IHOP Buttermilk Pancakes

IHOP may be international, but it’s easy to whip up a hot, fluffy batch of buttermilk pancakes just like they do right in your home kitchen. Customized with mix-ins and flavored syrups, it’s a restaurant-quality breakfast the whole family will love. You are going to love this copycat International House of Pancakes recipe, these are the best pancakes. 

Pouring syrup over copycat IHOP buttermilk pancakes on a plate.

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IHOP original buttermilk pancakes recipe

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So don’t settle for any old pancakes or waste your weekend waiting for a table at a restaurant. Make some just like the pros at IHOP, who’ve been slinging breakfast food and other tasty meals for over 65 years in more than a dozen countries.

You don’t need to be an experienced short-order cook to make these fluffy, delicious, filling pancakes, perfect for a quiet morning or a bustling brunch buffet. 

What makes IHOP buttermilk pancakes so good?

The combination of flavor and texture in these delicious pancakes can’t be beat. The batter has a subtle sweetness, complemented by the characteristic tang of buttermilk. This works perfectly with rich butter and sweet syrups or other toppings.

Meanwhile, forget about heavy, dense pancakes. IHOP-style buttermilk ones are light as air, allowing hungry diners to devour a whole stack!

What makes this the best recipe to try for making IHOP pancakes?

There’s no doubt there are a lot of recipes out there that claim to recreate IHOP buttermilk pancakes. But this copycat recipe takes the cake, as they say.

This IHOP pancake recipe is straightforward enough for any home cook (even before your morning coffee) and reliably delivers tasty, fluffy pancakes just like the ones fresh off the griddle at IHOP.

Plus, they serve as the perfect canvas for whatever flavors you’re craving or an easy way to turn basic ingredients into a filling breakfast feast.

Ingredients you’ll need

Simple pantry items and a few common, affordable, fresh ingredients combine to create this delightful, fluffy batter:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Buttermilk 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Egg
Copycat IHOP buttermilk pancakes ingredients in bowls.

Ingredient notes and substitutions

Those with dietary issues can make minor adjustments to this recipe if needed. For example, the all-purpose flour can be swapped for a cup-for-cup gluten-free blend.

In addition, it’s easy to replace the buttermilk with non-dairy alternatives for those sensitive to real milk products, though it may lack the characteristic tang of buttermilk. Adding a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to these alternative milks can add the acid they lack.

How to make IHOP buttermilk pancakes

First, you’ll need to make the batter:

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg, buttermilk, and oil in a separate small bowl.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir until just combined – don’t overmix, it’s okay to have some lumps.
  4. Cover the bowl and pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes. 

Check the texture by stirring the batter to ensure there aren’t any clumps of dry ingredients remaining. If it’s too thick, thin it with a bit more buttermilk. Making the pancakes themselves is simple, too:

  1. Heat a griddle or heavy skillet (like cast iron) over medium-low heat. 
  2. Grease the pan with a light layer of vegetable oil.
  3. Pour batter in a 4 or 5-inch circle onto the cooking surface spaced appropriately to flip easily. 
  4. Cook on one side until tiny bubbles form on the surface and the edges dry out.
  5. Flip the pancake and cook until golden brown.
  6. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Collage of making copycat IHOP buttermilk pancakes.

Keep the finished pancakes warm by tenting them under aluminum foil on a baking sheet in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven.

Serve the pancakes with butter, maple syrup (warm syrup is great), or other toppings.

A stack of copycat IHOP buttermilk pancakes with butter and syrup being poured on them.

IHOP pancakes toppings

Pancake toppings are nearly endless, from mundane everyday options to bizarre, outlandish ones. If you’re looking for some delicious new ones to tantalize your tastebuds, try these:

  • Poached fruit: Apples and peaches are particularly delicious choices. Amp up the flavor by drizzling a bit of cooking liquid over the pancakes, too. 
  • ‘Smores: Spread a thin layer of Fluffernutter between each pancake and top with chocolate sauce. Finish it off with a sprinkle of crushed graham crackers.
  • Banana custard: Spread vanilla pudding between each layer of pancakes. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the stack, add a few slices of fresh banana and a sprinkling of crushed vanilla wafers.

What goes well with IHOP original buttermilk pancakes?

While these hearty and filling pancakes are good on their own, they can also be a delicious part of a breakfast feast. Pancakes always pair well with breakfast meats like crispy bacon, savory sausage, or indulgent ham.

Adding scrambled, fried, or poached eggs can make it an even heartier meal, as can the addition of breakfast potatoes or hash browns.

Meanwhile, those focused on their health can enjoy these pancakes with delicious fresh fruit.

If you want new protein pancakes, check out my latest recipe for IHOP Protein Pancakes.

How to store

If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, or you simply want to prepare breakfasts ahead of time, you’ll be pleased to know these IHOP pancakes keep well. Pancakes that will be eaten within the next day or so can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

Preserving them for any longer than that requires freezing them, a straightforward process:

  1. Cool the pancakes to room temperature on a wire rack.
  2. While they’re cooling, cut squares of parchment or wax paper roughly the size of each pancake. 
  3. Stack the pancakes with a square of paper between each to prevent sticking and make defrosting a few at a time easier. Store this stack in an airtight, freezer-safe container or freezer bag. 

They’ll keep in the freezer for up to a month.   

How to reheat

Reheating your IHOP buttermilk pancakes is nearly as simple as freezing them. Use the microwave to do it, heating three frozen pancakes for about a minute and a half. Pancakes that have been kept in the fridge only need about 45 seconds. 

FAQs for IHOP original buttermilk pancakes

How does IHOP get its pancakes so fluffy?

