Buttermilk Rhubarb Pancakes

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Buttermilk Rhubarb Pancakes

Ah, spring! How thou dost delight the senses, and exhaust the resource of time. It has been well over the period I have set myself for a publishing schedule, but please note the above observation. I really do want to post about one of my favourite springtime treats, though; the lowly and lovely Rhubarb.

Rhubarb is one of those enlivening foods that burst upon the tongue with an invigorating splash. I’m surprised no-one has written a song about it yet. “Oh, Rhubarb, ’tis of thee, We sing in grateful glee; Long may you grow.” Anyway, it grows in large clumps; the leaves are poisonous; it looks like a medieval weed; but oh, how many delights can be created with the stalks of this weed. My rhubarb has always been of the green variety. I’ve tried the red, but I find typically it’s drier and less tart. It does look prettier, I admit.

My daughter wanted pancakes as I was trying to decide what to make with some of my first rhubarb; and this idea was born. Why not use rhubarb in pancakes? We add apples, blueberries, pumpkin; all kinds of things; why not rhubarb? So I added rhubarb. And a generous splash of vanilla rum flavouring. I’m sure you’ve heard and perhaps experienced how some of the best concoctions are born out of mistakes. Well, this experiment was not one of those. I really wished I had checked the bottle more closely when I grabbed it from the pantry. But the pancakes looked pretty and tasted okay if I closed my eyes and pretended I was savouring vanilla instead of rum. As I closed my eyes, I thought, “You know what would taste REALLY good? Orange rind grated into these pancakes.” Next time I make them, I’m going to try that. I hope I don’t grate cheese into them by mistake.

Rhubarb typically is harvested in May and June. It should be stored in plastic in the fridge. Wilted stalks can be revived by sprinkling water over them before chilling in plastic. 

Before using, wash rhubarb, and cut off the leaves and the bottom of the stalks where they curve inward. 

Buttermilk Rhubarb Pancakes

Buttermilk Rhubarb Pancakes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flourButtermilk Rhubarb Pancakes
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white or brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, shortening, or oil
  • 1 teaspoon rum, vanilla flavouring, or 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • approximately 1 cup chopped rhubarb
  • maple syrup for serving
  • a pat of butter for serving


Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar into a large bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Whisk egg in a medium bowl, and add buttermilk, melted butter or oil, and desired flavouring. Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients just until mixed.

Heat skillet to 350°. Place a small dab of butter and/or shortening in the bottom of pan and swirl until it’s melted. Drop by 1/4 or 1/3 cup measures into the hot pan. If it doesn’t sizzle, turn up the heat. Drop rhubarb pieces on top of pancakes. Cook until the edges are browning, and the pancake is puffed, and holes are beginning to appear on the surface. Turn over and cook the other side until golden. Repeat process until the batter is used up. Keep finished pancakes hot on a platter in a 250° oven until they are all done.

Serve with a dab of butter and a drizzle of syrup.

3 thoughts on “Buttermilk Rhubarb Pancakes

    Monica Orr said:
    June 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    I was so excited to see this! We love rhubarb pancakes, and here it never occurred to me to add rum flavoring. Why had I never heard of this? That Rose has all the good ideas. Finally, I get to use that flavoring I bought a long time ago and only used once. Then I read it, and thought, oh, back on the shelf you go. Oh well, thanks for the fun story!


      rosekmartin responded:
      July 7, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Yeah, sorry about the anticlimactic ending. The thing is, I do like rum in some things. I just didn’t like it in these pancakes.


    […] so without much pause, I continued on. It was a success, unlike the rum/vanilla substitution in my Rhubarb Pancakes. So you see, sometimes it does work! Thyme also works well with chicken, but if you insist on using […]


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