If you like regular pancakes, wait till you try Oladi! The sweet smell of cooking, the extra crispy fried edges and the fluffy, chewy inside is only a small part of what makes Russian Pancakes awesome. Once you sink your teeth in, you will not let them go.

Oladi with berries and sour cream on a plate

Oladi is a family tradition that was passed on by my mother who also made them every morning before school. We were raised in a village and had plenty of milk coming from two cows, so buttermilk was always available for this pancake recipe.

Oladi are the Russian version of American buttermilk pancakes. They are light, fluffy, and so similar. The only difference is that we cook them in a pan with more oil for those crispy edges.

Russian Pancakes are also called Blini. Blini is a small pancake that is made from buckwheat flour. Blini are traditionally served with melted butter, sour cream, and either smoked salmon or caviar.

How to Make Russian Pancakes

  • Make the Pancake Batter – Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, salt, and sugar. Mix in the flour and baking powder until combined.
  • Heat the Pan – Heat a skillet with oil until the oil is sizzling hot. Lower the heat to medium.
  • Cook the Pancakes – Working in batches, use a tablespoon to pour a little batter to the hot oil. Cook the pancakes on each side until golden brown. Add a little oil in between each batch. Serve while warm.

Hot Tip: Use a large skillet so you can cook more pancakes at a time.

Freezing Buttermilk Pancakes

To freeze buttermilk pancakes, first flash freeze them by placing them on a baking sheet in one layer and freezing until completely frozen (about an hour). Once frozen, you can transfer them to an airtight container. By flash freezing the pancakes first, they won’t stick together.

Buttermilk pancakes can be frozen for 2 months. You can reheat the pancakes from frozen either using the microwave or in the oven (375°F for about 10 minutes).

Oladi on a plate


What does buttermilk do in pancakes?

Buttermilk does multiple things in pancakes. It reacts with the baking soda or powder for extra fluffy pancakes and helps break down the gluten to give a more tender pancake. Finally buttermilk gives pancakes a slight tang that is a classic flavor.

Can you substitute buttermilk for milk in pancakes?

Yes, you can substitute buttermilk for milk in pancakes. You can use the same amount of buttermilk that the recipe calls for.

What is the best buttermilk substitute?

The best buttermilk substitute is making buttermilk on your own. It’s very easy to do. All you need is lemon juice or white vinegar, and regular milk. To make 1 cup of buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup line. Allow to sit for a few minutes before using. I recommend using 2% or whole milk when making the buttermilk substitute.

Oladi with berries and sour cream on a plate

Serving Buttermilk Pancakes

You can serve buttermilk pancakes with so many different toppings! For a sweeter spread top, use fresh berries or serve with our raspberry jam. For more savory pancakes, serve with sour cream and a glass of milk.

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About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.