Recipes > Breakfast > Healthy Apple Pancakes

Healthy Apple Pancakes

Packed with fresh apples, whole wheat flour, and cinnamon, these healthy apple pancakes are the perfect breakfast for fall or winter mornings.
healthy apple pancakes

This is a variation of our whole grain pancakes base recipe. These apple pancakes are delicious and full of flavor! Made with 100% whole wheat flour and fresh apples, these healthy apple pancakes give a boost of fiber that traditional pancakes don’t usually provide. We use white whole wheat flour to keep the color light and the flavor mild. Trust us, your kids and family won’t even notice!

Three Must-Know Cooking Skills

For perfectly fluffy pancakes, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for Fluffy Healthy Apple Pancakes

Be sure to measure the flour correctly. Fluff, spoon, and level!  Packing it into the cup will result in a dense pancake.

Don’t peel the apples! Not only does it make the pancakes more nutritious, but it also cuts down the number of steps – less work for you!

Don’t skip the step of microwaving the apples; they won’t soften enough on the griddle if you do not microwave. Save the cooking liquid in case you need to thin the batter.

Don’t overstir! Too much mixing can result in tough pancakes – not what you want when trying to make light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes. Stir gently until all ingredients are moistened; the batter should be slightly lumpy. If the batter looks a little too thick, add more buttermilk or cooking liquid from the apples. If too thin, add a spoonful of flour.

Have you ever noticed how the first pancake or batch looks splotchy? It is all about the pan! It takes time to distribute heat evenly across the pan’s surface. Oftentimes, you need to adjust the heat as you cook multiple batches. Also, be sure not to coat the pan with too much butter – excess will lead to splotches. Use as little as possible.

Don’t flip the pancakes too early! Wait until you see bubbles start to appear on the surface and the edges start to firm up.

If you have kids, have them help you make this recipe. It keeps them distracted from their hunger while they help cook, and they have fun measuring and mixing! Older kids can even help flip the pancakes.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Apple: any variety will work. You can also substitute diced pear, but don’t microwave, as pears are softer than apples.
  • White Whole Wheat Flour: substitute whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour. You can also substitute regular whole wheat flour, but the flavor, color, and texture won’t be quite as light. You can substitute half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, although this will slightly decrease the fiber content.
  • Brown Sugar: substitute white sugar, sugar in the raw, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave. Mix liquid sweeteners in with the wet ingredients.
  • Cinnamon: substitute pumpkin spice or apple pie spice.
  • Buttermilk: substitute kefir or homemade buttermilk. To make your own buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes to allow the milk to curdle. If you want to make vegan whole wheat pancakes, use soy milk.
  • Egg: substitute a flax egg or ¼ cup fruit puree. To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 3 Tablespoons water. Let sit for 10 minutes until thickened.
  • Butter: substitute canola, avocado or melted coconut oil. However, there’s just no replacement for the flavor of butter!

Recipe Variations

Add toasted nuts for apple nut pancakes – walnut or pecan pieces would taste best.

To make apple cranberry pancakes, add some dried cranberries into the batter, but consider rehydrating them first. Place dried cranberries in a bowl and cover with hot or boiling water; let soak for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. This extra step will soften their bite!

Turn these into whole wheat oatmeal pancakes by adding ½ cup oats to the batter. This will create a slightly thicker texture, but you may like the added nuttiness that oats add. If too thick, add more buttermilk. Plus, with the added oats, you now have multigrain buttermilk pancakes!

To make whole wheat protein pancakes, replace half of the buttermilk with plain Greek yogurt. If necessary, add more buttermilk or water to adjust the batter thickness to your preference.

Need some pancake recipe inspiration?

Use our whole grain pancakes base recipe as a guide, or check out some of our favorite variations!

Whole Grain Pancakes Base Recipe

Strawberry Banana Pancakes

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Vegan Spelt Pancakes

Banana Oat Pancakes

Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success!

Are apple pancakes good for you?

This healthy apple pancake recipe is full of nutritious ingredients that will keep you satisfied and energized for hours: whole wheat flour, apples, and low added sugar.

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, trace minerals, and phytochemicals. Replacing refined grains (i.e. white flour) with whole grains (i.e. whole wheat flour) may reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Confused about the pros and cons of gluten? Check out our gluten article!


Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? It certainly can help! Apples contain prebiotic fibers which support good gut health. Apples also contain phytonutrients such as quercetin and catechin which may play roles in cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention. For most nutrition, leave the peel on.

Low Added Sugar

High sugar consumption is not good for health, and in general, most Americans eat way too much. Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (~36 grams) of sugar per day, and women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (~24 grams) of sugar per day. This entire recipe only contains 1 Tablespoon of added sugar, which is just over 1 gram per pancake!

Learn more about hidden sugars in this article.

Serving Suggestions

Hold the pancakes in a warm oven (170 ºF) or the warm setting in a microwave until ready to eat. Serve with Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts/nut butter, or a side of scrambled eggs for a balanced breakfast full of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

How to Store Leftover Pancakes

Want healthy apple pancakes every morning? Cook once, and eat all week! Multiply the recipe by your desired final yield, cook, and cool. Place cooled pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Frozen apple pancakes are great for a quick “reheat and eat” breakfast. For best quality, place cooled pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze for 1-2 hours, then place in a freezer-safe container. This helps prevent the pancakes from sticking to each other. Reheat in the microwave or toaster until warmed through.

Want the convenience of a pre-made pancake mix so that you can make healthy pancakes whenever you want? Make your own high fiber pancake mix recipe at home by whisking together the first 5 ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the pantry.

Want more recipes featuring apples?

Check out these other delicious recipes!

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon Apple Granola Clusters

Apple “Cupcakes”

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

healthy apple pancakes

Healthy Apple Pancakes

This is a variation of our whole grain pancakes base recipe. These healthy apple pancakes are easy, nutritious, and delicious. Made with white whole wheat flour, apples, and cinnamon, they are the taste of fall!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 -10 pancakes


  • ¾ cup diced (½") apples (~1 medium apple)
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, heat diced apples and water for ~2 minutes until soft. Drain water, but reserve to thin batter if needed. Set apples aside.
  • Heat a griddle or large non-stick pan over medium-low heat. While griddle is heating, in a large bowl, gently whisk flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. If it looks too thick, add a little more buttermilk (buttermilk thickness can vary) or the reserved water from the apples. Add liquid ingredients to the flour mixture. Using a spatula, stir to combine. Gently fold in diced apples. Do not overmix.
  • Lightly grease griddle or pan with non-stick spray or a little butter. Pour ~¼ cup batter onto griddle to create pancakes. Cook until tiny bubbles appear on the surface and edges start to firm up. 
  • Flip and cook ~2 more minutes. You might need to lower the heat as you cook additional batches. Hold in the oven on a warming setting or about 170° F until ready to eat. Enjoy!


Leave the peel on the apples for more nutrition, color, and ease.

Toppings to YOUR taste

  • Diced apple
  • Chopped toasted nuts or seeds
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Maple syrup, honey, or agave
  • Dash cinnamon
Keyword Healthy Apple Pancakes

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