Buckwheat-Buttermilk Pancakes – Recipe

Buckwheat pancakes

Buckwheat pancakes have a place in the American imagination, but rarely at the breakfast table. When you do occasionally find them at restaurants, the percentage of buckwheat flour is so low that you can hardly taste it. Which is a shame, because the warm, toasty, nutty flavor is delicious.

Buckwheat is widely enjoyed in other cuisines, such as Russian blini, Japanese soba noodles, and Eastern European kasha. The easiest place to find buckwheat flour is at your local natural foods store, often in the bulk section.

You can easily substitute up to 50% buckwheat flour in any pancake recipe and it will be fine but possibly a little flat-stanleyish. I counteract that tendency with buttermilk, which adds a lot of leavening power. Pancake batter should be fairly thick so that it has time to rise instead of spread when poured on the griddle.

My three-year-old and I make these a lot, using a recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking. Pancakes are a great way to introduce children to cooking because you can do the mixing in bowls on the floor, they are ready to eat in minutes, and most kids love them. Making them from scratch teaches your munchkins the value of home-cooked instead of pre-packaged foods, and it gives you the opportunity to make them from healthier ingredients. When we don’t make buckwheat, we’ll use a mixture of half whole-wheat pastry flour and half unbleached white flour, which is also delicious.

[Edit 5/4/2014 – I’ve added weights in grams since that is how I prefer to cook these days, and doubled the whole recipe because I never found the original to be enough for a family of 4. Granted, some of us seem to have extra stomachs dedicated only to pancakes.]

Buckwheat Buttermilk Pancakes
Serves 4 generously
Vegetarian; not vegan or gluten-free

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) unbleached white all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (76 grams)sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon (5 grams) salt
  • 3 cups (650 grams) buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 eggs (220 grams)
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a second bowl. You can save a bit of cleanup by melting the butter in this bowl in the microwave, then stirring in the buttermilk and eggs.
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Be sure not to overmix, or your pancakes will come out tough. It is ok if they have some lumps. If it is too thick, add a bit more buttermilk or milk, but keep it on the thick side. If it is too thin, add a bit more of either flour.
  4. Cook in the usual way. In case you are from Mars: heat a griddle over a medium high flame. Rub it with a bit of oil on a paper towel. Ladle out pancake batter to about 5″ circles. Allow to cook until bubbles form on top and peek underneath reveals a nice dark brown. Flip and cook until the other side is done.
  5. Serve forth with plenty of soft butter and real maple syrup.


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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 in Breakfast, Kid Friendly, Recipes.

13 Responses to “Buckwheat-Buttermilk Pancakes – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    January 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    I will have to try this – if I can get my hands on some buckwheat flour here in this hicktown I live in. Have you ever tried whole wheat bread flour to make pancakes? That’s what I use, just because I have it on hand for bread (duh), and I don’t have to use any white flour at all. My favourite pancakes are 100% whole wheat – and even my white bread loving husband loves them.

  2. Reply
    January 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    Kismet, or the thinking alike of great minds? We just made buckwheat pancakes for dinner last night, but not with buttermilk, and we need a new recipe. Ours got the job done, but they were ultimately a little disappointing. My roommate hung one on the apartment door as a warning to other buckwheat pancake recipes: this is a tough crowd. We’ll post our testing/tasting notes on this here recipe if (when) the craving hits again…but dang, real maple syrup has gotten expensive in Europe!

  3. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    January 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    Wow, is that the culinary equivalent of Martin Luther’s theses?!?

  4. Reply
    January 9, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    My mom used to make buckwheat pancakes when I was a kid, which totally spoiled me. I never understood what was going on with regular pancakes, they seemed kind of bland. So rest assured your three-year-old will probably remember what your teaching him.

  5. Reply
    January 9, 2009 at 7:37 am #

    I taught both my children to cook and now my three year old granddaughter is joining me in the kitchen. Anything they can mix on their own in a bowl is great fun, but grab a stool or chair for your child to stand on to reach the counter, or set the bowls up on your child’s little table. Hygiene is an important lesson and mixing anything in a bowl on the floor is not a good thing to teach.

  6. Reply
    January 9, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    The pancakes look delicious. The only buckwheat ive had is in soba noodles! I’ll be sure to try your recipe 🙂

  7. Reply
    January 11, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Nice to see an original take on a classic idea. I’ve not cooked with buckwheat before but can’t see a reason not to!

  8. Reply
    April 25, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    I made these for breakfast today with some orange zest in it. It was awesome! This is soon going in my blog. Thank you!

  9. Reply
    October 30, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    my toddler and I cook in unsanitary levels on the floor as well *note my sarcasm* it makes clean up alot quicker and he just loved to make a flour mess 🙂 did this with whole wheat flour instead of unbleached white fantastic!!

  10. Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Just made these for my family. They were delicious! Thanks for the wonderful recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

  11. Reply
    November 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Hey… I made your buckwheat pancakes and posted them on my blog. Thank you so much for this. The pancakes turned out great!

    link to unhipsquirrel.com

  12. Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    On my to do list. Love!

  13. Reply
    August 9, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    I loved this recipe! So did my whole family. I used roasted chickpea flour instead of all purpose flour and it was great.

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