How to make fluffy pancakes without buttermilk by Theo Michaels

How to Make Fluffy Pancakes | Easy Buttermilk Pancakes (without Buttermilk)

How to make fluffy pancakes – in essence these are easy buttermilk pancakes without the buttermilk! 

There are a ton of pancake recipes showing you how to make pancakes, from the thin French crepe to my banana trail pancakes.  

Making fluffy pancakes in the Michaels’ household is a special weekend treat and as much as I’d love to whip egg whites, or use buttermilk – we’re never that organised. So this is my ‘how to make fluffy pancakes without buttermilk recipe!’

There is only so long you can refuse the protesting and mantra of two children shouting; ‘make pancakes! make pancakes! make pancakes!’ at 8 o’clock in the morning (actually 23 minutes is how long, by 0830 we are knee deep in flour).

There are a ton of pancake recipes showing you how to make pancakes, from the thin French crepe to my banana trail pancakes.  

I used to live in America, Princeton to be exact and there was a place I would visit called PJ’s Pancake House. At weekends there was a queue around the block to get a table.

Every conceivable pancake was on offer with a variety of maple syrups, I always remember the blueberry maple syrup (and a very cool wooden bar that you were allowed to carve a message on; I believe my name may still be ingrained in front of the third stall from the left..).

I hold PJ’s fully responsible for my now lifelong addiction to these succulent golden discs of heaven; little halo’s glistening in maple syrup and lashings of whipped butter… and I’ve now introduced them to my kids. May God help us…

A perfect Shrove Tuesday recipe (or any Tuesday for that matter)!

My ‘How to make fluffy pancakes’ video:

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Serves 2 adults and 2 kids (depending on 1. how big you are and 2. how greedy!)

How to make Fluffy Pancakes without buttermilk Recipe:

Heaped tablespoon of melted butter (and plenty more to serve)
Pinch of salt
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of milk
1 egg
Teaspoon of baking powder
Tablespoon of malt vinegar


Set your oven to 100C degrees.

  1. In a large mixing bowl add your flour and salt. Then using the same cup you used for the flour fill with milk and pour the vinegar into the milk aswell – don’t worry it’s meant to curdle (this is really a home-made version of buttermilk..sort of..).
  2. Pour the milk into the bowl with the flour, crack your egg into it and whisk together.
  3. Then pour in the melted butter (I just stick mine in the microwave for 20 seconds in a cup) and whisk again, you want the consistency to be of thick paint so you may need to sprinkle a little more flour or milk to get it right.
  4. Once done; add a good teaspoon of baking powder into the mixture and whisk quickly.
  5. Now leave the mixture to relax for 5 mins and don’t stir the mixture again; the baking powder will start to work and give air to your batter – if you start to mix it it will lose all the air.
  6. When you are ready to cook simply add a little oil to a pan on medium heat and a decent dollop of butter – I find I always put a bit more than I need in and once melted pour into a cup and occasionally add some back as I’m doing my rounds of pancakes.
  7. Using a ladle gently pour in about 1/2 a ladle of batter into your pan and don’t touch the thing! Once you see holes appearing in the centre of your pancake and it has started to solidify at the edges you’re good to flip.
  8. Now let’s be clear – these are not cute dainty French crepes that we love to throw into the air on a Tuesday. These are little chunky discs that suffer from vertigo. Just use the spatula.
  9. Once you’ve flipped them give them a couple more minutes (they take a few minutes each side). Start by putting your first set of cooked pancakes on a plate, cover gently with foil and pop in your oven to keep warm and keep topping the plate up as you cook through your pancake batter.

There are two reasons for this:

1. finishing the pancakes in the oven just seems to work; it gives them the final piece of heat to cook them through and create nice and fluffy pancakes.

2. It’s really handy if you are making a bunch of them and want to serve them at the same time!

It is almost a sin to serve these with anything else other than lashings of butter and a decent glug of good quality maple syrup (which is also why I don’t add sugar to the mixture – although with that much maple syrup a teaspoon of sugar won’t even touch the sides..)

My fluffy pancake recipe goes well with streaky bacon, scrambled eggs and a Weight-Watchers Samaritan to call once you’ve finished…