Start with the lemon syrup: In a 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
Add lemon juice, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and sugar. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately stir in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda. The mixture will bubble up and foam like a science experiment (this is why you need a larger pot).
Add the lemon zest and stir. It will take a few minutes for the foam to calm down, just stir it every now and then. Let rest while you get the pancakes ready, or keep it on low.
For the pancakes: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses, egg + yolk, butter, and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Heat your griddle or skillet to medium. (350 on my griddle)
Grease the pan with butter or nonstick spray, just enough to coat it.
Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form the pancakes. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until bubble have formed all over the top. Then flip with a spatula and cook until light brown, another 2 minutes or so.
Serve with warm lemon syrup. Sprinkle each serving with lemon zest.