Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Pancakes

by Rachel on February 26, 2010

Make them a part of your Sunday routine.

This is a perfect Sunday morning meal.  We’ve been making these since I was a child.  My father used to make “little-ees” (really tiny pancakes) and tails for our pancakes.  It was highly amusing for small children and adults alike.  I love food related patterns and routine.  I like the fact that my children ask for the same dinner for their birthdays every year (Seafood Stew – up next on this blog), the same birthday cake, and the same Sunday morning pancakes.  There is something so reassuring about pattern and routine.  My kids take comfort in the fact that the arrival of the weekend means another set of family meals eaten together.  Our big city lives are far too busy and chaotic.  I try to make our home a respite from all of that.

Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or one cup milk and one cup plain yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 vanilla bean

Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.

Using a sharp pointed knife, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle.  Grasp the end of the vanilla bean, holding it open with your fingers.  Take your knife and scrape away from you, scraping the soft interior of the vanilla bean onto your knife.  Don’t be afraid of this task.  My 11 year-old can do it – so can you!

Separate yolks and whites. Beat the whites with an electric hand mixer until firm but soft peaks are formed.  Set aside.  Beat yolks with the same hand mixer – just for a moment and then add the buttermilk and oil.

Mix in flour mixture with a whisk, add the vanilla bean and whisk until blended.  Gently fold in the egg whites.

Cook the pancakes on a hot griddle.  Serve immediately with real maple syrup (promise me you won’t put artificial maple syrup on these, promise?).

Note:  Vanilla Beans can be hugely expensive.  We found them recently at Costco for a fraction of what they can be elsewhere (No, I don’t work for Costco – I just shop there).

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

These look wonderful – We love pancakes in this house and these will be a great addition to the pancake variation library!!!

arugulove February 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Looks soooo good. I love vanilla anything.

Rachel February 27, 2010 at 6:52 am

Welcome back Cathy. I hope you enjoy the pancakes. Make them for your Dad – and tell him it’s my Dad’s recipe!

Rachel February 27, 2010 at 6:53 am

Me too. What is it about Vanilla? It’s reassuring somehow.

Melina February 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

The pictures? The recipes? The joie de vivre ? The combo got me, so I just joined your fan base.

sara February 28, 2010 at 12:07 am

Wow, these look amazing! I love love love buttermilk pancakes…yum!

Rachel February 28, 2010 at 7:00 am

Melina: Thanks so much for the kind words! Glad to have you here!

kim February 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I made these pancakes for breakfast this morning and they were awesome. My kids tore them up and they are super picky. I never thought of adding vanilla bean to pancakes. Thanks for the great recipe.

Rachel February 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Kim: In the interest of full disclosure, it was my son’s idea to add the vanilla bean to the pancakes. We’ve been making the recipe for 45 years without vanilla bean. My ten year-old LOVES vanilla and encouraged me to change the family recipe. I’ll make sure to tell him that you said thanks!

Cooking Rookie March 3, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Such a beautiful picture! I bet they taste great too! Thank you for sharing – I have not made pancakes for a long time, now I’m inspired :-)

Casey Angelova March 5, 2010 at 10:30 am

These look amazing! It is hard to find buttermilk in Bulgaria, but I use regular milk. I can’t wait to add these to my weekend repertoire! Happy Cooking!

Rachel March 5, 2010 at 10:40 am

Casey: You’ll want to substitute plain yogurt with the milk. Milk is too thin. When I don’t have buttermilk I use half plain yogurt and half milk. Can you get full fat plain yogurt? My family is from Ukraine. I love that someone in Bulgaria is making my father’s pancake recipe!!

Polly Motzko March 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm

This is such a nice article and recipe. I am going to add some organic vanilla extract instead of scraping the vanilla bean. I am sure it will turn out equally good.

Polly Motzko

Kitchen Adda March 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm

i tried this with normal buttermilk and at place of maple syrup i tried nice cheese white sauce ….that tasted haven .

u can try this too .

anyways thanks a million for such beautiful salty and healthy recipe.

do u have some nice and easy recipe for zucchini too??

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking March 6, 2010 at 11:33 pm

simple but beautiful. like it should be.

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