A recipe for Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes inspired by our visit to South Walton, Florida! These light and fluffy pancakes are flavored with both vanilla bean and vanilla extract.
We recently moved! Over the last couple of months, we have been making the transition from the Florida Panhandle to Northern Virginia/D.C.
Before leaving Florida, we took a couple of day trips to visit the communities along 30A. 30A is a scenic state road that parallels Highway 98 in South Walton between Destin and Panama City.
For more of our time spent in the Florida panhandle, check out my previous posts:
Our first stop was in Seaside. About 30 miles east of Fort Walton Beach (about an hour drive with traffic), Seaside is a small planned town founded in 1981.
It is best known as the filming location for The Truman Show. I still have not seen the movie, but probably need to now to see if I am able to recognize any of the sites. Definitely take time to notice the styling of each of the buildings. The houses in the community are required to be unique from one another.
Finding a parking spot in the towns along 30A can be difficult at times, especially during the summer. Traffic may also get congested. Many people get around by walking or riding bicycles.
In Seaside, some parking is available along the center loop between the businesses and amphitheater, but this area can be hectic and comes with a time limit. We found plenty of parking available in the outer loop behind the main businesses.
The Great Southern Cafe
We started the day with breakfast at The Great Southern Cafe. This was Chad’s favorite part of 30A. The restaurant is very kid friendly, with paper covering the tables and crayons to keep Evan occupied.
They are also open for lunch and dinner.
We shared a plate of Beignets, which disappeared quickly. Chad ordered Eggs Sardou- a southern version of Eggs Benedict with a gouda, collard, and artichoke heart sauce.
I had the pancake plate (vanilla scented pancakes) with scrambled eggs and chorizo sausage patties. Evan shared from both of our plates (though I think he stole most of my eggs).
Seaside Academic Village
The Seaside Academic Village
There are many little shops and restaurants to explore in the center of Seaside. Duckies was Evan’s favorite store.
He was completely enamored by the large rubber ducky by the front door and could have spent hours exploring inside.
Another interesting shop was the Modica Market. This small gourmet grocery store is a great stop for those staying in the area.
The shops in Seaside surround a large grassy amphitheater. This area houses special events throughout the year and is a great spot to relax.
Evan enjoyed playing with his new frisbee from Duckies here.
The Seaside Farmers Market runs year-round on Saturdays. You can find an abundance of baked goods, vegetables, spreads, sauces, honey, and other homemade items.
I was particularly fond of Nativa’s booth featuring Argentinian pastries. If you miss the market on Saturday, Rosemary Beach (closer to Panama City Beach) also has one on Sundays.
Along 30A in Seaside, you will see a row of Airstreams. These offer a variety of options for a quick bite.
Raw and Juicy (now in Alys Beach) offered organic raw vegan food and a juice bar. Chad and Evan enjoyed a smoothie from here.
The Meltdown on 30A featured gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches using homemade, locally sourced ingredients.
Frost Bites– It had been a really long time since I enjoyed shaved ice. This was a wonderful afternoon treat, especially with the high Florida temperatures.
I definitely recommend adding the custard or cream.
Seven miles east of Seaside is Alys Beach (17 miles west of Panama City Beach). I parked next to the Amphitheatre and everything in the town was within walking distance.
Evan and I stopped by Fonville Press (now closed) for breakfast during one of our day trips. There is a selection of breakfast items, pastries, beverages, books, and magazines to choose from.
I tried a Sfogliatelle, an Italian pastry of crisp layered dough with ricotta, orange, and cinnamon.
Behind Fonville Press is a playground and large hill. The area looks a bit worn compared to photos I viewed online, but Evan still had fun running off a little energy.
Gulf Green is one of the access points to the beach. Evan loved running up and down the stairs and across the green. Each of the towers houses a bathhouse.
Charlie’s Donut Truck
Charlie’s Donut Truck was parked next to the Amphitheatre and features homemade donuts from 6:30 until they sell out and yogurt in the afternoon.
They were sold out by the time we got to Alys Beach at 9:30, so we didn’t get to sample. Get there early to snag one.
Update: The truck is currently closed with a notice of a permanent flagship shop set to open later this year in The Camden building.
The Amphitheatre is in the town center. It houses special events and a splash pad during the summer. Alys Shoppe is in the background of the photo and is the first retail shop in Alys Beach.
Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Pancakes
To go with this post, I decided to make a batch of Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes at home! These pancakes have a wonderfully light and fluffy texture with the use of baking powder, baking soda, and beaten egg whites.
The vanilla flavor from both vanilla extract and vanilla bean is a great base for a variety of toppings. I paired them with butter, maple syrup, strawberries, and edible flowers in the latest batch.
I have also served them with the strawberry sauce from my Sweet Crepe Trio.
A Few Tips
Take care with the temperature of the skillet while frying the Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes. They darken easily, but you also want to give the interior a chance to cook. Adjust the heat as needed between medium and low.
While cooking and flipping the pancakes, do not press down. This will cause them to lose their pillowy texture.
Grease the pan with additional butter as needed. A thin layer of butter will help create crispy edges on the pancakes.
To keep the pancakes warm while you are preparing the rest of the batter, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 200˚F (95˚C) oven. Just don’t keep them in there too long (no more than 15 min) or they will start to dry out.
If you don’t have vanilla beans available, substitute with about 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.
Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from Inside the Kaganoff Kitchen
Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Pancakes
- 2 1/2 cups (310 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs divided
- 2 cups (470 milliliters) buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- Divide the egg yolks and whites into 2 separate bowls.
- Beat the egg whites using a stand or hand mixer until soft peaks form.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until foamy, then mix in the buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Split the vanilla bean and scrape in the seeds. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined and no lumps remain.
- Lightly fold in the beaten egg whites.
- Place a large skillet over medium low heat and lightly grease with butter.
- Pour about 1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 milliliters) of batter onto heated skillet and cook until lightly browned and bubbles form on top. Flip and cook until other side is golden. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve immediately with butter or syrup.