Cast Iron Skillet Buttermilk Pancakes

Yes, you can make fluffy pancakes from scratch! These easy old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes have been a Sunday morning staple in my family for years. Making them on the cast iron skillet enhances the old-fashioned style pancakes that our grandmothers used to make. The rich flavors of buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract take these pancakes to the next level! Top them with maple syrup or your favorite fruit topping with whipped cream!

stack of buttermilk pancakes with syrup and a pad of butter on top

Our Sunday morning tradition is to make a double batch of these yummy, fluffy pancakes (sometimes a triple batch!) and enjoy them along with eggs and bacon. Sometimes hash browns if we’re feeling wild.

I love having a tradition and it’s such an enjoyable way to end a busy weekend. I like to make extra pancakes so I can reheat them on Monday morning. Mondays tend to get a bit chaotic and having one less thing to worry about helps set the tone for the week!

I like to make these pancakes on our cast-iron skillet because it adds to their old-fashionedness. The pancakes get a beautiful golden brown and the whole house smells like a cozy little cafe.

The trick to these pancakes is the buttermilk. It adds texture and fluffiness thanks to the acid in buttermilk and the baking soda and baking powder.

You can certainly purchase buttermilk from the store, but there is a much easier way to make it! For this recipe, I add 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar to a measuring cup and then add milk to fill the liquid to 1 1/2 total cups. I let it sit for about 5-10 minutes while I’m preparing the other ingredients. If you don’t have vinegar, you can also use 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice for the same results!

Why you’ll love these buttermilk pancakes

  • Simple ingredients – all the ingredients listed should be stocked in your kitchen. Nothing fancy is required for these amazingly fluffy pancakes!
  • Cast iron skillet – Using the cast iron skillet adds to the old-fashioned goodness these pancakes have. Their golden brown color is thanks to being cooked on the cast iron skillet!
  • Buttermilk – buttermilk is the star of a lot of baked goods, but especially pancakes! You can easily make it if you don’t have buttermilk from the store. Find my easy buttermilk recipe here.
  • SO fluffy! – The secret to getting these pancakes fluffy is to let the pancake batter sit for a few extra minutes. The batter will look bubbly, and have some lumps in it–THAT is precisely what you’re looking for to get that perfect fluffy texture. You will not have any flat pancakes with this recipe.

Ingredients and Substitutions

picture of ingredients for the pancakes: milk, vinegar, melted butter, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, flour, eggs
  • Buttermilk (or milk and vinegar) – You can buy this from the store, or you can make your own using only two ingredients!
  • Flour – I use all-purpose flour for my pancakes. You can use whole wheat or almond flour, but this has not been tested, so I cannot guarantee they will still be fluffy.
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Melted Butter – I use salted, but unsalted should work just fine!
  • Vanilla Extract – Gives the pancakes great flavor!
  • Eggs

How to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes: Step by Step

The specific measurements and details are listed in the recipe card below, but this breakdown will help you visualize how to make these awesome pancakes!

Step 1: First, you’re going to want to make the buttermilk. You can buy buttermilk from the grocery store if you’re not interested in making your own. But, I promise, it’s so simple to make! Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar and remaining milk together in a measuring cup until you get to 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk total.

Once it’s been made, set it aside for 5-10 minutes. More than likely, it is going to curdle, and that is how you know it’s ready! However, no need to fret if it doesn’t curdle after 10 minutes. The acid in the buttermilk is still doing its job!

buttermilk substitution which contains milk and vinegar

Step 2: While the buttermilk is doing its thing, start preparing the dry ingredients by adding flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together.

mixing bowl with the dry ingredients needed for the pancakes

Step 3: Next, you will add the melted butter, vanilla extract, and eggs to the buttermilk mixture. Whisk the ingredients until the eggs are thoroughly mixed with the rest of the ingredients.

wet ingredients (including the milk, vinegar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla)

Step 4: Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined. If time allows for it, let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes– 30 minutes if you have the ability to do so!

mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients mixed with the wet ingredients.

Step 5: Using a cast iron skillet (or any skillet), set the stovetop heat to medium or medium-high. Add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil to grease the pan. Once fully heated, lower the temperature to medium-low heat.

Add the batter to the pan. For smaller pancakes, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to pour the batter onto the skillet. For larger pancakes, use a 1-cup measuring cup. After a few minutes, you will notice the batter starting to bubble up, as pictured below. That’s how you know it’s ready to flip.

pancake on skillet. The batter is bubbling up indicating it's ready to flip over to the other side.

Step 6: Top your pancakes with butter and warm maple syrup. Enjoy those fluffy buttermilk pancakes!

Stack of pancakes on a plate with syrup and a pad of butter on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use a cast iron skillet to make these pancakes?

No! This pancake recipe can work on a variety of skillets and certainly doesn’t require a cast iron skillet if you don’t have one. They will still be fluffy and delicious, scouts honor.

What are the benefits of cast iron cooking?

Cast iron is known for its excellent heat retention and even heat distribution. This makes it really helpful when you’re making pancakes on the stovetop! Cast iron can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or even over an open flame, making it incredibly versatile. You can use it to sauté, fry, bake, roast, and more.

They are durable and last a long time. One of the skillets I have used to be my grandmother’s. It still works so well!

Why are my pancakes flat?

You may have over overmixed the batter! It’s super important to mix the batter together until it is just combined. You run the risk of overmixing if you do it too long, and overmixing can result in flat, not fluffy pancakes.

Can I add toppings or mix in ingredients to this batter?

Wanting to make chocolate chip or blueberry pancakes? Awesome! We enjoy doing that here also. The trick is to add the mix-ins as soon as you pour the batter onto the skillet. I like to place the chocolate chips by hand into the already-poured batter on the pan. The same goes for blueberries. Mixing it into the big bowl of batter can result in uneven ingredients or a change to the color and texture of the batter. Adding them manually gives you more control.

old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes

Cast Iron Skillet Buttermilk Pancakes

These fluffy buttermilk pancakes come together easily on a cast iron skillet! With rich ingredients including buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla, you'll be making these pancakes a Sunday morning tradition in no time!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 -12 pancakes
Calories: 191kcal
Author: Jamie


  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice whole milk works best
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • First, you'll make the buttermilk. In a large 4-cup measuring cup (or mixing bowl), add 1 1/2 cups of milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar. Let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • Using a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Whisk ingredients and set aside. 
  • Add the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract to the buttermilk mixture. Whisk together until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined. Let sit for 5-30 minutes (I usually only do 5 minutes, but if you have the time, feel free to let the batter rest longer!). 
  • Add the skillet to the stove and set the stove heat to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil to the skillet. Once heated, turn the heat down to low-medium.
  • Scoop the batter into the skillet. If you want smaller pancakes, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter. If you want large pancakes, use a 1-cup measuring cup to scoop the batter. 
  • Cook the pancakes on the skillet for a few minutes each side. You'll know they are ready to flip over when you see the batter start to bubble up.
  • Enjoy!!


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I love that you make these every week. We tried them and the family said that we need to also! Super fluffy and perfect pancakes. Thank you!

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