Sweet Simplicity: Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

With mother’s day on the horizon, and many pancake Sundays to come, I just had to share this delightful yet oh-so-basic breakfast / brunch recipe. These pancakes have a very pleasant flavor that is not too sweet (just right for your favorite toppings), and a perfectly fluffy texture.

whole wheat vegan pancakes

I frequently keep our toppings quite hearty. When I make waffles, I often top them with homemade nut butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a light drizzle of honey. But for these, I decided a little maple was in order. I made two separate toppings: mine was outright hearty, while my husband’s had some added nutrition snuck in (no complaints, his plate was licked clean with a very big thank you). I have included our toppings after the pancake recipe.

Wholesome Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes or Waffles

After scanning various pancake recipes, I combined the different ratios, ingredients, and ideas to develop this very simple, but delicious, recipe. I guess you would say it was inspired by many, but created in my kitchen.

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and optionally Refined Sugar-Free. You could probably make them gluten-free with your favorite All-purpose gluten-free flour blend and a touch of xanthan gum (1/2 to 1 teaspoon I am guestimating).

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder (Note: I made these pancakes at high altitude (6500ft), where everything gets a little extra “lift.” If you are at 3000 ft to sea level, I recommend increasing the baking powder to 1-1/2 Tablespoons. Yes, it may seem like a bit, but it helps to replace the lift that usually comes from eggs!)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweetener (I used Palm Sugar, but you can use Sucanat, Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, etc.)
  • 1 to 1-1/4 Cups Milk Alternative (I used Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Oil (I used melted coconut oil*, but extra-light olive oil, grapeseed oil, or your favorite baking oil will do)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside.

In a measuring cup, combine the sweetener, 1 cup of the milk alternative, and the oil. Whisk in the reserved flour mixture.

 dairy-free pancake batter

If the batter is too thick or becomes too thick as it sits, add up to 1/4 cup of additional milk alternative (I live at high altitude, where things rise more, so I used the full 1 and 1/4 cups for the pancakes, but you may not need that much).

Prepare your skillet with some cooking spray, and preheat it over medium heat.

Pour the batter into the skillet to create your desired size of pancakes (I make dollar-sized ones because I am so bad at flipping the bigger ones!). Cook over medium heat, reduce heat to medium-low if the skillet gets too hot (I have this problem with our electric stove).

The pancakes will bubble as soon as the batter hits the pan, ignore those bubbles. The batter will smooth out after 30 seconds. Wait until you see bubbles break at the surface again, then flip. Cook for about about 1 minute on the other side. Remove from the pan, and pour in the next batch of batter.

Repeat until all the batter is used up, and you have a few plates of scrumptious pancakes!

Top as desired – we like maple syrup, flaxseed, and sauteed apples.

For Waffles: Everything is the same, but I used only 1 cup of milk alternative, even at high altitude. The thicker batter works better on waffle irons. Simply prepare the batter and follow the directions for your waffle iron. They freeze and re-toast beautifully!

whole wheat vegan waffles

* If using coconut or palm oil, make sure all of your ingredients are brought to room temperature to avoid solidifying the oil as you stir it in.

Yields about 16 dollar pancakes or 3 servings

Alisa’s WW Pancake Topping: I sautéed 1 small apple in 1 teaspoon of earth balanace dairy-free / soy-free margarine, and added 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (could use just 1/4 t). I kept half of this apple mixture for myself, and added just 1 teaspoon of maple syrup for a sweet and moist touch. I placed the apples on my pancake stack, and sprinkled it all with some ground flaxseed.

whole wheat vegan pancakes

Tony’s WW Pancake Topping: To the other half of the cooked apples, I added 1-1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup and 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed. It was still a nice pourable maple syrupy topping with big, soft apple chunks. The flax went pretty well un-noticed by my husband.

Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

For more of my recipes see Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook and my new blog, Dairy-Free & Fit.

38 thoughts on “Sweet Simplicity: Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

  1. Fluffy delicious pancakes like these DEFINITELY call for some maple! I love that apple topping. So. Droolworthy.

  2. Those are so fluffy, Alisa! I have tried making vegan pancakes a few times and they have never turned out right. I’ll be trying your version this weekend.

  3. Now you’ve got me craving breakfast when I just finished dinner!! haha

  4. These pancakes look so fluffy and delicious, it’s amazing that they are dairy-free and egg-free!

  5. mmm, waffles and pancakes! these are the best on weekend mornings 🙂 i wonder what a vegan pancake would taste like.. i’m not much of a vegan eater, but it would be awesome if my taste buds liked ’em because it would save me a lot of cholesterol!

  6. just the cooked apples so perfectly on top of those lovely cakes..wow, ill take a stack 🙂 in bed please with coffee. oh yeah, im a mom so that will NEVER happen! xo

  7. I’m thinking cinnamon goodness. Awesome (and I need a waffle iron!)

  8. Ahhhhhh!! I was lying in bed this morning thinking about my menu for Mother’s day (having mom and the siblings over for brunch or lunch). Was going to make my buckwheat banana pancakes..however, I was thinking about trying another recipe…your whole wheat vegan cakes look light enough to get my siblings to try….and the apples are a brilliant addition!

