The BEST Basic Buttermilk Pancakes with Blackberries {recipe} – The Pancakes Problem

pancakes with fresh blackberries
Pancakes, we have a problem. Or six.


From the get-go, you know there is a problem with pancakes, at least these pancakes, “Basic Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries,” because “basic” buttermilk pancakes should be just that, basic, not “with” anything else because once you add “with…” they are no longer BASIC buttermilk pancakes, they are Iggy Azalea Fancy buttermilk pancakes WITH accessories.

Which brings us to a more important and pervasive problem that has nothing to do with over-capitalization on literally EVERYTHING THESE DAYS, and everything to do with where a bird flies prepositionally to an airplane. No? Just me and my 6th grade English teacher?


The conflict is “{Blank} Pancakes” vs “Pancakes with {blank}” because “{blank} pancakes” are pancakes made of {blank}, but pancakes with {blank} are, well, pancakes with {blank}, on, around, surrounded by, next to, whatever, e.g. Blackberry Pancakes are pancakes with blackberries IN the pancakes, possibly puréed blackberries swirled into the batter turning entire pancakes a light, purplish hue, but more likely blackberries left whole and plopped into the uncooked tops of the pancakes once the batter is ladled onto the griddle to cook then turned over resulting in seemingly basic pancakes on the surface, but caramelized blackberry-dappled on the underside, not unlike the upper part of my legs after sitting on cheap patio furniture (it’s not cellulite).

Pancakes WITH blackberries are pancakes, semi colon, there are blackberries somewhere nearby. Blackberries on the pancakes. Blackberries beside the planecakes. Blackbirdies around the planecakes.

THE BIRD FLEW NEXT TO THE PLANECAKES, YA FEEL ME? And now my entire free public school education has finally paid off.


Basic pancakes, the pancakes made with regular milk and baking powder fluffer, are considered “basic” because (supposedly) there are no special ingredients that you wouldn’t already have in your pantry, spice rack, and refrigerator. You can throw together basic pancakes on any given Sunday and they will be fine. Basic pancakes are thin, flat, and somewhat pale, which is fine, but just kinda, basic.

Buttermilk pancakes, on the other hand, the pancakes made with buttermilk and baking soda, are unbasic because it is a very rare, pretty much never, occasion that I have single-, maybe dual-, use buttermilk on hand to make buttermilk pancakes so I have to plan in advance and go to the market and buy buttermilk in the quart container for the better volume pricing over the pint container, the quart of which I will use only one quarter for pancakes, wonder what else I can make with leftover buttermilk, give up, then eventually throw nuclear-level fermented butttermilk chunks down the drain thus rendering the quart container volume discount more expensive than a pint anyway.

Of course, I very rarely, pretty much never, have straight-up milk at home either (what single, childless woman keep regular milk in her house on the regular?!), so in whatever case that I’m making pancakes basic or not, I have to go to the market first.


And if I have to go to the trouble of putting on a bra and/or even worse, real pants, and head out into public to the store to buy buttermilk and/or milk and/or wine coolers, what is stopping me from just forgoing all that trouble once I am already in the car and just going straight to BLD for pancakes?


I don’t even really like pancakes. (*gasp!* The horror!)

So no, I would never willingly go out to a restaurant, wait 90 minutes, and pay 14 dollars for pancakes.


I’d rather make pancakes at home right now for zero dollars with the ingredients I already have except for the buttermilk I had to go out to buy, and blog about how in the end “I don’t even really like pancakes” because the first pancake you pour onto the sizzling waterdrop hot griddle will always be bad, so you hide it under a paper towel next to the stovetop and cook the rest of the batter into a picture-perfect stack of thick, fluffy, golden-brown pancakes and while your surprise overnight guest oohs and aahs over the perfect pat of butter melting into glistening rivulets of warm, sticky, maple syrup, you secretly choke down the shame of your firstborn pancake, now shriveled, too cold, too old to have children (wait, what?!), while huddled over the sink by yourself.

Of course you don’t like pancakes if all you’ve ever eaten so far is unevenly browned, possibly undercooked in the center, plain, dry pancakes.

Stop eating the first pancake.

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes {recipe}

This is THE BEST recipe for basic buttermilk pancakes. Blackberries are only required if and when you are trying to check an item off a To-Do List.

servings totally depends on how big you make the pancakes, but probably makes about a dozen pancakes


2 cups all-purpose flour (if you have whole wheat flour, you can substitute up to 1 cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons (¼ cup) melted butter
2 large eggs
butter for cooking

for serving: fresh blackberries, mint, butter, warm maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar


In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk and sugar until sugar dissolves. Whisk in melted butter and eggs.

Fold dry ingredients into milk mixture until just moistened. The batter will be lumpy.

Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Melt a pat of butter, then gently “wipe” the butter with a clean dry paper towel.

Spoon about ¼ cup of pancake batter onto hot pan, using back of spoon or ladle to spread batter into circle. Cook until surface of pancake is covered with bubbles and edges appear dry, about 1 minute. Flip pancake with a thin spatula, and cook until lightly golden brown on the bottom, about 30 seconds. (The pancake does most of its cooking on the first side.)

This is your first pancake. It will not be good. Toss it, or just eat it yourself in private.

Wipe the skillet or griddle down with a damp paper towel (to pick up any pancakes bits). Cook the rest of the pancakes in the same way as above starting with melted butter “wiped” around the hot pan with a clean paper towel, and always wiping down the griddle between batches.

You can keep pancakes warm in a preheated 200ºF oven while you’re cooking.

Stack warm pancakes on serving plate. Top with pat(s) of butter, fresh blackberries, drizzle with maple syrup, and dust with confectioner’s sugar.


~ blackberries from Pudwill Berry Farms of Santa Barbara, at the Wednesday Santa Monica or Sunday Hollywood Farmers’ Markets
~ fresh mint from my garden!


~ Pancakes Breakfast Nachos. Period.
~ Basic Pancakes recipe (with regular milk and baking powder)
~ Banana Whole Wheat Pancakes recipe
~ Strawberry-ish pancakes and Multi-grain Pancakes at Coral Tree Cafe, Brentwood
~ Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes and thoughts on having trouble letting go
~ Pumpkin Pancakes recipe
~ Peanut Butter Pancakes recipe
~ Chocolate Pancakes Sundae with Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, and Cherries

{pancakes made for breakfast with munchkins, original instagram 080313}

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gravyboat sailor. October 8, 2014 at 5:12 am

Your post is so awesome I had little tears running down my cheeks. As a thirty something childless dude who also never keeps fresh milk I can fully relate to the whole first pancake syndrome. You rock.


2 J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats October 8, 2014 at 9:47 am

I think I just agreed with every word on this post. I also constantly try to incorporate almond milk in recipes that require milk because I never have MILK milk on hand. Word to the wise: it mostly works but never add vanilla almond milk to your eggs for scrambled eggs.


3 TheDelicious October 8, 2014 at 10:13 am

duly noted! LOL.


4 Plaincake October 8, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Hahaha… Sobicles. Hahaha. I also eat 1stborn all rubbery & last born thin & greasy. This has got to stop. Im eating a middle child soon


5 Trang October 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Hahaha! I’ll use up your left over buttermilk for ya… The problem with the first born is always the butter melted on your griddle. I just use a super nonstick skillet now for my pancakes, no need to butter it and your first born will be just as beautiful ;)


6 Karim Khoury October 10, 2014 at 12:22 am
7 H.C. November 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

makes me wonder what’s your stance on cheesy pancakes (ricotta, mascarpone, etc…)?


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