Ready for some pancakes (aka griddlecakes)? Now’s the perfect season. Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) is next week – and pancakes traditionally are on the menu.
These buckwheat beauties take pancakes up a notch. Because we like to buck the trend.
This recipe is very similar to our Basic Pancake Recipe. The main difference is that these include buckwheat flour.
Because the flavor of buckwheat can be a little intense, most cooks mix it with regular all-purpose wheat flour when making pancakes. Which is what we’re doing here: Equal measures of buckwheat and all-purpose flour. If you prefer to use only buckwheat flour, just double the amount of buckwheat flour in the recipe and eliminate the all-purpose flour.
Our favorite way to make pancakes is on an electric griddle. But an ordinary griddle (or even a skillet) will work just as well.
Prep time for this recipe is 5 to 7 minutes. Cooking time adds another 10 to 15 minutes.
This recipe yields 8 to 10 pancakes (depending on how large you make them). Serving a crowd? It’s easy to double or triple this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 egg
- ~1 cup milk (see Notes)
- ¾ cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose white flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
- additional butter (or cooking oil) for greasing the griddle/skillet (optional if you’re using one with a nonstick surface)
- garnish of maple syrup and/or butter (or anything else you like; see Notes)
- If using an electric griddle or skillet, turn it on to 350° F. If using a regular griddle or skillet, place it on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Melt the butter in the microwave. Once melted, let it cool slightly.
- Add the egg to a medium bowl. Beat until it’s frothy. Add the milk, then beat to combine. Add the melted butter, then beat again to combine.
- Place all the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, sugar, salt) in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry. Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir just enough to combine the ingredients. Don’t overmix – it’s OK if there are some lumps in the batter. If the batter is too thick for your taste, add a bit more milk to thin it out.
- Test your griddle or skillet to make sure it’s hot enough. A drop of water will skip off the surface when it’s ready. If using a nonstock griddle or skillet, you probably don’t need to grease it. Otherwise, grease the surface lightly with butter or oil.
- Use a ¼ cup measure or large spoon to scoop the batter and drop it on the hot griddle. Repeat until the griddle surface is full. Cook until the edges of the pancakes seem firm and cooked, and bubbles form and break in the middle of the pancakes (usually 2 to 3 minutes). Turn the pancakes over, then cook them for another minute or 2 until they are cooked through.
- Plate the pancakes. Serve with maple syrup, butter, honey, jam, fresh berries – whatever you fancy.
- If you’re making a big batch of pancakes, the early rounds will hold in a 250° F oven for a half hour or so while you finish making the rest.
- Buckwheat is not actually wheat – or even a grain. Instead, it’s a pseudo-grain (not technically a grain, but used like one). In fact, it’s a seed from a plant in the rhubarb family. Buckwheat flour is ground from hulled buckwheat seeds.
- Buckwheat flour can be light or dark, depending on how much of the seed hull is included (the hull is strongly flavored, so dark buckwheat has more oomph than light).
- At the grocery store, you may also see buckwheat groats, which are the unground hulled seeds. Or kasha, which are roasted groats. These are not interchangeable with buckwheat flour.
- Buckwheat is gluten free, so it’s a good choice for those who can’t tolerate gluten. To make a fully gluten-free version of our recipe, skip the regular wheat flour and use all buckwheat flour (or combine it with a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour).
- You can use regular or skim milk when making pancakes. We haven’t tried a nondairy milk like almond or soy, but they should work OK.
- We like thick pancakes, so we use as little liquid as we can get away with when we mix the batter. This results in pancakes with some heft (that don’t spread out much on the griddle). If you prefer thinner, flatter pancakes, use more liquid.
- We like maple syrup with pancakes, so that’s our go-to. But honey is also good, as are jam and jelly. Or you could use a fruit syrup, like blueberry or blackberry.
- We also like butter on pancakes, so that’s always a topping for us. But fresh fruit also makes a terrific garnish.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
- Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. It’s also known as Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”). Traditionally, it’s been the day when households use up the fat, sugar, and other rich goodies in their pantries to get ready for fasting during Lent.
“Yum, buckwheat,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “A bit nutty, with lots of depth. Great in pancakes.”
“Another winning recipe,” I said. “I’m a buck-a-neer in the kitchen these days!”
“I may buckle under the weight of that pun,” said Mrs K R.
