Introduction: Old-Fashioned Snow Pancakes (and a Sourdough Snow Pancakes Variation)

For a perfect winter-themed brunch--impress your family and friends with pancakes made with real snow! This recipe is adapted from a nineteenth century cookbook, which indeed included a recipe for real-snow pancakes. The addition of cold snow to the batter, which is immediately poured onto a hot griddle, creates extra-fluffy hotcakes.

I also created a recipe for Sourdough Snow Pancakes--which batter is authentically fermented overnight--and have included that variation here as well!

**Please note: It is important to collect clean snow. I recommend placing a couple of large, wide bowls outside during a snowfall, and then using the fresh snow as soon as possible.


Ingredients for Old-Fashioned Snow Pancakes:

  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. buttermilk (or whole milk)
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and finely grated
  • 1 quart bowlful of clean, fresh snow
  • 2 T. butter for greasing the griddle

Ingredients for Sourdough Snow Pancakes:

  • 1-3/4 c. of thick sourdough starter
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 4 T. melter butter, plus additional for greasing the griddle
  • 1/4 c. snow

Ingredients for Serving:

  • Real butter
  • Real maple syrup


  • 2 wide bowls for collecting snow
  • Fresh snow
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls (glass for sourdough)
  • Large spoon
  • Griddle or Cast Iron Skillet
  • Pancake spatula

Step 1: Make the Batter

In a mixing bowl, combine:

  • 1 -1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda

In another mixing bowl, beat:

  • 1 egg

To beaten egg, add:

  • 1 c. buttermilk (or milk)
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and finely grated.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir just until combined. The batter will be thick.

Step 2: Prepare the Griddle or Skillet

Preheat a griddle or cast iron skillet and heat 2 T. butter.

Step 3: Add Real Snow

Measure one-third of the batter at a time into small bowl. Quickly add:

  • 2 Heaping Tablespoons of Snow

Step 4: Make Pancakes

Immediately, spoon this batter onto the hot, greased griddle. Cook for about one minute. After bubbles form on the tops of the pancakes, carefully flip them to cook the other side.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 twice, to use the remaining batter.

Keep the pancakes warm until ready to serve.

Step 5: Serve and Store

Serve hot Old-Fashioned Snow Pancakes with plenty of butter and real maple syrup.

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 6 hearty pancakes (about 3 servings.)

Step 6: Sourdough Snow Pancakes Variation

Please note: The first three steps of this recipe are begun the night before serving.

  1. Place a wide bowl outside to collect fresh snow.
  2. Combine in a glass bowl:
  • 1-3/4 c. thick sourdough starter
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

3. Let stand overnight.

4. The next morning, stir down the mixture, and add:

  • 2 eggs, well-beaten
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 4 T. melted butter
  • 1/4 c. fresh snow

Mix well.

5. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a Tablespoon of butter to the griddle to grease it.

6. Spoon pancake batter onto the griddle, spreading it with the back of a spoon.

7. Cook just until bubbles form on the surface; carefully flip to cook the other side.

8. Cook just another minute or two; remove to a warm plate.

9. Repeat with remaining batter.

10. Serve hot Sourdough Snow Pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

11. Yield: 8 large pancakes (about 4 servings.)

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