Light and Fluffy Yogurt Pancakes

This morning, Evan and I wanted some pancakes for breakfast, but we realized we didn’t have any milk. I wasn’t sure if water would be a good replacement, since most of the pancake recipes I saw that used water also used baking powder, which we don’t have right now. I searched a bit more online but got frustrated by the many variations which didn’t quite work with what I had in my kitchen. Then turned to my trusty “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman, which I always use for crepe recipes.

It has a great section on pancakes, and one recipe is a cottage cheese and sour cream pancake recipe, which sounded intriguing. It also says plain yogurt is a fine replacement for sour cream. I still wasn’t sure what I had would work since I had to modify the recipe, using vanilla yogurt instead of plain, and no cottage cheese, but the pancakes turned out marvelously well — sweet and fluffy and wonderfully light. We didn’t even need any syrup or butter to top them off.

My modified recipe:


  • 1.5 cups vanilla yogurt
  • .5 cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  1. Mix together the yogurt, water and egg yolks, then add in the flour, baking soda and sugar.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until they form peaks, then fold them into the batter very gently, leaving lots of egg white still visible.
  3. Heat some butter or oil in a pan or on a skillet, over medium-high heat. Spoon the batter into the pan in heaping tablespoons, making sure to get some of the egg whites in each spoonful. Flip pancakes when they are bubbling on top and browned on the bottom, and brown the other side.
  4. Serve immediately. They’re fluffiest when right out of the pan.

We tried a few batches with chocolate chips, but liked the plain ones better. They were really different from the standard egg, flour and milk pancakes, and had a more souffle-like texture. And these pancakes were so decadent, nobody would have ever known they were made with nonfat yogurt. We could have probably even done without the sugar since the yogurt was already sweet. We ate most of them plain or with a little powdered sugar on top.

The recipe makes enough for 3-4 people, so we had some leftovers. They’re going pretty fast, though. Maybe we’ll try them again for Pancake Day — it’s this Tuesday!

6 Responses to “Light and Fluffy Yogurt Pancakes”

  1. Laura T. says:

    I have the veg version of that cookbook out from the library right now and am planning on buying it soon. It’s amazing. I love his lists of “now you can cook this–here are 12 variations.” I heart Mark Bittman.

  2. Francine says:

    Ooh, didn’t even know there was a veg version! It’s just so simple and to the point — and easy to follow. And I love his NYT columns. (Welcome to the MB fan club?)

  3. gene says:

    Too little baking soda. Probably needs baking powder instead. Make regular pancakes and put yogurt on top. Skip this recipe.

  4. […] I also made pancakes with yogurt instead of just […]

  5. Candace says:

    Yikes, these pancakes are sour! I added some baking powder as I’ve never used a pancake recipe without it. They are indeed light and fluffy (so much so its hard to use a knife to put any butter on them). I’d stick with buttermilk pancakes next time, as I don’t buy pre-sweetened yogurts.

  6. Katie says:

    The souffle-like texture made them difficult to cook, in my experience. Too thick so the outsides would brown, but the middle was raw. It took a lot of work to adjust the temp of my stove to get them to cook evenly and thoroughly.

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