This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Sour cream pancakes are the perfect pancake: ultra fluffy, lightly tangy, and so delicious! You’ll never need to buy buttermilk again.

Sour cream pancakes
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

What’s the ultimate pancake? You might think buttermilk. But here’s a secret: sour cream pancakes are the best out there! They’re ultra fluffy, with a tangy flavor and a delicious texture. Even better: they’re made with a more common refrigerator ingredient. (At least, it is for us.) You never have to buy buttermilk again! These pancakes have whole wheat flour for a healthy spin, and taste incredible topped with maple syrup and a dollop of…you guessed it! Sour cream.

Got Greek yogurt? You can also make these as Greek Yogurt Pancakes!

Sour Cream Pancakes

What can you use instead of buttermilk in pancakes? Sour cream.

Yes, it’s a wonderful miracle of nature! Sour cream works in a similar way to buttermilk in pancakes. Adding sour cream to pancakes makes them tender, moist, and fluffy, with a richness and a light tang. How does it all work? The sour cream helps activate the baking powder in the batter, making them ultra light and fluffy. Move over buttermilk: sour cream is the new kid on the blcok!

What’s in these sour cream pancakes?

Want to make the very best pancakes? Alex and I usually have sour cream our fridge, left over from dolloping everything from tacos to sheet pan dinners. So we were delighted to find that you can use up leftover sour cream by making pancakes! It’s much more likely that we’d have that on hand than buttermilk, which is more of a specialty ingredient. Here’s what you need to have on hand to make pancakes with sour cream instead of buttermilk:

  • Whole wheat and all purpose flour
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Sour cream
  • Neutral oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Baking powder, cinnamon & salt

You might already have these ingredients in your pantry and fridge! Then you just need to mix the wets, mix the dries, and stir them together. Easy as that! It comes together into an easy breakfast for a special day, or a lovely brunch recipe. (Alex and I save pancakes for special occasions: on the regular we’re oatmeal breakfast type of people!)

Pancakes with sour cream instead of buttermilk

Sour cream pancakes toppings!

Pancake topping is an art form. Here are all the best sour cream pancake toppings to take them over the top:

  1. Dollop of sour cream (our favorite!)
  2. Nut butter
  3. Greek yogurt swirled with maple or honey
  4. Raspberry sauce or raspberry syrup
  5. Whipped cream (for a little decadence)
  6. Peanut butter & strawberry jam
  7. Quick blueberry sauce or strawberry sauce
  8. Berries & coconut bacon (surprisingly good!)
  9. Sliced bananas & rum-infused whipped cream
  10. Baked strawberries
Sour cream

Homemade sour cream: it’s a thing!

Did you know you can make homemade sour cream? It’s actually easy to make and a fun kitchen experiment! And it tastes incredibly rich and satisfying. All you need is 24 hours, heavy cream, and buttermilk. Let the two sit in a warm place for a day and it will thicken into a homemade version that tastes even better than the real thing. Go to How to Make Sour Cream!

Now of course, we know that you probably don’t have buttermilk and heavy cream lying around…unless you bought them for a baking project! So making sour cream at home is more of an interesting project to try. It’s magic how it thickens into delicious sour cream!

Sour cream pancakes

More sour cream recipes!

What else uses sour cream? Here are some of our favorite sour cream recipes to use up leftovers:

  • Wild Rice Casserole Instead of making a cheese sauce, this easy wild rice casserole is mixed with shredded cheese and sour cream. Yum!
  • Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream Adding sour cream to a tangy cucumber salad makes an irresistibly creamy sauce.
  • Sour Cream Pickle Dip Creamy and tangy, the flavor is like biting into a dill pickle spear. Perfect for chips!
  • Vegetarian Chili Perhaps the perfect use for sour cream…the best ever chili.

More pancake recipes

Here at A Couple Cooks, we love pancakes! Here are some of our favorites:

Pancakes with sour cream instead of buttermilk

This recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use 1 for 1 gluten-free flour.

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Sour Cream Pancakes

Sour Cream Pancakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 medium pancakes 1x
Save Recipe


Sour cream pancakes are the perfect pancake: ultra fluffy, lightly tangy, and so delicious! You’ll never need to buy buttermilk again.


  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (vegetable or grapeseed)
  • For serving: sour cream, berries, maple syrup


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and kosher salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the milk, sour cream, maple syrup, and oil.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Lightly butter a skillet and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet to medium low heat. Pour the batter into small circles. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden. Then flip them and cook until done. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. Shana M says:

    Can these be frozen?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      These won’t freeze well, sorry!