Buckwheat Pancakes

published Jul 30, 2021
Buckwheat Pancakes

These earthy pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast.

Serves4 to 6

Makes14-16 (4-inch) pancakes

Prep5 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 20 minutes

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a stack of buckwheat pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup with butter and blueberries on top, and a bunch on the plate.
Credit: Kelli Foster

There are several key markers of a really good pancake, and this recipe hits many of them. If you like a light and fluffy, barely sweet pancake that’s just a bit hearty with irresistible crispy edges and a warm, nutty flavor, it’s time to mix up a batch of buckwheat pancakes. 

Made with a mix of buckwheat flour and all-purpose flour, they’re easy to cook up and not all that different from any other type of pancakes. If buckwheat is new to you, here is some helpful info to know.

What Is Buckwheat Flour?

Don’t let the name fool you: Buckwheat flour has no relation to wheat at all. Made from buckwheat, it’s naturally gluten free and considered a pseudocereal, much like quinoa and amaranth. Unlike many other flours, which are white or beige in color, buckwheat flour has a gray hue (which can vary from light to dark) with dark flecks. It’s also high in protein, fiber, and vitamin D, and widely available in the baking aisle at many grocery stores.

What Does Buckwheat Flour Taste Like?

Buckwheat flour has a distinct flavor that can be a little intense. It’s earthy and nutty, with a slightly bitter edge. Here, it’s combined with all-purpose flour for a more mellow-flavored pancake.

4 Tips for Better Buckwheat Pancakes

  • Use a mix of buckwheat and all-purpose flour. Combining a mix of flours makes for a lighter, fluffier pancake with a flavor that’s still nutty and earthy, but more balanced.
  • Know that some lumps in the batter are fine. Mix until the batter is just combined. There will be some lumps, but it’s important not to over-mix the batter, which will leave you with rubbery (rather than fluffy) pancakes. 
  • Rest the batter. This is perhaps the toughest part of the process, but resting the batter for 15 minutes will reward you with a better pancake. This time gives the flour a chance to properly hydrate and the baking powder time to activate.
  • Use vegetable oil instead of butter for the pan. The benefits of heating the pan with a thin layer of oil are many. Not only do the pancakes brown evenly, with a thin, crisp outer edge (even after several batches), but the oil also doesn’t burn in between batches, there’s no need to wipe out the pan.

Making Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes

Because the recipe includes all-purpose flour, these buckwheat pancakes are not gluten-free. However, with one simple substitution, it’s easy to make gluten-free buckwheat pancakes: Just swap the regular all-purpose flour with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose flour.

Credit: Kelli Foster

What’s the Difference Between Regular Pancakes and Buckwheat Pancakes?

Appearance and taste are the two main differences between buckwheat pancakes and regular pancakes. Because buckwheat has a gray hue, the pancakes are darker in color, and also have a nuttier taste. But they still cook up light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious, just like regular pancakes.

Serving Buckwheat Pancakes

There are absolutely no wrong ways to serve a stack of buckwheat pancakes. A pat of butter and pour of maple syrup are always good ideas. Same with a drizzle of honey or a spoonful of your favorite jam. Fresh berries or sliced bananas make a nice addition, as does a dollop of yogurt or cottage cheese.

Storing and Freezing Buckwheat Pancakes

This recipe makes about 15 pancakes. If you don’t make your way through the whole batch in one sitting, they will keep for several days in the fridge (and they also freeze quite well).

Leftover pancakes will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator or two months in the freezer. If your plan is to stash them in the freezer, start by freezing the cooled pancakes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once frozen solid, transfer the pancakes to a large zip-top bag or airtight container.

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the pancakes in the toaster, toaster oven, air fryer, microwave, or a 375°F oven.

Buckwheat Pancakes

These earthy pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 20 minutes

Makes 14-16 (4-inch) pancakes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, plus more for serving

  • 1 cup

    buckwheat flour

  • 1 cup

    regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 cups

    buttermilk

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • About 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil

  • Maple syrup or jam, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly while you measure the dry and wet ingredients.

  2. Place 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1 cup regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Add 2 cups buttermilk, 2 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the butter and whisk to combine. Pour into the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Some small lumps are OK. Set the batter aside to rest for 15 minutes.

  4. Heat a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add 1/4-cup portions of the batter to the pan, cooking 3 to 4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, the edges begin to set, and the bottoms are golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium if the pancakes are cooking too quickly.

  5. Flip the pancakes. Cook until the second side is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a 250°F oven or plate. Repeat using more oil and cooking the remaining batter. Serve with more butter and maple syrup or jam.

Recipe Notes

Using gluten-free flour: Gluten-free all-purpose flour can be used instead of regular all-purpose here, but the pancakes will not be as fluffy.

Storage: Pancakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.