All-whole-wheat buttermilk pancakes (and bonus: Korean-style filled pancakes)

Evidently, we eat a lot of pancakes at our house because here I am again with another version.  I've been making these whole wheat pancakes since I found the recipe back in January.  I first spotted it on Inquiring Chef in a favorite-recipes roundup. These light and fluffy whole wheat buttermilk pancakes were the top pick with tons of endorsement.  I had to try it...and I became a big fan.
These light, fluffy, and flavorful pancakes are made entirely with white whole wheat flour
I wasn't planning on posting this since I somehow figured many people have seen the recipe but I'd really like to have it here in my archives since I consider these a part of our regular pancake rotation now. It doesn't hurt to spread the pancake love, right?

So if you're looking for an all-whole wheat pancake recipe that really tastes good, here it is!  These pancakes are made solely with whole wheat flour and that's what really attracted me to them, much like I was drawn to the cookies.  I really wondered if pancakes made solely with whole wheat flour could be as good as advertised.  Honestly, this recipe really does turn out fluffy and light pancakes even entirely using whole wheat flour (white whole wheat, as usual, for me)!
I really like the use of brown sugar, instead of granulated, in this recipe
A generous amount of baking powder deserves a lot of credit for the fluffiness, and I think buttermilk is always something of a magic ingredient.  Interestingly, I like using canola oil in these pancakes.  I usually prefer butter in pancakes for that bit of extra flavor.  Turns out, the oil works great with the brown sugar in these pancakes.  I think the brown sugar makes a huge difference - it gives these whole wheat pancakes a deeper, more caramel-like flavor so that I don't need/miss the butter at all. These are just good pancakes that my family and I really enjoy.  Did I mention they were whole wheat?  ; )

"Bonus" Time:  Filled Pancakes

I thought I'd add a little twist to this pancake post with a little "bonus" segment.  I took this pancake recipe, thinned it out a bit with a few extra splashes of buttermilk, and filled them with a sweet nutty filling.  It turns pancakes into an on-the-go breakfast or snack!
Whole wheat pancakes filled with a brown sugar-peanut filling - inspired by the Korean-style filled pancake, "hotteok", a popular street food item in South Korea
It's a funny thing about these Korean-inspired filled pancakes...I first saw the idea in the back page of the May 2014 issue of Cooking Light.  Then, wouldn't you know it, I saw them again, featured in a Korean cooking show I've been watching, about a week or so later!  They were memorable because the Korean filled or stuffed pancakes are called "hotteok", which sounds a lot like "hot dog" to an almost-9 year old (and his mom)!  So they stuck in our minds and I had an inkling to make an easy version of "hotteok" with this whole wheat pancake batter.  My son and I had fun walking around all day saying we made, and ate, hotteok!
Filled with a mixture of dark brown sugar and chopped roasted peanuts
Traditional Korean hotteok is a snack made with a yeasted dough, filled with a sweet mix of things like brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon.  This is a take on Cooking Light's version (they call it "inside-out pancakes"), which starts with pancake batter.  They used brown sugar, pine nuts and cinnamon for the filling but I choose to go with a mixture of dark brown sugar and chopped peanuts for mine.

And I have a tip:  For an even quicker, easier, and I even daresay, tastier, filled pancake...use chunky peanut butter for the filling!  I kept thinking that I wanted to try chunky peanut butter as a shortcut; I figured it would pack a ton of flavor in an easy way if it worked.  I was a little worried that PB might be too thick as a filling but I knew I wanted to give it a try.
A delicious short-cut: use chunky peanut butter to fill these pancakes!  It packs a ton of flavor and makes it even easier. 
Happily, my gut was right in this instance.  The pancakes filled with chunky peanut butter were so flavorful and it couldn't be easier with nothing to mix or chop!  My son, my husband, and I all preferred the one with peanut butter! 

Unfortunately, I was running low on pancake batter by the time I got to the peanut butter filling but I am so, so glad I managed to try it that way.  It'll be my go-to filling whenever we get a hankering for an easy version of hotteok!


On the general subject of pancakes, do you like to stack your pancakes to eat?  We are definitely a family of non-stackers!  We don't like to stack, as wonderful as it looks all piled up that way, so you'll find us eating ours one at a time or just sort of fanned out around the plate.  
When it comes to making the filled pancakes, I wish I had better pictures for a step-by-step how-to. I recommend this Cooking Light video if you plan to make them.

