Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes


Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

whole wheat pancakes on a white plate

Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes are made with just six ingredients and only one bowl for mixing. They use all whole wheat flour and are lightly sweet and super fluffy!

Even great recipes sometimes get made once and are promptly forgotten about. At our house where I’m constantly looking for inspiration and trying new things, my family always complains that I make something they love and they never see it again. So it’s truly a special recipe that gets made every week at our house (okay, that’s not totally true, sometimes we alternate with Healthy Blueberry Pancakes). These whole wheat pancakes are our weekly recipe. I make double batches which produces enough pancakes to freeze and warm up in the toaster all week long.

whole wheat pancakes on a white plate with a fork

These pancakes are just a bit sweet so they need no other topping than a spread of butter, though no one ever complains about a bit of maple syrup. Plus the whole wheat flour means that everyone is getting a bit more nutrition than standard pancakes made with all purpose flour. 

Even if you’re not the homemade breakfast type, try these pancakes! They’re incredibly easy and so delicious.

ingredients for pancakes in a white bowl

Ingredients for Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • Buttermilk – I know that buttermilk isn’t something that everyone keeps on hand (though around our house, we make these pancakes so often that we always have it), but it’s inexpensive and definitely worth grabbing on your next run to the store. The subtle tart flavor really makes these pancakes taste great! If you don’t have it – no worries – see below for an easy substitute. 
  • Whole Wheat Flour – These use entirely whole wheat flour which can be found in the baking aisle next to the all purpose flour. If you don’t use it often, store it in the freezer and it will stay fresh for a looooong time and be ready anytime you want to make these pancakes (or these whole wheat waffles).  
  • Eggs – You’ll need 2 large eggs.
  • Light Brown Sugar – Dark brown sugar works just fine too. I’ve also made this with white sugar, and it came out great. 
  • Cooking Oil – Any type of oil you would use in baking or cooking will work great here. I use vegetable, canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil, depending on what I have on hand.
  • Baking Powder – The baking powder is what helps these pancakes to bake up tall and be extra light and fluffy. The recipe requires 2 Tablespoons – it will seem like a lot, but it’s right!

(How sweet are these little notes that come with our favorite local eggs?)

eggs in an egg carton

Substitute for Buttermilk

If you don’t have buttermilk, replace 2 cups of buttermilk with 1 ½ cups milk, 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice, and ½ cup plain yogurt. The yogurt and the vinegar / lemon juice thicken the milk and mimic the sour flavor of buttermilk. 

adding buttermilk to bowl of pancake ingredients

How to Freeze Pancakes

After making the pancakes, allow them to cool completely. Place them on a sheet pan – it’s okay if they overlap slightly. Transfer the pan to the freezer and freeze for 2 to 3 hours. Once pancakes are frozen solid, move to freezer bags. Seal tightly and freezer for up to 6 months. 

Pancakes (and waffles) are freezer rockstars. Just take out as many as you need and warm them up in the toaster or under the broiler for a couple minutes.

light and fluffy pancakes on a white plate

More Whole Wheat Flour Recipes

Favorite Tools

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It Now
whole wheat pancakes
4.39 from 13 votes

Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Don't let the fact that these pancakes are made entirely from whole wheat flour fool you - they bake up as light and fluffy as any I've had.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • Skillet
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Spatula


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) cooking oil (vegetable, canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil)
  • 2 cups (475 milliliters) buttermilk (see note)
  • 2 cups (250 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Beat eggs and brown sugar in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk. Beat in canola oil and buttermilk until evenly combined. Add dry ingredients all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  • Ladle batter onto a hot, oiled griddle or skillet until bubbles form on the surface. Flip to the other side and cook until both sides are golden brown. Serve immediately, with butter and syrup.


Recipe adapted from "Black Jack Flapjacks" by the Black Jack Inn and the Paradise Cafe in Lawrence, Kansas.
Don't have buttermilk? Replace 2 cups of buttermilk with 1 ½ cups milk, 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice, and ½ cup plain yogurt. The yogurt and the vinegar / lemon juice thicken the milk and mimic the sour flavor of buttermilk. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 833mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Calcium: 308mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.50
Calories: 469
Keyword: easy breakfast recipe, easy recipe, freezer-friendly breakfast, healthy breakfast recipe, kid-friendly recipe, whole wheat
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

*This post contains affiliate links*

Want to save this recipe?
Get it emailed to you directly! Enter your email below.

About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Wow thanks for such a yummy recipe! These are by far the best whole wheat pancakes I ever made!!! Everyone loved these! Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these last night for our breakfast-for-dinner, and they were delicious. I was actually shocked by how good they are since they’re all whole wheat. I expected some packiness or something, but nope. They were light and spongy, just the way I love my pancakes. All of my kids and even my husband enjoyed them too. This will be my standard recipe from now on, thank you!

    1. Thanks so much for letting us know Cindy! We’re always shocked at how good these are too – ever since we found these, we never make our old standard pancakes.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe and so easy. I added 1/4 cup of cornmeal flour to see what would happen and to be more like what I remember from my childhood. Came out great and my husband really enjoyed them. BitsGingit

  4. 5 stars
    I was looking for a whole wheat pancake recipe this morning and Google brought us together. These are fantastic! I
    My husband insisted that we save this recipe because these pancakes are so good!

  5. There’s one technique that would make these pancakes even more light and fluffy. It’s from the buttermilk pancakes that my grandmother and mother taught me to make. Give it a try and you’ll be hooked. Before adding the eggs to the mixture, separate the whites from the yolk; add the yolk only to the mixture. Beat the egg whites until the soft peak stage, then mix the other ingredients as described. At the last minute, fold the whites into the pancake batter leaving some lumps so as not to deflate the air in the whites. Then cook as usual; these cakes will be the lightest and airiest pancakes ever! Enjoy!

    1. I love this idea, Estelle – this is how my dad always made waffles and they were, indeed, super fluffy. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 5 stars
    Hey, these are the BEST whole wheat pancakes ever. I could not believe how fluffy they turned out. Loved them! Thanks for sharing the recipe, so simple and amazing.

    1. Thanks so much for your note, Nidhi! These are definitely my all time favorite pancakes – I’m so glad you enjoyed them too!