Stack of three buttermilk pancakes with basil leaf and orange in background with maple syrup being poured over it.

Orange Basil Buttermilk Pancakes

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Buttermilk pancakes. Is there anything more small-town America than a steaming plate of fresh flapjacks and a cup o’ joe to start the weekend? I mean, besides the usual, naming a dog Lassie, having a Ford pickup rusting on your lawn, knowing everyone’s name at the grocery store, learning how to drive when you’re 10— I digress. Anyway, these orange basil buttermilk pancakes will bring your griddleback game into the 21st century, and, bonus, they’ll dazzle your social followers as well.

Seriously, prepare yourself for a new Saturday morning tradition.



  • AP flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • sugar
  • salt
  • eggs
  • buttermilk


Don’t get too wrapped up in techniques; save that for your no-sugar pumpkin roll (don’t get me started on pumpkin rolls ). Dry ingredients get sifted in a small bowl and wait for the wet ingredients.

Wet ingredients go in a medium-large bowl, but the eggs need a quick whisk before we add in our buttermilk. Remember, we’re making orange basil buttermilk pancakes, NOT scrambled eggs or mousse. Don’t go crazy. Set a timer for 10-seconds and get your whisk on.

Basil time!

Strip your leaves from the stems and roll them into a nice right lump (shapes and sizes will vary). Mince that basil! Tiny bits of fresh basil will infuse your batter with a rich herby flavor that the bright orange zest will cut through and complement. It’s kinda magical. Stir that in your wet ingredients [use your whisk, it’s right there].

Now, fold in your dry ingredients.

Type-A Chef Note:

I get it, “fold in” is akin to saying “a pinch,” or cooking instructions including the phrase “until done.” WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???!!!?!?!! So, let’s elaborate. Specifically, for these orange basil buttermilk pancakes, “fold in” means stir with a whisk until the big powdery clumps have been incorporated, BUT NOT until the batter is completely smooth. Baby clumps, the size of halved peas, are good.

Let this folded batter sit on the counter and acquaint itself whilst you zest an orange. Also, now is a good time to heat your pan.

Top Tip: I always forget to wash my oranges before I zest them, but you’re better than that. It’ll remove some of the bitterness from your zest. Also, use organic oranges when zesting. Your body will thank you, and your flapjacks will be better for it. Now you know.

Zest an orange paying careful attention to avoid going too deep into the flesh. Sounds weird, but that white orange-flesh won’t do your buttermilk pancakes any favors. Trust me on this.

Pan heating tips:

Where pan heating is concerned, butter will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know. I roll a butter stick across the hot pan’s surface. If it hisses AND steams, IT’S TOO HOT! Pull the pan off the burner and let it cool. When you roll your butter on the pan’s surface, there should be a nice sizzle but NO discoloration or jets of steam. No sizzle? More heat. Hiss? Too hot!

I use a ladle to ladle in the perfect amount of batter. That way I’m not making Godzilla pancakes followed swiftly by something resembling a gnome’s yarmulke. The ladle helps. Don’t ruin your orange basil buttermilk pancakes with helter-skelter ladling.

After the ladle, sprinkle some orange zest on your flapjack. Think even pieces, like a perfect pepperoni pizza. You want a tiny bit of zest every bite or so. Flip when golden brown. Top Tip: own the flip. Hesitation will only lead to a mess. You’re the chef. Be the chef. #owntheflip

Annnd, enjoy! Slather with real maple syrup, and enjoy!


made in USA sifter

a flapjack pan


Should I heat the pan before putting in the orange basil buttermilk pancakes?

Should you wear sunglasses when driving through Arizona in July? Should you eat a bagel and lox when visiting New York? Should you wash your hands after touching raw chicken? Should I go on? [see above “pan heating tips”]

Why should I use buttermilk?

Buttermilk is one of the greatest additions to the centuries-old meal. The Greeks used curdled milk, honey, and olive oil in their pancakes. That little zippy tang in each bite is what makes the buttermilk so necessary.

Can I make buttermilk with milk?

Absolutely. 1 cup (240 ml) of milk with 1 TBS (15 ml) of either white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir them together, and let them get acquainted for 5-minutes. It’s that easy.


vegan banana bread (it’s better than you think)

no-sugar pumpkin roll

no-lard tortillas

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Stack of three buttermilk pancakes with basil leaf and orange in background with maple syrup being poured over it.

Orange Basil Buttermilk Pancakes

  • Author: Benjamen
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Diet: Low Salt


These orange basil buttermilk pancakes should be called “fluffy perfection cakes.” Yeah, they’re good.


  • 2 cups (480 ml) AP flour
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
  • 2 tsp (10 ml)baking powder
  • 1/2 TBS (7.5 ml) minced basil
  • 1 TBS (15 ml) sugar or 1/2 TBS (7.5 ml) maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (240 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract


  1. Sift dry ingredients in a small bowl.

  2. In a medium-large bowl, whisk your eggs before adding the rest of your wet ingredients.

  3. Strip your leaves from the stems and roll them into a nice right lump. Finely dice the basil leaves before you stir them into your wet ingredients.

  4. Fold your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients.

  5. Let folded batter rest for five minutes.

  6. Zest an orange while avoiding going too deep into the flesh.

  7. Set pan on stove. See “Pan heating tips” above.

  8. Ladle in the perfect amount of batter.

  9. Sprinkle on some orange zest.

  10. Flip when bottom is golden brown. Remove from heat when both sides of your orange basil buttermilk pancake are perfectly golden.

  11. Slather with maple syrup, and enjoy!


made in USA sifter

a flapjack pan

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: best buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, perfect buttermilk pancakes, orange basil buttermilk pancakes

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