Overnight Sourdough Pancakes

Sourdough Pancakes are started the night before so you can have a fresh stack for breakfast mere minutes after waking up. This is another great way to use that discard!

a stack of sourdough pancakes with syrup pouring over the stack

If you don’t already have one, I can show you how to make a sourdough starter and how to feed a sourdough starter.

Even though I’m a baker by profession, I’m definitely not a morning person. If you’re like me and prefer the least amount of work first thing in the morning, you’ll love this recipe.

Make the sponge the night before, then it takes about a minute to finish mixing the batter in the morning.

Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Sourdough Pancakes overnight:

three side by side photos showing how to mix sourdough pancake batter
Make the sponge the night before. In the morning add the eggs, oil and leavening. Use the batter right away.
three side by side photos showing how to cook sourdough pancakes
As soon as the leavening is added, the batter becomes bubbly. Use a scoop to portion the pancakes. Flip the pancakes when there are bubbles across the top side and the bottom side is nicely browned.

Tips for making the best Sourdough Pancakes:

  • Make your sponge the night before with unfed starter (aka discard). The sponge will be active and ready to mix by the time you wake up in the morning.
  • The older your discard, the more sour your pancakes will be. If you want very tangy pancakes, save your discard in the refrigerator for at least a week before mixing the batter.
  • Up to half the all purpose flour can be replaced with whole wheat or rye flour to make whole grain pancakes.
  • Baking powder and baking soda are added for extra leavening. 
  • Because the reaction begins upon mixing, for maximum lift use the batter as soon as the leavening is added.
  • Serve the pancakes hot off the griddle or hold them in a 200°F oven if you prefer to serve them all at once. 
  • The pancakes freeze well. Extras can be lined up on a sheet pan and frozen. Stack the frozen pancakes into a freezer bag. Just pop them in the toaster or reheat on the griddle.

If you’ve got a waffle maker, I recommend my Multi-Grain Sourdough Waffles. For a little international flair, you’ll love these sweet or savory Dutch Pannekoeken.

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

a stack of sourdough pancakes with a wedge cut out to show the middle of the pancakes. A pat of butter on top and syrup on the plate
a forkful of sourdough pancakes with syrup dripping off
Serve Sourdough Pancakes with real maple syrup. I’m a fan of grade B maple syrup’s strong flavor (it’s sometimes called Grade A extra dark).

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a stack of pancakes with syrup pouring over the stack
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4.50 from 30 reviews

Sourdough Pancakes

Start making Sourdough Pancakes the night before and have hot fresh pancakes for breakfast.
Prep Time12 hours
Bake Time20 minutes
Total Time12 hours 20 minutes
24 pancakes
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Overnight Sponge

  • 8 oz unfed sourdough starter (1 cup, 100% hydration)
  • 10 oz All-Purpose Flour (2 cups, see note)
  • 2 oz granulated sugar (¼ cup)
  • 18 oz buttermilk (2 ¼ cups)


  • Sponge
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 oz vegetable oil (¼ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • butter or oil for cooking


The night before:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 8 oz unfed sourdough starter, 10 oz All-Purpose Flour, 2 oz granulated sugar and 18 oz buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.

In the morning:

  • Preheat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Preheat the oven at 200 °F if you want to hold the pancakes before serving.
  • In a small bowl, whisk 2 large eggs with 2 oz vegetable oil. Add the egg mixture to the sponge and mix until combined. Sift 1 teaspoon table salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder½ teaspoon baking soda over the batter.
  • Mix until the baking powder, baking soda and salt are completely dispersed in the batter. Use the batter immediately.
  • Turn the heat up to medium under the griddle or pan. Lightly brush the preheated pan with butter or oil. Use a large scoop or 1/3 cup measure to portion the batter into the pan, leaving 3" between pancakes. Cook on the first side until there are bubbles over the entire surface and the edges are beginning to brown. Flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is nicely browned. Adjust the heat as needed to allow the pancakes to cook evenly.
  • Serve pancakes immediately or hold in warm oven till ready to serve.

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The starter should be “unfed” when you mix the sponge. This is also called sourdough discard.
If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 1pancake | Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was my first sourdough recipe since I just began the sourdough journey a week ago. They were great. I did sub in half a cup of whole wheat flour since we rarely eat just white flour, and they were delicious. I added some finely chopped pecans and blueberries and they baked up beautifully. Sourdough is such an interesting phenomenon. I look forward to trying more of Eileen’s recipes.

  2. This must be the best pancake recipe in the universe! I’ve been making pancakes for over forty years, but this is, hands down, the tastiest! Brava!
    Having used Eileen’s other discard recipes, I mistakenly fed my discard in the morning so that it was really active by the time I used it. There didn’t seem to be any adverse effects.

  3. I just made this recipe. While the pancakes turned out great, I would like to caution others regarding the level of “sour”. I keep discard for weeks refrigerated. It’s amazingly strong and, if fed, jumps alive ready to bake within two feedings. If kept at 75°, my normal rye starter doubles in less than four hours. I dry then powder and store a lot of my discard. It’s much easier to share that way.

    That being said, if you make these pancakes, first try making the amount of starter called for (224g) and letting it ripen and fall, then refrigerate for no longer than a week before using as Eileen recommends. Then follow the recipe. Remember that buttermilk has a sour kick to begin with.

    The sponge will show activity (bubbles) after a 12-hour rest in the refrigerator before adding anything.

    My pancakes, using my well-aged discard, have an off-putting (earthy?) flavor. AKA too much of a good thing? Next time, I make these, I’ll use a normally aged starter as I’ve detailed above. Or make a whole wheat starter. There are lots of options with sourdough.

    Otherwise, this gets a 5-star rating! *****

  4. I have a milk allergy. Do you think these would work with almond milk substituted? Maybe I might need to add more leavener since they buttermilk won’t be there to react?

    1. Almond milk should work. The batter should still be acidic thanks to the sourdough discard. So I don’t think you need more leavener.

  5. Hi!
    There is no buttermilk to buy where I live. Could this be made with regular milk, and still leave it out overnight?
    Or I’ve found some recipes on how to make my own buttermilk by just mixing milk with vinegar and letting it sit for a couple of minutes. Does that work as well?

    1. Yes, making your own buttermilk would work. If you can find it either on-line or at your grocery, powdered buttermilk is a good substitute and nice to have in the pantry (I am required to note that as an Amazon affiliate I earn commission on sales).

      1. I live in the desert and wasn’t sure if the buttermilk would turn bad if I left it out on the counter overnight. And this isn’t a powder buttermilk you use?

        1. I don’t use powdered buttermilk since I almost always keep buttermilk in my house. But I have used it and it’s a great substitute for buttermilk. If you have buttermilk powder I would use the water needed to make up the 2 1/4 cups of buttermilk to make the sponge the night before. Then in the morning add the buttermilk powder with the remaining ingredients. Otherwise, you could just feed your starter the night before and do a quick 30-60 minute sponge in the morning before mixing the batter.

  6. Hello Eileen,
    Nice recipe. – I tweaked it the second time by separating the eggs and beating the whites to a stiff peak stage and folding back in. produces extra fluffy soft pancakes