Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat pancakes with buttermilk, tangy, earthy, and surprisingly fluffy.

The egg is optional, we've made the pancakes both ways, with egg and without. With egg results in just a little more structure to the pancake. To make gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, substitute the all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 14 to 15 4-inch pancakes, serves 2-3.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil for coating the pan
  • 3/4 cup (100g or 3.5 oz) buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup (100g or 3.5 oz) all-purpose flour (can sub with buckwheat flour for a 100% buckwheat pancake if you wish)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 2 cups (475 ml) buttermilk

Method

1 Heat a well-seasoned griddle, cast iron skillet, or stick-free pan on medium heat. The pan or griddle should be ready for the batter as soon as it is mixed.

2 Whisk together the dry ingredients—the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda—in a large bowl. In Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and start stirring. Beat the egg with a fork and stir it into half of the buttermilk. Add the buttermilk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients, then slowly add in the rest of the buttermilk as needed to get to the right consistency for your batter (you may not need all of the buttermilk, depending on what type of buttermilk you are using and the brand of flour). Stir only until everything is combined. Do not overmix. A few lumps are fine.

3 Put a small amount (a half teaspoon) of vegetable oil on the pan or griddle and spread it around with a paper towel to coat. Ladle the batter onto the hot surface to the desired size, about 4-5 inches wide. (A 1/4 cup measure will ladle about a 4-inch pancake.) Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes on this first side. Watch for bubbles on the surface of the pancake. When air bubbles start to rise to the surface at the center of the pancake, flip the pancake. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until nicely browned.

4 Keep your pancakes warm on a rack in the oven set on "warm," or stack them on a plate and cover with a towel as you make more. Spread more oil on the pan as needed between batches of pancakes.

Serve with butter and maple syrup.

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Comments

  1. Matt

    Sounds wonderfull Elise…or maybe it’s just two days of Matzah talking? :)

    Does the buckwheat do anything for the recipe over standard pancakes, as in is it just a different flavor…or are they lower in carbs/higher in fiber/anything? Those being the primary two reasons I don’t make regular pancakes.

    It’s a heartier flavor. Here’s a link to a site with more info on the nutritional makeup of buckwheat. Looks like it is high in fiber and magnesium, and has many other benefits. ~Elise

  2. Kellie

    I am so excited that I saw this recipe in my inbox today, thanks Elise. My 5 year old and I stopped by an antique store on the way to school today. He absolutely loved it, and enjoyed pointing out all of the “pioneer” stuff. He said he wants us to be pioneer farmers. Wait until I tell him we are going to make pioneer pancakes. Good way to get him to try something new!

  3. Sally

    I grew up eating buckwheat cakes made by my father. He was from Kingwood, West Virginia, home of the annual Buckwheat Festival. In WV, the cakes are often served with buckwheat “gravy” in addition to, or instead of, syrup and butter. I don’t know how the gravy is prepared but I’m pretty sure it involves bacon grease. Anyhow, buckwheat cakes are delicious and a great alternative to regular pancakes. Thanks, Elise!

  4. virtuallyhomemade.blogspot.com

    I am so glad buckwheat is gluten free. I love nothing more than pancakes with butter and maple syrup on a Saturday morning.

  5. Laura

    My children love buckwheat pancakes! Especially with blueberries mixed in the batter. To me they’re ok, and I eat them for their health value. I think young tastebuds are particularly primed for the flavor as my mom tells me I loved them as a kid, too!

  6. Three-Cookies

    The first time I ate buckwheat was in Siberia. It was served quite often, in whole grain form during dinner. And all pancakes I ate in Russia were made from regular flour.

  7. Pamela

    I love buckwheat pancakes and I make them at least once per week mixed with rice flour and/or GF oat flour and my family doesn’t even know they’re gluten-free. I need to throw my 2 cents in about your recommendation to not make them in advance. I make the batter in advance every time and they still rise beautifully. I even did a side-by-side test (because I am a cooking nerd) with freshly made batter and day-old batter and there was no difference in the results. My recipe contains baking powder, as well as soda, so maybe that’s the difference. I tried doing this with muffin batter, though, and it didn’t work.

  8. Jaime

    I’d need to go dairy-free for my son. With a substitution of soy milk, would the baking soda even be necessary? Should I add baking powder instead?

