Overnight Sourdough Pancakes

These fluffy, soft overnight sourdough pancakes are the perfect way to use your sourdough starter discard in a simple batter that makes a quick, satisfying breakfast or brunch.

A stack of overnight sourdough pancakes, topped with whipping cream and berries, then with a drizzle of maple syrup.

I dearly love my sourdough starter. I mean, it’s basically the world’s quietest pet, and it makes bread for you. What’s not to love?

But there’s one thing about it that does bother me, and that’s the discard. You know when you feed it and you have to throw away some of the old, spent starter to make room for it to grow again after the new feeding? That bit always makes me cringe a little, because it always feels so wasteful and extravagant. Like, I fed it only throw it away the next day. How ridiculous!

Because of that, I’m always looking for ways to use up that bit of spare starter and make it useful. These pancakes are one answer to that dilemma, and a delicious one at that. You’ll end up with incredibly light, fluffy pancakes, because not only are you using a rising agent (baking soda), the sourdough starter activated by the overnight rest in the fridge. That also gives your pancakes more lift and a lighter texture, along with the classic sourdough tang that is just so good with the sweetness of fruit or syrup.

This recipe also makes for a quick breakfast that’s on the table in a few minutes because I can mix up most of the batter the day before I make the pancakes. And that’s always a win, especially when there’s a hangry toddler in the picture like there almost always is at my house. And if the toddler isn’t hangry, well, I probably am if I’m being honest. Thank goodness for pancakes.

How to Make Sourdough Pancakes

The ingredients for these pancakes are simple, and you probably have them all in your pantry right now. You’ll need:

  • A healthy sourdough starter (it doesn’t have to be active to use it for this recipe
  • Buttermilk or milk and lemon juice (see notes on how to make your own buttermilk)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda

The first four ingredients are the overnight portion of the batter–simply whisk them together, cover the bowl, and pop it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I like to use this batter bowl with a lid–not only does it make measuring ingredients easier, having a lid means you don’t have to use plastic wrap to cover the batter.

When you’re ready to make your pancakes, take the batter out of the fridge and whisk in the melted butter, eggs, salt, and baking soda. And your batter is ready!

To cook the pancakes, preheat a griddle over medium heat. I like to use cast iron, since it holds and distributes heat very evenly, and I absolutely love my Le Creuset Skillets for pancakes. Grease the hot skillet lightly with a bit of butter, and spoon 3-4 tablespoons of batter into the pan. Let them cook for a couple of minutes, or until the edges are starting to look a bit drier and the top batter has bubbles in it, then use a metal or plastic spatula to flip the pancakes.

If you want to add blueberries or chocolate chips to your pancakes, do it just after you’ve put the batter into the pan. This allows the add in to sink into the batter as it cooks.

A stack of overnight sourdough pancakes, topped with whipping cream and berries, then with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Notes on Making Overnight Sourdough Pancakes:

  • You can start your batter whenever you feed your starter, as long as it’s 24 hours or less before you plan to make your pancakes.
  • It doesn’t matter if the starter is active (bubbling and growing)–in fact, this is the perfect recipe to use a dormant starter discard.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, don’t worry! I rarely keep buttermilk in my fridge and usually “make” my own with whole milk and something acidic– usually lemon juice or white vinegar. Simply place 3 Tbsp. of lemon juice or vinegar in the bottom of your measuring cup, then pour in whole milk up to the 1 1/2 cup mark. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and looks a bit curdled, then continue with the rest of the overnight starter.

Can I freeze Sourdough Pancakes? How long will they keep in the refrigerator?

You can absolutely freeze your sourdough pancakes! I recommend freezing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then popping them into an airtight container or freezer bag once they’re frozen. The pancakes will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat

Do I have to let the batter sit overnight?

Technically you could mix the batter the morning you want to make the pancakes. However, they won’t be as fluffy or flavorful since the overnight rest activates the yeast in the starter and contributes to both the rise and flavor.

Are Sourdough Pancakes Healthier?

Yes! A short explanation is that sourdough foods are fermented they make for finished foods that are easier for your body to digest with more of the good bacteria that your starter feeds. These overnight sourdough pancakes are no exception, and you could make them even healthier (though less fluffy) by substituting in some white whole wheat flour.

However, pancakes aren’t a low calorie food, and I am in no way a nutritionist. So if you’re looking for dietary advice, be sure to ask a professional if sourdough products are a good fit for your health and lifestyle goals.

A stack of overnight sourdough pancakes, topped with whipping cream and berries, then with a drizzle of maple syrup.

