Wheat Germ Pancakes

These Wheat Germ Pancakes are secretly healthy and no one will know it – not even you!

Wheat Germ Pancakes (2 of 3)w

What the heck is wheat germ and why is it in my pancakes? I’ll get to that in a minute.

This recipe is actually a copycat recipe, one I’ve been dying to make forever. There’s a breakfast place in my hometown called Stacks. I have no idea if it’s a chain, but their food is sooooo good! It’s right by my old high school, so on Wednesday mornings, when we had late start, we’d all go to Stacks for breakfast.

When we were 16 and “kidnapping” for birthdays was popular, (did y’all do that? I think it was the worst birthday idea ever, BTW) we’d drag our friends out of bed and force them to Stacks in their PJs. Then they’d have to go to school like that. It happened to me once but, in true Gilmore Girls fashion, my mom warned me.

Anyway, Stacks has these amazing Wheat Germ pancakes on their menu. They’re huge pancakes, as big as plates, and one side is all crunchy from the wheat germ. I doubt those are at all healthy, because they’re made on a griddle, I’m sure with clarified butter or some other really fattening thing. When I made my copycat, I made them healthy.

These are the perfect pancake to eat for breakfast, because even you won’t know they’re not bad for you! And your kids will eat them too. Just don’t tell them the crunchy part is wheat germ…or they might go all Jordan on you.

Wheat Germ Pancakes (1 of 3)w

Okay, so what is wheat germ? According to Dr. Oz, wheat germ is the most vitamin- and mineral-rich part of the wheat kernel. It’s packed with nutrients that are good for you, like Vitamin B, fiber, healthy fatty acids, and more. In my effort to show you some recipes that are a teeny bit healthier to help you with your resolutions, I thought these pancakes would be perfect.

Here are a few reasons why these pancakes are healthier than a traditional pancake:

  • They are made with a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour.
  • While they have oil and sugar, there are only 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of oil. Feel free to cut down on the sugar, if you like.
  • Instead of non-fat milk, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. That saves about 60 calories per cup, BTW. You can use non-fat milk if you prefer, or use soy or coconut.
  • Instead of using all milk, I cut some of the milk with a mashed banana. These are not overly banana-tasting, but it cuts down on the amount of milk you use, and the banana adds some vitamins and natural sweetness.

And then there’s the wheat germ. You add it to the pancakes while they’re on the griddle, so when you flip them the wheat germ gets toasty as the pancake cooks. It gives a nice nutty crunch to the pancake.

There is also 1 tablespoon of baking powder in these pancakes, so they get super fluffy. I love a fluffy pancake! And I add a little vanilla to them, for a depth of flavor. Plus, vanilla is good in pretty much everything!

I love these with syrup, but you can use a reduced calorie or sugar-free one if you prefer. Measure it out, you don’t need much!

Wheat Germ Pancakes (3 of 3)

These are the perfect pancakes for a healthier start to your day. And now I can have my Stacks at home! :)

Wheat Germ Pancakes

Yield: 12 pancakes

Wheat Germ Pancakes


  • 1 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 banana, mashed + enough milk to make 1 1/4 cups (non-fat milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk; I’ve used both with success)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • About 6 teaspoons Wheat Germ


  1. If you’re using a griddle, begin to preheat. I use an electric one and I set it for about 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Mash banana in a large measuring cup. Add a little milk and stir them together, then add more milk until the measuring cup reads 1 1/4 cups. (You will use about 3/4 cup of milk). Whisk in oil, eggs, and vanilla. Then whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  3. Spray your griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle the pancakes one by one onto the griddle. Add 1/2 teaspoon of wheat germ to the top of each pancake and cook until the bottoms are brown. Flip and cook until golden on the bottom. Serve with syrup.
  4. Pancakes can be placed between paper towels and frozen for up to one month. Simply heat in the microwave to unfreeze for a quick breakfast.


*You can use 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and omit the whole wheat flour if you wish.

In between batches (I can only fit 6 pancakes on my griddle at once) clean off the wheat germ that spills onto the griddle when flipping, so it doesn't burn.

