Whole Wheat Pancakes

Whole-Wheat Pancakes
Healthy pancakes may sound oxymoronic, but actually they are very possible.
Pancakes are a favorite breakfast food for many of us, and if they can be made healthy, while retaining all of the fluffy, yummy goodness that we love, then why not?
My first step to making pancakes healthier while adding to the taste factor starts with substituting the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. The improvement in taste is remarkable because the whole grain adds a rich nuttiness. Whole wheat pastry flour, which is made from a light whole grain, is low in gluten and a perfect substitute for all-purpose flour in most baked goods, other than delicate cakes and breads. At the same time it also adds to the nutritive value of any food it goes in because it contains large amounts of fiber and protein.
Flax seed powder mixed with water substitutes for eggs here, and I use soy milk instead of dairy – all healthier options than the ingredients one would normally use while making pancakes. I also use canola oil instead of butter, and the difference is…well, there is none.
My Whole Wheat Pancakes are decadence for breakfast- and they prove that delicious food can be good for you, and vice versa.

Vegan Whole Wheat Pancakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: Eight pancakes
  • Dry:
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Mix the dry ingredients well and set aside.
  • Wet:
  • 1½ cups soy milk
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  1. Mix together the wet ingredients and add to the dry. Mix gently until the dry ingredients are just moistened. There should be some lumps remaining in the batter.
  2. Heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle. Smear lightly with a few drops of canola oil. Pour about ¼ cup of the batter on the griddle and let it cook until bubbles appear at the top of the pancake and the underside is golden-brown. Flip over with a spatula and cook the other side until it is lightly browned.
  3. Serve hot with a pat of vegan spread and maple syrup.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

46 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Pancakes

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 27, 2008 at 10:02pm

    Hi Vaishali,

    I have a doubt again:) I don’t seem to find flax seed powder where we live. Is there any other substitute (other than bananas)?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      January 22, 2012 at 6:56pm

      All you need is to buy whole flax seeds and grind them. You can accomplish this pretty easily with a Vita-Mix if you have a dry hopper (don’t use the wet one). Alternatively, you can run flax seeds through just about any peppermill and get ground up flax seeds. That’s all “flax seed meal” is. And it works *better* than eggs as a binding/caking agent. Huzzah!

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    February 28, 2008 at 7:30pm

    Hi Latha, Tofu makes a decent egg substitute, although I’ll confess I’ve never used it in pancakes. You could use 1/4 cup of silken tofu in place of 1 egg. In this recipe, that would equal about 1/2 cup of tofu, first blended smooth, then added to the ingredients. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it worked out!

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    April 26, 2008 at 1:25am

    Well, I know it is quite past the date this recipe was posted but I have been trying my hand at several vegan pancake recipes since I turned vegan a year ago and can I just say…WOW!!! Thank you for a fabulous and tasty recipe and my only complaint is that I will eat far too many pancakes now. :) I substituted unsweetened almond milk for soy and olive oil for canola and they came out absolutely delicious! Thanks again!!

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 26, 2008 at 8:43pm

    Anonymous, I am so happy you liked the pancakes. And if you do eat too many, don’t worry because you can always tell yourself they are good for you :) Thanks for the feedback- I always appreciate it.

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    June 15, 2008 at 1:52pm

    I just made these for Father’s Day breakfast as I wanted something delicious but healthy. I topped them with fresh strawberries and bananas and a teensy bit of maple syrup. Delicious!

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 16, 2008 at 6:31pm

    Heather, A topping of strawberries and bananas sounds delicious. I am so glad you enjoyed the pancakes.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 25, 2009 at 1:53pm

    Some vegan pancakes are gummy and chewy, but these are light and fluffy and wonderful. This has become my go-to Saturday morning breakfast, and I just wanted to thank you for posting it. :)

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 27, 2009 at 8:59pm

    We had these pancakes yesterday. They were wonderful!
    Thanks for the recipe.
    The pastry flour does make a huge difference.

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 24, 2009 at 3:54am

    Hi Vaishali,
    I’m so glad to have found your blog. My toddler is allergic to dairy and eggs and I’ve struggled to find recipes that win his approval. But for a while now your blog has become my go-to source for all new recipes. I tried your whole wheat pancake recipe this morning and he ate two full pancakes!! You have one very grateful mother as your fan.

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 25, 2009 at 3:03am

    TheCooker, Jecca, Thanks for the feeddback and so glad you liked them.