    Thanks for posting!!! I’ll let you know how it turns out if I decide on a breakfast menu!

  9. You know I am a pancake junky! I am also all about the the chunky toppings on them! These look delicious!

  10. Ellen

    Alisa – I’m not sure of the scientific explanation, but every time I try to make gluten free, egg-free pancakes (dairy free too), they are gummy and uncooked on the inside. I’ve essentially given up. There must be something about gluten free flour that just doesn’t enable the pancakes to set up. Though, I just had a thought, as I’m writing this comment. Usually, with gluten free baked goods (vegan or not), once they’re done baking, you need to leave them to rest for a period of time before eating them, otherwise the insides of the baked goods tend to be gummy. Maybe it’s the same with gluten free and vegan pancakes. Though part of the fun is flipping them right from the griddle onto your plate and chowing down. Maybe the next time, I’ll throw ’em into a warm oven and let ’em sit for a little while before eating them. Hmmmmm…..I’ll keep you posted.


  11. These look so positively delicious! 🙂

  12. Ohhh these look so good! I love pancakes and waffles for breakfast and love that apple topping.

  13. The sauteed apples sound wonderful. I’ll have to fry these up next time I do pancakes, which will most likely be in the morning…yummy!

    I have found a very simple way to make my pancakes. I use my blender. I fill it full of the ingredients and blend (hit batter button on BlendTec) and it is done. I pour using the jar and clean up is super simple and quick. Mess free. As long as I get the consistency right, the cakes pour out easily.

    So simple my children can do it! 🙂 I just turn the cakes, can’t trust them to do that yet.

  14. Mike

    My son can not have dairy or eggs, we just tried your recipe and my boys and I loved it! We used vanilla soy milk instead! Thanks for posting that!!

  15. Matt

    I am an octo-lacto vegetarian so I tried these with skim milk instead of milk alternative. (I didn’t have any eggs) They didn’t turn out quite how I expected (but were still good of course!!) – does using milk instead of alternative have anything to do with that?

  16. Hi Matt, per our emails, I just thought I would post a comment update too … I did create this recipe at high altitude (6500 ft), so more baking powder may be needed at lower altitudes. I’ve modified the recipe not to reflect this. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

  17. Hello,

    I have made these pancakes three times now (per recipe) and each time they come out golden on the outside and soggy on the inside. Today, they were particularly soggy. Any suggestions?


  18. Hi Tamara,

    I’m so sorry you are having troubles! Very strange, these have been made by many for over a year, but suddenly a couple of you are having problems. Lets see, here are some troubleshooting suggestions:

    It sounds as if your pan may be a bit too hot, as they are browning on the outside before cooking through. You may want to turn it down a bit.

    Also, do not flip the pancakes until they are pretty much cooking through. This will be when the edges look cooked (even a little on top) and bubbles break on top of the pancakes and the bubbles remain open. Flip then.

    Moisture can vary in different climates. I live in a very dry climate. You can try playing with the amount of liquid to get it right.

    Whole wheat pancakes can also be a touch heavier. You can always switch to half white flour / half whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter pancake.

    I hope this helps!

  19. Great recipe, Alisa! So glad to have found your site. I can’t wait to explore it. I tweaked your recipe a little to meet my needs, and it was delicious! Thanks so much!

    I’m at a low altitude, so I used more baking powder. I also wanted less sugar and fat. Here’s my version:

    1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    1 cup barley flour
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon agave nectar
    1 unsweetened applesauce cup (about 1/3 cup)
    1 cup vanilla soymilk (add more as needed to thin batter)
    Handful of fresh or frozen blueberries

    • Looks like you doubled the flour too! I love the addition of barley flour – this isn’t one I have used yet. Thanks for sharing your version Denia. Glad you stopped in!

      • I love using barley! It’s light and a little sweet. Do try it!

    • I was making these pancakes a second time, and when I got to the baking powder, 2 tablespoons just didn’t feel right. I was sure I’d never used THAT much bp in my life! But I went ahead and followed the recipe. They were plenty fluffy, but they had an aftertaste that had never been there before. So, when I made some this morning, I only used 2 TEASPOONS, and they were great! My suggestion is to use 2 tsp. as a base amount and adjust it to suit to you.

      Thanks again, Alisa!

      • Hi Denia, thanks for the feedback! The recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) – did you double the recipe? I’ve tried using less, and 2 teaspoons for the recipe above was okay at higher altitude, but didn’t work well at sea level. However, I’ll definitely use less when back in a drier climate. Thanks for this, good to know that less works for you!

  20. Gina

    Alisa, these pancakes were the best vegan pancakes I’ve come across. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  21. Steve

    Amazing recipe. So fluffy and tasty, unlike a few other vegan pancake recipes I tried. I’m so happy to finally have great whole wheat pancake recipe!

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