Every morning I have the same conversation with my 4 year old.  It goes like this:

Me:  Hey buddy, what do you want for breakfast, cereal or oatmeal?

Him: Um.. pancakes.

Every once and a while just to throw him off and make myself appear to be Supermom I say, “Okay”.   I wish I could capture the look on his face when this happens because it’s priceless.

Now Kate recently posted an awesome pancake recipe that’s universally loved around here.  I kind of consider that recipe to be a Saturday morning pancake, at least for me.  It’s the one that I don’t mind trashing my kitchen for because my whole family is going to sit down at the table and slather them with naughty condiments and the time and effort is worth it.   So don’t get me wrong, I love those pancakes, but this whole wheat recipe has become more of an everyday recipe for my family.  I love that it’s simple; you could even do it in one bowl.  I also love that these are fairly healthy.  You get a good dose of whole wheat, and the recipe uses little sugar, little oil, and an added egg white.  Top them with fruit and I feel pretty good feeding them to my kiddos a couple days a week.

The other thing I love is that these make great freezer pancakes.  I can get 24 perfect kid-sized pancakes from this recipe and I keep them in the freezer in a zip lock bag.  That way when my son bats his eyelids and pleads for pancakes I have no problem whipping them out and becoming a star for the day (or at least for like 30 minutes).  Kind of like when I pull my other sneaky Mom trick and let him eat ice cream for breakfast. Later in this post I’ll show you some of my favorite kid-friendly healthy pancake toppers.

Here we go:

Dry Ingredients:  Whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar.  And can I just say that I’m not one of those people who likes whole wheat in everything?  I know you people are out there because you comment on every recipe we post that involves flour asking for whole wheat instructions.  So trust me- these taste REALLY good, and you honestly can’t even tell there’s whole wheat flour in there! I even keep meaning to experiment by increasing the wheat ratio.

Wet Ingredients:  buttermilk (or regular milk with a little lemon juice, see recipe notes), egg, egg white, vanilla, canola oil

All you do is whisk the dry and whisk the wet and then stir together.  Easy breezy.  And really, you could even make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and whisk your wet stuff right there to keep it all in one bowl.  Since we make these fairly often I sometimes mix up a few batches of just the dry ingredients and keep them in ziplock baggies in the pantry.  Then it’s even easier to whip them up.

I’ve noticed this batter is thinner than others you may be used to, so it’s important that your grill is hot.  If it’s not, then the batter will just run all over.  If it’s at a good heat, then the batter will sizzle and start to cook right away which will allow it to grab onto the pan.

Watch for bubbles to form around the pancake.  You can usually tell when a pancake is done because if nudge it with your spatula it holds its shape pretty well around the edges- as opposed to mushing all over.

And there you have it.  Soft, fluffy, delicious, pancakes that are relatively healthy and easy enough to whip up on a week day.

Since I consider these to be a semi-healthy pancake we try to top ours with something semi-healthy too.  For a super easy fruit syrup, just heat up a little jam in the microwave and it easily pours like a syrup.  (That’s what’s shown in these pictures, it’s just strawberry jam).  As a reader mentioned in the comments, you can do the same thing to peanut butter (brilliant!) Add a little hot water to either of those to make them thinner if needed.

My kids like them with a smear of peanut butter- and with some of the warm jelly syrup poured on top it’s just like a yummy PB & Jelly pancake sandwich!

It’s also a great way to get fruit into my kiddos when otherwise they’d probably just be downing bowls of “fruit” loops.  They easily gulp up berries, bananas, stonefruits, etc.  when they’re sitting on top of a fluffy pancake; who wouldn’t?!


  1. 1
    Wic says:

    they look stunning and since my boys are sick at home I think I will play a little supermom and give them pancakes for dinner.

  2. 2
    SnoWhite says:

    these look wonderful!

    Have you tried King Arthur's white wheat flour? I love using this — it has replaced my standard all-purpose flour, and no one knows.

    looking forward to trying these.