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  1. Thanks for the link to my pancakes —eeek!! I cringe at that photography. 4+ years later and Ive since made a few other pancakes that look a little prettier, I hope LOL

    Your pancakes are beautiful and they’re so FLUFFY! I am super impressed by the fluff factor, espi considering there’s wheat flour/wheat germ involved!

    And I love that you used banana in them AND that you have a griddle. I really want one (I just decided that!)

  2. I happen to have a giant jar of wheat germ in my fridge…guess what I’m making today?
    This looks like a great recipe. Pinning it!

  3. These look so fluffy and delicious. I would never guess they are healthy! Love the addition of the banana!
    Tieghan recently posted..A Month’s Worth Of Healthier Football Food + Life Talk.My Profile

  4. I need more “healthy” in my life! These look like just the thing. I’m going to try this next weekend with my kiddos and see if they notice a difference! ;) Pinned!! -love that “Birthday kidnapping” story!!! That makes for good memories.
    Renee @ Two in the Kitchen recently posted..Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee CakeMy Profile

  5. They look so fluffy and delicious! Saw this recipe before eating breakfast so I’m going to go ahead and make them! :D
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker recently posted..Spicy Grilled Garlic Lime Baba Ghanoush { Eggplant Dip }My Profile

  6. Ooooooh!!! These pancakes look amazing, and I LOOOVE how much you healthified them!!

    I never got kidnapped, it’s so good that your mom warned you! *phew*

  7. Love the Gilmore Girl reference. I can picture Paris now. You really look like that when you wake up. I need my pancakes to be fluffy! Love the idea of using wheat germ for some extra healthiness.
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted..Slow Cooker Lemon Pepper ChickenMy Profile

  8. Those are so fluffy!!! I love that you made them healthy with the wheat germ. LOL still laughing about your comment about “going all Jordan on you”. I’m guessing she didn’t like the healthiness ;-)
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..White Chocolate Caramel Granola BarsMy Profile

  9. These pancakes are making me smile Dorothy!
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) recently posted..Light Oreo SmoothieMy Profile

  10. Those sound like amazing pancakes!! I’ve never eaten wheat germ (that I can recall), but I’ll definitely use the excuse of pancakes to try. :) So sweet of your mom to warn you about the birthday kidnapping — I hope you wore your cutest PJs and fuzzy slippers!!
    Amy recently posted..Chocolate Fig SquaresMy Profile

  11. Laurie F. says:

    I can’t wait to try these! Wheat germ was all the rage back in the ’70′s (my oldest sister was a hippie, and really in to “health food” ), but I have never baked with it. These pancakes are gorgeous!

  12. I love wheat germ! This recipe looks wonderful, Dorothy!
    Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs recently posted..Wild Mushroom and Chicken RisottoMy Profile

  13. I can’t say that I have ever (knowingly) eaten wheat germ but I have always wanted to try something with it. I am intrigued that it gives the pancakes a crunch, I think I would like that!
    Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen recently posted..Maple Apple Cheesecake BarsMy Profile

  14. I love the idea of banana and almond milk in pancakes. Sounds delish.
    Jenn@eatcakefordinner recently posted..Coconut Oil Honey “Butter”My Profile

  15. I really need to use more wheat germ – and these look like the BREST way to do that
    Heather @ French Press recently posted..Red Velvet Hot CocoaMy Profile

  16. I just love coming to your blog! You always make such wonderful and healthy recipes that I crave – as well as your awesome pictures!

  17. These look DELISH! Ya know, I don’t use wheat germ that often but this made me reconsider. Anything with pancakes sounds good to me!:)
    Heather @ The Soulful Spoon recently posted..My Green Recovery Story on Choosing RawMy Profile

  18. I actually love the flavor of toasted wheat germ, and I’m guilty of throwing wheat germ into lots of random baked goods. Plus I almost always sprinkle some on top of banana bread loaves before sticking them in the oven–so I’m sure I’d love these pancakes!

