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Sourdough Starter Pancakes

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Sourdough starter pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast. The batter is made in one bowl, and the pancakes turn out light and fluffy with beautiful crispy edges.

Breakfast time in our house is a huge part of the day. We don’t always have time to make a big meal, but we always take time to make something.

It might be something simple like a raspberry smoothie to blueberry steel cut oats or something special for the holidays like sourdough cinnamon rolls, sourdough waffles, or eggnog waffles.

Pancakes are one of those dishes that seem to make a reoccurring appearance. If you’ve followed us for a while now, you may know that we have another recipe site.

That site has a handful of pancake recipes including my homemade buttermilk pancakes. I used that recipe as the base for these sourdough starter pancakes, and they turned out beautifully!

These pancakes are light, fluffy, and full of that distinct sourdough flavor. They even have lightly browned crispy edges and taste wonderful with melted butter and pure maple syrup.

Sourdough Starter Pancakes on a white plate.

How to make sourdough starter pancakes:

You’ll need sourdough starter to make this recipe. If you don’t have one, definitely make it first.

Making a sourdough starter takes time, so you’ll want to circle back to these pancakes in a couple weeks when the starter is ready. If you do have a sourdough starter, that’s awesome! You should be good to go!

In a large bowl, combine the flour, starter (active or discard), sugar, salt, egg, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Whisk well to combine.

Cover the batter, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours or overnight. This gives the flavors time to develop.

When you’re ready to make the pancakes, remove the batter from the refrigerator and sprinkle with baking powder and baking soda. Stir well to combine; otherwise, there may be dry lumps of leavening agent in the batter.

If the batter is too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of milk to thin it out to a bit. Mine usually thickens considerably after sitting in the refrigerator overnight.

Three photos in a collage showing how to make batter for sourdough pancakes.

The batter will begin to form lots of bubbles as the baking powder and baking soda begin to activate. Let the batter set for 4 to 5 minutes while you get the skillet ready.

Heat a medium skillet or griddle over low-medium heat. Melt some butter in the skillet, then add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the batter depending on how large you’d like the pancakes.

If you thinned the batter out with milk, it may spread. Just something to take note of if you think about making multiple pancakes in the same pan.

Cook the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to form bubbles over surface and turn brown and crispy and the edges. Use a spatula to flip it, and cook on the opposite side for another 2 to 3 minutes.

(Mine got a little too dark, but I was cooking on a single burner hot plate. Every pan/burner cooks differently.)

Remove the pancake to a waiting plate then repeat with the remaining batter. Another option is to heat the oven to 200°F, and place the pancakes on a sheet pan in the oven to stay warm.

Top with blueberry compote, pure maple syrup, cinnamon butter, cinnamon apples, or fresh fruit. Enjoy hot!

Three collage-style photos showing a pancake cooking on a griddle.

Can you mix all the ingredients together and use the batter immediately?

Yes, absolutely! The ingredients can be mixed all at once and used immediately. However, the overall depth of flavor may not be as strong.

Should the sourdough starter be active/fed or unfed?

The sourdough starter can be either active and bubbly or unfed/discard. Feeding sourdough starter regularly is key, so it’s active and ready to use in sourdough bread, sourdough bagels, and rolls. The discard is what I usually use to make these pancakes unless there’s a lot of active starter.

Can you use regular milk instead of buttermilk?

Yes, regular whole or 2% milk will work fine.

How do you make pancakes with crispy edges?

Butter! Make sure the pan is hot, but not so hot that butter will burn. Add the butter, and let it melt. Immediately add the pancake batter.

The edges of the pancake should bubble and crisp as it cooks in the butter. Wipe pan down after every 2-3 pancakes to remove any burned butter residue.

Stack of Sourdough Starter Pancakes with fresh berries.
Stack of sourdough pancakes with blueberries.

Sourdough Starter Pancakes

4.5 from 2 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings


  • ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (227 g) sourdough starter, active or unfed/discard
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (50 g) large egg
  • 1 ½ cup (340 g) buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda


  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the baking powder and baking soda. Cover, and refrigerate the batter for up to 8 hours.
    ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (227 g) sourdough starter
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 (50 g) large egg
    1 ½ cup (340 g) buttermilk
    ¼ cup unsalted butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • After 8 hours, sprinkle the batter with baking powder and baking soda. Stir well to combine. If needed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to thin out the batter.
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Heat a skillet or griddle over low-medium heat. Add a teaspoon or two of butter between every two to three pancakes. Allow the butter to melt, then add ¼ to ⅓ cup of the batter.
  • Cook the batter for 2 to 3 minutes. The pancake will have little bubbles over the surface and begin to crisp around the edges when it’s ready to flip. Use a spatula to flip the pancake, then cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the opposite side. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Serve hot with fresh fruit and pure maple syrup. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 2 pancakes. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.


Serving: 2PancakesCalories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 486mgPotassium: 128mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 450IUCalcium: 187mgIron: 1mg
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