Pancake Fridays: Musings on Whole Wheat Pancakes (with maple yogurt!)

For whatever reason, after weeks of messing around with oats and buckwheat and spelt, my body’s been really craving whole wheat. Get some gluten in me!

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

So two weekends ago, Erik and I had some un-amazing pancakes from Magnolia Café. It was disappointing, but I got over it because it was an awesome trip that included meeting up with the lovely Melissa of Sterling and Oats at my place of weakness! (She’s so bubbly and has this super talented artist boyfriend and this cute hipster Austin life (according to my subjective impressions) and dreams of selling cakes out of her house and I really want her to do it!! Also, I recently made her arepas and they.are.delicious.)

At Magnolia, Erik and I split three pancakes (purely for scientific sampling purposes): a buttermilk with strawberries and chocolate chips (tasted like a mix), a plain cornmeal (good flavor and nicely textured, but thin) and a plain whole wheat (grain-riddled, the thickest and cakiest of the three, but almost on the verge of chewy).

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

Needless to say, Magnolia’s pancake was left slumping the shadows of other, greater pancake giants. And in my kitchen, I was more determined than ever to make a really good, restaurant-quality pancake. I’ve been making pancakes like it’s my job for nearly a year and I still haven’t attained that perfect restaurant-quality pancake. I’m sensing a pancake throwdown on the horizon.

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

But for now, I’m reading up on cornstarch. And apparently, cornstarch “adds structure while increasing tenderness” to baked goods and “helps contribute to light crust after frying.” It sounded like a promising application for pancakes, so I gave it a shot.

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

I followed Lindsay’s basic whole wheat pancake recipe and added a tablespoon of cornstarch to half the batter. Did it make a difference? Barely, but yes. These are very solid, hearty yet light pancakes that hold up well to toppings. Flavor-wise, I couldn’t taste a strong difference. However, in a blind-tasting, Erik immediately detected a corn flavor in the cornstarch pancake while dubbing the other one the “vanilla pancake” because he thought it was really vanilla-y (even though both pancakes had identical amounts of vanilla).

Texture-wise, the cornstarch pancake turned out slightly thicker, denser, and very slightly spongier while the original recipe pancake remained thinner and airier—almost lacey with air holes.

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

More pancake trials to follow, but moral of the story: if you want denser, slightly cakier pancakes, add cornstarch. The cornstarch pancakes were also cooked second, which allowed the batter to sit and thicken for longer, so if you want thicker pancakes, let the batter rest for a bit.

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

Also, do you SEE what is on those pancakes? Maple yogurt is the answer to everything. Dilute that sugary maple goodness and get some PROTEIN with your carbs! Delicious.

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

Boyfriend rating: 8.5
Erik’s comments: “I know you might not have been quite as in love with them..but I honestly don’t see how they could be much better…loved the twinge of vanilla!”

Easy Whole Wheat Pancakes with Maple Yogurt

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 pancakes

Serving Size: 1 pancake

Calories per serving: 160

Fat per serving: 6g

These basic whole wheat pancakes are fluffy and airy and can be made denser and cakier with the addition of cornstarch.


  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • scant 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup milk (or 1 scant cup buttermilk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, optional (if you want cakier pancakes)

  • For the maple yogurt:

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1-4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • Combine syrup and yogurt: stir, stir, stir! It may look chunky at first, but will soon smooth into the most delicious, perfect pancake topping. I used a 1:4 ratio of syrup to yogurt, but use more syrup if you like it sweeter.


Whisk together the egg, sugar, yogurt mixture, vanilla and oil. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and cornstarch, if using. Stir until just combined--a few lumps are good.

Let the batter stand for five minutes to thicken while you begin heating a skillet over medium heat. When pan is hot, lightly grease the pan with half a teaspoon or so of oil and drop batter into pan a 1/4 cup at a time. Once bubbles begin to rise to the surface and spatula easily slides under the bottom of the pancake, flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove and lower the heat to medium-low to cook remaining pancakes. Top with drippy spoonfuls of maple syrup and get yourself to pancake heaven!


Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Whole Wheat Pancakes // The Pancake Princess

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36 thoughts on “Pancake Fridays: Musings on Whole Wheat Pancakes (with maple yogurt!)

  1. Pingback: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Blueberry Lemon Compote |

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  4. S.

    I tried making these pancakes today. They were delicious! My only observation is that it was difficult to flatten and spread out the batter in the pan. Any tips? (I’m a pancake noob.)

    1. erika Post author

      Hi there! So I like really thick pancakes, so minimal spreading in the pan isn’t usually a problem for me :) However, if you notice that the first few are hard to spread, I would add a few tablespoons of milk until the batter is a little more runny–that will allow the pancakes to naturally flatten and spread more in the pan once you pour them in. Hope that helps and so glad you enjoyed them! :)

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  6. Lianna

    I love your blog soo much, maple yogurt?! such a brilliant idea, I always put way too much maple syrup on my pancakes and feel guilty about the sugar overload afterwards haha

    1. erika Post author

      Hi Anupa! Yes, if you look in my pancake archive (under recipes), you’ll see a few recipes labeled vegan, such as:

      Cookies ‘n cream:
      Sweet corn and tomato:
      Banana buckwheat (a reader fav!):
      Chocolate cake pancakes (one of my fav):

      Hope that helps!

