Give the blueberries a break. Strawberry Pancakes are my current favorite fruity flapjack! Ripe red berries add just a touch of tangy sweetness to this classic buttermilk pancake recipe. They’re such an easy breakfast recipe to master, especially for beginner cooks. Pancakes with fresh strawberries are easy enough for Saturday breakfast but impressive enough for brunch and practical enough for a lunchbox snack!
As president of the “brinner” fan club, I have spent quite a bit of time perfecting breakfast recipes that I feel good about eating at any meal. This doesn’t just include serving pancakes for dinner, it also means eating salad in the morning. (It’s never too early for veggies!)
My sons, however, have decided to pledge fealty to a rogue group known as “brack,” in which breakfast foods are snacked upon at various times throughout the day. And who can blame them? Who hasn’t had a bowl of cereal at 2 a.m. or enjoyed leftover bagels from the breakroom in the afternoon?
I’m a de facto member myself, not as a snacker, but as a provider of snacks. I fully support their membership and gladly pay the dues because, as it turns out, pancakes are a perfect snack. For them anyway.
And while it means a bit more legwork on my part, they’re a perfect snack for me…to cook! Pancakes are so easy to make and freeze for easy eating later on. They’re cost effective, have less packaging waste, and I know exactly what my picky little sugar goblins are getting into. (My banana bread pancake and pumpkin pancake recipes only call for 1 tablespoon of brown sugar!)
Pancakes with strawberries are a sweet summer treat we’ve been enjoying for years, but usually with macerated berries on top. These strawberry pancakes have them diced and folded right in for a big berry burst the kiddos (and, who are we kidding, you too) will love come breakfast, dinner, or snack time.
What’s the Best Skillet for Making Pancakes?
There are three practical options for most home cooks: non-stick, cast iron, and stainless steel. I’ve listed them here in order of personal preference.
- Non-stick: this is my go-to option for making pancakes. Because the batter has a relatively high amount of butter, you won’t need any grease or cooking spray when cooking pancakes in a non-stick skillet. After owning many non-stick skillets, this one from All-Clad is my far my favorite!
- Cast Iron or Stovetop Griddle: cooking pancakes in cast iron is also a terrific choice. Cast iron retains heat very well, so it’s an ideal choice for a recipe like pancakes where you have a cool or room temperature batter hitting a hot surface every few minutes – the cast iron won’t lose heat, and you’ll have evenly cooked, extra crispy golden brown pancakes every time. We like to cook pancakes in butter when using cast iron. We love our trusty Lodge cast iron skillet.
- Stainless Steel: we don’t recommend stainless steel for cooking pancakes unless you’re a very experienced home cook who is used to the nuance of cooking with stainless steel. Stainless steel can be tricky and pancakes are no exception – they tend to stick, plus the skillet will lose heat each time a new pancake is added to the pan, extending the cooking process. If you’re new to cooking, stick with cast iron or stainless steel. That being said, if stainless steel is your only option, you gotta use what you have! Be sure to grease the pan thoroughly, and allow for a slightly longer cooking time.
How to Make Strawberry Pancakes
The trick to nailing perfect pancakes is all in the tools and technique. But still, berries always make ’em better. Strawberry Pancakes are made with a simple but scrumptious combination of classic buttermilk batter and fresh diced strawberries. A dash of cinnamon and brown sugar instead of white add extra depth. This recipe easily doubles so make a big batch and freeze for future breakfasts.
- Combine the wet ingredients – melted butter, buttermilk, one large egg, and vanilla extract – in a spouted (or regular) bowl and whisk until very smooth.
- Combine the dry ingredients – all purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt, and cinnamon – in a large mixing bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients.
- Gently fold using a spatula until the batter just comes together. Some lumps are ok!
- Add fresh diced strawberries to the batter and gently fold them in.
- Rest the batter for 10 minutes, then stir to test the consistency. Too thick? Add buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time. Too thin? Do the same with flour.
- Heat a skillet over medium low heat.
- Pour ¼ cup portions of batter into the hot skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes, until bubbles rise to the surface and remain and the edges are firm.
- Flip the pancakes and cook 2-3 minutes more, until the pancakes are cooked through.
- Top with more fresh strawberries, and enjoy!
Let the Pancake Batter Rest!
Resting the batter allows the flour to properly hydrate by absorbing the liquids. You’ll notice after resting, any remaining small lumps of flour will have been absorbed, or will be quickly absorbed with a brief stir after resting.
Resting also gives your leavening agent (baking powder) time to activate. Overall, you’ll have lighter, fluffier pancakes if you give the batter time to rest for at least 10 minutes (and up to 30).
What’s the Best Temperature for Pancakes?
I cook pancakes just below a medium flame on my gas stovetop – somewhere between medium-low and medium. The skillet is heated to the correct temperature once you can sprinkle a few drops of water over the pan, the droplets skid around the surface and then evaporate. You want them dancing, not sizzling!