The secret to creating IHOP’s cloudlike fluffiness in its pancakes is the dual action of baking soda and baking powder. They’re both leavening agents, helping the mixture rise by releasing CO2 (carbon dioxide) bubbles. 

While they sound similar, the two substances have important differences. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate and creates CO2 when it mixes with an acidic liquid, like the buttermilk. Baking powder is a mixture that already contains a powdered acid in addition to sodium bicarbonate. Therefore, adding any liquid will cause it to start working.

How many calories are in IHOP buttermilk pancakes?

According to IHOP’s nutritional menu, each buttermilk pancake contains about 150 calories and six grams of fat. Of course, this is before adding any butter or syrup, which can pack on the extra calories. 

What is the difference between original and buttermilk pancakes?

Traditional IHOP pancakes are made using buttermilk like this recipe, but other restaurants and home cooks may use regular whole milk instead. These are relatively similar but don’t have the same tang that buttermilk contributes and may not rise as well due to the lack of acidity in regular milk.  

Copycat IHOP buttermilk pancakes with butter and syrup on a plate.

Love IHOP? Check out these copycat recipes

More breakfast recipes

Check out even more of my easy breakfast recipes and copycat food.

Pouring syrup over copycat IHOP buttermilk pancakes on a plate.

IHOP Buttermilk Pancakes

You can recreate the IHOP buttermilk pancakes at home. 
4.86 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Buttermilk Pancakes, IHOP Recipes, Pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 356kcal


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk plus 2 to 4 tablespoons if needed to thin the batter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for the pan
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • syrup for serving


  • Place the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the buttermilk, oil, and egg and use a spoon to mix until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add a little more buttermilk and mix well.
  • Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and brush with a bit of oil. Pour the batter onto the skillet or griddle until it spreads to the desired size. When the pancakes begin to show tiny bubbles on top, flip them over and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve warm with your favorite syrup.



This recipe makes about nine 4-inch pancakes.
Turning pancakes is made much easier if you spray your pancake turner with a nonstick spray. The turner does not stick to the uncooked pancake batter when you are turning them.


Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 398mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kahwana

    5 stars
    This recipe is spot on! I used buttermilk & made them exactly as the recipe states. They rose up well and were fluffy. The texture was perfect. I never use oil or spray oil in my pan. I use a very good non-stick pan & it’s not necessary. No oils or spray allows the pancakes to brown without being crisp. This will be my go-to pancake recipe.

    • Stephanie Manley

      I don’t know what happened. What was your question? I don’t know if you will receive a notification to this question because you left an invalid email address. I tried to reach out to you, but again it was invalid.

      • Dave

        The burgers aren’t the only good thing there. I’ve been getting the country fried steak with mashed and corn with the white sausage gravy over all. Delicious and all for about $10. I use their app so I can swing by on my way home from work and do a grab-and-go!

    • Josh Wright

      These pancakes were amazing! They taste just like IHOP. Instead of using cooking spray we use real butter to coat the skillet. All of the required ingredients is cheap. I never go to IHOP anymore because I can make the same quality pancakes in the confront of my House. Every time I make these people love them. I’m a very picky eater, and I love these. If you love pancakes you will love this recipe!

  2. Elsa

    5 stars
    I made these this morning and they were delicious!!! However, like some of the comments suggested, I would not grease my stainless steel griddle so that the pancakes would have a nice even color, instead of spots. Aside from the spotty look (which was completely my fault), the pancakes were light, fluffy, and delicious! My entire family enjoyed them. Thank you!

  3. Cristy K.

    Delicious! I’ve made many different homemade pancakes recipes but was never able to replicate the signature IHOP taste. These are definitely a great replication! I never have buttermilk on hand so I soured milk. I also don’t spray the griddle or use butter on the pan as the pancakes get that signature all over golden brown surface by not greasing the surface. If you’re looking for pancakes with that “something special” these are it.

    • Jeanine

      You don’t need buttermilk in hand all you need is a tablespoon of lemon and a cup of milk stir let stand for 5 minutes

  4. Jonathan

    Has a former IHOP cook, I will tell you there is one serious error in this recipe. IHOP does not use cooking spray or oil to cook the pancake. A pancake will not stick to a properly prepared griddle or non stick cooking surface. Using cooking spray or oil changes the top of the pancake from a soft sold golden color to a crispy splotched crater effect. You want to have the flavor of pure melted butter on the hot pancake as opposed to an absorbed flavor during cooking.

    • joel

      5 stars

      Thank you for your post. I have been making pancakes for a very long time. I would always apply butter to the cook surface. I could not get the desired effect on the finished product. I use a cast iron griddle that is always properly seasoned. By not applying butter or spray the pancakes came out perfect! This recipe is dead on. Thanks guys.


  5. Carol

    I lived in America for the past two years as an exchange student, and IHOP was one of my favorite restaurants. Right now I am back in Brazil, where I’m from, and this pancakes recipe definitely made me feel like I was eating at IHOP, I loved it. And my mom put her hands down to it too !!!

  6. Jim George

    Hi great recipe. In fact it’s my go to recipe for pancakes.

    However, if there’s one thing I do differently and would change its that the egg white be separated from the yolk. Mix the yolk with the wet ingredients and beat the white separately until slightly stiff.

    Fold the egg white into the batter slowly at the end after you have mixed all your wet and dry ingredients together. This way you get the fluffiest pancakes.

    Thanks again for sharing this with the world.

    • Paige Woods

      My name is Paige Woods, and I’m 12yrs old. I love to cook/bake and I just wanted to say, this pancake recipe is so amazing and the flavor is just like Ihop pancakes! They are so fluffy! Mr. Jim, you did GREAT putting this together… I made it today for my family and they were amazed!

      If you want a good syrup recipe that requires less brown sugar, I listed one below!



4.86 from 41 votes (30 ratings without comment)

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