by Olena

Healthy Pancakes

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 24 votes

These Healthy Pancakes with whole wheat flour are the most fluffy pancakes in the world! Simple ingredients make this pancake recipe so easy to make anytime.

In our house, adults also love this almond flour pancake recipe. And kids also love whole wheat waffles and almond flour waffles. Try healthy banana pancakes that everyone will love!

healthy pancakes

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Healthy pancakes or whole wheat pancakes. Doesn’t matter. Let me present you world’s fluffiest, easiest and most delicious pancakes even your kids can make for healthy breakfast.

No need for buttermilk! And children will actually have fun with the process.

whole wheat pancakes stack cut to show texture and melted butter on top

My Ukrainian family’s pancake recipe with all-purpose flour and buttermilk was the reason to wake up on Sundays. Two kids and two decades of marriage later, it was embarrassing my husband, Alex, would make pancakes using Martha Stewart’s recipe. Meh, not the same.

I have tried my hand at fair share of protein pancakes: whey protein pancakes, peanut butter protein pancakes and cottage cheese protein pancakes. But not regular ones.

Health crisis 2020 and I kicked my “no buttermilk” excuse to the curb. You can use milk, buttermilk or leftover whey from Instant Pot yogurt production with same amazing results.

From today, this will become your only pancake recipe forever! 🙂

whole wheat pancakes stack cut and on a fork

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Milk + vinegar. Dairy milk + vinegar and it becomes homemade buttermilk. I used whole milk and white vinegar, I am sure any % fat milk, any light vinegar and even almond milk would work. Taste might differ slightly. Or use buttermilk or whey liquid – skip vinegar.
  • Eggs: I have not tried pancakes egg free. Egg whites would work with sub 1/4 cup.
  • Oil: Mild tasting oil like avocado oil is the best. Grapeseed and organic canola is fine too. I also don’t mind olive oil here. You can use melted butter or coconut oil, just make sure other ingredients are room T.
  • Maple syrup: Can sub with honey, just make sure to stir very well or warm it up a bit before adding.
  • Whole wheat or spelt flour: I use both interchangeably. If you want to use all-purpose flour, you might need to add more – I recommend to do so if you are experienced with pancake batter consistency.
whole wheat pancakes stack on a plate with butter and maple syrup

How to Make Healthy Pancakes

  • Make homemade buttermilk by combining milk and vinegar in a medium bowl. It will curdle somewhat within 10 minutes, while you are getting other ingredients ready. Kids love watching it happen!
  • Make batter by whisking “buttermilk”, oil, maple syrup, baking powder + soda and salt. Now add flour and stir gently with spatula, kind of folding while turning the bowl.
  • Batter consistency should be thin enough to spread but not like crepes. And not too thick so the spoon almost stands in it. That is the golden rule for pancake batter.
  • Fry when skillet and oil is hot – it is super important to preheat well. Once batter hits hot surface, it will set the shape, sizzle on edges and start cooking right away.

Tip: After a few batches, skillet will become hotter and pancakes will cook faster – turn it down.

My Favorite Pancake Toppings

My children are “boring” and just want their pancakes drowned in maple syrup. 🙂

Here are my fave toppings influenced by my upbringing in Ukraine.

  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream
  • Flavored Skyr or Greek yogurt 
  • Butter
  • Frozen fruit
whole wheat pancakes recipe

How to Store, Freeze and Reheat Pancakes

Store: Um, we never have pancake leftovers. 🙂 This recipe makes a good amount for 4 people and a few leftovers get covered with a towel in a dish and left on a counter. Gone by afternoon!

Freeze: You can meal prep and freeze pancakes in large resealable Ziploc or silicone bags, or airtight container. Make sure air is out as much as possible.

Reheat: Pop in a toaster from fresh or frozen. Genius, right?! 🙂

Enjoy, friends!

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

healthy pancakes stack with butter and pouring maple syrup on top
Healthy Pancakes

Healthy Pancakes (Whole Wheat)

These Healthy Pancakes with whole wheat flour are the most fluffy pancakes in the world! Simple ingredients make this pancake recipe easy to make anytime.
5 from 24 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 9 large pancakes
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 1 1/2 cups any milk
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
  • Oil for frying


  • In a medium bowl, add milk and vinegar. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes. It should curdle somewhat and be come “buttermilk”.
  • In a large bowl, add “buttermilk”, eggs, oil, maple syrup, baking soda+powder and salt. Whisk very well until combined.
  • Add flour and mix gently with spatula until combined and no lumps.
  • Preheat ceramic non-stick griddle or large skillet on medium-high heat. Important for it to be hot, so oil sizzles when added.
  • Swirl and spread a bit of oil to coat the surface. Using 1/3 cup measuring cup, spread batter in a circle shape. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bubbles appear on top.
  • Flip and cook another minute or so. You will have to reduce heat as skillet heats up during cooking. Watch carefully. Repeat until run out of batter.
  • Serve hot with berries, maple syrup, yogurt, sour cream etc.

