Can You Use Kefir in Pancakes?

Pancakes are a delicious breakfast option that even the most health-conscious eaters don’t want to give up. One way to add some nutrients to this morning favorite is by using health-boosting kefir in your pancake recipe. 

Kefir pancakes are made using kefir as a substitute for regular milk or buttermilk. Since kefir is a fermented drink, it provides elevated nutrients and probiotics for a healthy gut. Kefir can easily be swapped for milk or buttermilk without changing the flavor or consistency of your pancakes. The only thing it changes is the nutrient content.

In this article, you’ll find some delicious kefir pancake recipes you will want to try tomorrow morning! You will also learn why you should opt for kefir in your pancakes as opposed to traditional milk or buttermilk.

What is Kefir?

If you don’t know what kefir is, then the thought of a kefir pancake might sound odd to you. So, let’s get that taken care of. What is kefir, exactly? Kefir is a fermented milk drink. It has the consistency of very thin yogurt. It is prepared by treating regular milk from a cow, goat, or sheep with kefir grains.

Since it is similar in consistency and flavor to regular milk or yogurt, it’s easy to use kefir as a substitute in recipes. But the real question is: Why would you want to use kefir instead of your regular ingredients? It all comes down to the benefits kefir has to offer

Benefits of Kefir

Kefir offers an immense number of boosts and benefits for your health. Here are some of the top benefits of kefir:

  • Kefir is packed with nutrients. These nutrients include protein (4 grams), calcium (10% RDI), phosphorus (15% RDI), Vitamin B12 (12% RDI), Vitamin B2 (10% of RDI), magnesium (3% RDI), and a good amount of Vitamin D. 
  • It’s low in calories and carbohydrates but high in healthy fats. A single serving of kefir only contains 100 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of healthy fat.
  • Kefir is known for its probiotics. If you have heard of kefir before, you likely heard about it with relation to probiotics. That is because kefir is the best-known source of probiotics in the Western diet, trumping regular yogurt. It contains up to 61 different strains of bacteria and yeast. So, it’s high in probiotics but also diverse in the sources, making it truly beneficial for gut health.
  • Kefir is antibacterial. Since kefir contains the probiotic known as Lactobacillus kefir, it is said to have antibacterial properties that fight off infections. Some of these infections include salmonella and E. coli. 
  • Kefir stimulates the immune system. With such a wide range of probiotics found in kefir, it is known for boosting the immune system. It stimulates the immune system so well that it has been known to fight off the formation of cancer cells.
  • Lastly, kefir is low in lactose. If you’re worried about consuming milk due to lactose intolerance, you will be glad to know that kefir has a very low amount of lactose. It also has enzymes to help break down the small amount of lactose it has. Together, this creates a substance that can be consumed by those who suffer from lactose intolerance.

(Source: Healthline)

As you can see, kefir is the standout substance when it comes to milk and yogurt. It has far more nutrients and has the potential to improve your overall health, whether it’s your immune system that needs a boost or your gut that could use a high dose of gut-healthy probiotics.

How to Make Kefir Pancakes

Using kefir in your pancakes is a cinch. It can easily be substituted for milk, buttermilk, and even water. It adds a delightful spin on your go-to recipes while also adding a hefty supply of nutrients. 

Here are three major reasons why kefir is such a great option for pancakes:

  • Kefir is acidic. This results in a more tart and tangy flavor thanks to the lactic acid. It isn’t overwhelming, though, so don’t think your chocolate chip pancakes will end up tasting like a Sweet Tart. Kefir resembles the flavor of buttermilk.
  • Kefir contains more fat. Whole milk kefir has more fat than regular milk or buttermilk, which adds to the overall richness and flavor of the pancake. The best part is you won’t have to rely on oils or shortening to create the flavor.
  • Kefir has a lot of protein. With a high amount of protein, pancakes instantly get a protein boost that will keep you fuller longer. It will also help your bones and muscles stay strong. 

(Source: Lifeway Kefir)

As you can see, kefir is an easy substitute for any liquid substance you might use in a pancake recipe. It has a very smooth and creamy consistency, so blending and mixing with kefir might be even easier than with other ingredients. 

What Ratio Should Be Used?

Are you interested in using kefir as a substitute for milk or buttermilk in your pancakes? Then, you need to know how to substitute using the right ratio. You will always use a 1-to-1 ratio when substituting kefir for baking. This is true for all types of substances, including buttermilk, milk, yogurt, and sour cream. 

If the pancake mix is too thick using the 1-to-1 ratio, you can always supplement with a tiny bit of regular milk to help with the consistency. 

What Are Some Great Kefir Pancake Recipes?

You can use your favorite recipes you already have on-hand to make kefir pancakes – just substitute the milk, buttermilk, water, or yogurt for kefir using the 1-to-1 ratio. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of milk, then use 1 cup of kefir instead. 

If you are looking for actual kefir pancake recipes, here are a few with great reviews. They are healthy, delicious pancakes you won’t mind indulging in the morning (or every morning).

Kefir Chocolate Chip Pancakes

This recipe calls for just a few ingredients, including flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, kefir, eggs, and chocolate chips. Add all the ingredients together. Stir until just mixed. Drop the batter onto a hot griddle and flip when it begins to bubble. It’s such a simple recipe, yet it’s more nutrient-dense than other “treat” pancakes.

Whole Wheat Kefir Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Are you looking for something even healthier? How about a recipe that provides a delicious and refreshing blueberry sauce on top? If this sounds like something you would enjoy, then you will love these Whole Wheat Kefir Pancakes complete with a delightful homemade blueberry sauce that puts regular pancake syrup to shame.

Fluffy Kefir Pancakes

Some people prefer their pancakes to be massively fluffy — and that’s perfectly fine. There is nothing like sinking your teeth into pancakes that are softer than a cloud. With this Fluffy Kefir Pancake mix, you will actually be combining nutrient-dense kefir with regular milk or buttermilk to add to the fluffiness. Using only baking powder, flour, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract, it’s a simple recipe that uses ingredients you likely have in the home.


Kefir is becoming more and more popular by the day. People are finally starting to realize that yogurt isn’t their only option for probiotics. Kefir contains more probiotics as well as other healthy nutrients, trumping other milk and yogurt on the market. You can use kefir in place of water, buttermilk, or milk in any pancake recipe using a 1-to-1 ratio, and your pancakes will turn out spectacular. 

“Pancakes” by ap2il is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


  • Hi, I'm Marvin! In early 2019 I started fermenting sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha and noticed the incredible health benefits that came with it. I was less irritated, had fewer allergies and my skin got better. I started this blog to share how fermented foods have helped me and how simple they are to prepare! Look around and see what speaks to you and all the best on your fermentation journey!

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