Light and fluffy blueberry pancakes are the epitome of the PERFECT Sunday morning breakfast. But what’s the secret to making fluffy pancakes?!
We had pancakes for dinner last night and that meal? It was so, so satisfying!
We also had some big storms rumble through yesterday and even though I’m cooped up in a windowless office M-F 9-5 (which suuuucks, btw), I always get the same feelings when it rains. Mainly, my sinuses kill me.
And I crave homey food, like these light and fluffy blueberry pancakes. So I scratched last night’s planned dinner off the menu, made these pancakes, and curled up with some sinus meds and a good book.
It’s a recipe I made once last year and fell in love with. Then forgot where I found it, rediscovered the recipe, made the pancakes again a few weeks ago for Sunday breakfast, and fell in love with them again. And now here I am! Whew!
But none of those recipes are quite like this one. And actually, this is the first blueberry pancake recipe on the site!
What Makes Fluffy Pancakes
These pancakes, aptly named, are light and fluffy AND they don’t call for whipped egg whites to make them this way! The fluffy lift in the pancakes is due to a chemical reaction between the baking soda, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Baking powder also helps give the pancake some additional lift.
Pro Tip: I’ve found that giving the batter a few minutes to rest before pouring it onto the hot griddle makes these pancakes even fluffier! Just 5 minutes of rest will give the baking soda (a base) time to react with the buttermilk and lemon zest (both acids). This reaction produces carbon dioxide bubbles in the batter, which helps to produce a light and fluffy pancake.
So if you’re wondering why your pancakes aren’t fluffy, it’s probably because you haven’t given the base and acid ingredients enough time to react with each other and allow for the carbon dioxide in the batter to develop.
A few scrapes of lemon zest also gives these pancakes a bit of underlying brightness that blends so well with the blueberries.
What Does Buttermilk Do for Pancakes
Aside from reacting with baking soda to make a fluffy pancake, buttermilk also breaks down some of the gluten in the flour. This makes for a more tender pancake too!
The buttermilk in these pancakes causes exactly the same effect as it does in this blueberry buttermilk upside-down cake and this lemon buttermilk loaf cake. It makes the pancakes impossibly soft, with a tender crumb, and an unforgettable flavor.
Basically, these are absolutely perfect blueberry pancakes in every way and if I could work brinner (breakfast for dinner!) into my menu plans every week, this is what we’d be having!
- 2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp table salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together; set aside.
- Pour the buttermilk into a 4 cup liquid measuring cup and warm it in the microwave for 45 seconds. Whisk the egg, butter, lemon zest, and vanilla into the buttermilk until well-combined.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. With a rubber spatula, stir everything together until combined, leaving the batter slightly lumpy. Do not overmix. Allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes while the skillet or griddle heats.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet or an electric griddle to medium heat. Brush a little oil onto the hot surface and with a large ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop the batter out onto the surface. Add a few blueberries to the top of each of the batter spots. Cook the pancakes until they start to bubble and the bottoms are golden brown and spotty, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes then flip them over with a wide, heatproof spatula. Cook for another 1 ½ to 2 minutes. The pancakes should start to feel soft rather than crispy when lightly touched. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with butter, syrup, and extra blueberries, if desired.
To keep the pancakes warm while you cook all of them, heat the oven to 250° F with a large platter inside. Transfer the cooked pancakes to the platter as you take them off the griddle.
adapted from The New Best Recipe by the editor's of Cook's Illustrated
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