    Pooja, so thrilled to read your son love them– passing the kid test is never easy, and I’m honored :) Thanks for letting me know!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 20, 2009 at 9:15pm

    Hi Vaishali, Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I just made these pancakes and they tasted great, but did not come out as fluffy as other commenters’ did. I’m wondering if it’s because I used flax meal – is this not the same as flax powder? I’m thinking maybe I could use my coffee grinder to grind it to a finer consistency. Thanks for you help :)

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 27, 2009 at 5:08pm

    Hi Andrea, Here are a couple of possibilities: it is likely that the leavening agent you used–the baking powder– might not have been fresh. The other possibility is that you might have overmixed the batter, which would have activated the gluten in the flour. I doubt that the flax had anything to do with it. In fact, flax meal and flax powder are one and the same– I use the words interchangeably. It doesn’t need to be too fine. I usually grind mine in a coffee grinder to a coarse consistency.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 11, 2010 at 4:17pm

    Hi Vaishali! I just made pancakes using your recipe and they were delicious! Unfortunately, I didn’t have vanilla, but I did have a banana and so I mashed 1/2 and added it to the recipe. I liked the final result, the banana flavor was mild and not overpowering. Thanks for providing the recipe for my first vegan pancakes!

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 14, 2010 at 8:24pm

    I made these as is and I’m still thinking I did something wrong. I didn’t over mix and my powder is good. They did rise but fell flat. Maybe the ratio of powder to flour is off. So basically, I wound up with flat pancakes. I did realize how good they would be as a crepe though. Did you spoon/sift your flour into the measuring cup or just dump your cup into the flour and level off?

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 15, 2010 at 12:59am

    Johnnie, These pancakes have always worked for me and for others who have tried them. I am not sure what went wrong– did you use whole-wheat pastry flour? I don’t sift the flour for pancakes, and I didn’t in this case. Maybe you took them off the heat too early?

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 23, 2010 at 5:26pm

    Today is National Pancake Day! I want to try this recipe, but I don’t feel like going to the store. I have all the ingredients except the flax powder. However, I do have bananas. Are bananas a good substitute for eggs?

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 23, 2010 at 5:29pm

    Gel, Happy Pancake Day! I have not tried these with banana, but bananas do make a good egg substitute. I would advise mashing up one medium banana in place of the flax seed and water mixture.

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 23, 2010 at 7:49pm

    Thanks for the prompt response. I’ll probably have to go to the store anyway, so I’ll just buy the flax seed powder. Can you tell me if flax seed meal and flax seed powder the same. I searched for it online and there is a big difference in price. Flax seed powder is much more expensive.

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 23, 2010 at 7:54pm

    I would think they’re the same– I usually just buy the whole flax seeds and grind them up to a fairly fine powder in my spice grinder. The meal should definitely work– go with that.

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 28, 2010 at 12:36pm

    hey vaishali,

    m new to cooking. Wanted to find out if i cud use the atta (as we call in india) to make pancakes. Is the atta and the whole wheat pastry flour dat u use are the same

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 29, 2010 at 6:30pm

    Hi Anonymous, the Indian whole-wheat atta is different from whole-wheat pastry flour because it is more gluten-rich and would create a more dense pancake. Do you get durum wheat flour there? It makes a decent substitute for whole-wheat pastry flour.
    If not, I’d advise using a 50-50 mix of the whole-wheat chapati flour and all-purpose flour. That would definitely work.

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 4, 2010 at 2:56pm

    Thanks for such a wonderful recipe. Vegan for almost 9 months now, and this is one great recipe. And its so nice to see whole wheat pastry flour in many of your recipes. I rarely use all-purpose these days….only for cupcakes and cakes, I think. Thanks and keep up the good work, Vaishali!

  23. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 4, 2010 at 5:14pm

    These, like all of your recipes, are fantastic! Thank you for another home run!!

  24. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 4, 2010 at 7:52pm

    Srividya, Icchic, Thanks, and glad they turned out well for you! Happy holidays :)

  25. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 14, 2010 at 12:42am

    These pancakes are delicious! I have been vegetarian for quite a while and just recently decided to try out the vegan world and so far I love it! I am still trying to find my faves for main dishes (like pancakes!). I originally didn’t have pastry flour so I mixed half and half white and wheat flour. They turned out ok but a little dense. I went and bought the pastry flour and it made a big difference! These are my new fave. Thank you : )

  26. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Pancake Dude

    January 30, 2011 at 5:12am

    I must try out your pancake recipe tomorrow for the kids, thanks!

  27. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 12, 2011 at 4:49pm

    I just found your post today when I searched for “vegan whole wheat pancakes” and I’m so glad I did. I substituted the following, but it they still turned out great:
    -used corn oil instead of canola
    -whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour
    -no vanilla
    - almond milk instead of soymilk

    They were a bit dense, but my hubby loved them! I might try pastry flour next time, or double-sifting the whole-wheat flour that I have. Thanks for the post!

