Oct 212012

“Marissa, just so you know, this is the best smelling thing you’ve ever made”.  Actual words spoken by my boyfriend while I was making these pancakes today.  I’d like to think that I’ve made some pretty great-smelling things in my day, so this was a bold statement.  After apple picking last week, I’ve been struggling to settle on a way to use my beautiful apples, and finally settled on a healthy-ish apple pancake recipe.  So here they are: whole wheat apple-cinnamon pancakes with apple pecan topping…that taste just as good as they smell (or maybe even better).  

I have to admit I’ve never actually made pancakes from scratch before.  Usually “homemade” versions of things require a ton of extra time and effort, but that’s luckily not the case for pancakes.  The batter came together so quickly and allow for more freedom and variations than boxed mix.  The sauteed apple-pecan topping for these was key to really bring out the apple flavor and add a little crunch and nuttiness.  

Nutritional Highlights:  The phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor a way is not totally ridiculous.  Apples have phytonutrients that help regulate blood sugar and also are a great source of fiber.  These pancakes are made mostly with whole wheat flour to add fiber and healthy whole grains.  I used low fat buttermilk and skim milk to keep the fat low.  The nuts in the topping also add a little bit of protein and healthy fats.  Can’t say anything good about maple syrup though…except for how it tastes on the pancakes.  

whole wheat apple-cinnamon pancakes with apple-pecan topping

adapted from Ellie Krieger


  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used 1 tablespoon brown sugar instead because I was out of honey)
  • 2 medium apple, separated (one small dice, one thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat four
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for the topping)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Pure maple syrup for topping


Preheat the oven to 250. Put the diced apple in a microwave-safe bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap; microwave on high until softened, about 1.5-2 minutes.  Carefully uncover and put it in the freezer while you make the batter so it will cool.  
In a large bowl, whisk the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, nonfat milk, eggs and honey, then slowly add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.  Finally, add the cooled apple chunks.  
For the topping: Heat one skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tspn butter or cooking spray and add the thinly sliced apple.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and let saute, stirring occasionally, while you’re working on the pancakes.  
For the pancakes: Heat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Put a little butter or cooking spray on the griddle.  Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until the tops are bubbly and the edges are dry, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, about 2 more minutes. Keep the pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven while making the rest.
Once the pancakes are done, hopefully the sauteed apples are soft and warm as well.  Toss in the toasted pecans.  
Place 2 pancakes on each plate. Top with the apple-pecan mixture and drizzle with maple syrup.

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