Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix

Breakfast is kind of a big deal around here. It’s not always homemade or hot or perfectly healthy, but I try (insert: overzealous menu planning even for breakfast) to get in a hearty breakfast for the kids most days of the week. Since mornings are a bit hectic (understatement of the year), I need all the help I can get, which is why I rely many times on overnight prep or make-ahead breakfasts like these stovetop steel cut oats, this baked steel cut oat recipe, my sister Em’s famous pancakes that get whipped up the night before, our much-loved oatmeal pancake mix and several others, including many different muffins we pop out of the freezer (here’s a list of all the breakfast recipes we love).

This new recipe is fantastic; the perfect addition to our already much used and adored rotation of recipes. Unlike the oatmeal pancake mix, this version is a tad simpler – flour (100% whole wheat!), baking soda, baking powder, salt and a touch of sugar. The mix is gently combined with buttermilk (don’t worry if you don’t keep it on hand, here’s a list of several simple ways to make your own buttermilk quickly and in a pinch), eggs and coconut oil (or butter).

Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix

Amazingly, these whole wheat pancakes are tender, light and fluffy, as delicious as any pancakes we’ve had. I’ve been making them since about October and they have solidified themselves as a family favorite (not only for breakfast; they make desperate appearances for last-minute dinners, too – please tell me you understand).

I always make the amount shown in the recipe below. The full amount fits perfectly in one of those #10 cans, empty of course, but you could easily halve the recipe, too. It lasts for a month or so (maybe even longer) at room temperature if well-covered and kept in a cool, dry spot. I’m telling you, make-ahead pancake mixes are where it’s at. They make my life easier and all of us very, very happy.

Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix

Yield: Makes about 12 1/2 cups of mix

Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix

I use white wheat I've ground myself which is usually a bit fluffier coming out of the wheat grinder - what I'm saying is, don't pack the flour into the measuring cup, fluff it up, scoop the cup in and level it off with a flat edge (versus shaking it to level). Make sense?


  • 12 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar


  1. Combine all the ingredients together. Store well-covered at room temperature for a month or so.
  2. To make pancakes, mix 2 cups dry pancake mix, 2 large eggs, 3 cups buttermilk* and 4 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil. Mix until just combined (don't overmix!).
  3. Heat a griddle to medium heat and spread about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake (I like to keep the batter fairly thick and spread slightly with the bottom of the measuring cup I scoop with - they'll spread while cooking). Cook for a few minutes on each side, adjusting heat as needed, until cooked through. This will make about 12 pancakes, depending on the specific size.
  4. *Homemade buttermilk is usually quite a bit thinner than storebought buttermilk so if using homemade, you may want to start with 2 cups and add more as needed until the right consistency is reached.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from this recipe on Food Network (used 100% whole-wheat flour, doubled the amounts, changed up the measurements slightly when mixing the pancakes)

42 Responses to Whole Wheat Make-Ahead Pancake Mix

  1. Sara says:

    My coconut oil solidifies when I am mixing the ingredients. Any way to avoid this?

    • Mel says:

      I just keep mixing even if the coconut oil forms little lumps – but I mix for a bit longer to make sure it’s well incorporated. It seems to work out just fine when the liquid is mixed into the pancake mix when we make the pancakes.

  2. Emily M says:

    I have been using this recipe almost weekly since the day you posted it! However, I just recently made a change which I love and wanted to share: instead of using oil, I use four (sometimes five, always heaping) tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce. I would always forget to melt the coconut oil in the rush of the morning and applesauce became a quick alternative. And with a dash of cinnamon added to the mix, the pancakes taste like apple-cinnamon pancakes! (This is especially welcome in our family, as my husband had a family-favorite apple-cinnamon pancake recipe he loved, but I did not love, as its main ingredient was Bisquik. Now we can enjoy a very similar tasting pancake that is made with whole wheat!). You may need to add a bit more buttermilk or soured milk to your liking, as the applesauce does thicken the batter some.

  3. BW says:

    How long ago did you switch to cooking with mostly WW? Were your kids old enough that they had to get used to it? And what about you and your husband – was there a transition period?

    I know you’ve said your family is used to the taste of whole wheat at this point and I didn’t think it’d be so hard for me to get used to it – but it is. I just wonder if it’s that way for everyone.

    Also, have you seen much a difference in the hard white wheat berries you get from your local mill vs the church’s (if you’ve had theirs) or another place in the US?

    Thanks! And thanks for sharing your love of WW with the world…I don’t know if I’d have made the plunge to buy a grain mill without your blog.

