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Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes with fresh cranberries and a hint of orange zest are golden brown and crispy on the outside, incredibly fluffy and moist on the inside, and have just the right amount of tart!

Serve this easy breakfast recipe with a pat of butter and some pure maple syrup.

stack of cranberry Buttermilk Pancakes with a stream of syrup
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Why this recipe is so great:

Sure, the easiest way to make pancakes for your family is to use a just-add-water mix. But once you make these homemade buttermilk pancakes, you’ll never go back!

  • These buttermilk pancakes use a lot of buttermilk in the recipe. This is what makes them so incredibly light and fluffy.
  • Fresh cranberries are super tart and taste great with the sweet pancake, especially when smothered with pure maple syrup.
  • The hint of orange created by the orange zest reminds you of homemade cranberry sauce.

Basic ingredients needed for this recipe:

Shown below, you’ll see these buttermilk pancakes use buttermilk, fresh cranberries, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, butter, and orange zest.

ingredients to make homemade Buttermilk Pancakes with cranberries

How to make Cranberry Buttermilk Pancakes:

  1. First step is to sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Then you will mix together the wet ingredients including the orange zest. Fold this into the dry ingredients. The batter will be slightly lumpy and some of the melted butter will harden when mixed with the cold buttermilk.
  3. Make sure your griddle has been heating over medium low heat for quite some time before adding the batter. Grease your griddle with butter. Add the batter and top with fresh cranberries.
  4. Dot the cranberries with more batter to prevent sticking once turned.
  5. Be sure to flip only once.
  6. Serve up a big stack!

Recipe tips and modifications:

  • I use fresh cranberries in these buttermilk pancakes, but you can also use frozen. If they are frozen, you can either thaw first or add them while still frozen.
  • You can add a teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice in with the dry ingredients for added holiday flavor.
  • I add the cranberries once the pancakes have been poured onto the griddle to ensure they are evenly spaced. You can also just toss the cranberries into the batter. It’s all good.
  • Don’t have buttermilk? You can combine 3 cups of regular milk with 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and let it sit for a bit as a substitution.
huge stack of cranberry Buttermilk Pancakes with a bite cut out

Other great cranberry recipes:

Love that amazing tart flavor that cranberries provide? Me too. Here are some great recipes you can try.

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Cranberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Prep15 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total30 minutes
Servings 16 small pancakes
Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes with fresh cranberries and a hint of orange zest are incredibly fluffy with just the right amount of tart!


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tbsps orange zest from one very large or two small oranges
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberries frozen and thawed or fresh
  • Additional butter for griddle
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  • Preheat griddle on medium low heat. Be sure the griddle is fully heated through before adding pancake batter.
  • In large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, zest, buttermilk, and melted butter. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir very gently by folding liquid into dry ingredients. You want your batter to be lumpy.
  • Grease hot grill with butter. Place large spoonful of batter onto grill. Top each pancake with 8-12 cranberries, then dot the top of each cranberry with a bit of batter to prevent the pancake from sticking to the grill after you flip it. Do not flip until the pancake has lots of bubbles and the bottom is a golden brown. Flip only once and do not smash down with your spatula.
  • Serve with pure maple syrup. YUM!


Serving size based on one small pancake.

Cooking tips:

I have a few tips and tricks to making these pancakes awesome, in addition to the basic recipe.
  • First, be sure to use butter rather than oil on your grill. It makes the edges nice and crispy.
  • Low and slow is best in my opinion. Low heat and a longer cooking time makes the best pancakes. This process allows the center of the pancake to cook through while the edges get golden brown without burning.
  • Pour the batter on the hot griddle, then set the cranberries on top, then dot them with additional batter. This keeps the cranberries directly off the grill so that they stay inside your pancake. You don’t need all that cranberry goodness exploding all over your grill and burning, now do you?
  • Strategically place your cranberries so that they are evenly spaced. That way you’ll get the same amount of cranberry in each bite!


Calories: 132kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 144mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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  1. This recipe has to much milk. It way to thin for pancakes, had to add another cup of flour to thicken. Not that great of pancakes.

    1. This recipe doesn’t use milk. It uses buttermilk and it makes the pancakes light and fluffy. I’ve used this recipe countless times with buttermilk and they never need additional flour.

  2. 5 stars
    What a great way to start my day! Looking forward to enjoying some of these with my morning cup of coffee tomorrow, indeed!

  3. 5 stars
    These are just perfect pancakes! I always keep fresh cranberries on hand at this time of year exactly for special recipes like this. A new favorite breakfast recipe!