Buttermilk Pancakes (Gluten-Free)

buttermilk pancakes

The weekend is nearly here, which means it’s almost time for the best meal of the week — brunch. Lately, I’ve really enjoyed making classic breakfast items, like these buttermilk pancakes. The key to making diner-quality pancakes at home is a steel crêpe pan (uncoated, not non-stick). This type of pan works so well because its surface is identical to that of a greasy spoon’s flat-top grill. While I’m really excited about figuring out that trick, you can still make terrific pancakes using a griddle or frying pan.

These pancakes are lightly scented with vanilla and just barely sweetened — all the better to top with maple syrup. I love to serve them with a few links of breakfast sausage, some sort of fruit and a mugful of steaming hot coffee to round out the meal.

Buttermilk Pancakes

(adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: About 2 minutes per side

Makes: 16 pancakes

Attention Batter Tasters: I just want to warn you that gluten free flours typically taste terrible uncooked. I hate to admit that I’ve convinced myself on more than one occasion that a taste of raw cookie dough or cupcake batter would be palatable (it wasn’t). I hope to spare you from the same, unpleasant experience. Please accept my sincerest apologies if this warning comes too late.

With that said, the flavor of the finished product is incredibly delicious, and not just relative to other gluten free foods. If it’s any reassurance, plenty of gluten-eaters have tried these recipes, and they couldn’t tell that alternative flours were used.


Dry Ingredients:

  • 73 grams (1/2 cup plus 5 teaspoons) millet flour
  • 73 grams (1/4 cup plus 5 teaspoons) garbanzo fava flour
  • 96 grams (1/4 cup) potato starch
  • 38 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons) arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 24 grams (2 tablespoons) granulated white sugar

Wet Ingredients:

  • 28 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 567 grams (20 ounces or 2 1/2 cups) buttermilk, well shaken
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


If you want to serve the pancakes all at the same time (or keep them warm for late-risers), preheat the oven to the lowest temperature setting (about 170°-200°F) and place a large, rimmed baking sheet or oven-safe plate on the center rack.

Preheat a crêpe pan or griddle over medium-low to medium heat (general rule of thumb: thicker pans typically require the higher heat setting). In a medium bowl, whisk together millet flour through sugar. In a small bowl combine melted butter through vanilla extract. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients; whisk to combine, just until lump-free.

Lightly grease the hot pan with butter or canola oil, wipe off excess. Pour about 1/4 cup¹ batter onto the griddle for each pancake; leave about 2 inches of space between them. Cook the first side for 2 minutes, or until the edges look a little dry and bubbles begin poking through the top and the underside is golden brown (if they are burnt or raw looking adjust the heat accordingly for the next batch). Flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes or so.

Serve immediately or keep pancakes warm in the preheated oven.


¹ I find it easiest to use a #16 portion scoop (equal to 1/4 cup / 2 ounces / 4 tablespoons). Available at Sur La Table, Crate and Barrel, Amazon.com, and occasionally Marshalls or T.J. Maxx/HomeGoods. It’s by no means absolutely essential, a measuring cup or ladle will work just fine.

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