Sourdough Hotcakes

giant sourdough hotcake
giant sourdough hotcake with brown sugar and apples

These hotcakes are unlike ordinary breakfast pancakes: eggless and light, with a distinctive old-fashioned taste. They can be made thick or thin; the proportions below are for thin cakes. For thicker cakes, increase flour to 1 1/2 cups. They can be cooked on an oiled, well-seasoned griddle or cast iron pan, or in a non-stick pan with Pam spray or just a wiping of oiled paper towel. To be really decadent, fry them in a mixture of butter and oil.

Sourdough Hotcakes

The night before, mix in a large bowl:

1 c sourdough starter
1 c flour
1 c water

Cover and set aside in a non-drafty area (inside the microwave or cold oven are good choices).

The next day, assemble the necessities near the stove: warmed serving plates, soft butter and brown sugar for stacked cakes. Have the grill or frying pan heated and ready to go. Medium-high heat works best. I used a non-stick frying pan so I could limit the amount of oil needed. Uncover the batter bowl and stir up the batter. A layer of liquid may have formed under the top — that is perfectly normal — mix it right back in.

When ready to cook, mix in a small bowl:

1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1-2 TB warm water

Place batter bowl in sink as a precaution. When the baking soda mixture hits the batter, it may foam up and run over the top of the bowl. Don’t be alarmed if this happens, and don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t. The hotcakes will be delicious either way. This batch didn’t foam up too much.

hotcake batter
hotcake batter before (top) after adding soda mixture

Pour the contents of the small bowl into the batter bowl and mix well. Immediately start frying the cakes. I used 1/4c measure for the smaller stacked cakes. The batter was quite thin, so they weren’t perfectly round. Cook till the top side is covered with small bubbles, then flip and cook the other side a minute or two more.

sourdough hotcakes cooking
frying the hotcakes

For stacked cakes, butter each cake and spoon some brown sugar on. Top with another cake and repeat until stack is as high as desired. Place in warm oven to melt the sugar. Hotcakes may also be served with maple syrup, fruit, or any other topping of choice. I tried one plain with Latha’s peanut chutney and that made a great combination too.

Next project will be the sourdough bread!


  1. indosungod said

    Linda, sourdough cakes look absolutely delicious. I like the idea of trying them with Peatnut chutney or some spicy chutney, I am partial to spicy things rather than sweet.

    Hi Indo, and thanks! I really liked them with the chutney, too. There is no sugar *in* the cakes, so the two went well together πŸ™‚

  2. Hema said

    YAY! Another successful recipe with the sourdough! Pancakes look lovely. Good luck with your upcoming project!

    Thanks for the encouragement, Hema. I hope I can make a success of bread! πŸ™‚

  3. Asha said

    You are putting that sour dough to work,aren’t you Linda?:) NIICE cakes!! Apples makes them delicious I bet! I will try some time later!

    Thanks Asha — perhaps will try a sourdough apple pie! πŸ˜‰

  4. mm said

    Why those are just like what Grandma used to make…and she made tons of ’em. Thank you for posting.

    Thank you, mm. Glad I could approximate your Grandma’s cakes! πŸ™‚

  5. shaheen said

    Hot cakes with brown sugar,… sounds so good, yet reminds me of something back home.. its like dosa with jaggery.. nice one.

    Hi Shaheen, that’s just what I thought of when I first saw how the sourdough cakes are made — fermenting batter for dosa. I need more practice with that, though πŸ™‚

  6. Lera said

    Hmmm, I’m glad to see so many variations with the sourdough….hope you enjoyed savouring them as much as i enjoyed viewing them.

    Thank you so much, Lera! I’m glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  7. shilpa said

    They look absolutely awesome :). The first picture with sugar, looks amazing I think I need to try this sometime :).

    Thanks Shilpa! Anytime you want some starter, just give me a shout πŸ˜‰

  8. Nabeela said

    oooooh pancakes…I’ve been craving those for a while now. Your post just took me over the top!
    And I’m eagerly waiting for the bread!

    Nabeela, you are the queen of breads these days! Have you a good recipe for sourdough bread? I’m just starting to look. Maybe you can be my coach πŸ™‚

  9. Shankari said

    U go girl..u are having a ball with the sour dough and your family must be enjoying every moment of it

    Thanks, Shankari. My kids get credit for trying anything with *sour* in the name πŸ˜‰

  10. Nabeela said

    I have a recipe in baking with julia I think. If you can give me your e-mail id…I’ll mail it to you.

  11. Nabeela said

    I just looked into the book and realized nowhere does it say this bread is a sour bread…for every bread recipe, they have a separate poolish, biga, starter etc….so I don’t know which one you’ll want. Here’s a link I found online that you might like

    Hi Nabeela — thank you so much for checking Julia’s book for me! And I have bookmarked this site above for future reference. It will be a couple of weeks before I can try the bread, I think, but will definitely let you know how it works out (or IF it works out!).

  12. Nav said

    It is amazing to see your enthusiasim in cooking and trying out so many Indian dishes, I feel you are too good to be true πŸ™‚ Also, wish you and your daughter good courage and luck to fight Diabetes. My father has type 2 Diabetes and I truly understand what kind of control and resilience you need to fight with it.


    Hi Nav, it’s easy to be enthusiastic when everyone shares so many delicious things to cook πŸ™‚ Thanks for your good wishes, sending mine to your father as well. I know where you’re coming from there.

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