Essentially, I used this whole wheat pancake recipe I'm talking about today and thinned it out a bit with a few splashes of extra buttermilk.  Start by placing a tablespoon of batter on the griddle and spreading it out a bit with the back of the spoon.
Add 2-3 teaspoons of filling.  The mixture of dark brown sugar and chopped peanuts is shown below. Add the filling you mixed, or chunky peanut butter, and pat it down a bit using your fingers.  Then add about another tablespoon of pancake batter on top and around to cover the filling.
Once it sets, flip it over.  I was nervous about leakage so I didn't use as much filling as I probably could have.  You can go a little heavier on the brown sugar-peanut mixture since it will melt as it heats.
The Japanese have a similar kind of pancake snack, filled with red azuki beans, that I love. Sometimes, they are made in special molds so that the pancakes are in fish - or some other - fun shapes.  These filled pancakes remind me of those and I imagine that canned sweetened azuki beans could be used to fill these pancakes as well for a similar result.  

You can experiment with fillings and have fun with it!  Is anyone else thinking...Nutella?


Recipes:

Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
Adapted from Inquiring Chef - originally adapted from "Black Jack Flapjacks" by the Black Jack Inn and the Paradise Cafe in Lawrence, Kansas

- Approximately 8-10 pancakes -

1 cup whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup buttermilk

Whisk whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg and brown sugar together.  Whisk in canola oil and buttermilk until combined.  Add dry ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.

Spoon batter onto lightly greased griddle or frying pan.  Cook for a minute or two, until bubbles begin to form on the surface of the pancake.  Flip and cook for another minute or so until golden brown. Serve immediately.


Korean-Style Filled Whole Wheat Pancakes
Adapted from Cooking Light

- Makes 6 filled pancakes - 

1 cup whole wheat pancake batter (from recipe above)
2-3 tablespoons buttermilk (or milk)

Filling options: (you could experiment with other fillings of your choice)
6 tablespoons lightly packed dark brown sugar mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts 
OR 
1/3 cup of chunky peanut butter

Add a splash or two of buttermilk to the pancake batter to thin it out a bit.  A more fluid batter will make it easier to spread and fill.

Place a tablespoon of pancake batter onto a hot griddle.  Spread the batter out in a circular motion with the back of the spoon.  Place a tablespoon of the filling (a bit less if using the peanut butter) over the batter and gently pat it down a bit using your fingertips.  Add another tablespoon of batter over the top to cover the filling.  Let pancake cook for about a minute until sides look set.  Flip pancake over and finish cooking for about another minute until done.  Repeat with remaining batter and filling.

Wrap around parchment or wax paper, these filled pancakes make a great on-to-go breakfast or snack!











52 comments:

  1. LOVE these, Monica! I wish I was having one of those filled pancakes for breakfast!

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    1. Thanks, Marie. They are pretty tasty!

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  2. Those look delicious! Love that they are whole wheat too! :)

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  3. Gosh that nutty filling looks so good!

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    1. Yes...we loved the crunchy peanut butter filling in the pancakes. : )

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  4. Wow, I've never seen how to make filled pancakes before. These sound amazing!!

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    1. I wonder why I never thought to do it. It makes a fun snack.

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  5. What a great idea! Those korean sweet pancakes are super tasty! There is a cart in Korean town that sells those. I am definitely craving some now. For now, I think I will need to try yours. :D

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    1. Thanks! I'm sure these are far different from the Korean inspiration. Those are yeasted and probably chewy (?) and I see they are griddle-cooked in a good deal of oil. I almost think this is closer to the Japanese pancakes with red beans. Either way, it's a neat little snack and if you're making pancakes anyway...why not! It's fun, especially for kids.

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  6. Love these filled pancakes Monica! The brown sugar with chopped peanuts and the crunchy peanut butter filling both sound delicious! Hehe I'll take both stacks please :)

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    1. Can't hurt to try both, right? ; )

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  7. You can SO tell how fluffy those pancakes are!! And the filled ones look absolutely marvelous!

    Sues

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    1. Yes...they really are light and fluffy even with all whole wheat!

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  8. What a brilliant recipe Monica! I've been looking for the perfect wholewheat pancake recipe for months, so i'm really really happ that you posted this! And also, those filled pancakes sound like the most amazing breakfast ever. I really need to try them!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend <3

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    1. I hope you try these out...they are really good!

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  9. What a great idea to have pancakes with a filing...they look yummy and puffy, by the way. Good job!

    ela h.
    Gray Apron

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  10. A fascinating idea! I have to try the peanut filling on my pancakes next time. Thanks for sharing, Monica.

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    1. Yes..if you're making pancakes, why not dollop some PB in it and try for fun!

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  11. That filled pancake is genius!

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  12. Hi Monica, will try both versions, love the peanut butter filling. I've had a hard time finding a great all whole wheat recipe for pancakes, this sounds great. Thanks!

