could avoid the white sugar? Could I replace it with honey? Thank x
Hi! So I tried just leaving out the sugar, and they still turned out amazing.
okay, so i felt bad for not being able to use my sourdough discard for anything so i looked up on easy recipes and i stumbled on this one. i followed the overnight version and wow, i think i found the perfect pancake recipe. next time, i’ll be experimenting with other flavors and maybe switch to buttermilk and see what it can do to the taste. the possibilities are endless! thank you v much for this recipe, emilie 💜
Lauren Simmons says
I have never rated a recipe in my life but I feel compelled to rate these because they are the best pancakes I’ve ever had, no question. They are so fluffy and have such a wonderful flavor and I was able to use up a decent amount of my discard from the fridge. These are going to be a staple in our household from here on out. Thank you!!
Beautifully light and fluffy! Next time I will add just a little extra spice as suggested with other comments:; cardamon and cinnamon sounded good, Maybe I’ll substitute the sugar with very dark maple syrup and adjust the milk accordingly. This recipe is a keeper!
Ok so I followed the recipe exactly for overnight and mine are totally flat and not fluffy at all. Any tips on how to fix that?
Delicious! We thoroughly enjoyed these for breakfast
Lisa A. Grant says
Excellent pancakes! I added a dash of cinnamon and cardamom and they were delicious!
Excellent! And easily veganized with no impacts. Also adjusted baking powder and soda to about half to compensate for high altitude and they were still sky high perfection.
I am never using another pancake recipe again! This was my ideal pancake fluffy not cake, light airy, with that ever so faint discard flavor. INCREDIBLE! As soon as I get my waffle maker fixed (or just get a new one) I am going to try your waffle recipe.
This is a great recipe. Easy, quick and so light and fluffy. I just added vanilla to my batter.
Great recipe, first time I managed to get American pancakes as fluffy as these turned out! 😀 🤗
These were excellent! Light, fluffy with crisp, buttery edges. I made them this morning, but want to try the overnight method as well. So, I divided the batter & only added the leavening agents to half.
I had 40 gm more discard to use than specified, so I subbed the additional starter for 20 gm each of the flour & milk. The sourdough flavor still wasn’t too pronounced for my kids.
I really appreciated your detailed directions. The cooking times & tips for keeping them warm worked well for me… it was nice not to have to guess and second-guess. I loved the reminder to wipe out the pan between batches. That was something that, when I read it, I remembered seeing my mom do. But, somehow I’d forgotten over the years & that leads to a smelly, smoky kitchen.
Thank you for the recipe!!
This recipe is beyond perfect! So easy my toddler had fun mixing it all up with me. Fluffiest and most delicious flavor!
This is my absolute favorite sourdough pancake recipe! Not a ton of unhealthy ingredients like you see in others. I’d love to see a variation of this for Lemon Poppyseed Sourdough Pancakes. Do you have something like this? Thanks!
Every time we go camping I make the batter then freeze it in a Ziploc bag. It defrosts perfectly and tastes delicious!
I made this this morning and did the day of version. They were so good, fluffy yet light and not dense and cakey. Truly the perfect pancake!
If I want to make these for the next morning, may I just leave the mix on the counter overnight vs refrigerating? Large family, I just don’t always have room in my refrigerator.
Emilie Raffa says
Hi Gina! I’d recommend putting the batter in the fridge overnight.
Can you put leftover batter in the fridge or do you have to make all the pancakes?
Emilie Raffa says
You can definitely put leftover batter in the fridge! Keep in mind, the flour will continue to absorb the liquid as it sits. Add more liquid as needed to thin out the texture when making the rest of the pancakes.
Why still use baking powder and soda with the sour doe starter that is the yeast?
Emilie Raffa says
Hi Michael! Because the pancakes might not “rise” depending on the strength of your starter starter and/ or if you’re using bubbly, active starter vs. sourdough discard. You can certainly try without the additional leavening agents and see what you like best.
Hello! Thanks for the recipe! Can this recipe be used for Waffles or do I need make adjustments?
Emilie Raffa says
You can definitely use this recipe for waffles. Alternatively, I have a separate sourdough waffle recipe if you want to see that too (click here). Slightly different.
This is my go to sourdough pancake recipe. Easy to follow and delicious! I’ve tried a couple others and keep coming back to this one.
Dr Bill Hopkins says
It’s been my go-to pancake recipe for two years now. My son started using it a month or so back. No going back for him either. Fantastic pancakes every time.
These pancakes turned out delicious! My only change is that I actually mixed all of my wet ingredients together separately before adding them to the dry. The reason is because I had some relatively freshly fed (roughly 10 hours since feeding) starter that I used for this recipe (at 100% hydration, fed with whole wheat flour). This starter was much more solid and less mixable than if my starter was, say, 24 or more hours from the last feeding and much thinner. It took a long time to fully incorporate the starter into the rest of the wet ingredients because it was so fresh and thick. I think this is an important point, because the final mix of pancake batter might have ended up being overmixed if I had added it all together at once! Ultimately though, I would use this recipe again :)
ELLEN Sefransky says
Best pancakes I ever made. Did overnight. Nice to have it ready to go in am. Added protein powder for my little carb loving boy. Blueberries too. Going to try the batter on my waffle iron.
Im glad I found this recipe!
Very fluffy and very delicious!
Rebecca Bishop says
This was my first time ever to make sour dough pancakes..they were delish! I will never make them any other way again! Can you freeze them?
Emilie Raffa says
Ahh… so great to hear! Yes, you can totally freeze them. I would arrange them on a parchment-lined sheet pan (not touching) and freeze. Then transfer to a zip top bag or container. You might want to separate them with cut parchment squares if you think they’ll stick.
Rebecca Bishop says
Awesome! Thank you so much!!!
Wow this recipe is fantastic. It has become a family favourite
Jean Lee says
Delicious fluffy pancakes thank you for the recipe. I used only 1 teaspoon of baking powder as I don’t like the taste it can leave, my pancakes were fluffy and delicious. I mixed the batter and made them immediately and will use this recipe again. Thank you
Emilie Raffa says
You’re very welcome, Jean! Thanks for your sharing your tips :)
I couldn’t make mine the my next day as planned so I made it the following day. It was still amazingly light and delicious! Also I made them in my waffle iron. My family loves this so much it’s now added to my go-to recipes. Thank you for sharing.
Emilie Raffa says
Excellent! This is so great to hear. Thanks for the feedback :)