Pro-Tip: start with ONE single strawberry pancake as your test subject. By the time that first pancake is perfectly cooked through on both sides, you can be sure that the skillet is ready for larger batches.
More Tips for Perfect Pancakes Every Time!
- Fold the batter. Schitt’s Creek jokes aside, slide a rubber spatula or spoon down the inside of your mixing bowl, then gently lift the dry ingredients and turn them over (i.e. “fold”) them into the wet. Repeat the process until the mixture is combined. Some lumps are ok at this stage.
- Nail that texture! The consistency should be between the consistency of brownie batter and cake batter – thick, but pourable. If it’s too thin, add flour one tablespoon at a time; if it’s too thick, add buttermilk one tablespoon at a time.
- No special tools needed! An ice cream scooper is the perfect portion size for pancake batter – easy and (mostly) mess free – and a fish spatula will deftly manage the delicate art of flipping.
- Use a large 12″ skillet – this will give you enough room to cook three quarter-cup pancakes without crowding, along with plenty of room for flipping.
- Pancakes are ready to flip once the edges are set and bubbles rise to the surface of the pancake and remain after popping.
- Keep pancakes warm in-between batches by storing cooked pancakes on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven.
Make ‘Em Your Way!
- For an extra dose of fiber, substitute up to half of the all-purpose flour with wheat flour.
- If you avoid processed sugars, substitute one tablespoon of honey for the brown sugar in this recipe for pancakes with strawberries. PS – honey and half whole-wheat flour are a particularly tasty combination. (This has been tested and approved by my picky eater kids!).
- Make them dairy-free. Substitute an equal amount of non-dairy milk for the buttermilk. We prefer oat milk or cashew milk for their thicker texture. Use light olive oil in place of the butter, but reduce to 3 tablespoons instead of 4.
Toppings for Strawberry Pancakes
- Serve with sliced strawberries and real maple syrup.
- Top with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.
- Top with berry compote and a dusting of powdered sugar for a decadent brunch.
- Serve ’em “naked”! Strawberry pancakes are naturally sweet, and my kids love them in their lunch boxes or for an afternoon snack (and yes, they’re monsters who simply nosh on them without utensils).
Can I Double the Recipe?
YES! Please do. This pancake recipe doubles beautifully, but definitely use a very large mixing bowl.
Pro-Tip: when doubling a recipe for pancakes, I cook 2 batches at a time in two skillets. It makes for much quicker work on the stovetop!
Storing and Freezing
Hand to heart, I can count on one finger the days of week we don’t have pancakes stashed in the fridge or freezer. My kids LOVE pancakes and after making and storing approximately 5,000 pancakes in my lifetime, I can say two things with certainty: (1) pancakes store incredibly well; (2) I highly suggest doubling the recipe for quick breakfasts or snacks all week!
- To Store in the Fridge: store pancakes in a sealed container or ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave for 45 seconds, until slightly steaming, or in the toaster for 1-2 minutes.
- To Store in the Freezer: I prefer to flash-freeze pancakes for best results. To do so, arrange the pancakes in a single, even layer on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for 1 hour, until the pancakes are firm. Then move the frozen pancakes to a freezer bag and store up to 3 months – this method prevents the pancakes from becoming one solid lump, frozen together. Defrost in the microwave in 30-second increments, flipping the pancakes over in-between, or defrost larger batches by placing in the fridge overnight and reheating as noted under the “fridge” instructions above.
Did you make these strawberry pancakes? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Fresh Strawberry PancakesPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 1¼ c buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ c flour
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 heaping cup diced fresh strawberries, 6-7 large strawberries
- Cooking spray, or a neutral flavored oil light light olive oil
- fresh sliced strawberries
- maple syrup
- whipped cream
- berry compote
- In a 4-cup measuring cup or medium mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract until very smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; whisk until very well combined.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until the batter just comes together; some small lumps are okay!
- Add the strawberries to the batter and fold in gently.
- Rest the batter for 10 minutes, then give it one more stir. If the batter is too thick, add more buttermilk 1-2 tablespoons at a time; if the batter is too thin, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. The consistency should be between the consistency of brownie batter and cake batter – thick, but pourable.
- Heat a 12” skillet over medium low heat. The skillet is heated to the correct temperature once you can sprinkle a few drops of water over the pan, the droplets skid around the surface and then evaporate.
- Lightly mist the skillet with cooking spray or melt a small amount of butter (1-2 teaspoons per batch); see Note 1. Pour three ¼ cup portions of batter into the skillet, evenly spaced. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until the edges are set and bubbles rise to the surface of the pancake and remain after popping. Flip the pancakes (we like using a fish spatula!) then cook 2-3 minutes more.
- Remove the pancakes from the skillet onto a plate, or place in a 200°F oven to keep warm. Serve with more sliced strawberries and real maple syrup (or whipped cream!). Enjoy!
- Use half all purpose and half whole wheat flour.
- Use an equivalent amount of honey or agave in place of the brown sugar.
- Substitute the buttermilk for nut or oat milk.
- In place of butter, use 3 tablespoons of light olive oil.