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Sourdough Pancake Recipe: Overnight or 6-Hour Pancakes

Katy maintains a 3-year-old sourdough starter and uses it for as much bread, muffin, and pancake baking as she can!

A complete batch of delicious sourdough pancakes

A complete batch of delicious sourdough pancakes

Overnight Sourdough Pancakes From Scratch

These sourdough pancakes are amazing. Anyone who's never had sourdough pancakes before will be blown away by their complex taste.

You will need a sourdough starter to achieve the sourdough flavor. The starter is a mixture of flour and water that allows wild yeast to grow. It takes about five days to create a new one, but it's very easy to do with my simple sourdough starter recipe. The starter needs to be "fed" periodically by discarding a portion and giving it fresh flour and water.

Pancakes are a great use for a sourdough discard. That's the portion of the sourdough starter that you would otherwise throw away when feeding it. Instead of throwing away the discard, why not make bread or pancakes with it?

The batter comes together quickly but does need to sit for a least six hours before making the pancakes. The key to great-tasting sourdough is giving the starter time to develop. As the starter sits in the batter, the microflora will consume more flour and continue to ferment. That's how you get the great taste!

We use a combination of wheat and oat flour to give the starter a variety of foods. This leads to a complex and totally delicious taste. You can use different types of flours, but keep in mind that if you do, you will need to adjust the water content.

Whip up the batter in the afternoon when you'd normally feed your starter, and you'll be ready to serve the pancakes for dinner. Or kick them off at night for breakfast pancakes.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

6 hours

30 min

6 hours 30 min

10 pancakes


Starting Ingredients:

  • 240 grams sourdough starter discard
  • 220 grams yogurt or buttermilk
  • 65 grams all-purpose flour
  • 25 grams whole wheat flour
  • 30 grams oat flour
  • 40 grams brown sugar
  • 3 grams cinnamon
  • 5 grams cream of tartar

Additional Ingredients:

  • 6 grams baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg


  1. Combine all "starting" ingredients in a glass bowl. Don't use any metal when handling starter.
  2. Cover with saran wrap or cloth. Let sit for at least 6 hours at room temperature or warmer. Batter can sit for up to 10 hours.
  3. Add "additional" ingredients to the bowl. Combine until smooth.
  4. Heat a medium-sized skillet and add butter.
  5. Cook pancakes on the skillet, adding butter as needed to keep from sticking.

Better Sourdough Taste

Letting the batter sit for six hours is the key to the sourdough taste. Make sure the batter is in a warm place in your kitchen. The starter needs warmth to continue to develop.

An active sourdough starter plays a big part, too. Any discard from an active starter will work. If you really want to ensure the sourdough taste is there, feed the starter a few hours before taking the pancake discard.

You should be able to smell the "sourness" in the batter when you mix it together. After six hours, the smell should be much stronger when you remove the covering! If it's not, then your starter wasn't able to grow. That's either because it was too cold or your starter wasn't active to begin with.

We also prefer yogurt for developing the best taste in the batter. The starter microflora seems to really like growing in the yogurt. The resulting pancakes are rich and perfectly sour.

Recipe Modifications

Here are a few ways you can change up this recipe to suit your individual preferences or dietary needs.

Whole Wheat

You can make the pancakes whole wheat by using only whole wheat flour. My family prefers mixed flour for a varied taste.


You can make this recipe gluten-free by using a few modifications. Use all oat or buckwheat flour. You'll also want a gluten-free starter. Yeast can grow in different types of flours, it just might be a little more difficult to get started.

How to Cook Perfect Pancakes

You worked hard on the batter, so make sure the pancakes look as good as they taste! Here are some pancake-cooking tips to help you get the most from your batter.

  • Give the pan enough time to heat up. Many cooks say their first pancake turns out awful. That's probably because they haven't let the pan heat up enough.
  • Get rid of lumps. For this batter, there shouldn't be any lumps left by the time you're spooning it into the skillet.
  • Don't flip your pancakes too soon. Wait a little longer than you think before you flip them to the other side. The pancakes will come off cleaner if they've had enough time to cook.
Sourdough pancakes deserve homemade syrup!

Sourdough pancakes deserve homemade syrup!

Homemade Syrup Recipe

This is optional but really pulls it together. Make some homemade syrup to go on your pancakes. This syrup is to die for and really compliments the sourdough taste, but it's pretty simple to make.


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir.
  5. Use this syrup for pancakes and store the rest in a jar in the fridge. Bring it out next time you make pancakes!

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