Home » The Fluffiest Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

The Fluffiest Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

|| byKat

This is the only gluten free buttermilk pancakes recipe you’ll ever need. They’re absolutely perfect: tall, soft and super fluffy, and with the most amazing flavour thanks to the tangy buttermilk. They’re also incredibly easy to prepare – you don’t have to separate eggs to make them! I’ve also included all my top tips that will help you get beautifully fluffy, golden brown (and fully cooked through) pancakes every single time.

A stack of five gluten free buttermilk pancakes being drizzled with maple syrup.

I have no idea why it’s taken me this long to make this recipe. I can only apologise, because we’ve all been missing out. These are hands down THE BEST (the fluffiest, the softest, the most flavourful and the easiest) pancakes I’ve ever made.

Meet your new favourite breakfast: gluten free buttermilk pancakes.

I know that buttermilk pancakes are nothing new, nor are gluten free pancakes… but honestly, these are just incredible. I’ve been making them on repeat these last few weeks because I simply can’t get enough of them.

And the best part is: YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEPARATE EGGS TO MAKE THESE!!

I’m all for separating eggs and whipping the egg whites separately into a cloud of fluffiness to add lift and aeration to my bakes… but it’s also a bit more effort than I’m willing to exert first thing in the morning.

With that in mind, this recipe is about as fuss-free and straightforward as they come: whisk together the dry ingredients, whisk together the wet ingredients, combine the two into a thick batter, cook them until golden and fluffy and gorgeous, and then tuck in. That’s it. No separating eggs, no unnecessary ingredients and definitely no fuss whatsoever.

And the end result is a tall stack of golden, pillowy-soft, fluffy gluten free buttermilk pancakes just waiting to be drenched in maple syrup. And trust me, you’d never guess that these are gluten free.

A stack of four gluten free buttermilk pancakes with a wedge cut out of it.

What makes buttermilk pancakes so amazing?

Listen, I like pancakes made with milk just fine… but buttermilk pancakes are just better. It’s a fact.

They’re taller, softer and fluffier. And that’s all thanks to buttermilk. As it’s thicker than milk, it also results in a thicker batter that spreads out less in the pan. Consequently, you get taller, more majestic looking pancakes. Buttermilk is also an acidic ingredient that reacts with the chemical leavening agents (baking powder and baking soda), giving them an extra boost – which ultimately yields softer, fluffier pancakes.

And they stay softer for longer! Even without reheating, these are still deliciously soft and fluffy even a few hours later. Just keep them tightly covered with some cling film or aluminium foil, and they’ll retain pretty much all of their squishy softness. You can even keep them that way overnight, until the next morning, and then microwave them for a few seconds to return them to their original fluffy texture.

The tanginess of the buttermilk gives them more depth of flavour. It really makes a huge difference – the flavour is seriously incredible, I could easily eat them on their own, without any toppings! (And I have done so frequently during the recipe testing stages. They’re kinda dangerous.)

A stack of seven gluten free buttermilk pancakes being drizzled with maple syrup.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing pancakes – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Ingredients for the perfect gluten free buttermilk pancakes

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plain gluten-free flour blend. I used Doves Farm FREEE plain white gluten free flour, but my homemade gluten free flour blend will also work great in this recipe.
  • Sugar. You don’t need to use a lot of sugar in this recipe – after all, most of the usual pancake toppings (especially maple syrup) are very sweet already. Instead, you need just enough sugar to add a subtle sweetness and amp up the flavour of the pancakes.
  • A generous pinch of salt. As with pretty much all recipes (both in baking and in cooking), the salt is here to bring out all the other delicious flavours.
  • Baking powder. The baking powder adds lift and aeration, ensuring that your pancakes end up tall, super soft and deliciously fluffy.
  • Baking soda. Just like baking powder, baking soda also adds aeration and fluffiness. Whereas baking powder contains both alkaline and acidic components (that will react with each other even if you only mix it with some water), baking soda need a separate acidic ingredient to release gases and provide the leavening action. In this recipe, this acidic ingredient is the buttermilk.
  • Xanthan gum. This acts as a gluten replacement and prevents your pancakes from being too delicate. You can read more about the role of xanthan gum in gluten free baking here!
  • Buttermilk. This plays several roles in this recipe. Firstly, it’s the main source of moisture and it makes your pancakes wonderfully moist. It also acts as the acidic ingredient that reacts with the raising agents and makes the pancakes extra fluffy. And finally, it adds the most delicious tangy undertone, which makes these fluffy beauties even more scrumptious. Make sure to use room temperature buttermilk.
  • Eggs. They act as binders and a source of moisture, they add a bit of richness and they also help the pancakes to get (and stay) really fluffy. Make sure to use room temperature eggs. If you forgot to take the eggs out of the fridge, you can put them in some warm water for 10-15 minutes and that will bring them up to room temperature very quickly.
  • Melted unsalted butter. This adds extra richness to the pancakes, giving them a subtle buttery flavour. It also makes them softer, and keeps them that way for longer.
  • Vanilla. Of course, this one need to explanation. While you could leave it out, adding just a dash of vanilla makes these gluten free pancakes even more amazing.

