These versatile and healthy pancakes are easy to make and are always a crowd-pleaser!
- 2 cups (240 grams) fresh ground spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 3/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk (I use raw milk)
- 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: Blueberries, chopped cherries, chopped strawberries, or chopped nuts, or other mix-ins of your choice.
- Heat a griddle or large, flat-bottomed skillet to medium-high heat. Put on a small blob of butter and spread evenly on the surface as it melts.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients and mix carefully, just until you see no more dry flour. Do not overmix the batter.
- Optional: If you're adding in berries or nuts, you can mix them straight in the batter now, or drop them onto the pancakes after you've poured them on the griddle.
- Using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop or small ladle, drop batter onto the hot griddle or skillet leaving plenty of room for them to spread a bit.
- They're ready to flip once the edges start to look a little dry, and bubbles on the top are no longer quickly closing over.
- Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve hot with maple syrup, raw local honey, tart jam (such as plum), or any other topping of your choice.
- These pancakes work equally as well with any other whole wheat flour in place of spelt.
- You can use melted butter in place of the vegetable or coconut oil. I like coconut oil for the nutty flavor it lends and smooth texture.
- If you're looking for a dairy-free option, you can easily substitute almond milk or any other plant-based milk.
- These make hearty, but not overly thick pancakes. If you like even thinner pancakes, you can thin the batter out with a little bit of extra milk.
- If there are any leftovers, store in the refrigerator, and reheat in a toaster oven or back on a lightly buttered skillet.
Serving Size:3 pancakes
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 390Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 719mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g
These spelt pancakes are super light and fluffy, and completely versatile.
You can mix up the add-ins to suit your taste, and pair with your favorite pancake toppings for a perfect Saturday morning (or any day of the week) healthy, satisfying breakfast.
In my quest to convince my family that eating healthier food is also yummier, I have had varying degrees of success when it comes to whole wheat. However, these pancakes have been one of my slam-dunk recipes that never fail to please, even when most of the fam would prefer a white loaf to a whole wheat one.
They don’t feel heavy or crumbly as you often find with whole wheat bread vs. white bread, and I actually think they’re lighter and fluffier than your typical bland white flour pancake.
And that nutty spelt flavor, especially when paired with chopped cherries in the batter, is simply delightful.
I always double this recipe for our family of seven, and they disappear like, well, hotcakes.
The secret to the best whole wheat baking of any kind is fresh ground grain, so these are best if you have access to a wheat grinder. If not, source high-quality whole wheat spelt or other wheat for the best flavor and texture.
These pancakes work equally as well with any other whole wheat flour in place of spelt. I like the spelt in these pancakes for the nutty flavor and dark color they lend.
I don’t recommend replacing whole wheat with white flour in this recipe, as it will completely change the texture and overall experience.
Tip: Store fresh ground wheat in the freezer to prevent spoilage.
Baking soda and baking powder
The baking soda and baking powder are the leavening agents in the pancakes, creating bubbles as they cook to make them nice and fluffy.
One of the most unpleasant experiences you can have when biting into a pancake is to get a mouthful of un-mixed baking soda or baking powder. To prevent this, I always put them through a fine-mesh sieve.
The leaveners will work best if you use buttermilk or slightly sour milk, as the acid will react with the baking soda and baking powder to make lots of bubbles.
I use raw milk. For many reasons, which I won’t get into here, I believe raw milk to be a healthier choice. Raw milk keeps fresh for about a week in the fridge, and after that starts to sour. At that stage, I wouldn’t put it on cereal, but it’s perfect for making pancakes.
If you are using pasteurized milk, whole milk is the best option for a rich creamy texture, although 1% or 2% would work as well. But the best result for fluffiness and deepest flavor profile will come with buttermilk.
If you need a dairy-free option, you can replace with a plant-based milk such as almond milk or coconut milk. Adding a splash of white vinegar will boost the acidity for better bubbles from the baking soda.
Coconut oil or butter
I like to use coconut oil for the fresh flavor it adds.
Butter is also a good choice in terms of flavor.