    Your guess is as good as mine. I would use 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead, and perhaps add another egg. How do you normally adjust pancake recipes for cooking dairy-free? That’s not something that I’ve had to do. ~Elise

  9. fortycloves

    I just tried buckwheat noodles for the first time and they, too, had a warm, earthy taste. I really enjoyed them, so now I’ll have to give buckwheat pancakes a try!

    Are you talking about soba noodles? My favorite noodles of all time. Practically subsisted on them when I lived in Japan. ~Elise

  10. Anna

    Regarding dairy-free, I usually find that substituting coconut milk for milk works just fine. If the tartness of buttermilk is desired, coconut milk can be cultured into yogurt very easily (it’s thinner and more liquid than dairy yogurt). Non-dairy yogurt cultures are available online.

  11. Tina

    Buckwheat pancakes are very popular here in Central PA, but they differ from the type you’ve prepared. Here, they use a fermented batter and the cakes are sort of on the sour side. Personally, I’m not a fan of the fermented batter variety, but yours sound really good, so I guess I’ll have to find buckwheat flour (I think the local Mennonite store sells it) and give them a try!

  12. Oui, Chef

    These remind me of the much loved French treats, Galettes de Sarasin, always a hit around here. Given that my wife is gluten sensitive, these will be a welcome addition to or morning repertoire. Thanks, Elise – S

  13. Christine

    I grew up eating Buckwheat Cakes too at the Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood, WV. Just like the lady from Central PA mentioned, they’re a sourdough style cake and thin and almost lacy. I never ran into the “gravy” but they are served with whole hog sausage…buckwheatfest.com for their recipe

  14. nzle

    I made these this morning with all buckwheat flour, no egg, and soymilk. This might be helpful for Jaime a few comments up: I used the trick from the “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” cookbook where you add about a teaspoon and a half of apple cider vinegar per cup of soymilk to make “buttermilk” that reacts chemically with the baking soda.

    All that aside, though — I often love the idea of pancakes more than I love the pancakes that I eat themselves. These were hands-down the most fantastic pancakes I’ve ever had or made!

  15. Sri

    Thanks for the recipe, now this is something my daughter would love.

    I saw a few comments regarding dairy free pancakes. Coming from India, we have never used any kind of dairy in our pancakes or crepes for that matter. Water is just fine.

    In case the pancakes stick to the griddle, you just add a few tbsps of fine white rice flour in the batter and you are good to go.

  16. Pat Matson

    I love buckwheat pancakes. I grew up in Penna. and they were a regular in our lives. Now, I’ve found them at some International House of Pancakes, but not all.

    More interestingly, I’m a Greenthumb volunteer at the Big Bear Ranger station up here in the So. Calif. mountains, and we plant buckwheat as part of the reforestation efforts. Makes my widdle heart sing!

    Thanks, Elise.
    Pat

  17. Nancy Long

    Memories of my mother occasionally making buckwheat pancakes for my father. Also, we used to get a great ‘Washington Pancake Flour’, which had several different flours in it and I believe buckwheat was one. The plant burned down and is no longer in business. Really miss it. They have a supposed recipe for their mix online, but it’s only for a combo of AP flour and cornmeal. Good, but not as good as the original. So I make my own now. Haven’t had buckwheat in years, but will definitely look for it and see how my husband likes it. Sometimes hard to find ‘unusual’ products in St. Petersburg. Really miss living in MD/DC area where you can find everything.

  18. Cassandra Potier Watkins

    Buckwheat pancakes is our Sunday morning breakfast treat of choice! I find that letting the flour soak in the buttermilk the night before to make the fluffiest pancake, it also saves you a bit of time in preparation the morning of.

    We love to serve any left-over pancakes with some creme fraiche and an oily fish like sardines… a very good combination!

  19. Judith

    I used to make buckwheat pancakes when I was single. Since a single recipe make so many pancakes, I used to simply store the batter in the fridge and stir it up each morning before I made a couple pancakes for myself. The batter lasted several days, and the pancakes were always delicious. The recipe was from the 1950′s edition of the Gourmet Cookbook.

  20. Tara

    These look great. My dad was also from Kingwood, WV and we still go to the Buckwheat Festival every year to eat buckwheat cakes. Good Memories!

