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Milk Pancakes vs. Buttermilk Pancakes: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 21, 2024
Milk pancakes use regular milk, resulting in a classic, mild flavor; buttermilk pancakes use buttermilk, offering a tangy taste and fluffier texture.

Key Differences

Milk pancakes, made with regular milk, have a traditional, familiar taste and a slightly denser texture. Buttermilk pancakes, on the other hand, are known for their tangy flavor and light, fluffy texture, thanks to the acidic content of buttermilk which reacts with baking soda or baking powder to create more rise.
The primary difference in ingredients is the use of regular milk in milk pancakes and buttermilk in buttermilk pancakes. This not only affects the flavor but also the batter consistency. Milk leads to a thinner batter, while buttermilk often results in a thicker one, impacting the final pancake's texture.
Milk pancakes are a staple in many households, often reflecting a simple, classic approach to pancake making. Buttermilk pancakes, however, have a distinct place in American cuisine, often associated with a richer, more indulgent breakfast experience.
The nutritional content varies slightly between milk pancakes and buttermilk pancakes. Buttermilk can add a bit more acidity and slightly fewer calories compared to regular milk, but the overall nutritional difference is generally minimal.

Comparison Chart

Main Ingredient

Regular milk


Mild, classic
Tangy, rich


Lighter, fluffier

Batter Consistency


Cultural Significance

Common, everyday
Rich, traditional American

Milk Pancakes and Buttermilk Pancakes Definitions

Milk Pancakes

Milk pancakes represent a basic and easy-to-make breakfast option.
Milk pancakes are my go-to recipe when I'm short on time.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes are fluffy pancakes made with tangy buttermilk.
Buttermilk pancakes are my favorite Sunday brunch item.

Milk Pancakes

Milk pancakes offer a denser texture, perfect for a hearty breakfast.
Milk pancakes kept me full throughout my morning hike.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes often rise higher than regular milk pancakes.
I love how fluffy and tall these buttermilk pancakes get.

Milk Pancakes

Milk pancakes are traditional pancakes made using regular milk.
I prefer milk pancakes for their classic, comforting taste.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes are known for their airy, tender texture.
These buttermilk pancakes are so light, they practically melt in your mouth.

Milk Pancakes

Milk pancakes are known for their simple, unaltered flavor profile.
Milk pancakes go well with just a dab of butter and syrup.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes are a classic in American breakfast cuisine.
Buttermilk pancakes remind me of cozy mornings at my grandmother's house.

Milk Pancakes

Milk pancakes are versatile, easily accommodating add-ins like fruits or chocolate chips.
I love adding blueberries to my milk pancakes for extra flavor.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes have a richer flavor due to the acidic buttermilk.
The tanginess of buttermilk pancakes pairs perfectly with maple syrup.


What are buttermilk pancakes?

Pancakes made with buttermilk, known for their tangy taste and fluffy texture.

Are milk pancakes easier to make than buttermilk pancakes?

Both are similar in difficulty, but buttermilk pancakes require an extra ingredient.

Is there a nutritional difference between milk and buttermilk pancakes?

The difference is minimal, with buttermilk pancakes having slightly less fat.

Do milk pancakes taste different from buttermilk pancakes?

Yes, milk pancakes are milder, while buttermilk pancakes are tangier.

Why do buttermilk pancakes rise more?

The acidity in buttermilk reacts with leavening agents, causing more rise.

What toppings go well with milk pancakes?

Classic toppings like syrup, butter, and berries pair well.

Can I freeze buttermilk pancakes?

Absolutely, freeze them for quick and easy future meals.

Can I use buttermilk instead of milk in pancake recipes?

Yes, buttermilk can be used for a tangier flavor and fluffier texture.

What are milk pancakes?

Traditional pancakes made with regular milk, offering a classic flavor.

Can I make buttermilk pancakes without buttermilk?

Yes, by adding lemon juice or vinegar to milk as a substitute.

Can I make milk pancakes vegan?

Yes, by using plant-based milk and egg substitutes.

What's the best way to reheat milk pancakes?

In a toaster or oven for a crispy texture.

What toppings suit buttermilk pancakes?

Rich toppings like whipped cream, nuts, and fruit compotes are great.

How do I make buttermilk pancakes vegan?

Use vegan buttermilk (plant milk + acid) and egg substitutes.

Do milk pancakes freeze well?

Yes, they can be frozen and reheated.

Are fruit add-ins good in buttermilk pancakes?

Absolutely, fruits like blueberries enhance their flavor.

Is there a difference in cooking time between the two?

Not significantly, but buttermilk pancakes may need slightly more time due to thickness.

Can both types of pancakes be made ahead of time?

Yes, both can be prepared in advance and stored or frozen.

How should I reheat buttermilk pancakes?

Gently in the microwave or oven to maintain fluffiness.

Can I add chocolate chips to milk pancakes?

Yes, they're great for adding extra flavor.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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