    • Mel says:

      It’s been probably 10 years since I’ve started implementing whole wheat into our diet so my kids have mostly had it since they were babies. I grew up eating whole wheat bread so I guess I didn’t have a transition period but Brian, my husband, certainly did. It took him a while to get used to the heartier, sometimes grittier taste of whole wheat. I started by just using part whole wheat in recipes (I didn’t do 100% whole wheat) and gradually as I made them more (like rolls and bread), I started using more whole wheat until we were at 100% for recipes like that. Now my family doesn’t really blink an eye – in fact if I do make something with all white flour they’re kind of like “what’s the occasion?”

      I haven’t noticed a huge difference between the wheat berries I’ve bought all over. For me, it’s more the variety and I always stick with hard white wheat. If you can get your hands on kamut wheat, I think it has a milder flavor and taste…but it isn’t always easy to find.

      Can you start by increasing the whole wheat in your baked goods gradually? I don’t think you are alone in needing a transition period at all!

  4. Jocelyn says:

    We love these pancakes! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Karmen says:

    Hi Mel
    Love your recipes — have made your homemade BBQ sauce/pulled pork twice in the last 2 days — everyone loves it!
    maybe a dumb question re the pancake mix — can you/do you use it for waffles?

    • Mel says:

      Not a dumb question, I was just thinking this same thing, Karmen! I haven’t tried it but plan to do so next week. But my guess is that it will work just fine. Usually waffles need a bit more oil/butter than pancakes but I actually think the amount in this recipe might work out ok. Just keep an eye on potential sticking and either grease your waffle iron or use a few more tablespoons butter/oil in the recipe.

  6. Teresa says:

    These were so tasty. I am so loyal to the oatmeal pancake mix, but wanted to try these. We had them as a fun dinner last night for the holiday since there was no school. Very tender, light, fluffy. Really wonderful, thanks so much.

  7. Loni says:

    Made this for dinner…yes, that’s how we roll sometimes…and it was delicious! Previously I was using another whole wheat pancake recipe that called for powdered milk with the dry ingredients and it was good. But your recipe is better than good, it’s fantastic and fluffy! My new favorite.

  8. We love homemade pancakes on the weekends!

  9. Mimsie says:

    This is just perfect. I was trying to think of something to take to a friend with a newborn (everyone takes lasagna). She serves healthy food to her family, and I know she would love a package of this dry mix that she can use any time. Thanks!!!

  10. Jolie says:

    Made them- loved them! Used 2 cups of homemade buttermilk! Thx Mel

  11. Cari says:

    Fortuitous timing, Mel. I came here today to make the oatmeal pancake mix. Tried this this morning and the family loved them. Thanks!

  12. Sheriece says:

    Brilliant! I used to make the mix that this recipe is based on (from Alton Brown) ALL THE TIME back in my white flour days. They were incredible!!!! It never occurred to me once I made the switch to just use wheat flour! Duh! Can’t wait to try them.
    Also was happy to see that you tried the chicken tikka pizza recipe I sent you! I knew you’d love those! I need to send you the quinoa enchilada casserole I’ve been making. It’s sooooo good!

  13. Wow…grinding your own wheat…impressive…I need to check out your post on that! When I visited KAF’s flagship store a couple of years ago they mentioned that grinding your own flours was on the rise. Love a good make ahead mix…especially one that’s whole wheat!

  14. Love this idea Mel! How much easier can it get?!

  15. Nicole H says:

    Man, I wish my husband liked breakfast for dinner as much as I do… We love your oatmeal pancakes, and always have some of the mix in our fridge. I’m going to try this one now and switch them out. Thanks for helping make hectic mornings and evenings a little less crazy. You’re a sanity saver!

  16. Jen says:

    Would you say you like this recipe or your oatmeal pancake mix better?

    • Mel says:

      I like them both very much – but sometimes it’s nice to change things up. Right now, because these are fairly new (we’ve been making them for a few months), they’re our favorite but I was just thinking I needed to make a batch of oatmeal pancake mix soon, too. 🙂

  17. Jen T says:

    Breakfast for dinner is one of our favorites! We love buttermilk pancakes at our house, but we have never done all whole wheat, just half and half, so I will have to try this. Totally understand crazy mornings with 2 in early morning seminary and 2 younger at my house. Breakfast is super important. Love so many of your breakfast recipes! Thanks Mel!

  18. Carolyn says:

    I’ll have to give these a try, but I have to say I love the oatmeal pancakes. I think the best part is the 1+1+1 formula. 🙂
    Since I make homemade buttermilk maybe this recipe’s “formula” will be 2+2+2. I can handle that!

  19. Stacey says:

    You’ve inspired me to grind some wheat and mix up a batch! I am a bit tired of pulling out all the ingredients each time we want pancakes. Thanks for the reminder that it can be simpler!

