Big as Ya Head Buttermilk Pancakes

Kid-approved Buttermilk Pancakes so simple almost make themselves

My kids are obsessed with food that’s bigger than their head. Me? I’m obsessed with cutting food waste. And my grocery bill. And using up everything in the fridge every week. And removing packaged foods from our diets. So this recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes ticks all the boxes. You’ll use up the leftover buttermilk from making our ah-may-zing Buttermilk ‘Fried’ Chicken Burgers, the kids get head-sized pancakes and I get the satisfaction of knowing every single ingredient my kids are eating.

As for you? Well, these pancakes just taste freaking awesome. So get in there. Give these buttermilk pancakes a whirl this weekend – perfect for a lazy brunch, ideal for sleepovers (best.mum.ever) and they save great for lunchboxes and after-school or after-workout snacks during the week. Just check ‘em in an air-tight container in the fridge, layered with baking paper to stop them sticking.

What is buttermilk?

Back in ye olde days, buttermilk was the liquid left over when cream was churned into butter. But if you don’t happen to have a butter churn at your place and you prefer to get your biceps at the gym than by channelling your inner milkmaid, you can just buy buttermilk at the supermarket.

We roll with the Aldi one, because it’s cheap and good.

Can I substitute regular milk for buttermilk?

Yeah you can, but it won’t be quite so fluffy and light. Buttermilk is a little more acidic than milk, which curdles the protein (sounds gross, right?) but it makes the milk a little thicker than your reg cow milk. When the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda in your pancake mix, it results in light, fluffy pancakes – even when they are as big as ya head!

Make your own buttermilk alternative

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand and you can’t be f*cked hitting the shops and the kids need pancakes NOW, just chuck a tablespoon of lemon juice into a cup of milk, stir through and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will thicken slightly and you’re ready to rumble.

Making the perfect head-sized buttermilk pancakes

You want your pan on medium. Don’t be tempted to rush these by going with a higher heat – you’ll burn the bums and it will be harder to flip with a gooey middle.

We use a small non-stick frypan, sprayed with a little olive oil or coconut oil spray.

Ladle your mixture in, then spoon it out to make it as large as you like. The mix is thick – if you don’t stretch it out in the pan you’ll get really thick pancakes. Which might be your jam, but I prefer mine a bit less dense.

Once bubbles form on the surface, use two spatulas or an egg flip and get it right under there. You don’t want to drop your pancake or muck up the sides with any droopiness. Flip it over, cook until golden and you’re good to go.

Disclaimer: I don’t actually eat these. The flour doesn’t like my tummy. Or the other way around. But my kids SMASH them. So I make them regularly and get the kids to top with yoghurt, strawberries, bananas, maple – whatever.

It’s an easy after-school snack without a preservative, additive or plastic wrapper in sight.

Makes 4 head-sized pancakes, 8 regular pancakes and 12 pikelets.

Big as Ya Head Buttermilk Pancakes

Light, fluffy buttermilk pancakes so simple the kids can make them. Makes 4 head-sized pancakes, 8 regular pancakes or 12 pikelets. (Depending on the size of ya head!)
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings 4
Calories 283 kcal


  • 1 cup wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • .5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil spray to coat the pan


  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. You’ll be left with the little husks from the wholemeal flour – just them in after you’ve sifted everything.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla in another bowl.
  • Add half the milk mixture to the flour mixture and fold through with a spatula. Then add the remaining milk mixture and fold to combine. (It will still be quite lumpy – don’t stress. If it’s too thick to stir, add a little more milk. But it should be quite thick.)
  • Let sit for 5 minutes while you chuck your makeup on, make lunches or sit in the sun with a cup of tea (lucky you).
  • Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil or use coconut oil spray in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Add spoonfuls of the batter to the pan and cook until bubbles form on the surface.Flip to cook the other side till golden and repeat, adding a little oil as required.
Keyword lunchbox, pancakes


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