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    1. Would love to know what you think if you try it, Cheri. Thank you!

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  13. There could never be enough pancake recipes! I love that these have all whole wheat flour - and buttermilk ... buttermilk is really like magic : ) And the filled pancakes?? Such an awesome idea! Definitely trying that next time I make some pancakes! Happy weekend!

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    1. Do try it when you're making pancakes next. I don't have a waffle maker so I'm pancake-crazy. : )

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  14. I was going to say that the filled pancakes remind me of the Japanese waffles. I made a version with cookie butter filling. Mmmm. And Strawberry jam was good, too.

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    1. I can definitely see a host of possibilities would all work here depending on what the person likes. My son big on the peanut butter one and he's not usually a fan of the chunky style.

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  15. The filled pancakes sound AH-mazing! I think I'd fill mine with Nutella since I don't eat peanut butter (gasp!). Although the azuki bean one sounds pretty awesome too...

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    1. haha - Eva, you must get tired of everyone swooning over peanut butter! I'm totally thinking Nutella...I just bought a huge jar today!

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  16. What beautiful pancakes! I love the ones that are filled so much. We love pancakes here too and haven't made some in ages, I need to get on that!

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    1. With a child in the house, pancake breakfasts (and dinner) are in high demand. :)

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  17. I think I told you earlier. You are a pancake genius! When I saw the title of the post pop up in my inbox, I knew there was a gorgeous treat sitting in there. A filled pancake...how delicious and how creative Monica!

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    1. ha! I can take no credit for creativity but I might be a decent recipe scavenger. A couple of years ago, I only made pancakes from a box mix!

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  18. Hotteok!! It feels weird spelling it out in English. I have to tell people it's pronounced "ho tteok" not "hot teok" hehe. I'm going to Korea in a couple of weeks and I'm def going to enjoy some from the street carts..those are the best! However, I'm pretty sure they are not made out of whole wheat flour. I love your suggestion of adding peanut butter! Thank you for the inspiration. It's lovely to "meet" you! Thank you for stopping by my blog as it led me to yours! I look forward to following. HOpe you have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks for swinging by, Min! Have a wonderful trip to Korea - I can picture the street food already. : ) I know these hotteok-inspired pancakes are quite different from the real thing but they are definitely fun and easy.

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  19. I've never made filled pancakes before, but after seeing these I want so now.

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    1. I hadn't either, as far as I can recall. I'm going to be thinking about this every time I make pancakes, which is very often. We had buttermilk ones this morning, in fact...but that batter is too thin to fill.

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  20. These stuffed pancakes sound great. I love you for this recipe, Monica. Since my daughter sometimes eat breakfast on the bus so this will be another go to breakfast for her. Thanks so much for sharing and I also want to let you know that your chilled flan recipe is on my soon to try book marks that I saved in one of my flip board magazine (Food Matters). Have a great weekend!

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    1. It makes me so happy that this idea/recipe could be useful for you. It definitely is a great way to have pancakes on the go. I know she likes Nutella so you have to try a dab of that! : ) You can pretty much use any pancake batter...the trick is just to have it thin enough to spread but thick enough so that it makes a good wall for the filling.
      And so neat to think you'll try the flan! I will check out your flip board magazine and take a closer look! Thank you, my friend!

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  21. Stuffed pancakes??! That's the best idea ever!

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  22. Those pancakes really look yum. And the chunky peanut butter makes it taste fab! I am glad that I bumped into your blog today...love it!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and glad you like it!

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  23. I haven't had pancakes in a few months and that just makes me really sad. Thanks to this recipe this is all going to change! CANT WAIT!

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    1. Pancakes are a staple here so I need a few recipes. ; )

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  24. I couldn't help and just drooled. Breakfast is 6 hours ahead and I know I'm not eating these pancakes. Wow never had pancakes with fillings like this (Japanese have dorayaki, which is sort of similar, but more of snack). Looking so delicious!

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    1. I adore those Japanese pancakes, particularly when I can get the fish shape and bite off the tail. :). This was a fun little thing to try. My little guy got a kick out of it, I think...

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  25. What a great addition to a pancake repertoire! Delicious :-)

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  26. These pancakes look so delicious!! Light & fluffy buttermilk pancakes are my favorite, and how perfect that the whole wheat does so well in this recipe (: Whoaaa, that brown sugar peanut filling sounds amazing. I'm bookmarking this recipe so that I can maybe try it out this weekend...with Nutella possibly!!

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    1. I always think Nutella when something sweet is being stuffed! Hope you give it a try one day!

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