Breakfast pancakes Pumpkin

Best Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

I just received an email from our school nurse:  “Child Nutrition Services offer healthy, nut free birthday treats. The order forms can be found on the district website under the Child Nutrition Department.”  The form includes Blue Bunny Ice Cream Sandwiches and I’m still trying to figure out how Birthday Ice Cream Sandwiches with high fructose corn syrup, red# everything, yellow # everything, and I’m not even sure if cream was actually listed as an ingredient is actually considered HEALTHY.  Maybe they think it is healthier than a piece of cheesecake or deep fried oreos.  Someone let me know why these are healthy.

Okay, I know the last pumpkin pancakes were yummy, but these are even BETTER.  I took the original Best Buttermilk Pancake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and used whole wheat flour, their technique, minus the sour cream, plus some pumpkin puree and voila!  You have tender and thick and fluffy pancakes that are made from 100% whole wheat flour and vitamin A all included.  Throw in some mini chocolate chips at the end and the kids will never figure it out.

Best Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour*
2 Tb. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 dashes of ground cloves, allspice and nutmeg
2 and 1/8 cups buttermilk (substitute is 2Tbs. lemon juice and then add milk until makes 2 cups), plus additional?*
1/2 cup canned pumpkin/pumpkin puree ( or increase this to 1 cup, however, the pancakes take longer to cook and can be more mushy in the middle)
2 eggs
3 Tb. butter, melted and not hot; or substitute 3 Tb. applesauce

* I have made these over the past year with many different flours.  King Arthur’s seems to be the most consistent.  The less processed ones like stone ground organic and such taste great and do work.  However, the stone ground and other flours yield a really thick batter and I find myself adding more milk in order to get the batter to look more like pancake batter.  I add the milk about 2 Tablespoons at a time.

1.  In great big bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
2.  In a not so large bowl, mix the buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs and butter together.
3.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  If the batter is really thick – add another 1/8 cup of milk or buttermilk.  Let batter sit about 10 minutes.  Please let it sit 10 minutes.  This is what makes the pancakes really tender.  Maybe that is why they taste tender in the restaurants?  The batter sits there until you order?  I dunno.
4.  Cook like normal:  heat large skillet over medium heat with a little butter or griddle to 350 degrees.  Pour batter into the size pancake you want and flip after 1-2 minutes.  Cook 2-3 minutes or so … until the other side is browned.

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated


    1. In general, definitely! However, after making these about 10 times this fall I have noticed that when there is pumpkin puree in the batter, the bubbles do not appear or do not appear on time. The pancake is dark brown to almost burned when one bubble starts pops on to.

  1. Hey Mary Ellen! I make your other whole wheat pumpkin pancakes all the time, so I will for sure try these this weekend. Quick ? I’ve seen a ton of recipes lately using oat flour, and want to try to use it in some favorite recipes. Would pancakes/waffles work with the oats? Also, is it the quick cooking that I would use? Thank you for being my personal Alton Brown 🙂

    1. Hi Bryn!!! I saw Christine K the other day at Schnucks and been thinking about our moms group a lot lately. I’ll email you about our get together. Would love to see everyone again.

      To answer your question, I have made oat waffles here:

      using Alton’s recipe I think. They always photograph ugly… but they were as tasty as the regular waffles. I probably used applesauce instead of butter …which makes them floppy. Well, anyway, for crispy yummy waffles use real butter. I always use regular old fashioned oats. They taste even better if you toast them for a little bit before putting them in the food processor or blender. I haven’t tried it in pancakes…. I wonder… they are pretty interchangeable so it might work. If you experiment let me know!! Old fashioned oats are super cheap at Costco – you get 10 lbs for like $8. So I did that math one day and it comes out to 7 cents per bowl of oatmeal.
      Hope that helps!

  2. Hey Mary Ellen,
    I’m making these today, and my milk did not seem to react???? Should I dump, or will they be ok with lemony milk 🙂

    1. The milk won’t react. Just changes the acidity. Don’t Dump!!!
      I always thought you actually had to let it sit for 5-10 minutes first for the acid to work. America’s Test Kitchen did some scientific baking and testing and found that waiting doesn’t affect the food outcome at all.

  3. Thanks. I’ve always made it with vinegar, and I do get some slight visual changes, and was worried that this hadn’t “worked.” Oh, also, in the body of the recipe it says to add sour cream not pumpkin. I didn’t have sour cream and was bummed that I’d missed the ingredient but then realized it must be where the pumpkin should be added. Thanks so much!

  4. I had to add extra flour to mine because they were staying doughy no matter how black and burnt they got. But once I added more flour they fluffed right up.

  5. […] I found that adding a little more milk – about 1/8-1/4 cup – to the pancake batter with pumpkin puree really helped the pancakes stay tender, cook more thoroughly and seem less “wheat-y”.  You can find the improved recipe here. […]

    1. You can using several methods: 1. make the pancakes the night before and freeze them. Or, 2. make the wet batter and store in the fridge. Make the dry goods and let them sit on the counter overnight. Then, simply pour the wet stuff into the dry stuff.

      I would not advise mixing all of the batter up the night before and letting it sit in the fridge. The baking powder and baking soda would have been sitting and reacting with the other ingredients for 12 hours or so resulting in tough, dry pancakes.

      Happy Pancake Making!

      1. I didnt get your reply sooner but I went ahead made the batter last night all together with dry and wet ingredients. It turned out really good! Still moist and its so good! I ate mine with hone and fresh strawberries. Next time, I will do what you suggest. Do the wet and the dry ingredients separately. I will definitely make this again! Thanks for sharing!

  6. OH MY GOODNESS! These are fantastic…I have made them twice in the past few weeks for dinner. I do add extra pumpkin so it does take a little longer to cook, but for me it’s worth it!

  7. […] make pancakes about once a week to freeze and reheat throughout the week.  Most of time I use my pumpkin whole wheat recipe full of whole grains and pumpkin.  But, I found this recipe in my library-borrowed […]

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