The ingredients for gluten free buttermilk pancakes.

How to make gluten free buttermilk pancakes

1. Make the gluten free pancake batter

This couldn’t be more straightforward. Whisk together all the dry ingredients and sugar in a large bowl, and combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl or jug. Then, add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk well until you get a smooth, fairly thick pancake batter.

Some of the raising agents will start reacting with the buttermilk (you’ll see bubbles appearing and your batter might appear almost mousse-like for a minute or so), but just continue whisking and don’t worry – your pancakes will still end up wonderfully thick, soft and fluffy.

While most regular buttermilk pancake recipes made with wheat flour will warn you not to over-mix the batter (some even recommend leaving a few lumps in there), this isn’t a concern here. So, just whisk everything together until your batter is smooth and lump-free.

2. Pre-heat your non-stick pan or griddle

I like to cook my pancakes on medium-low heat to ensure that they stay nicely golden but are also fully cooked through. So, pre-heat your pan or griddle on medium heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low before you start cooking the pancakes.

3. Cook the pancakes

First, lightly butter your pan or griddle, and make sure to wipe away any excess butter with a clean paper towel. Then, dollop the batter onto the pre-heated pan or griddle, and try to get your pancakes as circular as possible. I recommend using about ⅓ cup of batter per pancake – you can portion it out using a ⅓ cup measure, eyeball it, or even use a ⅓ cup ice cream scoop (which is what I did).

Also, don’t stress too much if your pancakes aren’t perfectly round. Mine are always slightly elliptic in shape (or just completely wonky) but it’s the taste that matters anyway.

Cook the pancakes for about 2½-3 minutes on medium-low heat or until you see bubbles appearing on the top surface and the bottom is a golden brown colour. Then, flip the pancakes and cook them for 2½-3 minutes more or until the other side is golden brown as well.

Finally, transfer the pancakes to a platter or wire rack (I usually line it with some paper towels to absorb any condensation) and continue with the rest of the batter.

The 4-step process of cooking gluten free buttermilk pancakes.

4. Serve and enjoy!

The pancakes are definitely at their very best immediately after cooking, while they’re still warm. Serve them with toppings of choice, and enjoy!

A stack of five gluten free buttermilk pancakes being drizzled with maple syrup.

The perfect pancake batter consistency

The key to perfectly thick, fluffy gluten free buttermilk pancakes is getting your pancake batter consistency just right.

Too runny and you’ll end up with something that more closely resembles French crêpes – they will spread out too much in the pan and they’ll be too thin and not as fluffy as you’d like. Too thick and they might end up a bit doughy with an under-cooked centre. (Though it’s always better to err on the side of a thicker batter.)

You want a pancake batter that’s fairly thick BUT it should be able to easily (yet slowly) run off a spoon or a ladle. As it falls off the spoon, it should pile up on itself rather than turning into a flat puddle. Here’s how my pancake batter looked while I scooped it onto the pre-heated pan and immediately after:

The process of scooping gluten free pancake batter onto the pre-heated pan.

I’ve optimised the recipe below to have just the right ratio of flour to buttermilk to give perfectly thick, fluffy pancakes that also aren’t too dry.

However, buttermilk can vary A LOT in terms of thickness (mine was slightly on the thicker side), so you can start out with a slightly smaller amount of buttermilk and then add more depending on the texture and consistency of your batter. I don’t recommend adding more than the amount listed in the recipe, as you’ll end up with a pancake batter that’s too runny.

How do you ensure that your gluten free pancakes are tall, golden and fully cooked through?

In addition to the correct pancake batter consistency that I’ve discussed above, the other thing that guarantees perfectly tall, fluffy, golden and fully cooked through pancakes is cooking them low and slow – I like to cook them on medium-low heat for about 2½-3 minutes on each side.

There’s nothing worse than a pancake that’s almost burnt on the outside and partially raw on the inside… unfortunately, that’s what often happens when you try to cook them on medium-high or high heat. So, be patient and cook them for a bit longer on medium-low heat. The results will be so very, very worth it.

Gluten free buttermilk pancakes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels.

A stack of seven gluten free buttermilk pancakes on a white plate, with a glass of juice in the background.

How do you know when it’s time to flip the pancakes?

Timing is quite important when it comes to flipping the pancakes. Too soon and you’ll end up with a big splatter, the batter going everywhere as you flip it. Too late and your pancake won’t be as fluffy as it should be.

You should flip the pancakes when you see bubbles appearing on the surface. You might see a few tiny ones fairly soon (especially around the edges), but you want them to appear all over the pancake, even in the centre. At this point, the edges will lose some of their shine and they will be a bit more “matte” in appearance.

A gluten free buttermilk pancake on a black frying pan.

The underside of the pancakes should be golden brown. To check, use the heat-proof spatula that you’re using for flipping to gently lift one edge of the pancake so you can see underneath.

If the bottom is deep golden and you see bubbles on the surface, it’s time to flip.