If you use melted coconut oil or melted butter, don’t be alarmed if it congeals in the colder milk and eggs. Just break up the clumps and mix them in as evenly as possible. Alternatively, you can make sure your milk and eggs are at room temperature before mixing in the coconut oil.
My top favorite fruit to add flavor to these pancakes is cherries. The cherry flavor with the nutty spelt gives it a definite almond vibe. Most years, we pick fresh cherries and put them in the freezer, and they go great in these pancakes. Chop cherries into quarters and make sure the pits are out!
I also love blueberries for the tartness and zing, although strawberries work equally well.
I’ve tried chocolate chips, but they tend to get smeary on the griddle, and make the pancakes too sweet for my taste, especially if you’re adding syrup on top.
Banana goes great, especially if paired with peanut butter as a topping.
Making the pancakes
Step 1 – Mix dry ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
When mixing in the baking soda and baking powder, I always like to push it through a small mesh sieve. This breaks up any clumps and prevents the unpleasant experience of biting into a chunk of un-mixed-in baking powder.
Step 2 – Mix wet ingredients and combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients and mix carefully, just until you see no more dry flour. Do not overmix the batter.
You can use melted butter in place of the vegetable or coconut oil. I like coconut oil for the nutty flavor it lends and smooth texture.
If you’re looking for a dairy-free option, you can easily substitute almond milk or any other plant-based milk.
These make hearty, but not overly thick pancakes. If you like even thinner pancakes, you can thin the batter out with a little bit of extra milk.
Step 3 – Heat up the griddle. This is the point at which I usually heat up my griddle. It doesn’t take long, and I don’t like to leave the butter smoking on the griddle while I get my ducks in a row putting the batter together. If you are quicker than I am at mixing batter, feel free to heat up the griddle as the first step. It really does work best to have the griddle piping hot when those first pancakes hit the surface.
Heat your griddle or large, flat-bottomed skillet to medium-high heat. Put on a small blob of butter and spread evenly on the surface as it melts. If you’re going dairy free, non-stick cooking spray or other vegetable oil will work fine. Butter just browns so nicely.
A griddle really works best for evenly shaped pancakes. If you don’t have one and you’re stuck with a skillet, try making smaller pancakes, and don’t try to squeeze too many on the pan at once.
Step 4 – Add mix-ins.
If you’d like to add in any extras such as blueberries, chopped strawberries, cherries or nuts, you can mix them in now. You have a choice to add them straight to the batter, as I usually do with the bigger fruit pieces, or drop them individually into each pancake after pouring them out on the griddle.
If I’m using frozen wild blueberries, I usually drop them on the individual pancakes, mostly since I don’t like the swirled blue streaks they leave in the batter if I mix them into the bowl. If I’m using fresh blueberries or larger frozen ones, they go straight in the batter.
I have to say, chopped cherries are my absolute favorite mix-in with these pancakes. They give such a rich, decadent flavor! Blueberries are a close second, and probably my kids’ favorite.
You can use frozen fruit, no need to defrost, unless you’re putting in very large pieces of frozen fruit.
Berries or nuts are totally optional and the pancakes can definitely stand on their own without any additions.
Step 5– Make pancakes.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop or small ladle, drop batter onto the hot griddle or skillet, leaving plenty of room for them to spread a bit.
They’re ready to flip once the edges start to look a little dry and bubbles on the top are no longer quickly closing over. Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.
Step 6 – Serve and enjoy.
Serve hot with maple syrup, raw local honey, tart jam (such as plum), blueberry syrup, or any other topping of your choice.
Spelt is naturally higher in protein than many other wheat varieties, but you can increase the protein value of your pancake breakfast by topping them with natural peanut butter.
You’ll notice that there is no sweetener of any kind in the ingredient list, so you could even top with avocado spread without it being a weird flavor combination!
My favorite topping (after maple syrup, of course!) is a nice tart plum jam.
Step 7 – Leftovers? If there are any leftovers, store in the refrigerator, and reheat in a toaster oven. If you don’t have one of those, throw them back on a lightly buttered skillet for a minute or two on each side.