This is a variation of our whole grain pancakes base recipe. Fall is the season of all things pumpkin. Whole wheat pumpkin pancakes are super easy and you get to control the ingredients that go into your body! Add pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to our whole grain pancake batter to make a delicious autumn breakfast!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
Once you learn how to make pumpkin spice pancakes at home, you will realize how easy it is to make a fun, tasty, and balanced breakfast!
Be sure to measure the flour correctly. Fluff, spoon, and level! Packing it into the cup creates dense pancakes. 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!
Don’t overstir! Too much mixing can result in tough pancakes which is not what you want when making fluffy pumpkin pancakes. Stir gently until all ingredients are just moistened; the batter should be slightly lumpy.
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 have time to make the batter in the morning? Whisk the batter together the night before and give it a gentle stir in the morning. Now all you have to do is heat the griddle and get cooking!
If you have kids, have them help you make these easy pumpkin pancakes. It keeps them distracted from their hunger while they help cook, and they have fun measuring, mixing, and sprinkling! Older kids can even help flip the pancakes!
- 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. If you don’t have white whole wheat flour, you can substitute half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, although this will slightly decrease the fiber content.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: substitute cinnamon or apple pie spice. Or make your own pumpkin pie spice!
- Buttermilk: substitute kefir or homemade buttermilk. To make your own buttermilk, combine 1 cup 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 pumpkin pancakes, use soy milk.
- Pumpkin Puree: substitute any other fruit or vegetable puree – sweet potato, butternut squash, mashed banana, or applesauce. Just keep in mind that they will no longer be pumpkin pancakes!
- Butter: substitute coconut oil or canola oil. However, there’s just no replacing the flavor of butter!
- Brown Sugar: substitute cane sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave. Mix liquid sweeteners in with the wet ingredients.
- Egg: substitute a flax egg to make your pumpkin pancakes vegan. To make a flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 3 Tablespoons water. Let sit for 10 minutes until thickened.
- Vanilla: omit if needed.
We love buying our spices from The Spice House. Click on the picture below to view & try out hundreds of flavorful spices and herbs!
Add any toppings of your choice – diced fresh fruit, coconut flakes, flaxseeds, toasted nuts, nut butter, mini chocolate chips, etc. Feel free to mix into the batter, add during cooking, or garnish at the end. Pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes are one of our favorite variations!
Turn these into pumpkin 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.
Want to make gluten free pumpkin pancakes? Substitute a gluten-free flour blend or use ground gluten-free oats (note that they might not be as fluffy).
Want to make pumpkin 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. Top with nuts or nut butter for an added protein boost.
Need some pancake recipe inspiration?
Use our whole grain pancakes base recipe to make this recipe to your taste, or check out some of our other variations!
You just need a few pieces of kitchen equipment for this easy pancake recipe:
- Can Opener
- Scoop Spatula
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- ¼ cup Portion Scoop
- Wide Turner/Spatula
Are whole wheat pumpkin pancakes healthy?
Ours are! These pumpkin buttermilk pancakes are full of nutritious ingredients that will keep you satisfied and energized for hours: whole wheat flour, low-fat buttermilk, low added sugar, and pumpkin puree.
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. (1)
The words butter and milk imply that this liquid is a high-fat, creamy beverage, but actually, buttermilk doesn’t contain any butter! It was traditionally the liquid left behind after churning butter, but nowadays, food manufacturers have altered the process by culturing and fermenting milk to create a sour-tasting dairy product. Therefore, buttermilk contains many of the healthy nutrients found in milk: calcium, protein, and B vitamins.
Less Added Sugar than Leading Brands
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. (2) This entire recipe only contains 1 Tablespoon of added sugar, which is just over 1 gram per pancake! Adding fruit puree to the mix can also increase the sweetness of the recipe, while also providing beneficial nutrients.
Learn more about hidden sugars in this article!
Pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene, fiber, and potassium. These nutrients promote immune function, gut health, good cholesterol, and normal blood pressure. Be sure to purchase pure pumpkin puree and not canned pumpkin pie filling, as this contains added sugar.
Serving Suggestions for Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Hold the pancakes in a warm oven (170 ºF) or the warm setting in a microwave until ready to eat. Serve with Greek yogurt, nuts or nut butter, or a side of scrambled eggs for a balanced breakfast full of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
How to Store Leftover Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
Want whole grain pancakes from scratch 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 whole grain 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 a toaster until warmed through and enjoy pumpkin pancakes for one!
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 6 ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the pantry.
Want more fall-inspired recipes?
Check out these other delicious recipes!
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Dash salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup toasted chopped pecans
- Pure maple syrup
- Heat a griddle or large non-stick pan over medium-low heat. In a large bowl, gently whisk flour, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, butter, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture. Whisk until just combined. Do not over mix. If the batter looks too thick, add a little more buttermilk (buttermilk thickness can vary).
- Lightly grease griddle or pan with non-stick spray or a little butter. Place ~¼ cup batter onto the griddle to create pancakes. Cook until tiny bubbles appear on the surface and the 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 (~170° F) until ready to eat. Garnish with desired toppings to taste. Enjoy!