“Just glad I remembered to make these before Mardi Gras,” I said. “It really crêped up on us this year.”
“If I had a buck for every bad pun you’ve made,” said Mrs K R. “I could kasha in.”
“Hey, those extra pancakes look a bit disgruntled, just sitting there on the plate,” I said. “I should butter them up.”
“That was groats,” said Mrs K R.
Better stop before she flips.
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They are our favourite breakfast! I would love mine with lots of butter and berries :-)) Yours look so fluffy and delicious, John.
Hi Angie, butter is a must on pancakes! :-) Thanks for the comment.
John, these sound delicious—and I like your description of buckwheat's added "oomph" depending on how dark it is. We like to mix equal parts all purpose flour and buckwheat flour when we're making savory crêpes. Thanks for the lovely recipe!
Hi Terry, buckwheat crêpes are such a classic dish. Bilini, too. Love the flavor buckwheat adds -- so deep. Thanks for the comment.
Hearty & filling. These pancakes are a great way to start the day.
Hi Pam, great for dinner, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Buckwheat flour is a key ingredient in French pancakes of the sort that are sold at little kiosks on Paris streets in the weeks before Marci Gras, and in Breton crepe shops as well. Mostly of the savory sort like the “Popeye” which is a spinach crepe. Of course also a very traditional American pancake flavor.
Best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Mae, buckwheat is also huge in Russia and parts of Asia. So many great recipes use it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I do have a pancake recipe I love but I'm game to try subbing out some of the ap flour for buckwheat; you've got me intrigued.
And I'll always be a butter and syrup person except with a German pancake which is butter, powdered sugar, and lemon. Old traditions die hard!
Thanks for the inspiration and the excuse to indulge!
Hi Barb, those German pancakes are GOOD! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I've made buckwheat cookies and noticed they have a much softer texture. Would you say the same here? GREG
Hi Greg, pretty similar to regular pancakes, actually, although maybe a touch softer. Be interesting do do a side-by-side comparison, though. Thanks for the comment.
Ooh, this would be my choice for Shrove Tuesday! It's been ages since I made buckwheat pancakes!
Hi Liz, better put buckwheat on your shopping list. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have never tried anything with buckwheat before. I have used quinoa flour, almond flour, wheat bran, teff.... why oh why have not I tried buckwheat yet?
*laugh* Being a totally evening person self-made pancakes don't ever seem to be on the agenda ! Not using much in the way of white flour adds to that . . . but, I love buckwheat and your suggestion is a drawcard for Sunday brunch methinks . . . with berries and yoghurt methinks . . .
Hi Laura, one of the mysteries of life! :-) Time to introduce yourself to buckwheat -- bet you'll like. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Eha, truth be told, we're not big breakfast buffs either. But these are wonderful for brunch. Or dinner. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Lol! The end of your posts are always so funny. The pancakes look great. I've never tried making them with buckwheat before. I'll have to give them a shot!
Hi Martha, we really do enjoy writing those endings. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have never had buckwheat pancakes before, not sure why I haven't. These look wonderful. The perfect hearty breakfast.
hahahahaha The puns are exceptional today!
Pancakes look pretty amazing also!
Hi Dawn, buckwheat pancakes have a lovely flavor -- totally worth trying. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Anne, Mrs KR came up with a lot of this week's puns. :-) Thanks for comment.
My dad made buckwheat pancakes when I was a kid, which is likely why I've always loved the flavor. I like buckwheat flour in all sorts of baked good. This recipe looks great! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, buckwheat pancakes ARE great. Kids know. :-) Thanks for the comment.
John I'm going to buck the trend as well and add some buckwheat flour next time. I have a favourite recipe of my Mums I use so I'm going to incorporate the two, I'll feel very virtuous and feel healthier using the buckwheat. Thanks also for the heads up about Shrove Tuesday. Interesting though, I prefer pancakes for early tea, rather than breakfast, it's how we used to eat them on a Sunday night. Wonderful recipe idea, thanks so much.
Hi Pauline, we're actually more fans of pancakes later in the day than earlier, too, but we're open to eating them at any hour. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I honestly havent tries Buckwheat Pancakes yet. Extra nutty flavour you say? Well need to find some buckwheat flour soon
Hi Raymund, more of a bit nutty, but definitely extra good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
ooh you two are so hilarious :) Buckwheat mm? Brings back memories of living in ratty (and i do mean ratty) sharehouses living with vegans and vegos. One of 'em used to make us a buckwheat porridge-thingy for dinner. Oh my ... i am speechless. but sure your pancakes are delicious.
