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Buttermilk Pancakes for a Crowd

This recipe for fluffy buttermilk pancakes uses easy Bisquick baking mix, creamy buttermilk, and a touch of vanilla in a shortcut recipe that delivers buttery homestyle pancakes on a large scale for a crowd. Throw a pancake breakfast for a fundraiser, charity function, or special occasion with these pancakes that can be cooked in advance and reheated. Tender and tasty, these buttermilk pancakes are perfect for serving a lot of people a DELICIOUS breakfast.

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fork holding bite of buttermilk pancakes. three pancakes are stacked by the fork with syrup

Why this recipe works

Everyone loves pancakes, but buttermilk pancakes are extra special. It’s just a fact. So how can we make buttermilk pancakes in a large quantity while keeping that homemade flavor and without all the ingredients and measuring needed for making pancakes from scratch?

We cut a corner and use Bisquick. That’s what we do.

Bisquick is a convenient, baking mix that contains a number of ingredients we would have to measure individually if making pancakes from scratch: flour, leavening agents (like baking powder), shortening, and salt.

This recipe uses Bisquick to cover those bases; however, my recipe then uses buttermilk (instead of milk), plus a bit of sugar and vanilla. These flavors combine to yield fluffy buttery pancakes that totally taste as if they were made from scratch.

With so few ingredients, and all in convenient quantities, it is easy to scale up this pancake recipe to feed dozens, even up to 50 people, with no sacrifice in the quality of what we are serving. They can also be made in advance and reheated as well, if necessary, which can help feed even more people.

3 pancakes on white dish with syrup being poured overtop

About the ingredients

Bisquick baking mix. Bisquick is available in all major grocery stores in the US. I set the base quantity to 40 ounces because that is the size of a standard box of Bisquick.
Vegetable oil.
Pure vanilla extract.
Buttermilk. Whole or low fat buttermilk both work, but I prefer low fat for its consistency.
Butter or cooking spray for your pan or griddle. Butter is preferable for the flavor.
Condiments: such as maple syrup, butter, and fresh fruit (like blueberries!)

collage of 2 photos showing batter on griddle (left) and cooked pancakes (right)

How to make pancakes for a crowd

Making buttermilk pancakes on a large scale is no harder than making them for your family. It just takes longer because of the quantity. But technically speaking, it is no more difficult.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the Bisquick.
  2. Add the Bisquick to the batter only when ready to cook the pancakes. This is because the acidity in the buttermilk will react with the leavening agents in the Bisquick. We want this since this is what creates the fluff in our fluffy pancakes. We don’t want to waste that reaction, though, as it will dissipate if the batter is left to sit (which will make for flatter pancakes). So, add the Bisquick once ready to cook.
  3. Use butter or cooking spray on your griddle to prevent sticking. Butter is best because it also flavors the pancakes. Don’t let your cooking surface get too hot or the butter/spray will burn.
  4. Use a 1/4 cup (a measuring cup or ladle works) to scoop batter onto the hot, greased griddle.
  5. Once the batter puffs with some bubbles evident, flip.
  6. Once cooked, you can transfer the pancakes to an aluminum pan for serving.

TIP: Store cooled pancakes in a sealed container (such as plastic wrap over an aluminum pan). Reheat pancakes (covered so they don’t dry out) in a 350℉ oven for 20-30 minutes just until heated through. Cool prior to storing to prevent them from sticking together. Also, do not cover with foil because the foil can deposit onto them.

pancakes cooking on blackstone griddle

How many pancakes to make per person

As I say with all my recipes, quantity cooking starts with assessing who you are feeding. Is this going to be a buffet? Am I serving youth and teens or older and elderly people? Younger people eat more (4-5 pancakes each) and older people eat less (3-4 pancakes each).

A good starting point is to figure 4 pancakes per person and adjust from there. Pancakes are very popular, so add in extra because they will be eaten. So, for example, if I were serving 25 teens, I would make 125 pancakes (5 pancakes per kid) PLUS an addition 25 pancakes as a cushion. If serving an older crowd (like at a church breakfast), I would make 100 pancakes (4 per person) for 25 people, plus may a dozen more as a cushion.

Making more food is always preferable to make sure there is enough. And the affordability of these ingredients ensures we stay within a reasonable budget too.

60 cooked pancakes stacked on tray

What griddle works best for pancakes

The beautiful thing about pancakes is that they don’t care how you cook ’em. You can do these on your stovetop at home using a couple skillets, stove-top griddles, an electric skillet, or a large Blackstone-type griddle (my favorite choice).

The larger the griddle, clearly the easier it is to cook a large quantity of food faster. In these photos, I made 60 pancakes on my Blackstone griddle. From start to finish, it took 30 minutes including heating up the griddle. So, if cooking A LOT of pancakes, having access to a commercial-type griddle, such as in a school, restaurant, or church kitchen, is optimal. But that said, not having access to a large griddle is not prohibitive since stovetop burners can be used.

Griddles also work on grills too! If making a pancake breakfast for a fundraiser, for example, get volunteers to bring griddles and grills, then you all can just knock pancakes out easy peasy and have fun doing it too.

TIP: be sure to use plenty of butter or cooking spray to keep your cooking surface slick and to prevent sticking. Butter is far preferable, because of the flavor and because it yields pancakes with better golden color.


Can another baking mix be used instead of Bisquick?

Probably yes, but I have not tested other baking mixes. It is best to do a test batch to see first.

Can leftover pancakes be frozen?

Yes. Leftover pancakes can be frozen for up to a month. Place in layers in resealable bags for the easiest storage.

Can buttermilk pancakes be made in advance and frozen before serving?

I would not recommend freezing pancakes before your main even because you will sacrifice their light and fluffy texture.

Can gluten-free Bisquick be used?

Probably yes, but I have not tested gluten-free Bisquick myself. It is best to do a test batch prior to the event. But I do feel gluten-free Bisquick should work well.

fork pressing into pancakes stacked on white plate with syrup

Be sure to check out my Large Batch Oven-Cooked Bacon. Perfect with pancakes for a pancake breakfast.

fork holding bite of buttermilk pancakes. three pancakes are stacked by the fork with syrup

Buttermilk Pancakes for a Crowd

This buttermilk pancakes recipe uses Bisquick baking mix, buttermilk, and vanilla in a shortcut recipe for homestyle pancakes for a crowd. Throw a pancake breakfast for a fundraiser, function, or special occasion with these pancakes that can be cooked in advance and reheated. Tender and tasty, these buttermilk pancakes are perfect for serving a lot of people a DELICIOUS breakfast.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttermilk pancakes, pancakes for a crowd
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Erica
Servings: 15 people



  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk.
  • Heat griddle according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Once griddle is hot and you are ready to cook, whisk the Bisquick into the wet ingredients.
  • Grease the griddle with butter. Spoon or ladle a scant ¼ cup per pancake onto the griddle.
  • Once pancake batter puffs and starts to bubble, flip.
  • Once cooked through, transfer pancakes off the griddle to a serving sheet or hotel pan.
  • Regrease the griddle with butter and repeat in batches, working through the batter.


This recipe yields 60 pancakes. At 4 pancakes per person, this feeds 15 people. Adjust quantities up or down as needed.
If making pancakes in advance, store cooled pancakes in a sealed container (such as hotel pan covered tightly with plastic wrap and NOT FOIL) in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350℉ oven, still tightly covered, 20-30 minutes or until warmed through.
I have had instances where foil has deposited little bits onto the pancakes, so I do not recommend using foil. Also, allow pancakes to cool prior to storing to prevent them from sticking together.


Serving: 4pancakes | Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g

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