  3. 3
    Heather says:

    I LOVE whole wheat pancakes! There is just something about wheat pancakes, not too sweet, and then adding the sweetness on top. I have tried them using stuff other than buttermilk and they were great. Then one day, I actually tried them with buttermilk, and they were *fabulous*. I don't use it enough, so I now buy the powdered kind, and it goes a long way (and keeps for a lot longer than the carton).
    Thanks for all of your excellent recipes and tips. I look here every other day even though I know the days you post lol!

  4. 4
    Maria says:

    Pancakes with berries-Mmmmm! Whole wheat are the best too!

  5. 5
    Carrian says:

    looks wonderful. I love cooking light

  6. 6
    The Wifey says:

    Ellie Krieger makes a similar pancake recipe but uses only honey and no oil. This recipe looks really good too! Along with her recipe is a simple way to make strawberry "syrup." It's so easy and so good! You just blend up some strawberries, heat them in a pan with maple syrup and lemon juice and it's so freakin good on these kind of pancakes-well any kind of pancakes!

  7. 7
    Me and My Pink Mixer says:

    I'm trying your recipe tonight! I have been trying to get more whole grains in my picky daughter's diet. Great idea to freeze them so they'll be ready for school mornings!

  8. 8
    Carrie says:

    These look delicious and can't wait to try them. Just wondering, when you use milk with lemon juice as a substitute why do you prefer lemon juice over vinegar? I typically use vinegar, but the last two times, it didn't really work. Wondering if lemon juice is more successful at curdling the milk?

  9. 9
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Carrie, it's purely a taste thing for me! And generally speaking I think real buttermilk is usually the best, so I only use the substitute in a pinch.

  10. 10
    Kendra and Nate Wright Family! says:

    you should try Vanilla flavored or just plain Agave. It tastes so good, better the syrup!

    Ps. just found this and love it. Thanks for you hard work!

  11. 11
    Alfred says:

    Are they really that fluffy and full?

    I am going to try them next weekend.

  12. 12
    Sarah Lenhart says:

    I'm going to have to try these. I've been wanting a good whole wheat pancake recipe and this looks amazing!

  13. 13
    Lindsay says:

    Check out my latest blog post about ourbestbites, i thought you guys might like to hear from a superfan!: http://lindsayswhimsicalramblings.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-cooking-creations.html

  14. 14
    iamahoneybee says:

    we do the very same thing! Make a big batch to freeze so we can have one on a workday.

  15. 15
    Heidi says:

    I made these this morning for the daycare kids. What a huge hit! I topped them with melted creamy peanut butter and melted strawberry jam and they devoured them! Great pancake!

  16. 16
    Emilee says:

    Thanks for the buttermilk tip–I always want to try recipes that call for buttermilk, but never have it.

  17. 17
    foggogs says:

    oh no not another recipe I am going to love. I made your breadsticks last week and even my picky 7year old loved them. I can't wait to make these and try the freezer trick.

  18. 18
    peachdenise says:

    My mom told me about a great topping everyone gobbled up! Heat up a cup of honey & add a cup of your favorite fruit. Berries work quite well. Let stand until the warm honey breaks down the fruit. Warm again before serving. Easy and healthy. :) Love my mom.

  19. 19
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Peachdenise- tell your Momma thanks! Love that tip!

  20. 20
    Kat says:

    I made these this morning. LOVED them. And my two year old…LOVED them! I did the warm jam trick. It was soooooo good!

  21. 21
    lightingtheweb says:

    I just stumbled onto your blog and can't wait to get cooking. Thanks!

  22. 22
    Karie says:

    These are really great tasting! We loved them! Thanks for this recipe!

  23. 23
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction says:

    Yum… Your pancakes look great! Love all of your photos… They are beautiful!

  24. 24
    Camilla Starks says:

    I just know that the syrup in these pictures is homemade because my syrup doesn't look thick and yummy like that. Can you give us the recipe for that too?

  25. 25
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Camilla, I noted in my post that it is just warm jam!

  26. 26
    Beverly says:

    I have caught a flu bug and today I am sick. Why does that make me happy? Because I am blessed with a loving husband who took the day off to take me to the doctor, pick up my medication, and to make me soup for supper.