  21. Jaime

    Elise,

    I checked another pancake recipe I use frequently that calls for a 50/50 split between whole wheat and all-purpose flour with no buttermilk. You were right – 2 tsp. of baking powder is called for. When I make these, I’ll let you know how they turned out.

  22. Greg Walker

    Mom used to make buckwheat griddle cakes with Greek thyme honey for special occasions. I remember them being the prominent breakfast element every year on Shrove Tuesday. They were, oh, so very good.

  23. Amy

    I was looking for some gluten free breakfast alternatives and came across this post. This sounds absolutely delicious and the picture itself has made me want to whip up a batch of these. Buckwheat pancakes it is this weekend for the kids!

  24. Nancy

    We’ve made a similar recipe from The Joy of Cooking with great results. The Joy’s yeasted version (plus sugar, minus baking soda) is also a hit. It tastes chocolaty somehow.

  25. Lady Amalthea

    Instead of buttermilk, I often add yogurt to my buckwheat pancakes. Makes them deliciously fluffy.

    Good to know, thanks for the suggestion! ~Elise

  26. Jasminerose

    I live in central Ohio, and i’ve been looking for buckwheat flour.. Can’t find it anywhere.. Does anyone know where i could get it? I was raised in W.V , and have had my share of buckwheat pancakes. I would love to be able to find some.

  27. Angela

    Your recipe showed up just in time for our first experiment in a gluten-free diet. We made these this morning and they were delicious! I’m glad you warned us about getting the pan ready, as the batter thickens up like cement very quickly.

  28. Linda

    I’m VERY confused. I think there must be something very wrong with this recipe. I followed it exactly, and it made a completely liquid soup instead of a batter. When I thought about it, I realized that is a huge amount of liquid for the amount of dry ingredients. I don’t see any way that much liquid with that amount of dry ingredients can make a batter. Do you perhaps have the incorrect amount of buttermilk listed? I had to just throw the whole thing out, and buckwheat is expensive. I’ve always had good luck with your recipes before, so I don’t understand what happened. Thanks.

    Hi Linda, no, the recipe is quite precise. We made several batches over a couple days. I even weighed the buckwheat to be absolutely sure, because as I was doing research on buckwheat pancake batters it seemed that 2 cups of buttermilk was a lot of liquid for just 1 1/2 cups of flour. Did you try the batter anyway? ~Elise

    • Lynn Ray

      I hope you tried the recipe again. Maybe you accidentally used too much liquid or too little dry ingredients. Some days are like that. I have made this recipe over and over again, and it is the best recipe I have used for buckwheat pancakes. Beautiful texture, wonderful flavor.

  29. elston

    In Maine there is a popular crepe style buckwheat pancake called “Ployes”; it is part of our Franco-American tradition. They are popular enough that the supermarket carries two brands of “Ployes” mix….as well as buckwheat flour. (I haven’t tried them…but this recipe and discussion will probably lead me to trying (the mix)….to get in step with the regional tradition.

  30. John

    We always used fermented batter for “Sour Buckwheat Pancakes” as posted by Anna above. The longer the batter sits in the fridge the more sour they get. I love ‘em, but I’m also a big fan of Sourdough Bread.

  31. Tim H.

    Like Angela, mine batter was way too runny. Even though I hadn’t added all the milk, I still had to add more flour.

    Hmm. I used full-fat buttermilk, perhaps that had something to do with it? It’s thicker than the 2% or low fat buttermilks. I’ve adjusted the recipe to allow more room for the variation. ~Elise

  32. Jennifer

    I was so excited to see this recipe! I live in Italy and my mom hasn’t sent me a box of buckwheat pancake mix in a long time! I did find one thing annoying – the pancakes looked perfect but when you bit into them, they had a sandy grit to them! I was soo disappointed. Is this common for different flours like buckwheat?? It didn’t seem particulary grainy. Plus adding the melted butter to the dry mix caused great big lumps in the batter too. Do I need to let it sit longer? Mix it more? I have lots more flour to use up! Thanks…

    Sandy grit? That’s weird. No idea what might be causing that other than perhaps your particular flour isn’t fine ground enough. As for lumps, they’re okay. ~Elise

  33. Eva Ramirez

    My mother in law (god rest her soul) was 94 when she passed. Raised in TN she loved buckwheat pancakes they soon became my favorite also. Compared to regular pancakes actually their is no comparison. These are just good down home food. Thanks for the recipes brings back alot of fond memories and makes me hungry too.

