Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Whole Wheat Pancakes
Anytime we have guests staying with us I always whip up a huge batch of whole wheat pancakes with melted butter and maple syrup. I do this on purpose. I want others to see how delicious cooking with organic, unprocessed ingredients can be and these pancakes are the perfect recipe to convert even the biggest skeptic.The conversation usually goes something like this:
“Wow, these are great!  What did you put in them?”
“Oh, some whole wheat flour, butter, eggs, buttermilk and a few other things.”
“These are made with whole wheat flour?”
“But I don’t understand, how can they be so light and fluffy?”

Exactly. So many of us have had a bad experience or two with heavy, dense, whole wheat recipes that we’ve given them up all together.

I can understand why everyone is so shocked. These whole wheat pancakes are light and fluffy with delicious crispy edges and are opposite of the heavy whole wheat pancakes that are usually eaten when starting some new health kick. I found this recipe in The Best Recipe years ago and tried it with fresh whole wheat pastry flour one day and couldn’t believe it actually worked. (This is the only recipe I’ve ever tried where I could substitute white flour for whole wheat flour 1:1, usually there is some tweaking involved.)

My favorite are the crispy edges. In fact, after I took pictures today, no one was around so I happily ate my way around the edges of these. Hmmm…now what to do with the middle.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Serving Size: Yields 24 3-inch pancakes

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

If there are any leftovers simply freeze them and the next morning: turn the oven to 350 degrees, place leftover pancakes on a baking dish in a single layer and pop in the oven. Warm for 10 minutes and then serve.
 Adapted from The Best Recipe.

This recipe was posted before I started posting all grain-free recipes on my site. For a fantastic grain-free pancake recipe, see page 36 of my second cookbook, "The Grain-Free Family Table".


  • 3 cups sprouted whole wheat pastry flour, freshly ground preferred
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • coconut oil, for frying (butter is a great substitute)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup


Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, and egg whites. In a small bowl whisk together egg yolks and melted butter.

Pour melted butter and yolks into milk mixture and whisk to combine. Pour this liquid mixture into flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile heat butter and maple syrup in a small sauce pan over low heat. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat (I actually like to heat mine in between medium and medium-high.) Drop about a teaspoon full of coconut oil into the pan. When oil is melted, swirl the pan to coat and then place 3-4 ladle-fulls (about 1/4 cup) of batter to make 3-4 pancakes. When the bottom of the pancakes are golden brown and the surface begins to bubble, flip pancakes. Continue to cook until bottom is golden brown. Serve immediately and drizzle with butter-syrup mixture.


If you are making pancakes for a large crowd and want to serve everyone at once then heat oven to 180 degrees, line a baking sheet with a cooking rack, and as the pancakes come off the pan place them on the cooling rack and keep warm in the oven. The cooling rack will prevent the pancakes from getting soggy.

*Soaked Option:

The night before pour flour (increase measurement to 3 1/4 cups) into a large bowl and stir in the buttermilk. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature overnight. The next day whisk together milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. In a smaller bowl combine egg yolks and butter. Pour egg yolk mixture into milk mixture and whisk. Add salt, baking powder and baking soda to soaked flour and stir to combine. Add milk/egg mixture to soaked flour mixture and whisk until just combined Let mixture rest for 5 minutes. Continue with recipe above where it says "Meanwhile heat butter..."

Note: This recipe was posted before I made the transition to all grain-free recipes on the blog. If you'd like to see a grain-free pancake recipe, CLICK HERE.

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  1. Ahhh whole wheat pastry flour! Excellent! I usually use half white and half wheat, but I see that the pastry flour would enable you to use all wheat. Beautiful photograph by the way! Love the drop of syrup!

  2. wendy

    Great pictures Carrie! I'm the dad, and I've used your recipe almost every weekend for years and have probably made in excess of 3,400 whole wheat pancakes (just some quick math). In the fall I throw in some organic canned pumpkin. Lately I've been adding a big squirt of agave nectar, and some cinnamon and nutmeg; it makes a good winter pancake. Smothered with 365 brand Grade A maple syrup and accompanied with Applegate Farms Natural Turkey Bacon, and a cup of Starbucks Organice Shade Grown coffee? It's like heaven in the mornin'!Thanks for sharing your recipes with us. Your healthy approach has changed our lives!

  3. So exciting to see others making whole wheat pancakes!! We only eat whole wheat pancakes…I run organic soft whole wheat berries through my grain mill to get freshly ground organic whole wheat flour. When making my whole wheat pancakes, I use half whole wheat flour and half organic oat flour. I make the oat flour by grinding the oats in my coffee grinder. These are one of our favorite breakfasts around here!I agree about the perfect recipe to convert others…for sure! I just recently discovered that my brownie recipe and most of our cookie recipes turn out just as tasty with the freshly ground whole wheat. Not heavy whole wheat bricks of the 80s…freshly ground flour makes all the difference. I'm following your blog…what a great treat to find you.

  4. Denise: Yes, the grain mill has made a huge difference for us too! I like your idea of wheat flour and oat flour…I need to try that! I don't list the whole wheat flour specifically as freshly ground (only preferred) b/c I know many don't have a mill or don't really want one (I can understand! Years ago I told my friend that I would never grind my own grain b/c that was just wierd." haha…Now I'm an advocate for it! :)

  5. Leslie

    I have loved finding your website! I’m new on organic cooking and have found your blog so helpful. Since I’m still learning, can I use whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour? I’ve been unable to find the pastry flour so far. Thanks!

    • Hi Leslie, I’m so glad you enjoy the site. Whole wheat flour is going to produce a very dense product because it has more gluten and protein in it. You cannot replace whole wheat flour for whole wheat pastry flour and have the same results. The pancakes won’t be light and fluffy, but instead, dense and heavy. You should be able to find pastry flour at your local health food store. If you have a Whole Foods near you I know they stock it in the bulk section. Good luck!

      • Leslie

        I was able to track down whole wheat pastry flour and made these pancakes tonight for dinner – they were fabulous! I’m so impressed with myself for actually making them! Wonderful recipe! I’ve got the rest of the batch chilling in the freezer – can’t wait to have them again for breakfast. Thanks so much!


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