  20. Helen says:

    Ahh .. You are reading my mind… I have been wanting to do this … Make a mix for pancakes … Besides the oatmeal mix of course

  21. Teresa R. says:

    I think I’ll try these tonight for dinner. We love breakfast for dinner! We love your oatmeal pancakes so I’m excited to try something new.

  22. I have made your oatmeal pancakes. Your “pancake mixes” are really the only way to make pancakes on weekdays possible. We homeschool but I still have a schedule to keep.
    Do you think you could come up with a cornbread mix? I’ve thought about trying to do it myself but you are just so good at it. 🙂

    • Alice E says:


      I don’t have a cornbread mix recipe, but you might try my method. When the cornbread urge hits, or to prepare for it, I line up some quart jars on the counter with a canning funnel and start measuring dry ingredients using my old standby recipe. Starting with the cornmeal, each jar gets the amount the recipe calls for added to it. When done I have a batch of jars with my mix . Then when I want cornbread, I shake up the ingredients in the jar to mix them and dump them in a bowl. Measure out the liquid ingredients: buttermilk, oil and add the egg in my two cup measure. Then add the liquid to the dry ingredients, mix and bake. It really works as well as mixes from the store and it is nice to have them waiting for me on the shelf. It would work for most recipes, I think, but especially well for the cornbread which uses oil.

  23. Vanessa says:

    Question: I was told that if you grind your own wheat flour you should use it up within a few days. Shouldn’t this be at least kept in the freezer to preserve it?

    • Mel says:

      I generally keep my ground whole wheat flour in the freezer, too, but I don’t have space to keep this pancake mix, also, so in the pantry it goes! I suppose to maintain the most nutritional benefits of whole wheat (because you are right, it does start to lose some of its nutritional value after it is ground), you could freeze it. We move through this mix pretty quickly so I’m fine keeping it at room temperature for a couple weeks.

  24. Mel, just to clarify, does the pan need to be greased first? I always spray my skillet for each pancake, but just got a cast iron skillet, so maybe I won’t need to do that once it’s seasoned?

    • Mel says:

      Good question, Andrea – I use a nonstick electric griddle and never grease it but I suppose that will differ based on what type of pan you are using. A well-seasoned cast iron pan might do the trick but just to be sure, I’d use a tad bit of coconut oil or butter for the first couple pancakes to be sure.

  25. Stephanie B says:

    3 cups of buttermilk sounds like a lot to me, does that really make a thick batter? I guess whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Stephanie – I just added an additional note in the recipe about the buttermilk – storebought buttermilk is so thick that it takes more to get the right consistency. Three cups is perfect for the way I like the consistency of the batter. Homemade buttermilk, however, is usually much thinner and might only take 2 cups. If using homemade buttermilk, I’d start with 2 cups and work up until the batter is just right. I made these this morning (seriously, we are addicted) and ran out of storebought buttermilk after 1 3/4 cups so I just used regular milk for the rest (too lazy and out of time to make buttermilk for the remaining cups) and I think I needed about 1/4 cup less milk overall if that makes sense.

  26. Katie P says:

    eek! How about “THE oatmeal pancakes HAVE been a staple”…. and I use my kitchen scale to WEIGH out ingredients. TGIF!

  27. Natalie says:

    I’d love to know what wheat grinder you use. Thanks!

  28. Katie says:

    Hi Mel! They oatmeal pancakes of been a staple in our house for years! My kids have even started turning their noses to pancakes from restaurants, etc since they aren’t as good as ‘mom’s’!!! Excited to try something new! Do you have any idea how much your one cup of flour weighs? I find using my kitchen scale to measure out ingredients on this large of a scale to be much easier than scooping and leveling 12 cups of flour one at a time.
    Thanks for all you do! Our kitchen is a happier place because of you!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie! I hear you on the scale, it does make things easier. I haven’t weighed the flour for this recipe but my personal standard (and the way I develop other recipes where I am weighing the flour) is 5 ounces per cup so I’d be comfortable using that as a recommendation for this recipe. Hope you guys like them as much as the oatmeal ones (we love those ones, too!).

      • Katie P says:

        Thank you, Mel!! I like nice little formulas… must be the Math Major in me. 🙂 Just used the last of the oatmeal mix this morning so I’ll try this tomorrow!

  29. Sheila says:

    I understand, Mel! Just last week, after a very trying week, I fixed your zephyr pancakes (our favorite) for supper. I needed this delicious, easy, quick, comfort food to indulge in especially since there was no time in the prior 3 weeks to put together a dessert. Your recipes always meet the needs of my family whether it be for healthy, comfort, celebratory, sharing with others, tight budget, extra food money, no time, lots of time or just plain exhausted. I am sure these light and fluffy make-ahead pancakes will be another valuable resource. Excited to try. Thank you for the hard work, time, and love you gift to so many families.

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