Sour Cream Pancakes: Barefoot Contessa vs. Pioneer Woman


The Golden Gate Bridge turned 75! The city had a bunch of stuff going on this past Saturday and Sunday to commemorate the occasion. Last night we watched the grand finale fireworks at a friend’s house.

You can kind of make out the bridge if you squint.

I had a three-day weekend for Memorial Day and it was really nice to have that extra day. It makes such a difference! It gave me time to work on my quest for the best pancakes recipe (let me know if you have one I should try). I’ve made pancakes using oats, buttermilk, pumpkin puree, folding in whipped egg whites, etc, the list goes on. Recently, I really like sour cream pancakes so I tested out recipes from two different sources: the Barefoot Contessa and the Pioneer Woman.

Top: Sour cream pancakes from Barefoot Contessa;
Bottom: Sour cream pancakes from Pioneer Woman

Let the pancake battle begin!
First up are the sour cream pancakes from Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa.

These pancakes had a nice amount of tang from the sour cream. They were light in texture and very cake-like. The recipe calls for bananas but I topped these with a cinnamon pear syrup mixture.

Sour Cream Pancakes
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Makes about 12 pancakes


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (I swapped in light brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • butter

*Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
*Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes.
*Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used.

Next I tried the sour cream pancakes from Ree Drummond, otherwise known as The Pioneer Woman. This recipe is wildly different since it only requires 7 tablespoons of flour! But strangely it works.

Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Makes about 8 pancakes


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • butter
  • maple syrup

*Warm up your griddle, iron skillet or frying pan. They need to be hot but not smokin’ hot.
*In a bowl combine sour cream with sifted dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt).
*In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together.
*Pour egg mixture into sour cream/flour mixture. Stir gently until all ingredients are mixed well.
*Melt a tablespoon of butter onto griddle. Using a ladle pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the pan making about a 4 inch in diameter pancake.
*Cook each side of the pancake for about 1 or 2 minutes, flipping when the edges start to brown and cake begins to bubble.
*Remove from heat and stack high, top with a pad of butter and drizzle with lots of maple syrup!

I topped mine with some diced strawberries partly because they are in season but, mainly because having fruit with my cake makes me feel a little less guilty. These pancakes were very light, fluffy and had a melt-in-your-mouth quality to them. The sour cream flavor was much more intense.

So which sour cream pancakes were better?!

Personally I liked Ree’s better whereas Chris liked Ina’s better. I guess I’ll have to find a third recipe for the tiebreaker 🙂 Any suggestions?

9 thoughts on “Sour Cream Pancakes: Barefoot Contessa vs. Pioneer Woman

  1. I gladly volunteer to be the judge in your tiebreaker. LOVE this post. Although it made me wish I could pull these pancakes out of my computer and eat them.


  2. Ok I just did the taste test. I couldn't wait. I will have to say I went into this thinking that I would not like Pioneer woman's, although I love her, and I hate to have a preconceived notion on things…I was not wrong. I like a bready thick pancake and Ina's fits the bill. I will add less salt to hers next time. The flavor of the Pioneer woman was good but it just doesn't taste like a pancake, and I didn't care for the consistency of it, it was a bit rubbery. I would not make them again. My hubby still needs to eat and way in. I had fun doing this though. Thanks!


  3. That's so awesome Lisa! Sorry for not responding earlier. I liked the lightness of Ree's pancakes although you are right, if you are looking for the more traditional pancake, I would say Ina's is the best. I am curious to know what your hubby thinks!


  4. Swapping the type of sugar affects the consistency. Granulated sugar makes for a tender crumb, whereas brown sugar retains more moisture and the crumb is just different. Also more sugar means more tender. That is why pioneer woman’s were ‘rubbery’. In the future, I wouldn’t swap ingredients at least the first time o try a recipe, so I get the results that were intended ya the author.


  5. I love Ree”s pancake recipe. The taste kinda reminds me of a combo between french toast and pancake. I’ve made her recipe many times (with white sugar) and it never comes out rubbery.
    The most important thing to remember is to not over mix.
    Edna Maes pancakes are my familys favorite!


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