100% Whole Wheat Pancakes

Two quick announcements before we get to today’s recipe!

1.  SEATTLE!  We’re coming your way this month!  Mark your calendars for Friday JULY 24th.  We will be at Williams-Sonoma in Bellevue Square from 12-2pm.  There will be a little recipe demo, some samples, books, mingling, and signing.  Pretty please tell your friends and come see us!

2.  Our DietBet is officially ON!  If you haven’t noticed, the pot is big.  Over $52, 000 is up for grabs.  It’s not too late to join up, we’re all just starting today!  You can join and weigh-in any time over the next 14 days.  Click here for more info and join us!  It’s such a great way to get back on track after a holiday weekend.

Now, on to pancakes.  Pancakes with healthy whole grains that actually taste good.  (Shocker!)

Whole Wheat Pancakes from ourbestbites.com

I often add whole wheat flour to baked goods, but as most people know, you very rarely want to add ALL whole-wheat flour.  It is notorious for heavy, dense, and often bitter results, which is why it’s almost always combined with some all-purpose flour.  This recipe is unusual because there’s no white, all-purpose flour here, we’re using 100% whole wheat, and they’re delicious!  Fluffy, soft, and everything a pancake should be.  The most important thing here is that you’re using fresh flour.  If you’re pulling out a bag you’ve had for ages, think again.  Start with a new bag, or one that has been in the freezer for less than 12 months.   If you’re feeling ambitious and want to grind your own flour, that works great as well.  Definitely store your whole wheat flour in the freezer when you’re not using it, it will extend its life!

Whole Wheat Flour

To your whole wheat flour, whisk in a little baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.  (Our favorite adorable heart whisks are in stock in our Shop, by the way!)


Pour your wet ingredients into the dry.  The wet ingredients are buttermilk, eggs, and vegetable oil.  I do recommend using real buttermilk (as opposed to milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar.) However if you do use the buttermilk substitute, I suggest decreasing the amount by 1/4 cup.  I actually used milk in this batch and I found that they weren’t quite as fluffy as they were with buttermilk, but still totally tasty.


I love the griddle on my stove-top and use it a lot for pancakes!  Do any of you guys have a griddle top?  A lot of people say they don’t end up using that part, but I find I use mine quite a bit.  Then again, we also eat a surprisingly large amount of pancakes and quesadillas.


Top with some real butter and maple syrup.


The last time I suggested that people use 100% real maple syrup in a recipe, I was torched by crazy commenters telling me I was pretentious for suggesting they buy something so ridiculously expensive.  So the next time I clarified that I thought it was handy to keep a bottle of the more expensive 100% maple syrup in the fridge for recipes (and grown-up breakfast), and use the industrial sized jug of Mrs. Butterworth’s for the kiddos to slather on the Eggos.  That time I was torched by crazy commenters telling me it was practically child abuse to feed my children cheap sugary substitute and if I was a more responsible parent I’d be topping their organic pancakes with only the best 100% real maple syrup.  So.  On that note.  I’m going to say nothing about syrup.

Yummy 100% Whole Wheat Pancakes from ourbestbites.com

These pancakes are soft, with a slightly nutty flavor, but not a nutty texture.  They’re hearty, filling, and totally delicious.

100% Whole Wheat Pancakes from ourbestbites.com

They’re also 100% kid friendly.  My kids ate just as many of these as they do regular white flour pancakes.

100% Whole Wheat Pancakes from ourbestbites.com

Make a bit batch and pop them in the freezer for busy mornings.  Frozen pancakes toast up beautifully in the toaster!

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100% Whole Wheat Pancakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.4 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 15
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Forget everything you’ve heard. The more whole-wheat flour you use, the more tender (and foolproof) the pancakes will be. Just be sure your flour is fresh, and you will get soft, fluffy, delicious whole wheat cakes!


  • 2 cups (11 ounces) whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus more for greasing pan)
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl mix buttermilk, oil, and eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in buttermilk mixture. Whisk until smooth (if the mixture is thick, don’t add more liquid).
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon extra oil in a large nonstick skillet (or large griddle) over medium heat until shimmering. Use a paper towel to wipe the oil around the pan. Pour pancakes into pan using 1/4 cup batter in each. If needed, gently spread each portion into 4 1/2-inch rounds. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break. Flip pancakes and cook until 2nd side is done. Serve with butter and maple syrup, or other toppings as desired.



  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I made these tonight (breakfast for dinner is very popular in my family) and they are delicious! Make sure you use good whole wheat flour. The ideal, in my opinion, is whole wheat pastry flour which I used to buy at WinCo. Now I don’t have access to that so I use Gold Medal. I tried a few other brands and they were too gritty. King Arthur whole wheat flour was terrible!