Hi Sherry, the pancakes definitely are delicious. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I sure do love buckwheat pancakes and I like them thick like this. Great recipe.
I couldn't think of a better dinner. I would just cook up some sausage on the side and a nice zinfandel.
I was just picturing Brinner! These would be great!
Hi Dahn, we're suckers for thick pancakes -- better texture, we think. Thanks for the comment.
Hi NCR, we love sausage -- or bacon! -- on the side with pancakes. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Debra, brinner is actually how we normally eat these. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Thanks for all that info. I assumed that buckwheat was a wheat. I've never cooked with it - at least not that I remember - but I do love to go out for buckwheat crepes. Your pancakes look so tempting. I especially love the overhead shot. They also look quite satisfying.
Hi Jeff, they are extremely satisfying. :-) We really need to do a couple of crêpe posts -- both buckwheat, and wheat flour ones. One of those things on our list (as were these -- took about 8 years before we got around to doing this post!). Thanks for the comment.
I just don't think about buckwheat for pancakes, but I like the idea of a heartier breakfast and whole grains. :)
Hi Judy, buckwheat pancakes are of course a pancake house staple, but not a home kitchen staple for most people. Time to change that! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Just started experiment with buckwheat flour so this is exciting. Made some buckwheat crepes last week, so now these pancakes are next. I really like the flavor and texture that you get. Thanks John!
Hi MJ, buckwheat crêpes are great! Hope to have a post on them one of these days. Probably in the distant future. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love baking with buckwheat because of the delicious nutty flavor it imparts. These pancakes will surely make Sunday morning extra special.
Hi Carolyn, buckwheat has such a lovely flavor, doesn't it? So good! :-) Thanks for the comment.
These look fabulous, John! And yes, I do agree buckwheat only would be a bit too overpowering. Same with pizzocheri pasta, if you've ever tried that. Better with a 50/50 blend!
Hi Frank, I have had pizzocheri pasta, at a restaurant. Never cooked with it myself. Good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love buckwheat crepes and pancakes (Crepes more, but they also require a longer time while pancakes will be ready in no time.) these looks great and so inviting. I love to balance out their nutty / earthy flavour with some maple syrup or honey...and banana. This might sounds a bit weird, but it works well!
Hi Ben, bananas are great on pancakes! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh did we love these type of pancakes growing up! I haven't made any kind of pancakes in a long time. I know buckwheat has a wonderful flavor and is great in most recipes.
Hi Judee, buckwheat has a truly marvelous flavor! Love it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love using buckwheat - it's all I could eat when I was dairy free for a while! Love the "bad" pun :)
Hi Ashley, our puns are awful, aren't they? :-) Thanks for the comment.
A number of years back, my sister gave me a giant bag of buckwheat flour that she rejected. Alas I wasn't crazy about it either. But I wish I'd known about the mix with regular flour trick--that co=ould have made all the difference!
Hi Inger, we like 1000% buckwheat pancakes, but they ARE strong. Most people seem to prefer a mix. Us too, actually. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I didn't realize pancakes are a Mardi Gras tradition, but I'll take any excuse to indulge in a fluffy stack.
Hi Laura, actually, we don't need an excuse! :-) Thanks for the comment.
We love pancakes at our house, I make some form of them every week! These buckwheat pancakes seem a bit heartier than the traditional stack, which is a good thing. 🥞 Thanks so much for all the great information about buckwheat flour. I had no idea it wasn't a grain and that it was a gluten-free alternative. That's really good to know, I have relatives with severe Celiac that visit sometimes. We will have to try these gorgeous buckwheat pancakes soon, John!
Hi Marcelle, buckwheat has wonderful flavor, and you're right that it has some health advantages. So win win! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Yum! I love mine with some chocolate sauce drizzled over the pancakes :D
Hi Taruna, what a great idea! Gotta try that. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I have never had a buckwheat pancake. They looks so inviting, so I think I’ll try some. While cleaning out the freezer, I discovered some buckwheat flour in there (from blini) which seems to still be quite good. Don’t you think this will be a good use for it?
Hi David, we always store our buckwheat flour in the freezer, too. And yes, this would be an excellent use for it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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