  34. SK

    Thanks for the recipe! We made these for Saturday breakfast. Kids had them with maple syrup. We (the adults) added chopped scallion, yellow corns, and Aonori (dried crushed blue sea weed) in the batter as well as soy sauce and had them like Japanese oyaki. Yummy.

  35. Marc

    Every now and then I revitalize my batter-type sourdough starter to make pancakes, using a recipe from Nancy Silverton’s bread book. The night before making the pancakes, I refresh the starter with 100% buckwheat flour (for me it’s 125 g starter, 75 g water, 50 g flour). Since the starter is made with 100% white flour, the final pancake is some kind of hybrid. They are delicious, with a hearty flavor and texture.

    Re: @Pat Matson’s comment about planting buckwheat in Southern California. I assume they are planting California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), a California native. It’s a distant relative of the buckwheat used for flour (Fagopyrum esculentum) and a beautiful plant — in the spring, California buckwheat has white flowers which develop into seed pods that become a rich crimson after they dry out. The Santa Monica Mountains north of Los Angeles are one place to see lots of California buckwheat (e.g. the trails around Circle X Ranch).

  36. Lesley Carol Prince

    Thanks for the fine buckwheat pancake recipe. I’m of French Canadian ancestry and buckwheat pancakes are a staple topped, of course, by fine Quebecois maple syrup. Now that I follow a gluten-free diet, I have another reason to love them even more!

  37. Dolores Sorg

    I live in the Dayton, Ohio area,so don’t know if this will help the other woman in Ohio I found my flour in a store called “Cub Foods”. If she still can’t find it, I would be glad to mail her some. These are geat pancakes, I like them made with buttermilk.

  38. A Knesal

    Add a touch _Teaspoon to several tablespoons_ of unsulphered Molasses to the mix for a great Buckwheat experience.

    I also add Oats, Raisins, and flaked Almonds to the mix for a great tasting cake that I eat without syrup, though a touch of Honey is nice if you can afford the calories. I prepare this overnight so the Raisins plump and the Oats have time to hydrate. The mix also stores well for several days in the fridge.

  39. kathryn

    Like some of the other reviewers i also had a grittiness in mine once cooked, which i think came from the solid clumps of flour that formed after i drizzled in the butter which i then could not get to break up or mix in. I will try making them again, but am thinking i will mix the melted butter in with the buttermilk and egg first, then very very slowly incorporate that into the flour mixture. I also found the batter really thin, so will just use nice thick plain yogurt next time in place of the thinner buttermilk… ill let you know how it turns out! I am at a really high altitude, almost 7000 feet.. so things often turn out a little odd for me first try.

    Your Banana bread, Zucchini cake, Enchiladas, Apple cake and many more recipes are HUGELY popular here at my house… I am actually off to make your giant ginger and oatmeal cookies now :-)

    Thank you for a great site Elise, I will keep coming back for more.

  40. BEN

    Having both parents grow up around Roanoke, VA, buckwheat cakes was a Sunday morning breakfast tradition. We always topped them with a good sausage gravy. Try it, I think you will be surprised. Thank-you and good eating.

  41. Keenan

    sorry, but this isn’t a good recipe. Too runny. Didn’t work out at all. Looks like all the comments are in favor of the buckwheat, and no feedback on this recipe.

    • Elise

      I make buckwheat pancakes following this recipe all the time. If the batter is too runny, you just need to let it sit for 5 minutes. The batter will thicken as it sits.

  42. Ruth

    I am English living in Germany and have never had buckwheat or buttermilk and only ever eaten American style pancakes when I toured around Canada for a month. Having recently been told I should stay away from gluten, I have been trying out a lot of things I have never eaten before. This is now my number one fave, so thanks so much! That pic went a long way towards me picking this recipe over all the other buckwheat pancake recipes my search engine found – they are as delicious as they look! I had them with stewed blueberries, yum! (another thing I have only eaten a few times in my life!)

  43. Ruth

    By the way, I used very low fat buttermilk and had no problems at all! No lumps, no grittiness, just really good pancakes. The egg I used was large, don’t know if that is worth noting or not.