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Overnight Sourdough Pancakes

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These overnight rise ‘n’ shine sourdough pancakes are a delicious way to use your excess sourdough starter. They are soft, tender, and fluffy and remind me of breakfast at grandmas house. Letting the sourdough sit overnight will give it the best sourdough flavor to these pancakes. But for a milder flavor, you can cook them right after you mix the batter. Whatever you choose, these pancakes are how you need to start your day.

syrup pouring on a stack of pancakes with bacon in the background
What a great weekend breakfast!

We love our sourdough bread, and I make it on repeat in this house. That means I have to maintain my sourdough starter even when I am not baking bread. Many times when I feed my starter, I simply toss out the excess or give it to a friend.

Other times I tap into one of my recipes that I can use with the excess starter. This recipe for sourdough pancakes is one of my most loved, mostly because it reminds me of my childhood.

Food that evokes nostalgic memories of grandma’s house will always make it on my “favorites” list.

Here is Why This Pancake Recipe Works

  • Resourceful Use of Sourdough Starter: This recipe ingeniously incorporates sourdough starter discard that might otherwise go to waste. It’s a smart way to make the most of your starter and adds depth of flavor to your pancakes.
  • Fluffy and Light Texture: These pancakes are the epitome of fluffy perfection. The combination of buttermilk, sourdough starter, and leavening creates an airy texture and light tangy flavor.
  • Convenient Overnight Prep: Busy mornings? No problem! With the overnight prep, you can enjoy a stress-free breakfast. This recipe is a time-saving solution for a wholesome breakfast.

Ingredients for Sourdough Pancakes

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for theses overnight pancakes. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Sourdough starter
  • Buttermilk
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder

Savoring the Sunrise: Overnight Wonder

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with this recipe for sourdough discard pancakes. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

These pancakes are incredibly simple to toss together, and the results are absolutely amazing. The overnight fermentation gives them a pronounced tangy sourdough flavor. In my mind, that is what a good sourdough pancake is supposed to taste like.

However, I know some people prefer a more mild hint of sourdough, and that is definitely achievable with this recipe. 

If you like a less ‘tangy’ pancake you can just let it sit for a few hours. And for an even milder flavor, you don’t have to let them sit at all. Just mix the ingredients up and pour the batter on a skillet.

stack of 8 sourdough pancakes
Could you eat the whole stack? Would you?

This pancake recipe is divided up into two steps. The first step is to make the sponge and let it sit overnight. The second step happens in the morning when you combine the rest of the ingredients and make the pancake batter and cook the pancakes.

The Overnight Sourdough Sponge

  1. Mix sourdough starter, water, flour, and sugar together in a large bowl. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter overnight.

Finish the Pancakes In the Morning:

  1. Stir the butter, eggs, buttermilk, salt, and leavening into the batter. Mix well to combine.
  2. Pour a ladle full of batter onto a preheated skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until the pancakes are golden brown.
Stack of partially eaten pancakes
Add some bacon, eggs and OJ for a full meal!

More Recipes to Try

Tips for Success

  • When you use your discard for this recipe, ensure you have enough starter left to maintain so you can make more sourdough recipes like spelt sourdough bread or einkorn sourdough bread.
  • Make sure you put the overnight sponge in a large bowl. The bowl should be big enough to allow the batter to double in size. During the night, it will fill up with lots of gas pockets and double in size, then start to sag back down. You will whisk the batter in the same bowl to make the pancakes.
  • Even though there is some natural leavening in the batter from your sourdough starter, you still need to add some additional leavening in the form of baking soda and baking powder in order to have fluffy pancakes.
  • Make sure the skillet is hot before you add the pancake batter.
  • If you have additional discard, try making our sourdough pizza dough or crackers.

These pancakes are a delightful way to transform your discard into a morning masterpiece. By cleverly repurposing your starter, you not only reduce waste but also infuse your pancakes with a depth of flavor that’s irresistible.

However, the beauty of this recipe lies in its adaptability. If you want less tang, a shorter batter resting period can provide the perfect balance for you.

This two-step process, involving an overnight discard transformation and a morning batter assembly, is both convenient and rewarding. The result is a stack of soft, tender, and wonderfully fluffy pancakes. Add these pancakes to your recipe box because you will want to make them on repeat.

More Sourdough Recipes 

There are so many wonderful things to do with sourdough discard besides making pancakes! Every time you refresh your starter, instead of throwing away the leftover unfed starter, you can put it to use in all kinds of delicious sourdough starter recipes.

stack of sourdough pancakes with a pat of butter on top
Light and fluffy pancakes!

More Recipes You Will Love

Did I mention you need a sourdough starter if you’re going to make these sourdough pancakes? If you don’t have a starter, you better get started making one. Check out our Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter. Give it several weeks to grow then start making the best discard recipes of your life (including these pancakes)! 

These overnight sourdough waffles are amazing. The batter is a bit thinner than our pancake recipe and it makes perfectly crisp wonders that are tender and soft on the inside. You might have a hard time deciding if you like these or our pancakes better.  

There isn’t an overnight step to these ricotta pancakes. You can just wake up and whip them up. The ricotta gives the pancakes a custard-like center. Crazy good!! 

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syrup pouring on a stack of pancakes with bacon in the background

Overnight Sourdough Pancakes

Sourdough pancakes made with a portion of your sourdough starter that you would otherwise discard. These pancakes are light and fluffy with just a hint of sweetness. This is one of the most delicious ways to use your extra sourdough starter.
Update:  This recipe has buttermilk in the overnight sponge – just like my grandma used to make them, and how I've always enjoyed them.
While I personally continue to prepare them this way, I must note that leaving dairy out overnight goes against typical food safety recommendations. If that makes you uncomfortable, I have provided an alternative recipe in a downloadable PDF below the recipe card in the post. 
4.63 from 80 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 12 pancakes
Calories: 176kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist


The Night Before Cooking:

  • 1 cup sourdough starter 240 grams
  • 1-½ cups buttermilk
  • 1-½ cups flour 180 grams
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

In the Morning:

  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder


The night before (sourdough sponge):

  • Mix the sourdough starter, buttermilk, flour, and the sugar in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the countertop overnight.

In the morning finish the pancakes:

  • Preheat your skillet.
  • Stir in the melted butter, eggs, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Fold into the batter until well combined.
  • Pour ¼ to ½ cup of batter onto the preheated skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it starts to bubble then flip the pancake and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until it is golden brown.


  • If you use a measuring cup to measure your sourdough starter, make sure you stir it before you measure it. Otherwise, if you use a scale there is no need to stir the starter.
  • This recipe is a great way to use up your discard but it works with fresh sourdough starter or with sourdough discard.
  • As noted above, if you are uncomfortable adding the buttermilk to the overnight sponge, I have provided an alternative recipe in a downloadable PDF just below the recipe card in the blog post.



Serving: 1 | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 358mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g

Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Wednesday 13th of March 2024

Can you make the sponge and leave it in the fridge for a few days before using it?

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 14th of March 2024

Yes, you can do that and it will give the pancakes a more fermented, sourdough flavor. After the sponge sits for 2 or three days, the pancakes don't seem quite as fluffy but they are still quite good.

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