    - savvy brown

  28. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 14, 2011 at 4:28pm

    I’m a very recent Vegan. Only 3 weeks ago did I go vegan cold turkey from being a carnivore.

    I had a real hankering for pancakes, which I haven’t really made in years… anyway I tried this recipe, not really expecting much. I mean it’s flax and whole wheat after all.

    I followed the recipe except for 2 things. I had no vanilla, so I omitted it, and I had no canola oil, so I used melted vegan margarine.

    This is seriously SO good that my husband and I almost scarfed down the whole batch. Even if I weren’t vegan, I would still use this recipe.

  29. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    May 2, 2011 at 3:12pm

    Love this recipe! It’s healthy and it tastes good! It was really fast to make for my kids this morning before school. And my kids loved it! Healthy is nothing, if my kids refuse to eat it. So your pancakes were a smashing success! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I’ll definitely be making it again!

  30. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 5, 2011 at 5:55pm

    Thank you so much, these pancakes were amazing! I didn’t have flax meal so I ground up some flax seeds with the water called for in my mini food processor and it was just fine. What a yummy, healthy, recipe, looking forward to trying more now that I found your site!

  31. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 16, 2012 at 2:24am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and many others! You’ve inspired me to cook and blog more about amazing foods that happen to be vegan. Keep up the great work.

  32. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Mike @TheIronYou

    February 21, 2012 at 9:34am

    I woke up craving pancakes (the last one I had was like 4 months ago) and found your awesome recipe. They’re really less carbageddon than classic one but without sacrificing the taste!
    Thanks for sharing this!

  33. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    June 17, 2012 at 7:39pm

    Awesome recipe. I added a couple tablespoons of finely chopped pecans and a Cup of fresh blueberries. I also only had vanilla soy milk so I used that. They were fantastic. Even my husband liked them and he is very much NOT a vegan. He topped his with butter and apricot syrup. I used a scant amount of agave suryp and like I said, they were awesome, thanks!

  34. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 20, 2012 at 4:12pm

    Can I use maple syrup instead of sugar? If so, how much? Thanks!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      November 3, 2012 at 6:54pm

      Yes, substitute the same amount. You can also leave out the sugar altogether.

  35. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 24, 2013 at 7:21am

    Can you add hemp protein powder to these, if so, how do you incorporate it in recipe?

  36. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 10, 2013 at 4:52pm

    Amazing tasty and delicious pancakes.Great with vanilla . This was the first time I used vanilla and I was glad I did. For a few of my pancaked I added grated apple. There is nothing I would add or take away! Best of all the edges were crispy and brown ..yummy

  37. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    May 3, 2013 at 12:27pm

    Very tasty! I’m new to the vegan lifestyle and am always on the lookout for familiar recipes for an easier transition. This definitely fits with my taste buds! I didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour so I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour with 1/2 cup of cake flour (kept the texture fluffy and tender). Even added a pinch of cinnamon and ginger just to make it a little fancier! Thanks for the recipe!

  38. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 3, 2013 at 1:47pm

    Suggestion For those who posted about lack of flufiness: This recipe is very similar to one I haven making for years for my son who is allergic to egg and milk. To make the pancakes more fluffy, I mix 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1/2 tsp white vinegar in a separate small ramekin (- this is an egg substitute when eggs are used for volume). You add this in addition to the baking powder and all other ingredients.

    Also you might try omitting the flaxseed if you use the baking soda and vinegar combo. That is also an egg-substitute but used more for binding quality of eggs, which pancakes don’t really need. Also, I cook on medium-low heat and wait for bubbles to appear before I flip. They come out great!

  39. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 14, 2013 at 3:45pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I used energy egg replaced instead of flaxmeal and it worked great.

  40. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    December 23, 2013 at 12:51am

    Hi, just made these but there was a bit of bitter after taste. I used whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour and almond milk instead of soy. What could be causing that bitter after taste?

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      December 23, 2013 at 5:12pm

      Whole wheat flour is far more strong tasting than the pastry flour, so that would be it. If you don’t want to use pastry flour it’s best to go with half whole wheat and half all purpose.

  41. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    April 12, 2014 at 8:34pm

    Hi Vaishali! Thanks so much for this recipe. It is by far the best pancake recipe I’ve made. The pancakes are so fluffy and flavourful.

    I do use 100% organic whole wheat flour, rather than pastry flour, instead of canola oil (which is unhealthy), I use extra virgin olive oil and you can’t taste it once cooked. I also use sweetened almond milk instead of soy and instead of making the flax eggs I just add ground up flax seeds to the liquid and follow the rest of the recipe from there. Oh, and I cook them in coconut oil.

    Thanks so much! This recipe rocks!

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