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What Are Buckwheat Pancakes?

B. Turner
B. Turner

Buckwheat pancakes are a popular breakfast dish made by using buckwheat flour in place of traditional wheat flour. These pancakes can be served in place of regular pancakes as a breakfast meal or side dish. The buckwheat flour gives the dish a unique, strong flavor that may be described as earthy or nutty. Very thin buckwheat pancakes, or crepes, may also be filled with fruit or chocolate and served as a dessert dish.

Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a grass or grain. It comes from fruit seeds native to Asia, where it has been used to make a variety of food products since 6,000 BC. These seeds resemble sunflower seeds once they have been harvested, and must be ground to produce the flour used to make buckwheat pancakes. Grocery stores often sell pre-ground buckwheat as well as the unground seeds, which users can grind fresh at home.

Buckwheat flour is the main ingredient in buckwheat pancakes.
Buckwheat flour is the main ingredient in buckwheat pancakes.

To make buckwheat pancakes, chefs mix eggs, milk, and oil with buckwheat flour. They then drop spoonfuls of this mixture on a hot griddle or frying pan. The cakes cook for just a few minutes, and then must be flipped so that they cook evenly on each side. Finished buckwheat pancakes have a golden brown appearance, and tend to be much darker than pancakes made from wheat flour. They can range in thickness based on personal preference and cooking style.

Buckwheat pancakes have an earthy, nutty flavor.
Buckwheat pancakes have an earthy, nutty flavor.

While some people consume buckwheat pancakes in their natural state, many add condiments or fruit to the cakes to enhance their flavor. They may be topped with butter and maple syrup, or other flavored syrups like those used on traditional pancakes. Others sprinkle cinnamon or powdered sugar on the cakes, or top them with sliced strawberries or bananas. Buckwheat pancakes may also be prepared with blueberries, chocolate chips, or nuts mixed in with the batter prior to cooking.

These pancakes can be an appealing alternative to wheat pancakes, though some diners may not enjoy their unique taste. Buckwheat pancakes are gluten-free, making them a popular choice for those suffering from Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Individuals with these conditions are unable to consume pancakes made from wheat flour or other types of grains. They also provide many important nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants in the form of flavenoids. Buckwheat is naturally high in fiber and low in fat, and may people control their blood sugar and maintain a healthy heart.

Discussion Comments


I don't worry so much about gluten-free products, but I do like my pancakes to have a little flavor of their own. There's one restaurant in town that serves buckwheat pancakes regularly, and I go there a lot. I've also tried the Aunt Jemima brand buckwheat pancake mix at home and liked it.


When my doctor suggested I cut back on gluten, I was a little depressed because I really love pancakes and other flour-based foods. I reluctantly went to the health food section of my local grocery store and looked for gluten-free products. I was really pleased to find buckwheat pancake mix and buckwheat flour.

I followed the buckwheat pancake recipe on the box and I was very pleased with the results. I usually prefer white flour to anything made with whole grains or darker flour. These gluten-free buckwheat pancakes did have a different flavor than what I was used to, but a little syrup and butter improved things a lot.

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    • Buckwheat flour is the main ingredient in buckwheat pancakes.
      Buckwheat flour is the main ingredient in buckwheat pancakes.
    • Buckwheat pancakes have an earthy, nutty flavor.
      By: Titarenko
      Buckwheat pancakes have an earthy, nutty flavor.