These healthy Pumpkin Pancakes are made with whole wheat flour. Take them to the next level with the praline crunch topping made from nuts and pumpkin seeds. A wholesome breakfast recipe without refined sugar and full of fall flavor.
These healthy pumpkin pancakes are great any time of year, but especially perfect for a cozy brunch in a Fall weekend.
The pancakes have a delicious pumpkin flavor thanks to pumpkin puree and warm pumpkin pie spices. Although being made with part whole wheat flour the pumpkin pancakes are light and fluffy thanks to buttermilk in the batter. Additionally the egg whites are separated and whipped up, before being folded into the batter.
Though optional, I highly recommend making the praline crunch topping with walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and coconut sugar. It gives the soft pancakes a perfect crunchy texture contrast.
Ingredients + Substitutions
For the healthy pumpkin pancakes:
- whole wheat flour
- all-purpose flour - I am using part white flour to lighten up the pancakes. Alternatively you can use only white whole wheat flour for both
- baking powder
- pumpkin pie spice - store bought or homemade, or use a variety of warm baking spices you have on hand like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg
- eggs - separated; whipping the egg whites separately before folding into the batter makes this pumpkin pancake batter extra aerated and fluffy
- buttermilk - or make your own by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice/vinegar to dairy or alternative milk of choice (like almond milk) and let sit to thicken for 5-10 minutes
- pumpkin puree
- coconut sugar - or natural brown sugar like muscovado or demerara
- coconut oil - olive or avocado oil, or melted butter can be used instead
For the praline crunch topping:
- walnuts - or pecans; in pieces or chopped
- pumpkin seeds - also called pepitas
- coconut sugar - or unrefined cane/brown sugar
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. Separate the eggs, and mix the egg yolks with the remaining wet ingredients.
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir together the wet and dry mix. Then add the beaten egg whites and fold in gently.
- Cook the pumpkin pancake batter on a lightly greased griddle or sauté pan.
- To make the praline crunch toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Then melt the coconut sugar in a pan and stir in the toasted nuts.
- Spread mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and let cool. Then break into small pieces.
- Serve the healthy pumpkin pancakes with the praline crunch topping and a maple syrup drizzle.
Store leftover pumpkin pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat individual pancakes in the toaster.
If there is any praline crunch left, store it separately - also air tight but in a cool, dry place. It will last for weeks unless it gets humid.
Use buttermilk (or homemade alternative) as the liquid in your pancake batter. The acidity will react with the leavening agent to give your pancakes extra rise.
Additionally, take the time to separate the eggs and whip the egg whites. Fold them into the remaining batter at the very end. This way you end up with very light, aerated pancake batter that results in extra fluffy pancakes.
As always this depends on your specific health goals. I call these pumpkin pancakes healthy because they are more nutritious being made with part whole wheat flour, coconut oil and unrefined (coconut) sugar as the sweetener.
This recipe calls for buttermilk. Any milk or dairy alternative of choice can be substituted. I still recommend turning it into homemade buttermilk though by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar per cup of milk and letting it sit to thicken.
Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs separated
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil
Praline Crunch Topping
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- In a bowl blend together the dry ingredients: whole wheat and all-purpose flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoon salt
- Separate the eggs into 2 different mixing bowls.2 large eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, ⅔ cup pumpkin puree, ¼ cup coconut sugar, ¼ cup coconut oil
- To the bowl with the egg yolks add the remaining wet ingredients: pumpkin puree, buttermilk, melted coconut oil + coconut sugar.
- Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Add the dry to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Gently fold in egg whites.
- Heat a lightly greased griddle or non-stick pan to medium-low.
- Pour ¼ cup portion of batter per pancake and cook until edges are set and bubbles form. Flip and continue cooking until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter.
To make the Praline Crunch
- Roast walnuts and pumpkin seeds in a pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside.¼ cup walnuts, 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Turn heat to low. While stirring, melt the coconut sugar until pale and creamy. Add the toasted nuts + seeds and stir to combine.2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- Spread on a piece of parchment. Once fully cooled break into small bits.
- Serve the healthy pumpkin pancakes topped with the praline crunch topping and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.