Cook this: Easy buttermilk pancakes

Lying on the couch last night with a throbbing headache, sore throat, and absolutely no voice, I decided to skip my usual 5.40am roll-out-of-bed-and-exercise routine this morning, and make pancakes for breakfast instead. Life is moving at a million miles an hour, and rather than slowing down (as my body is apparently suggesting I do), I’m only making more plans to speed it up and make it more crazy. I’m an idiot, I know. I’m also lucky to have a husband who supports all my crazy ideas and over-commitments, and I figured a “thank you and I love you” in the form of pancakes, a cup of tea, and half an hour to kick back and relax before work would be appreciated a lot more than anything flowers or scented candles. And if it meant that I could appease my body’s apparent anger at my hectic lifestyle by slowing down for 30 minutes and stopping to smell the pancakes, that couldn’t hurt either!

Photograph © Jess Carey 2014

These pancakes are literally easy enough to roll out of bed at 6.35am, have a shower, do your hair, put on a bit of make up, get dressed for work, and still have them on the table by 6.55am. Breakfast win.

Here’s what you’ll need for two decent pancake stacks (this mixture made 8 pancakes – 3 for me, 4 for husband, 1 for the incredibly grateful dog):
– 1⅓ cups self raising flour
– ¼ cup castor sugar
– 40g butter, melted
– 1 large egg
– 1½ cups buttermilk
– 2 tbsp. water
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– butter or spray oil for cooking


And here’s what you need to do to impress the pants off your breakfast date:

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add in the sugar.

2. Use a wooden spoon (controversial, I know, wooden spoon instead of whisk!) to then mix in the butter, egg, milk, water and vanilla until everything is well and truly combined and smooth. At this stage, feel free to add in anything else that tickles your fancy – orange or lemon zest, shredded coconut, blueberries, a swirl of Nutella, anything goes!

3. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat (I really need to stress here that medium heat is essential. I got a little excited and cranked the heat up to high for the first batch of pancakes, and they came off crisp and burnt. Luckily, husband actually quite likes a burnt pancake, but lesson learnt – you can’t rush pancake perfection!), and use either cooking spray oil or a little butter to coat the pan before dropping your pancake batter on. I used ⅓ measuring cups to measure out the mixture and they made nicely sized pancakes, but if you want miniatures or pancakes the size of dinner plates or anything in between, go nuts!

4. Let them cook on one side until you can start to see the bubbles forming in the batter – check they’re browned (but not burnt), then flip them over and let them cook for another minute or two on the other side.

5. To serve them up, I stacked mine and topped them with coconut yoghurt and diced plums, but this is where the fun starts and you can just go crazy on these guys and top them with whatever the hell you want!


You should get a thick, cakey pancake, owing mostly to the buttermilk, which is exactly how I like mine. This is by no means the “perfect” pancake (which is impossible to judge anyway, because we all have our own versions of “perfect”), but it’s quick and simple to make, super delicious, and very versatile. It’s also a great start to yet another mundane Friday, the solid energy boost I needed to get through another day of running like the little hamster on a wheel I often feel I am. Any other tips for making Fridays a little more manageable?!

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