Whole-Wheat Pancakes

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Once you start eating these, warm and fluffy from the pan, it’s hard to stop. They’re great for weekend breakfasts, but just as good for afternoon tea. The kids love to help me with them, waiting for the bubbles to appear in the hot batter and judging the perfect moment to flip them over in the pan. If you can’t get hold of self-rising whole-wheat flour, use whole-wheat pastry flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder added.

Makes20 to 30



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealbreakfast, brunch

Type of Dishbread, pancakes, quickbreads


  • 1½ cups self-rising whole-wheat flour
  • A pinch of baking powder
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • About 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • A little sunflower oil
  • Butter
  • Superfine sugar
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Jam, maple syrup, or macerated fruit (optional)


  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the center and break in the eggs. Pour in about half the milk. Whisk, gently at first, and then as you start to get a thick paste, add more milk and the melted butter. Beat until you get a creamy batter a little thicker than heavy cream - you might not need all the milk.

  2. Put a large, heavy frying pan or a flat griddle over medium-high heat. Add a few drops of oil and rub with a thick wad of paper towels to oil the pan very lightly. Pour a scant tablespoon of batter into the pan - you should be able to fit 4 or 5 in the pan.

  3. After about a minute, little bubbles will start to appear on the surface of the pancakes. As soon as they cover the surface, flip the pancakes over with a spatula—be warned, the first batch may stick. Cook the other side for 40 to 60 seconds or so, then transfer the pancakes to a warm plate and cover them with a clean tea towel so they stay soft - or hand them over to those people waiting eagerly.

  4. Cook the remaining pancakes in the same way, adjusting the heat level if they start browning too quickly and oiling the pan with paper towels as necessary.

  5. To serve, top with a little butter and sprinkle with some sugar and a fine dusting of cinnamon, if you like. Or serve buttered and spread with jam, maple syrup, or macerated fruit. Eat quickly, while still hot.

  6. Variations:

  7. Raisin and lemon pancakes:

  8. Add a little grated lemon zest to the batter and an extra tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle raisins onto the pancakes as they cook.

  9. Savory pancakes:

  10. Omit the sugar. Add about 1/3 cup grated Cheddar and a grind of black pepper to the batter, and maybe some crumbled cooked bacon. Very good as a quick supper with baked beans.


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