Photo: Elizabeth Laseter
Active Time
5 Mins
Total Time
10 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 3 4-inch pancakes)

Most of us equate a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes with a lazy Sunday morning. But how do you turn this beloved brunch staple into a nutritious, everyday breakfast? We gave the classic recipe a whole grain twist—and crafted a healthy pancake recipe that's sure to supercharge your mornings.

Finding the right whole grain flour was the toughest part. We knew that whole wheat flour, the obvious choice, would yield an overly-dense pancake. But when we tried spelt flour, a lighter whole grain flour, we were floored by the results. Spelt flour gave our pancakes a soft, chewy texture without a hint of bitterness. For sweetness, we used coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. Lastly—the one traditional pancake ingredient that we couldn’t sacrifice was the buttermilk. When compared with unsweetened almond milk, tangy buttermilk yielded superior pancakes, every single time. For a protein boost, we combined it with Greek yogurt.

Master this basic whole grain pancake recipe, and you can easily make blueberry pancakes, banana pancakes, and more. Our favorite topping? A drizzle of homemade chocolate hazelnut spread.

Looking for more healthy pancake recipes? Try these spiced pumpkin pancakes or these hearty oatmeal pancakes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the dry ingredients: Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl.

Step 2

Prepare the wet ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, yogurt, and vanilla.  

Step 3

Make the pancake batter: Make a small hole in the center of the flour mixture, then slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stop when the mixtures are just incorporated—and do not overmix. (For light, fluffy pancakes, this step is crucial!)

Step 4

Cook the pancakes: Heat a large nonstick griddle or nonstick large skillet over medium heat. Coat surface with cooking spray. Spoon about ¼ cup batter per pancake onto hot griddle or skillet. If using, drop 4 to 5 blueberries into batter. Cook until edges look dry and cooked and small bubbles form on tops, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook 1 to 2 minutes on other side. Serve or keep warm in a 200° F oven.

Chef's Notes

Find spelt flour on Amazon or at your local Whole Foods. You can substitute white whole wheat flour if needed.

To make dairy-free pancakes, substitute unsweetened almond milk for buttermilk and coconut milk yogurt for Greek yogurt (note: the pancakes may be slightly more dense and there will be less protein).

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