Sourdough Pancakes

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Sourdough Pancakes are the perfect way to use your sourdough discard. They are light, fluffy, tangy, and great for breakfast or brunch!

A stack of sourdough pancakes topped with berries
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Sourdough Pancakes
  2. How to Obtain and Maintain a Sourdough Starter
  3. Recipe Tip
  4. Frequently Asked Questions About Sourdough Pancakes
  5. More Breakfast Recipes
  6. How to Make Sourdough Pancakes
  7. Sourdough Pancakes Recipe

Don’t throw away your sourdough discard – make these instead! Sourdough pancakes are one of our favorite weekend breakfasts. Don’t be deterred by the extra steps, your family will love these pancakes! They have a delicious, deep flavor, and they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Ingredients in Sourdough Pancakes

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Sugar
  • Buttermilk
  • Sourdough Starter Discard – see notes below for obtaining and maintaining a sourdough starter.
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Pancake Toppings – butter, maple syrup, whipped cream, berries, pecans, etc.
A stack of sourdough pancakes with a slice cut out topped with syrup and a strawberry

How to Obtain and Maintain a Sourdough Starter

Obtaining a Sourdough Starter

Obtaining a sourdough starter is the first and most important step of any sourdough journey. The starter is the rising agent and the flavor agent of sourdough bread and this sourdough pancake recipe. There are a few different ways to get your hands on a sourdough starter.

  • The easiest way is to ask around your friends and neighbors to see if anyone has a starter they can share. A healthy, active starter is easy to share and easy to maintain.
  • Buy a dehydrated starter. You can buy packets of dehydrated starter in some stores or online. I got my most recent sourdough starter from The Food Nanny. The Food Nanny sells her starter, called Etta, in her store and online. It has enough starter to start 3 starters, so make some and share some with friends or family. Your starter should come with instructions for rehydrating and maintaining.
  • Make your own starter. You can actually make your own sourdough starter. I do not recommend this route for beginners. It is a more involved process and it takes a while to introduce all the bacteria needed and get it active. If you are wanting to try this method, there are many resources online that detail how to make your own starter.

Maintaining a Sourdough Starter

Once you have your hands on a sourdough starter, you will need to feed it to keep it alive. Think of it as your new little pet. To feed your sourdough starter, first discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the starter. You can keep the starter discard to make sourdough discard recipes – like these sourdough pancakes – or just toss it. Then add 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. Stir together until combined. It should look and feel like a thick pancake batter.

How Often Should I Feed My Starter?

How often you feed your starter depends on how often you want to bake bread. I like to bake bread once a week, so I feed my starter once a week. When I am not feeding it or using it, I keep it in the fridge. Starter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks without feeding. Even if you are not baking bread, you need to feed your starter at least once every two weeks to keep it active. For this recipe, you need starter that has not been fed in the past 4 hours.

Recipe Tip

Sourdough pancake batter in a large bowl

When you add the baking soda and salt to the batter, the batter will quickly start to foam and rise. Make sure you are using a large bowl so it has room to grow!

Frequently Asked Questions About Sourdough Pancakes

Can I use sourdough starter straight from fridge for pancakes?

Yes! Just remove any liquid from the top and give it a stir!

Why are my sourdough pancakes gooey?

If your pan is too hot, the outsides will cook before the inside has a chance to cook. Lower the heat and cook low and slow.

What happens if you don’t discard sourdough starter?

If you don’t discard some of your starter, you will have way too much starter. It will be hard to feed and it will become inactive. This recipe is a great way to use some of that discard instead of throwing it away!

Read More: 33+ Easy Breakfast Ideas: Tasty Recipes By Category (30 mins or less)

More Breakfast Recipes

Syrup being poured on a stack of sourdough pancakes

How to Make Sourdough Pancakes

A stack of sourdough pancakes topped with berries

Sourdough Pancakes

Sourdough Pancakes are the perfect way to use your sourdough discard. They are light, fluffy, tangy, and great for breakfast or brunch!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Rising Time (Overnight) 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6


Overnight Sponge

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sourdough starter discard see post for details

For the Pancake Batter

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • The night before you want to serve these pancakes, mix flour, sugar, buttermilk, and sourdough starter in a large mixing bowl. Cover it and let it rise on the counter overnight. In the morning the mixture should be very light and airy and you should see lots of bubbles.
    Overnight sponge for sourdough pancakes
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup whisk together the egg and vanilla extract.
    egg and vanilla in a measuring cup
  • Add the egg mixture to the batter and mix until combined. Next, add the baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. The batter should foam up and bubble.
    Sourdough pancake batter in a large bowl
  • Heat a pan or griddle to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Once the sides start to dry and the top is bubbly, flip the pancake. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.
    A stack of sourdough pancakes topped with berries


  • You can also use this batter to make sourdough waffles in your waffle iron.
  • If you are making pancakes for a crowd, keep them warm by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet and putting them in the oven on warm. Keep the pancakes in the oven until ready to serve.
  • Store leftover pancakes in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. My favorite easy way to reheat leftover pancakes is in the toaster. 
  • You can make gluten-free sourdough pancakes with a gluten-free sourdough starter and cup-for-cup gluten free flour. 
  • Add your favorite pancake mix-ins like bananas, blueberries, chocolate chips, or a dash of cinnamon. 

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About the author

Kelsey Crist

Kelsey lives in Washington with her husband, Alex, and two cats, Diana and Nova. Her happy place is in the kitchen listening to an audiobook and trying new recipes. When she's not in the kitchen you can find her hiking, shopping at Trader Joe's, or playing Animal Crossing. Her favorite food is pasta and Alex loves when she makes Homemade Oreos.

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