If you don’t have a Sourdough Starter…

…now is the perfect time to start one! All you need is flour, water, a jar, and a baking scale. If you have a friend with a starter, I recommend just asking them for their discard and simply start feeding it. I used this tutorial from King Arthur Flour to start mine, but if you prefer a more visual style, here’s a great series on YouTube from Baker Bettie.

Toppings for Pancakes

A classic pat of melting butter and real maple syrup are always perfect, of course. But if you want to take your pancakes topping game to the next level, here are a few ideas…

  • Pile on the berries and whipped cream
  • Add a smear of nutella then pile on the sliced strawberries.
  • Start with some peanut or almond butter. Slice some bananas and toss on some chocolate chips.
  • Feeling extra indulgent? Make s’mores pancakes by sprinkling a pancake with a few marshmallows and popping them under the broiler for a few minutes to get them nice and melted and toasty. Finish it off by stacking with a few more pancakes, a sprinkle of crushed graham crackers, and a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce.

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Sourdough Pancakes


  • Author: Rebecca Neidhart
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1218 pancakes 1x

Description

These fluffy, soft sourdough pancakes are the perfect way to use your sourdough starter discard in a simple overnight batter.


Scale

Ingredients

Overnight Sponge:

  • 4 oz. sourdough starter (can be your discard for the day)
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. honey

For Finishing the Batter:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp. melted & cooled butter
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sponge. Cover and set it in your fridge overnight, or up to 24 hours.

To finish the pancake batter, add the eggs, melted butter, baking soda, and salt to the sponge and mix thoroughly. To cook the pancakes, heat a pan or griddle over medium heat until it’s hot but not scorching. Grease it (I like to add a bit of butter to the pan), then spoon 1/4-1/3 cup of the batter onto the pan, leaving enough space between the pancakes to prevent them from running together.

Cook the pancake for a minute or two, or until bubbles are forming on the top and the edges are beginning to look cooked, then flip it with a spatula. Cook the other side for a couple of minutes, or until golden brown, then remove it to a plate. Repeat the cooking/flipping process until you’ve used all of the batter.


Notes

  • This recipe is a great way to use your discard for the day when you’re feeding your starter.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Griddle
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: sourdough, pancakes, sourdough discard, breakfast, brunch

A stack of overnight sourdough pancakes piled high with whipping cream and berries.

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17 thoughts on “Overnight Sourdough Pancakes”

  1. Pingback: Blueberry Chocolate Scones - Good Things Baking Co

  2. Pingback: Raised Sourdough Donuts - Good Things Baking Co

  3. ‘These are the BEST pancakes ever’ was the response from my family this weekend.
    I love that I have another great recipe for my sourdough starter, that most of the prep is done the day before cooking, and I have a delicious stack in the fridge for the week because I doubled the recipe.
    Win Win 💗

  4. Pingback: What to Make with Sourdough Starter (Besides Bread) - Good Things Baking Co

  5. Hey, I’m so excited! This is just what I was looking for since I have a lot of extra starter. However, I was wondering if I could do this with just active starter instead of adding baking soda as well? I would love if you could get back to me before the day is up, ’cause I’m so excited to make the sponge tonight! I’m a trouble shooter and would probably try it if you don’t say otherwise soon enough. 😉 Thank you!!!!😋👍

    1. Rebecca Neidhart

      Hey Tristan!

      You can absolutely use an active starter! You might consider using a generous sized bowl just in case your batter grows a lot overnight, but it should be just fine! And I would probably still add the baking soda, since it will lend a quicker rise and fluffier pancake, but with an active starter it probably wouldn’t be strictly necessary. Let me know how they turn out!

  6. So, I made these on Saturday and they were a big hit! I was making them for a lot of people so I had a good amount of batter to experiment with. I tried doing some without a rising agent, just the active starter, but that didn’t work out. I also did it with extra egg and baking powder for fun, but still flat!😤😂 So I finally did the baking soda….and that was perfect!!!😋

  7. Love this recipe. Everytime I make bread, I use my throwaway starter to make a batch of batter, and then freeze it. Take it out Saturday morning, and Sunday morning pancakes are quickly becoming a tradition! Many thanks.

  8. My family and I loved this pancake recipe so much! Made them multiple times. I 100% reccomend these

  9. The best pancakes ever. I couldn’t figure out why pancakes from childhood tasted so good for over 15 years. Now I know why. It’s the Sourdough. Thank you thank you.

    1. Rebecca Neidhart

      Hi Brooke! I don’t recommend making the batter any more than 24 hours ahead of time. Because the yeast in the starter is living, it won’t remain active much longer than that, and the other rising agents have a similar life span. This means that your pancakes will be flat and dense, rather than fluffy and light. I hope you figure out a schedule that works for you!

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