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Tender and nutty, these whole wheat pancakes are a breakfast dream! Buttermilk makes them light and fluffy for a scrumptious meal.
Are you looking for a way to make your pancake breakfasts a little more wholesome? These whole wheat pancakes have become some of my favorites.
The secret to fluffy pancakes, even when using whole wheat flour? Buttermilk!
Buttermilk in pancakes
Over the years of making pancakes, I’ve discovered that the one surefire way to have light and airy pancakes is to use buttermilk instead of regular milk.
The acidity of buttermilk pushes the baking soda and baking powder to activate, creating lots of extra bubbles to make a light and airy texture in your pancakes.
It also helps break down the gluten in the flour, which is extra important when it comes to whole wheat flours.
Buttermilk also adds a subtle tangy flavor that offsets the nutty flour.
Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Make your own substitute with milk and lemon juice or distilled white vinegar.
Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then fill it to the 1 cup mark with milk.
Stir and let it rest for 5 minutes, and you’ll have soured milk to use.
Using whole wheat flour in pancakes
If you’re used to making pancakes with all-purpose flour, you might be surprised how good these whole wheat pancakes are.
While whole wheat flour gets a reputation for producing dense baked goods, combining it with the buttermilk for this recipe gives you a wonderfully nutty pancake.
Because whole wheat flour is more dense than all-purpose flour, you’ll use a little bit less of it.
Make sure that you measure your flour by spooning it into a measuring cup, then leveling off the top. Don’t scoop directly from the bag, which will result in too much flour and a dense pancake.
If you’re still hesitant about using whole wheat flour, try this recipe first by using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.
Want to take your whole wheat pancakes to the next level? Try some of my favorite pancake mix-ins:
- Mini chocolate chips
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Fresh blueberries
- Chopped pecans
- Diced fresh apples
- Banana slices
Or top with shredded coconut, fresh fruit, or whipped cream!
If you don’t have whole wheat flour on hand, I recommend trying my classic buttermilk pancakes.
This recipe uses standard 100% whole wheat flour. You can also use whole wheat pastry flour, which is ground a bit finer.
I also have used oat flour to make these pancakes, which is great for folks who need to eat gluten-free.
To make this recipe dairy free, substitute unsweetened almond milk or your favorite nondairy milk substitute. Be sure to add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the batter as well to make them fluffy!
For the butter, swap in melted coconut oil, or even olive oil.
Pancakes are always best fresh off the griddle, but you might have extras. I like to double the recipe so we can have pancakes on hand during the week.
To store in the refrigerator, simply let them cool completely, then stack in an airtight container. Reheat pancakes as needed in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Want to store them longer? Check out my post on how to freeze pancakes!
These whole wheat pancakes are so good, my kids don’t even notice they are eating healthy pancakes!
Whole Wheat Pancakes
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and maple syrup until blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk to combine; a few lumps are OK.
- Preheat your griddle to 350°F or set a frying pan over medium heat. Once warm, flick a few drops of water onto the griddle; if they droplets scatter it is hot enough.
- Pour batter on in 1/3 cupfuls. Cook pancakes until bubbles start to form and edges look dry, then flip and cook until golden. Keep pancakes warm on a plate in the microwave or low oven while you repeat with remaining batter.