Overnight pancakes are the fluffiest, most flavorful pancakes you will ever make. Everything is mixed together the night before and then cooked in the morning!
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I absolutely love breakfasts that you can make the night before, whether it’s Overnight Breakfast Casserole, Overnight Oats, or Overnight Cinnamon Rolls. I am often pretty tired in the morning and putting together a big breakfast seems like a challenge. I would much rather just reach into my fridge and pull out some ready-to-bake pancake batter.
With this overnight pancake recipe, you can do just that!
Easy Overnight Pancake Recipe
In addition to being the perfect pancakes for meal prepping, these overnight pancakes are also really tasty. They have such depth and amazing flavor, really unlike any other pancake you have ever had. The secret ingredient that gives the pancakes their unique taste is yeast!
Overnight pancake batter is made with a little bit of instant yeast. The yeast sits overnight in the batter, growing and expanding. It helps make the batter very fluffy and full of air pockets. The yeast also adds a distinctive sweet and tangy taste. Pour your overnight pancake batter into a hot pan, cook the pancakes, then add some syrup for the perfect breakfast. Overnight pancakes are a true morning treat!
Ingredients for Overnight Pancakes
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Instant dry yeast – Make sure to use instant dry yeast (not active dry or fresh yeast). Instant dry works best in this overnight recipe.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Whole milk – I like whole milk in this recipe, but you can also try non-dairy milk if needed.
- Sour cream – Sour cream gives the pancakes the perfect tangy flavor. It also makes them very moist and tender.
- Vegetable Oil
- If you want to make overnight buttermilk pancakes, replace the whole milk and sour cream with 4 cups of buttermilk. This will give the pancakes a strong but delicious flavor.
- Replace the vegetable oil with melted coconut oil. Coconut oil adds a nice sweet taste to the overnight pancakes.
- Replace the instant dry yeast with active dry if needed. The one tablespoon of instant dry yeast can be substituted for 1 ½ tablespoons of active dry yeast.
How to Make Overnight Pancakes
- Whisk the dries: Whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients: Add the eggs, milk, sour cream, vanilla, and vegetable oil to the bowl and whisk to make a smooth, thick batter.
- Chill: Cover the bowl and place the batter in the fridge to chill overnight.
- Prepare: Add a little butter or oil to a large skillet and heat the pan and oil over medium heat.
- Cook: Scoop ½ cup of the pancake batter into the hot pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip the pancake and cook for 2 more minutes. The pancake will be golden brown on each side.
- Serve: Serve the pancakes while warm with some maple syrup, chopped fruit, or whipped cream. Cook the remaining pancake batter in the same pan.
After you cook your pancakes, keep them warm in a 200ºF oven. I like to make a pancake, then put it on a baking sheet to keep it in the oven while I cook the remaining batter. Then, I can put a whole stack of warm pancakes on the table for my family to enjoy all at once!
How to Store Overnight Pancakes
If you have leftover cooked pancakes, you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. After about 4 days, they will start to get a little tough and not have the same soft texture. Reheat the pancakes in the microwave for just a few seconds. You can also reheat them in a low-temperature oven, which will freshen them up wonderfully.
If you are making classic pancake batter, it is okay to leave it overnight. The batter may look a little more bubbly in the morning but that is okay! Just give it a quick stir and then cook it as you normally would.
Overnight pancake batter is best when it gets to sit. The long chilling time helps the flavors develop and also helps the yeast grow, making the pancakes fluffy. However, if the batter sits longer than 24 hours, it will actually start to sink and lose its leavening power. The pancakes will be flat and chewy rather than light and fluffy. So, don’t let that batter sit too long!
Letting pancake batter sit overnight helps the gluten in the flour to relax. The softer flour will make for fluffier pancakes. This overnight pancake recipe has yeast, which will get more flavor as it sits and also expand to help the pancakes be fluffy. The taste and texture of pancakes is just better when the batter sits overnight.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- Add the flour, yeast, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. You want to be sure to use a large bowl as the batter will expand overnight as it sits. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the eggs, milk, sour cream, vanilla and vegetable oil to the bowl and whisk into a smooth batter. Stop mixing once the ingredients are blended together, you don’t want to overmix!
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap then place it in the fridge to sit for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the bowl from the fridge, uncover, and stir the batter once or twice just to deflate it a little bit (do not mix too hard or too much—two quick stirs is all you need!).
- Scoop ½ cup of the pancake batter into the hot skillet and cook the pancakes for about 3 minutes on one side. The pancake batter will have air bubbles in the middle and the edges will start to look dry when the pancake is ready to flip. Flip the pancake and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pancake from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter.
- Enjoy the pancakes while they are warm with syrup, butter, fruit, or whipped cream as a topping.