  27. 27
    LollyChops says:

    I love it… I am reading along and see the whole (healthy recipes post)… go to the next one and it's a giant stack-o-pancakes! Wheat pancakes mind you… but still pancakes. I am still laughing!

  28. 28
    J.L says:

    I am a big pancake snob, but I had to try this recipe. I made the recipe after we had already eaten dinner so we wouldn't eat them. I wanted to see how well they would freeze and reheat. Well, I made them and they looked so good, my husband and I had to try them. They were SO GOOD! We didn't even use pancake syrup or jam; we ate them plain, right off the griddle. I am sharing this recipe with everyone I know that loves pancakes. I am thrilled to have a whole wheat pancake recipe that is worth eating! Thank you!

  29. 29
    Aubri says:

    I made these for the 2nd time this morning (green for st. patty's day!). They were fabulous! I took the tip from one of these comments and tried the dried buttermilk. So good and easy! I'm going to throw together all of the dry ingredients and put it in the fridge for quick pancakes in the mornings. Also, I used whole wheat pastry flour, which eleminates the grainy texture that regular wheat flour has. Thanks for the great recipe!

  30. 30
    The Bell Family says:

    I made these for my four year old today and between each bite he said things like "Mom, you are the best cooker ever!" and "These are super duper yummy!" (He ate 4 pancakes!)
    I love making things that are healthy AND get that kind of response from my kids, so thank you!

  31. 31
    DancingPrincessDesigns says:

    I do NOT love pancakes, but my kids do. I tried this baby out and was thrilled! I doubled the batch thinking I could freeze some of them, but it didn't happen… the kids took them out of the fridge later that day and toasted them and ate them plain. I will never make any other kind ever again!
    YUM and thank you!

  32. 32
    Lindsay says:

    These pancakes are SO good. I've tried a bunch of whole wheat pancake recipes and have liked them okay, but my family has never been too thrilled with them. But they all liked these! Great flavorful, light and fluffy–perfect!

  33. 33
    Thelittlebrownhouse.us says:

    Downloaded the recipe! Thanks so much, they look super good!

  34. 34
    Carlin says:

    I wish I could put into words how much I LOVE these pancakes! I’ve made them multiple times now and have been blown away each time! They smell SO good when they are cooking, I almost just want to eat them right there off the griddle! I love how fluffy they get. I love how they have a sweet taste. I love that they are healthy. I love how I can make a bunch of batches ahead of time, and then throw it together quickly in the morning. I love that my husband says, ” I really want to eat another one, but I know I will pop if I do.” Thanks for such a great recipe!

  35. 35
    PINKONE20 says:


  36. 36
    Melissa says:

    Best pancakes EVER! I was hesitant because of buttermilk in the title. Thank you for the tip on using lemon juice with milk, it worked perfectly. I will never buy a box mix again. Next time I’ll use your suggestion and make up a couple of bags with just the dry mix for my pantry. Thank you!

  37. 37
    Melissa says:

    I never have buttermilk and my husband must have used up the last of the lemon juice. I did have a couple of fresh limes and that worked great!

  38. 38
    Lauren says:

    I have a tried and true pancake recipe that I have been using for years(without buttermilk), but I just had to try this recipe. I made them last night after dinner (actually just trying to use up my buttermilk before it went bad) and my 2 year old and 4 year old boys could not stop eating them, nor my husband! He kept saying, it must be the buttermilk! I did add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and susbstituted coconut oil for the canola (I didn’t have any canola) and they were perfect! Thanks again for this delicious recipe!

  39. 39
    Anne says:

    These pancakes are our family’s new favorite!!! I made them a couple of weeks ago and we’ve had them again last week!! YUM, YUM, YUM!!! One of my daughters thinks that these pancakes taste like cookies, they are sooo good!!!

    Thanks for sharing!! :)

  40. 40
    Rachel says:

    I am now a pro at pancake making because of this recipe. WE LOVE IT! When I want to make it in the morning I combine all the dry ingredients in a ziploc bag the day before and then in it’s ready to go into the wet ingredients in the morning. They taste so good. I’m so glad I found this recipe!