  2. Ok, I usually grind my own flour, but last month I attempted to make whole wheat pizza dough, one I’ve made successfully several times, but it went horribly wrong. The dough tasted like alcohol. I ended up throwing it away and now I’m not sure if my wheat went bad before I ground it or if it was my yeast. I keep my yeast in the freezer and my wheat in my cold storage until I grind it, then I keep it in the freezer. Haven’t dared to try anything with whole wheat since. It was freshly ground the last time I used it too. Any thoughts?
    BTW, these pancakes look amazing.

  3. I made these last night and they didn’t disappoint. We loved them and my kids gobbled them up! So light and fluffy. Thanks for the tip about keeping whole wheat flour in the freezer. I didn’t know to do that!

  4. HA HA! The syrup! You’re killing me! Actually, I can’t believe you used wheat flour in these pancakes. Don’t you realize there are people with gluten sensitivity and now they can’t eat them? I also think you went a little far with the butter, because sometimes people have high cholesterol and what are you going to do about that? (sigh) People are always happy to tell you what you SHOULD be doing and what you’re doing WRONG.

    Seriously though, these look absolutely stunning. By which I mean I sat and stared at the picture of them cooking on the griddle for ages. There is something so beautiful about the flecks of wheat bran in bread and pancakes, and I LOVE the taste of whole wheat. I’m definitely saving this recipe. Thanks!

  5. These are awesome!!! We’ve really struggled finding a pancake recipe that works so can’t wait to try these 🙂

  6. WOW!!! 33,000 dollars in the pot?!? Why didn’t I join?!? Goodness knows I could use the weight loss and the money 😉

  7. Who had time in their lives for syrup scorching!?!? You guys are hysterical…now because you said nothing everyone is going to scorch you for not doing a sponsored post on your fave syrups 🙂 I personally like the homemade stuff. Store-bought is to thick and gooey texture wise – and yes I have a texture thing about food

  8. love only 100% maple syrup and that’s the only syrup I feed my kids. Yes, it is expensive and so it’s healthcare! I know what’s best for my family and so do you. Everyone does and should do what’s best for their own family. Good for you for feeding your family the very best!! Love your recipes and kudos for keeping it real 🙂

  9. Thanks – I enjoy trying new recipes, although we only bake and cook with 100% whole wheat (non-GMO) flour and sometimes different varieties like white whole wheat flour and/or pastry flour. Pancakes made WITHOUT all-purpose bleached white processed flour are the best (in my opinion). I’m going to try this recipe with the buttermilk sometime. I usually do not have buttermilk on hand. Also, using coconut sugar tastes good and using oils such as safflower or coconut oil tastes good and better for you.

  10. My kids love pancakes so much they’ll eat wheat ones, too! I’m super bummed I can’t participate in the DietBet! I’m less than 2 weeks away from my half marathon and I don’t think it’s a good time to try to lose weight. And I’ll be on vacation on weigh in day, so I’d have no way to complete the challenge. 🙁

  11. I loved everything you didn’t say about syrup! Also, I might have to try to find room for wheat flour in my freezer. Thanks for the tip and recipe!

  12. Ooooh!! I would love to see you in Seattle! But the 25th is Saturday. Just wanted to check the date with you – will you be at Williams Sonoma on Friday, the 24th or Saturday, the 25th? Can’t wait! 🙂

  13. Funny – I made these yesterday and then logged in today to see you made them too! I did the milk/vinegar substitute and wished I’d decreased it by 1/4 cup, so that is good advice. They still turned out great! The kid couldn’t tell there was anything different than usual.

    Your syrup torching is hilarious. We do the same as you – maple syrup for the adults and Mrs. Butterworths for the kid. It’ll just be one of the many things we do wrong that she can work out with her therapist some day.

  14. I don’t know why everyone gives all whole wheat flour a bad rap. I make 100% whole wheat bread (freshly ground so I know it’s fresh) and it is soft and light. Everyone who has bread here loves it. I call it white bread and no one complains and they usually compliment me for the bread. If they don’t know it’s whole wheat they don’t have all those tastes they think they are going to get. I always hated whole wheat bread from the store – it tasted like sticks – but since I started making my own Whole Wheat baked goods I know that mine are great. If you get a bitter taste from your store-bought whole wheat flour it is probably because the wheat germ oil has gone rancid. As you said, you must keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. But how long has it been on the store shelf or sitting on a pallet at the milling company? Fresh is best and it is wonderful. But these look wonderful and I will make some with freshly ground whole wheat flour.

  15. I only use unicorn tears on my kids’ pancakes. Syrup is old news.


    Actually, I can’t wait to make these; they look awesome!

    1. What a great idea! I’ve been using hummingbird tears… ; )

      Sara, these do look darn delicious, and I love the frozen pancake/waffle trick when I remember to make extras!

    2. I have not heard of “unicorn tears” but my family are fans of “REAL” maple syrup. The cost is more but worth the extra dollars. No artificial anything!!