Store: We never have pancakes past day 1 when we keep them in a dish covered with towel on a counter. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To serve, either thaw on a counter overnight or pop in a toaster from frozen.



    • Milk substitute: Instead of milk+vinegar, you can use buttermilk or leftover whey from Instant Pot yogurt production.
    • Oil substitute: I used avocado oil. Any mild tasting oil like grapeseed oil will work. You can use melted butter, just make sure other ingredients are room temperature as well so butter doesn’t solidify. Same with melted coconut oil.


    Serving: 1pancake | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 1mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    45 comments on “Healthy Pancakes

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    1. 5 stars
      Thank you so much, Olena, for this amazing recipe!! I have tried different pancake recipes, but this is by far the best (I used all-purpose flour only). They were so light and fluffy, and melted in my mouth. My husband loved them too. It’s true, I will not need any other pancake recipe from now on!

      One question — if I do have some buttermilk on hand, do I add 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (the amount of the milk and vinegar combined)?

    2. 5 stars
      Hi O, thanks so much for the recipe I’ll make it and I have no doubt that they will melt my in my eldest grandson before he swallows them.

    3. 5 stars
      Whole wheat fluffy pancakes? Because we have been so pleased with your recipes since I first ‘met’’ you I figured they just might be good. But my husband and I are actually talking about how tasty and fluffy they are! Who talks about pancakes? ?Thank you so much. We too have been buying pancake mixes. No more.
      Have a blessed Sunday Olena!

      1. 5 stars
        Really good, super filling. I subbed half the oil and half the maple syrup for unsweetened applesauce, and they still came out great.

    4. 5 stars
      Hello Olena,

      I made these pancakes with buttermilk (as I happened to have some) Spelt flour & Maple Syrup and they were delicious. My husband loved them. I have not made one of your recipes yet that we haven’t enjoyed.

      I love this site, and thank you for having it. I have also passed it on.

      Take care & stay healthy. ?

    5. 5 stars
      Ok the first time I made these they were flat. I’m going to guess that I stored them too much. They still tasted good and we ate them. There was a lot? The next time I Made these. I mixed the dry together first then added it to the liquid. That seemed to work. They are truly super fluffy. They also taste really good. I HAD a recipe for protein pancakes. That was my go to. Not any more. I will be using this one. Thank you

    6. 5 stars
      These are really good and I love that they use whole wheat flour but are not heavy. Very fluffy as the recipe says. I froze the extra pancakes and my son can just throw them in the toaster when he feels like one and I feel like he is eating something healthy.

    7. 5 stars
      A bit more work than a box mix, but worth the time. We won’t go back to a box. Delicious !

    8. 5 stars
      We loved this recipe made for Mother’s Day was great it’s a keeper thank you for this recipe 5 stars

    9. I can’t wait to make these. I only use WW flour and have never been able to find or perfect a delicious pancake recipe. I Will post again once I make them but had to say Thank You for the recipe. Happy Mother’s Day Olena!

    10. I strained store bought vanilla yogurt. Can I use the whey in baking things like pancakes, waffles or sweet breads?

    11. 5 stars
      These pancakes were delicious, lighter than expected, but kept us full for most of the day. Froze lots so we can enjoy them for a quick breakfast. Will do these every time I make yogurt and use up the whey.

    12. 5 stars
      I made these pancakes this morn and they were wonderful. I save some for tomorrow breakfast and put two bags into my freezer. I’d love more receipes using whey.
      Thank you. ~ Joyce

    13. 5 stars
      Pancakes are not my favorite food. But when my daughter and her family came to visit they wanted pancakes. She made them and I was delighted. They’re light and flavorful AND they are healthy for us, as well. Thank you for the recipe.

    14. 5 stars
      Oh my, there was nothing left from a ginormous batch of these healthy pancakes over the weekend. Thank you so much for this recipe!

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