Want a stack of pancakes, but feel guilty about eating breakfast with little to no nutritional value? I got you, babe. These Light and Airy Whole Wheat Pancakes are the answer to your “should I be healthy?” or “should I treat myself?” conundrum.
Pancakes are probably one of the first things I ever learned to make on my own. They’re nostalgic and delicious, but it’s hard for me to start my day with a super unhealthy meal.
That’s why I made it my mission to perfect Light and Airy Whole Wheat Pancakes. That way, even though I’m dousing it in syrup, I’m at least getting in some protein, vitamins, and nutrients in the morning from the whole wheat flour.
It took some tweaking to make sure they weren’t dense, but this recipe will give you super fluffy Light and Airy Whole Wheat Pancakes every time!
My husband is a tough critic. A “pretty good” from him is something to celebrate, which makes a “wow this is great” even more special.
I kid you not, Rob, the guy who doesn’t eat wheat bread. The guy who skips over anything marketed as “healthy” on a restaurant menu. The guy who doesn’t give praise where praise isn’t due.
That guy said that these were “THE BEST PANCAKES I EVER HAD”. And I didn’t even put chocolate chips in his (something I do for him when using store-bought mix).
Anyway, my point is, don’t let the whole wheat thing scare you. This recipe is deserving of a happy birthday breakfast in bed. Or a happy anniversary breakfast in bed. Or maybe don’t eat them in bed because, well, maple syrup. But you get it.
How To Get Light and Airy Whole Wheat Pancakes Every Time
Your Secret Weapon
Here’s the secret. It’s all about the whisk! There is purposely a lot of baking powder in this recipe because you gotta have that fluff and rise. But the whisk is what aerates your batter.
You should actually see little bubbles in your batter before pouring it onto your griddle. Bonus whisk tricks: it gets rid of any lumps. Because you can’t call a lumpy pancake light or airy.
I’ll Egg You On
The egg is important here because it acts as a binder. You can substitute a flax egg, but more on that later.
Green tip: Look for pasture-raised eggs (over free-range or cage-free) to support agriculture that is less reliant on chemicals and fossil fuels.
When you’re adding your egg, it’s important to avoid scrambling it. This is easiest if your egg is at room temperature and your milk and butter mixture is not too hot. But if you’re in a rush, just make sure to continuously stir as you add your egg to your milk and butter.
You’re Smooth As Butter
Don’t fear the flip! I know it’s the most intimidating part of making pancakes, but you got this! The key is to make sure you always have a generous amount of butter in your pan, so your pancakes don’t stick and they get a crispy exterior.
Luckily, you have a visual indicator of when it’s time to flip because little air pockets will form in your pancake batter. Slip your spatula underneath your pancake, and flip it over. Try to stay close to the pan. Dropping it from a distance may put you at risk for splatter.
Green tip: Look for organic and palm oil-free butter if you can. Buying organic means you are supporting farms that do not use damaging pesticides and fertilizers, and palm oil production is a huge driver behind deforestation.
Making These Vegan
You can absolutely make this recipe vegan by using any non-dairy milk, vegan butter, and a flax egg. Just make sure if you are using sweetened or flavored milk, you adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
For example, if you’re using a sweetened vanilla almond milk, put a little less brown sugar and a little less vanilla in your pancake mix.
Green tip: Industrial dairy production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your dairy consumption is one great way to reduce your ecological footprint.
Pancake Enhancers (Panhancers?)
This recipe is versatile! It’s absolutely delicious with blueberries or chocolate chips in it. Just stir them into your batter in step 3, or for a more even distribution, drop them directly into your frying pancake after pouring your batter into the pan.
Sometimes I serve them with sliced strawberries or whipped cream or both. Or pecans and peanut butter or even nutella! Do for it!
Subbing the Flour
Whole wheat flour is rich in Vitamin B and folate, and also has more protein and iron than white flour. But if you prefer all-purpose flour, you can substitute it for the whole wheat flour in this recipe. Just add an extra tablespoon. In other words, use 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour for this recipe.
The Lighter Side
And lastly, you can use cooking spray instead of butter for a lighter version. BUT these pancakes taste really good with a little crisp on the outside, so you may have to leave them on your pan or griddle a bit longer if you’re using a spray.
These Light and Airy Whole Wheat Pancakes are like biting into a fluffy syrup cloud. And the whole wheat flour provides vitamins and nutrients? You can totally have it all!