A gluten free buttermilk pancake on a black frying pan, the pancake is in the process of being flipped.

A gluten free buttermilk pancake on a black frying pan.

How long should a pancake cook on each side?

I like to cook my pancakes on medium-low heat for about 2½-3 minutes on each side. However, that may vary depending on the stovetop you’re using: if your heat is fairly low and gentle, you might need to cook it a bit longer, up to 4 minutes on each side.

When it comes to cooking pancakes, the visual indicators (bubbles appearing on the surface, a golden brown underside) are far more important than the exact number of minutes. The cooking times are just rule-of-thumb guidelines – so, make sure to keep an eye on your pancakes and adjust your cooking times as needed.

Overhead view of gluten free buttermilk pancakes.

And that covers pretty much everything you need to know about these truly fabulous gluten free pancakes.

This blog post might seem a bit long (you probably know by now that I like to go into quite a bit of detail about the baking science of things and explain why recipes work and work well – I really hope it’s useful!) but honestly, the pancakes are ridiculously easy and quick to make. And they’re such a classic – I hope they’ll become a staple in your kitchen.

And, of course, you can also play around with other flavourings and add-ins. You can throw some fresh blueberries or chocolate chips into the batter, or maybe add some cinnamon or some cocoa powder for a more chocolatey version. The options are endless. So, just have fun with it.

Enjoy!

Signature of the author, Kat.

A stack of seven gluten free buttermilk pancakes being drizzled with maple syrup.

More amazing gluten free breakfast recipes

If you’re looking for more incredibly delicious gluten free breakfast recipes, you’re definitely in the right place!

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The Fluffiest Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancakes

This is the only gluten free buttermilk pancakes recipe you’ll ever need. They’re absolutely perfect: tall, soft and super fluffy, and with the most amazing flavour thanks to the tangy buttermilk. They’re also incredibly easy to prepare – you don’t have to separate eggs to make them! I’ve also included all my top tips that will help you get beautifully fluffy, golden brown (and fully cooked through) pancakes every single time.
Print Rate
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook/Bake Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 10 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 240 g (2 cups) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour that doesn't have any xanthan gum added. You can also mix your own gluten free flour blend using this recipe. Note that for this homemade blend, 1 cup = 150g, so ideally use a digital food scale for best results.)
  • 50 g (4 tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 400 g (1¾ cups) buttermilk, room temperature (My buttermilk was slightly on the thicker side. If yours is runnier, you can reduce the amount of buttermilk slightly, and then add more until you reach the correct batter consistency, check the blog post for photos.)
  • 2 US large/UK medium eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the pan or griddle
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Instructions

Making the pancake batter:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour blend, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
  • In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk well until you get a smooth, thick batter with no flour clumps.
    Your final pancake batter should be fairly thick but it should be able to easily (yet slowly) run off a spoon or a ladle. As it falls off the spoon, it should pile up on itself rather than turning into a flat puddle (see blog post for photos).
    Tip 1: Some of the raising agents will start reacting with the buttermilk straight away (you’ll see bubbles appearing and your batter might appear almost mousse-like for a minute or so), but just continue whisking and don’t worry – your pancakes will still end up wonderfully thick, soft and fluffy.
    Tip 2: While most regular buttermilk pancake recipes made with wheat flour will warn you not to over-mix the batter (some even recommend leaving a few lumps in there), this isn’t a concern here. So, just whisk everything together until your batter is smooth and lump-free.

Cooking the pancakes:

  • Pre-heat a frying pan or griddle over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
    Tip: I recommend cooking the pancakes on medium-low heat to ensure that they stay nicely golden but are also fully cooked through.
  • Lightly butter the pan or griddle and wipe away any excess butter with a clean paper towel.
  • Dollop the batter onto the pre-heated pan or griddle, and try to get your pancakes as circular as possible. I recommend using about ⅓ cup of batter per pancake – you can portion it out using a ⅓ cup measure, eyeball it, or even use a ⅓ cup ice cream scoop.
    Depending on the size of your pan or griddle, you can cook 2-3 pancakes at once (or more, if using a large pan or griddle).
  • Cook the pancakes for about 2½-3 minutes on medium-low heat or until you see bubbles appearing on the top surface, the edges are set (not sticky to the touch) and the bottom is a golden brown colour.
  • Then, flip the pancakes and cook them for 2½-3 minutes more or until the other side is golden brown as well.
  • Transfer the cooked pancakes to a platter or wire rack (I usually line it with some paper towels to absorb any condensation that forms under the hot pancakes) and continue with the rest of the batter. The recipe makes 10-12 pancakes, depending on their size.
    Be sure to butter the pan or griddle before you start cooking the next batch of pancakes.

Serving & storage:

  • The pancakes are best served warm, immediately after cooking, with maple syrup, fresh fruit or other toppings of choice, but they stay soft and fluffy for a few hours afterwards.
  • You can also keep them tightly covered with cling film or aluminium foil (or in a closed container) until the next day, and then microwave them for a few seconds to return them to their original fluffy texture.
Tried this recipe?Mention @theloopywhisk or tag #theloopywhisk!

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