Best Easy Healthy Pancake Recipe (Whole Wheat Pancakes)
This Easy Healthy Pancake Recipe is the best! I’ve tested this recipe time and again and it’s our go-to whole wheat pancake recipe. You can use this same batter to make delicious waffles with crisp edges and soft centers!
This recipe has been a long time coming! I’ve been working on this healthy pancake recipe for months, to make sure it was just right before I shared it with you. That has meant a lot of pancakes for my family, but no one has complained!
This is my best easy healthy pancake recipe. We make pancakes or waffles about once a week, usually on Sunday mornings. I like to make enough so that we can freeze some for mid-week dinners.
Yes, I said dinners! I plan a breakfast for dinner night every week because it’s a fast, easy and budget-friendly meal. I never have to buy anything special because we always have eggs, fruit, and frozen pancakes or waffles on hand. Breakfast for dinner is a favorite with my kids, and I never hear complaining when these pancakes are on the menu!
Why we LOVE these whole wheat pancakes:
- The pancakes turn out light and fluffy and taste amazing.
- This recipe is so easy! My 9 year old daughter now makes these whole wheat pancakes for our family every weekend (all by herself!).
- They freeze perfectly for make ahead meals.
Be sure to also try my favorite light and crispy buttermilk waffle recipe! It’s healthy and super easy.
You can also use this same batter to make whole wheat waffles! How convenient is that? One recipe, two delicious, easy and healthy breakfast options. The waffles are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. The pancakes are light and fluffy. Both are just perfect with fresh fruit and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. How will you choose?? 😉
I tested this recipe many, many times, with all sorts of adaptations. In the end, the simplest recipe is the one my family likes best. It’s funny how that’s often the case, isn’t it?
I tested this easy healthy pancake recipe with buttermilk, a combination of milk and Greek yogurt, homemade buttermilk made from milk + lemon juice, and regular whole milk. The regular whole milk is my favorite because it’s the simplest. The whole milk pancakes were just as good as any of the others, so we’ll go with simple! (If you’re looking for a pancake recipe made with buttermilk, try my favorite buttermilk pancakes.)
I also tried varying amounts of melted butter in this recipe. I found that you can get away with just 2 tablespoons of butter and still have great-tasting pancakes. Adding unsweetened applesauce to the batter allows us to use less butter and leads to healthier pancakes!
One more note about the applesauce: I wouldn’t recommend skipping it. One time we were all out and I substituted Greek yogurt. We really noticed a difference in the flavor and sweetness of the pancakes. Even though the applesauce has no added sugar, it does add sweetness to the pancakes. You’ll also add 2 tablespoons of honey (or pure maple syrup) to this batter to create just-sweet-enough pancakes.
If you need a substitute for the applesauce, I would recommend using mashed banana. Your pancakes will turn out sweeter because ripe bananas add a lot of sweetness to baked goods.
These healthy pancakes are made with whole wheat flour, which has fiber that will keep you full. They won’t spike your blood sugar the way that pancakes made from all-purpose flour might. I use white whole wheat flour because we prefer the lighter texture compared to regular whole wheat flour.
We cannot get enough of these whole grain pancakes! They don’t require fancy ingredients and you can mix up the batter in just 5 minutes. I know you’ll love them, too!
For those times when you want to get a little more creative with your pancakes, I recommend trying my Lemon Greek Yogurt Pancakes.
Tips for making this Easy Healthy Pancake Recipe:
- This pancake batter will be thick. Resist adding more milk, as that will create thinner pancakes. For light and fluffy pancakes, you need a thick batter!
- I’ve found 1/4 cup batter per pancake is the perfect amount.
- As I mentioned before, I recommend using white whole wheat flour in these pancakes. White whole wheat is made from a different kind of wheat berry and has a lighter color and a more mild, sweeter flavor than regular whole wheat.
- To make waffles, follow the recipe as directed and then cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ¼ cups milk (whole milk is best in this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons honey (or pure maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- In a large bowl, whisk together white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, milk, honey and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in melted butter. (The batter will be thick, but avoid adding more milk or your pancakes may turn out flat rather than light and fluffy.)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just incorporated. It's ok if a few lumps remain; try not to over-mix.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Scoop batter by scant ¼ cup onto the heated griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form and the bottom side of the pancakes are lightly brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until the second side is browned, about 2 minutes more. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes.
- To make waffles, prepare batter as directed above and then cook according to your waffle maker's instructions.
- Pancakes and waffles keep well in the freezer. Let cool completely and then freeze in a zip-top plastic bag.
2. I recommend using white whole wheat flour in these pancakes. White whole wheat is made from a different kind of wheat berry and has a lighter color and a more mild, sweeter flavor than regular whole wheat.
3. To make waffles, prepare the batter as directed and then cook according to your waffle maker's instructions.
4. Nutrition information was calculated using an online calculator and is meant to be an estimate only. The exact numbers will vary based on quantities, ingredients and brands used.
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