  19. I love hiding healthy. These look perfect, Dorothy. Wheat germ has a lovely nutty flavor. Yum! Pinned.

  20. I can’t wait to try these, Dorothy! Love all the healthy swaps you made.

    Also, love your high school’s birthday tradition, although I’d hate it if it happened to me :)
    Megan – The Emotional Baker recently posted..Cinnamon Bear White Chocolate CookiesMy Profile

  21. I love these! Totally took me back to the day of kidnapping-hadn’t thought of that in years! Seriously, what a terrible idea! Thanks for bringing back the memories and these fluffy pancakes!
    Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon recently posted..Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese SoupMy Profile

  22. where do I find wheat germ in the store–have never seen it!

  23. “They might go all Jordan on you” -> your posts never crease to make me smile, Dorothy! Haha, I wasn’t really sure what wheat germ was, but now I do! (learn something new every day:) I am also a huge fan of fluffy pancakes and I’m impressed you got these fluffy, but still with whole wheat and wheat germ. What a fantastic way to start off the morning!
    Mary Frances recently posted..Salted Chocolate Coconut PopcornMy Profile

  24. Love how light and fluffy these pancakes are! Perfect way to make breakfast healthier!
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction recently posted..Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Granola BitesMy Profile

  25. I love wheat germ for the crunch and flavor. As a kid, I ate it like cereal in a bowl with milk! Adding some nutty crunch to some fluffy pancakes sounds (and looks) delicious!
    Wendy recently posted..Caramelized White Chocolate BiscottiMy Profile

  26. Oooh, look at you being all healthy! I love it! :D These pancakes sound awesome. Totally something I’d make and love!

    And kidnapping for birthdays? Haha. That does indeed sound awful!
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking recently posted..100% Whole Grain Pancake MixMy Profile

  27. Oh my gosh! I totally forgot about kidnapping! I was kidnapped on my birthday which was CRAZY since I lived 40 minutes away from anyone else. LOL! These pancakes look killer girl. Healthy AND fabulous – LOVE!
    Trish – Mom On Timeout recently posted..Creamy Parmesan Corn ChowderMy Profile

  28. I am flipping pancakes for my kiddos several times a week. I am totally trying these soon!
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme recently posted..Bruschetta Chicken Salad WrapsMy Profile

  29. I LOVE this post, from top to bottom! The photos are amazing. This concept of a crunchy-sided pancake is totally unique to me, and I think it sounds brilliant. AND I love that it’s a copycat from a place you went in high school! So awesome!
    Ashton recently posted..Red Velvet BrookiesMy Profile

  30. Oh I’m going to have to try these! I have everything to make them. And what a fun birthday memory!
    Kathy recently posted..Lemony Lentil SoupMy Profile

  31. Can you replace the vegetable oil and sugar to make these healthy? If so, what would you suggest? Also, would all wheat flour work – omitting the white flour?

    • I’ve never tried them with all whole wheat, whenever I do that things get funky. But it could just be because I’m not used to doing it. You could definitely cut the sugar down about a tablespoon if you want, or sub honey or even splenda. The oil, hmmm. You need something that will keep it from sticking. You could try coconut oil, I bet! Let me know if you make any subs and how they work out!

  32. I couldn’t for the world of me figure out what to do with the wheat germ I bought months ago, but this sound perfectly delicious! They look great!

  33. Totally love your pancake. Most fluffy pancake I’ve ever had. I’ve tried several recipe and looks like your proportions result in the best pancakes I’ve had. It does have a strong banana taste but that’s ok. Because of you, I’ve learned about wheat germs. I bought the raw wheat germs and roasted it myself on the pan before using it on the pancakes. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  34. I’m pregnant and was craving some healthy pancakes. This recipe was super delicious and now I think I may prefer wheat overregular pancakes, not only for health reasons but taste as well. I didn’t have a banana so I used applesauce and added vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg with success. Thanks for helping this pregnant woman out and keep up the great recipes.

  35. Lauracatherine says:

    I loved this recipe! Just out of habit I substituted two tbsp applesauce flee the veg oil and it turned out perfect still. My husband and son absolutely loved them. Thank you!


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  3. […] Recipe slightly adapted from Crazy for Crust Nutrition Information Serving size: 3 pancakes Calories: 380 Fat: 12.3 […]

  4. […] I added graham cracker crumbs to the top of the pancake while cooking, similarly to when I made my Wheat Germ Pancakes back in January. It adds a little graham cracker flavor to the pancake and because they fry up with […]

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