Sourdough Pancakes or Waffles {Sourdough Discard Recipe}

This recipe makes the most amazing batter that can be used for sourdough pancakes OR waffles. It works great with sourdough discard!

This sourdough pancake and waffle batter has become a serious breakfast staple in our house.

The batter is mostly made the night before which makes the morning breakfast prep super fast and easy!

Four sourdough pancakes on white plate with fork piercing several pieces.

Overnight Batter

About 8-12 hours before you want to eat hot, fresh, amazing sourdough pancakes or waffles, mix up the main part of the batter:

  • flour (see notes in the recipe about using whole wheat)
  • buttermilk (homemade should work fine)
  • bit of sugar
  • sourdough starter (fed or discard; I almost always use discard)

Sourdough Tip: sourdough starters can vary in consistency and sourness. My sourdough starter is fed with a 1:1:1 ratio and has the consistency of thick runny batter. If your sourdough starter is much thicker (or much thinner), consider decreasing or adding flour in the recipe by 1/4 cup or so. 

Pouring sourdough discard into glass bowl with flour and buttermilk.

As the batter rests overnight, it will expand slightly and bubble throughout.

That is the sourdough working its magic!

Glass bowl with bubbly sourdough waffle batter.

Sourdough Pancake Batter

Right before making pancakes or waffles, whisk together the remaining ingredients:

  • eggs
  • oil
  • baking soda + salt

Add this mixture to the batter.

Normally, I’d just throw all those ingredients into the batter and mix them right in there without dirtying another bowl, but over-mixing this sourdough pancake batter can make the cooked pancakes (or waffles) gummy.

So don’t do that, ok?

Flipping pancake on griddle with spatula.

Pancakes or Waffles

This batter makes amazing pancakes OR waffles.

99{44affb6c5789133b77de981cb308c1480316fee51f5fd5f1575b130f48379a33} of the time, we make waffles with the sourdough batter. (You’ll see why in a second.)

But the pancakes are delicious, too. Thin and soft, they aren’t as thick as, say, these fluffy sour cream pancakes, but they are irresistible in their own right.

Open waffle iron with cooked waffle.

Sourdough the Easy Way

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, jumping on the sourdough train doesn’t have to be intimidating or life altering.

I prefer to “do sourdough” the lazy girl way. And most of the time, that means using recipes that call for sourdough discard.

This recipe for sourdough pancakes or waffles is easily the sourdough recipe I make most. It’s a weekly breakfast staple for our family. And my kids have almost all requested sourdough waffles for their birthday breakfasts this last year.

Fork with two pieces of waffle on white plate.

Let’s Talk About Cheese Waffles

Last week, my 10-year old daughter came home from school and said her teacher asked everyone to say their favorite breakfast when he called their name for roll, and when she loudly and proudly said “sourdough cheese waffles!*” everyone had a lot of questions.

If you’ve never had cheese waffles, you are missing out! It’s the reason we almost always make waffles out of this sourdough batter.

And before you unfollow me immediately, please hear me out. My husband brought this “recipe” into our marriage, and it was one of the best things I have gained from our partnership.

Right now, RIGHT NOW, rid yourself of the image of cheese waffles being like ooey gooey cheese pizza. It’s not remotely close to that. Because, EW!

Batter in waffle iron with shredded cheese.

No, cheese waffles are the brilliant product of sprinkling a smattering of sharp cheddar cheese, not too much, on top of the waffle batter.

Take a deep breath, close the waffle iron, and TRUST ME.

When cooked, the cheese crisps up giving a delicious subtle, salty bite which pairs PERFECTLY with the syrup drenched waffles.

Salty and sweet. Cheese waffles, especially with this sourdough waffle batter, are quite delicious.

Baked cheese waffle in open waffle iron.

One Year Ago: Easy Homemade Salted Butterscotch Sauce
Two Years Ago: Brown Butter Caramel Snickerdoodles
Three Years Ago: Brown Butter Pecan Granola 
Four Years Ago: Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping
Five Years Ago: Easy Pumpkin Bars with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Six Years Ago:  New England Clam Chowder {Our Favorite Version}
Seven Years Ago: Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Tortellini
Eight Years Ago: Baked Ham and Swiss Malibu Chicken 
Nine Years Ago: Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup
Ten Years Ago: Spaghetti Pie

Four sourdough pancakes on white plate with fork piercing several pieces.

Sourdough Pancakes or Waffles

  • 2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour (see note about whole wheat flour)
  • 2 cups (500 g) buttermilk
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups (270-400 g) sourdough starter, fed or discard
  • 2 tablespoons (27 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable, canola or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Stir down sourdough starter (whether it’s been at room temperature or in the refrigerator). In a large bowl, add flour, buttermilk, sourdough starter and sugar. Mix until evenly combined. A few small lumps are ok.

  • Cover and let rest at cool room temperature for 8-12 hours (or refrigerate for up to 3 days). The batter will bubble and expand.

  • Right before making pancakes or waffles, in a small bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, baking soda and salt until well combined.

  • Stir this mixture into the overnight batter and mix just until combined. Over mixing can cause the pancakes or waffles to develop a gummy texture when cooked. The batter will foam and bubble a bit while stirring; this is normal.

  • Cook pancakes on a preheated griddle and/or waffles in a preheated waffle iron. Serve waffles immediately for best texture (crispy on the outside).

Flour: I haven’t tried this recipe with whole wheat flour. If using whole wheat, I’d suggest using white hard or soft wheat (for a lighter texture) and start with using half whole wheat/half all-purpose and see how it goes. 
Sourdough Starter: different sourdough starters can vary in consistency and sourness. My sourdough starter is fed with a 1:1:1 ratio and has the consistency of thick but runny batter. If your sourdough starter is much thicker (or much thinner), consider decreasing or adding flour in the recipe by 1/4 cup or so. 

Serving: 1 pancake, Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 218mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g

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Recipe Source: adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour and this recipe from NYTimes (increased the flour slightly – the cup measure is the same, but KAF uses less weight per cup of flour than I do, so overall, I use about 1/4-1/2 cup more flour in the recipe; increased amount of sourdough starter similar to NYTimes recipe; added additional details to the recipe)

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