  41. 41
    Melanie says:

    I have made these time and time again. We love them. However, every time I make them I have to add more flour. Like 1/2 cup to 1 cup because they are really runny. What am I doing wrong. I even printed the recipe out again today to make sure I had the ingredients right. Same…but I still had to add more flour. Do you have any ideas? Am I not waiting long enough for the buttermilk (aka lemon juice and milk) to curdle?

    • 41.1
      sara says:

      It definitely is a runnier batter, so you may not be doing anything wrong! One thing that’s important is making sure your pan is nice and hot so the batter starts cooking right when it his the pan. But feel free to add a little more flour if you need to. I’m glad you like it!

  42. 42
    Nicole says:

    FANTASTIC recipe….. we love pancakes & eat them often, but this recipe is my favorite. Thank you

  43. 43

    […] Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes — best if you are low on time. […]

  44. 44
    heather says:

    Will full-fat buttermilk yield same results?

  45. 45
    heather says:

    I used the full fat buttermilk and the batter was very thick and I had trouble getting the middle of them done, so I thinned it out with reg. milk. My boys SCARFED these down! They were delicious (and this from an anti-wheat girl!)…yum yum!

  46. 46
    Miranda says:

    In case anyone out there is like me and trying to use buttermilk powder.. or if I ever lose my notes :)The estimated conversion I found online for Bob’s Red Mill powdered buttermilk:
    *For 1 1/2 c Buttermilk add 3Tbs of powder to a measuring cup and then add enough water to make 1 1/2 C buttermilk. *
    1 cup of buttermilk=2Tbs powder+7/8 cups water
    1/2 cup buttermilk=1 Tbs Powder+7 Tbs Water.
    1&1/2 C buttermilk= 3Tbs powder and 1&1/4cup & 1Tbs Water
    Trying to deal with those conversions when I’m in a hurry and it’s early makes me want to scream! Hopefully this can benefit someone else out there :)

  47. 47

    […] a handful of pancake recipes and they have all been different. I fell in love with this one from Our Best Bites just the other day.  Their recipe calls for cow’s milk but I substituted it with soy milk. […]

  48. 48
    Ernie's Mom says:

    These are wonderful! My husband loves pancakes but I’ve never been fond of them, especially buttermilk. Since I make them so rarely I have never developed the knack of making them. When I had leftover buttermilk from another recipe I decided on a New Years treat & your site popped up in response to a google search. We try to do as much whole wheat as possible so I used 1 cup whole wheat to 1/2 cup all purpose flour & let it set a few mins while getting other things ready & they were wonderful & easy(the batter thickened nicely)! This will be a “keeper” for us. Thanks for sharing!

  49. 49
    Sarah Dugan says:

    These pancakes were amazing. I ate them with peanut butter and blueberries and they were an awesome dinner.

  50. 50
    Jen says:

    These look really good. My only complaint is that they say “whole wheat” when they are actually only part whole wheat and part white flour. Do you think it would work to do all wheat flour? I really prefer the flavor of whole wheat pancakes.

  51. 51
    Lisa says:

    I know this recipe has been here for years and probably no one will ever see this comment but just in case…

    This is a favorite recipe in our house that we’ve been making (and freezing) for years but today due to lack of an ingredient we changed it and it tasted completely amazing so I wanted to share. I didn’t have whole wheat flour and since I still wanted healthier pancakes I decided to grind up some large flake oatmeal into oat flour to use just in place of the whole wheat and WOW…SO awesome!!! (We also added some blueberries but we often do that so no major change there.) We’ll still be making this recipe as is but what a fun change of flavor this alternative turned out to be and just as healthy. :-)

  52. 52
    Mandy says:

    These pancakes are SERIOUSLY delicious! I used real buttermilk and white whole wheat flour for the wheat flour. These are every bit as tasty as my unhealthy white flour buttermilk pancakes. So, these are the new everyday pancakes, folks! Soooo tasty!!

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