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  8. Brandi

    Beautiful pics! Lol! Girl, don’t you remember my Gingersnap pancakes?! That’s where I talk about how I discovered adding cornstarch to my pancakes made all the difference in fluffy pancakes….you commented on it too, lol! I was thrilled with the results. You are so funny talking abut restaurant quality pancakes…I’m sure yours ARE! :) I know what you mean though…these gingersnap ones I make are the best I’ve ever had…anything I’ve had in a restaurant has royally sucked in comparison. I even stayed at a resort in Austin a couple months go and was VERY disappointed. I tried regular and gluten-free, I couldn’t eat them they were so gross and were flat and just tasted really weird. You really should try these sometime, miss pancake princess! :)

    1. erika Post author

      Haha oh noo how could I have forgotten?? I think I bookmarked those and then totally forgot. I really do need to try those! And thanks girl :) Nancy’s comment made me realize that I should qualify that statement–I just haven’t made any that reach the BEST restaurant pancake I’ve ever had. I just had some of the most disappointing pancakes ever at Hobbit Cafe (boo!) and I definitely prefer my own over theirs. But Baby Barnaby’s…I NEED their recipe!!

  9. Kylie @ immaeatthat

    Holy smokes. That Gourdoughs restaurant looks amazing. Like beyond amazing. That PB&J donut or The Carney or The Puddin’…geez I could look at their menu ALL.DAY.LONG!!!!

    And these pancakes look delicious:) That yogurt topping just looks so creamy. Just like a frosting…but it’s just yogurt! Must try that yogurt + maple syrup combo:))

    1. erika Post author

      Omg Kylie. I could EAT their doughnuts all day long. Well, at least for a solid half hour.

      And oh man, this topping is totally like a deliciously tangy frosting! PS. I am making your Greek yogurt fro yo/ice cream again tonight. So excited.

  10. Melissa

    I’m so happy I was able to meet you & Erik! You’re so sweet & funny! My last trip to Houston was so incredibly packed, I didn’t have time to meet-up with any friends. I’m hoping the NEXT Houston trip will allow me some time to meet you for lunch or dinner…or both! Cheers to a new friendship!!!

    1. erika Post author

      Awww :) We were super happy to meet you! Def hit us up the next time you’re in town!! Have you been to Radical Eats? (Vegan tex mex) We went right after our trip to Austin and loved it and I thought of you! (Maybe because in my mind I associate vegan with Austin and you with Austin?!). Anyway, so many opportunities to eat Houston, you must come back soon!

  11. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    I love how you love pancakes 😀

    Boys are so funny when commenting on how things taste, aren’t they? I could’ve totally heard Michael saying the same things, haha.

    Regardless: yum yum yum. Thanks for biting the bullet and experimenting to make this tastiness 😉

  12. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Erika, you are the queen of pancakes in my eyes. I’m shocked that you still haven’t made a pancake that you deem to be “restaurant quality”!!! All your photos already look a hundred times better than the ones I get when when I go out. That’s pretty weak of the Magnolia pancakes. At least it inspired you to go home and make some of your own, right? I’m intrigued by this addition of corn starch. I’m going to have to try it and judge for myself (for purely scientific purposes, of course).

    1. erika Post author

      Hmmm after reading your comment and experiencing yesterday’s brunch (what tasted like pancakes from a mix at this cute little restaurant that I’ve never been disappointed by before!), you know what? I think I HAVE made restaurant-quality pancakes! Definitely better than ihop, but not as good as the best restaurant pancake I’ve ever had, which is what I’m aiming for. Thanks girl! You helped me achieve a major epiphany today :)

      Anyway, I hope you get a chance to experiment with this! Obviously we all must run extensive tests to benefit the community with our scientific findings, am I right? 😉

  13. The Wimpy Vegetarian

    That makes sense that the corn starch would make a denser pancake since it’s a thickener. I hadn’t make the connection until I read to that part of your ‘review’, but I’ve been thinking of using it to dust my sweet potato fries with. I bake them, but I want a slight crust to them. I’ve been reading up on corn starch too, and think that will do it. That said, I love how your pancakes sound, and I think you’d win in any smackdown competition. I like a cakier pancake, so I think I’ll try these with the cornstarch. Your photos are great too. And now I’m off to check out that arepas recipe. Love arepas too.

    1. erika Post author

      Ah, yes, that does make sense!! Yum, sweet potato fries are so good. I’d love to be able to duplicate that deep-fried crust without deep-frying–can’t wait to see how they turn out for you! Have you seen My New Roots’ sweet potato fries? She dusts them in cornmeal to get that crispy texture. Maybe cornstarch + cornmeal = sweet potato fry nirvana?!

      Anyway, thanks–glad you might try out the cornstarch tip! And arepas! Food of the gods!

  14. Alex @ Brain, Body, Because

    ha, love the boyfriend comments.

    This is probably going to make you cry (I’m sorry!) but I grew up eating pancakes from a mix and they are soooo nostalgic for me. Like, I really enjoy them. The weird chemicals make them so fluffy!

    1. erika Post author

      Alex! I forgot to tell you–on that last post where I mentioned Erik finished his qual, I think you were the only one who called him out specifically to congratulate him and he was so thrilled that my virtual friends were congratulating him loll. It was cute. So thanks!

      Also, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND. Confession: I actually love Bisquick. They are so FREAKING FLUFFY! If I could make pancakes with that same texture, I would be super happy. But I hate Krusteaz. And there are probably a few others that I’m not a fan of…but I’ve been super curious to try Aunt Jemimah! I haven’t been able to make myself buy it because I make pancakes from scratch so often, but someday…what’s your mix of choice?!


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