Buckwheat pancakes recipe (with a gluten-free option)

I first met buckwheat pancakes through my dear old friend Aunt Jemima. But her buckwheat mix was ditched somewhere along the line. So was her mammy-minstrel-kerchief-apron image when she got her makeover in 1989. Her character was played by real life Nancy Green, who appeared next to ‘the world’s largest flour barrel’ at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Her slogan: “I’se in town, honey!” Seriously? Let’s just say, change takes a long time.

The French can have their crepes and the Russians their blini. Don’t get me wrong. What’s not to love about a thin, small buckwheat crepe with caviar and sour cream? But the French and Russians are not acquainted with Aunt Jemima. The old-fashioned pancakes my dad used to flip on Sunday mornings are not in that repertoire. Without our favorite Auntie’s blend, you’ll have to turn to Bob’s Red Mill or Arrowhead Mills. Or you could make your own.

It’s just good sense to do all the measuring at once and make a mix. The proportions in this recipe (which can be doubled) make two 3-cup packages. Save one for your cupboard and give the other away. If you happen to have the ingredients on supply right now, you could even cobble together a quick holiday gift, or take it to a friend if you’re visiting. No bake, no fuss. Add a bottle of pure maple syrup or make some blueberry sauce with frozen blueberries. It’s a respectable cheat, since berries are usually flash frozen. You are going to cook them anyway; you can put them in your pancakes, too. In December, what’s the point in buying exorbitantly priced berries that take a thousand-mile trip?

If you’re giving the mix away, write the instructions on a tag and attach it to the pretty jar or bag you’ve used to contain it. But here’s the thing: who really wants to measure a bunch of ingredients on a weekday morning? Isn't that the point of a mix? If you want to feed these to your breakfast-balking kids who might eat pancakes before school, do as I do: wing it. And this applies to just about any pancake mix. Pancakes are so forgiving. God bless them.

How to make pancakes from a mix (really!)

For about 6 pancakes:
Break an egg into a bowl. Add a couple of heaping soupspoons of yogurt. Splash in some orange juice and vanilla. Add a glug of olive oil (or melt a tablespoon or two of butter in the microwave and add it.) Whisk it all together. Now dump in some mix—less than a cup. Stir it all together and thin it with milk and/or more orange juice. Adjust quantities as needed. Voila!

Buckwheat pancake and waffle mix

Makes 6 cups mix (two 3-cup packages)

2 cups buckwheat flour
2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free multi-purpose flour mix such as King Arthur’s
1/2 cup sucanat, organic cane sugar, or brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Divide in 2 packages of 3 cups each (for giving). Include a tag of instructions (below) on your package.

To make 10 to 12 four-inch pancakes

2 eggs*
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mix
2 to 3 tablespoons milk, as necessary

Whisk eggs, yogurt, orange juice, olive oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in mix until combined. The batter will be thick and will thicken as it sits. Use thick batter for waffles. For pancakes, stir in additional milk to desired consistency. Cook on a lightly oiled griddle or waffle iron until browned on both sides.

* If you want to be fancy, separate eggs and beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them into the batter.

To make blueberry pancakes: Ladle batter in pan. Sprinkle some fresh or frozen berries on top (go ahead, make a happy face) and flip them when they’re ready.

 Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Happy New Year! May your holiday be filled with blessings and peace.


  1. Pancakes should be a food group by itself! I love them to the moon and back!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Flax seeds, buckwheat, brown rice...wow...all my favourites! I will have to make this soon too.

  3. I noticed your photo because it looks identical to my gingerbread pancakes today! I love the idea of using buckwheat, and I've seen the Bob's Red Mill flour but not been sure what to do with it. I will try these for sure. I also suggested making a mix to keep around...I look forward to browsing the rest of your blog!

  4. Hi Sally,

    Just found you on Food52 and noticed that you are also from Boston :) I've been looking for an eggless pancake recipe. Would you happen to know if such a thing is possible? My 1 year old is allergic to eggs and breakfast foods have been tricky. I have successfully made eggless crepes, but haven't had any luck with pancakes yet. If you haven any advice, that would be great!


  5. Helen, Nice to "meet" you. French Canadian pancakes called ployes are made with buckwheat flour and no eggs. They serve them-or at least they did a few years ago--at the diner in Watertown (!), and I've seen mixes in Maine grocery stores--you could experiment--don't have a recipe, but my sense is they are pretty simple. Let me know how it works out!

  6. Thanks Sally! I used to love that diner, particularly the sweet potato pancakes (we used to live in Belmont). Haven't tried ployes there, but I'll try to google for them.

  7. Helen you can buy egg replacer or use chia seeds soaked overnight