By Maili Halme

Contributing Writer

Photo contributed

This recipe makes about 32 pancakes that are 5 inches in diameter, so it typically serves 8 to 10 people.

My oldest daughter doesn’t like lemons, so when I make these for my kids I omit the lemon zest. Most other people love the slight hint of lemon, but do whatever you prefer. 


4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

Lemon zest from one lemon (optional)

6 eggs

4 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Peanut oil to grease griddle or pan


In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and buttermilk. Pour the egg and buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the melted butter. Gently stir to combine all ingredients, but do not over mix. Otherwise, the batter will be lumpy, so do it this way.

The trickiest part is getting your griddle or pan to the right temperature. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the first pancake or two to get the temperature right.

Generally, medium to medium-high heat is best, but every single stove, pan or griddle I’ve ever used is different, so adjust the heat to what works. Grease the pan or griddle with peanut oil before the first batch of pancakes. You will not need to add additional grease after that.

My girls like them with powdered sugar and syrup. I like them with granulated sugar and lemon juice or with blueberries and peaches.

Note: If you want to make “letter” pancakes, substitute canola oil for the butter. The butter sometimes clogs up a squeeze bottle.

I use the microwave for only two things: to melt butter and to melt chocolate. The easiest way to melt butter is in the microwave. Put wax paper over a glass bowl so the butter doesn’t splatter all over the microwave.

Anytime you make items using baking soda (for example, blueberry muffins, banana bread, quick breads, cornbread, pancakes, etc.), you do not want to over-mix the ingredients. If you do that, the items will be flat and not rise.


Chef Maili Halme started her career at 19 years old, cooking for the Barrack family. She has cooked for numerous dignitaries and celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey. Read more at