It doesn’t get much better than a warm stack of pancakes on a weekend morning. I’ve loved them ever since I was a wee Dana and they were the only thing my mom could coax me out of bed with in the morning before school. It may have been pitch black outside and my body was fighting with all its might to remain at rest, but if I knew there was a hot stack of pancakes waiting for me I would somehow muster the energy to get to the breakfast table – sometimes crawling. Well this is embarrassing, but when I was in grade school I was such a morning hater that my mom used to bundle me up in my blanket and carry me – yes carry me – to the kitchen where I’d sit slumped over on a breakfast bar stool. This proves three things: 1) my 5 foot 2 inch mother is saint, 2) I was an extremely spoiled child, and 3) pancakes have always been there for me.
These pancakes are less like a traditional pan- “cake” and more of a griddle cake, which is defined as “a flat cake of thin batter fried on both sides on a griddle.” They’re similar to a pancake but the batter is thinner and they’re not as sweet – more hearty, if you will. Plenty of whole wheat flour, oats, a touch of butter and sugar, an egg, and some buttermilk. These are about as minimalist as they come, just the way I like it.
And the compote? Amazing. Warm blueberries with orange juice and zest and a touch of sugar. I considered adding an herb but it just didn’t seem right. When you have a good thing going don’t be tempted to throw in more “things” just for the sake of being exotic. Sometimes all you need are the basics (most of the time as far as I’m concerned).
How do they taste? These griddle cakes are all kinds of delicious – light in texture, slightly less fluffy than a pancake, not overly sweet and seriously satisfying. The blueberry orange compote is the perfect addition to make this a complete meal. Syrup is certainly optional, but if it’s the weekend, I say go for it.
Whole Wheat Griddle Cakes with Blueberry Orange Compote
- 3/4 heaping cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or sub half whole wheat and half all purpose flour)
- 1/2 cup oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)
- 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar)
- 2 Tbsp butter (melted)
- 1 large egg (slightly beaten)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
- 1 medium orange (zested)
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- Preheat griddle to medium heat and place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add blueberries, sugar, orange juice and orange zest and bring to a simmer, mashing the berries with the back of a spoon. Once warm, bubbly and thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients separately and combine the two, stirring until just combined.
- Spoon scant 1/4 cup measurements onto the lightly greased griddle and cook until bubbles form on top and the edges appear slightly dry - the underneath should be golden brown (about 2 minutes).
- Flip and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes more or until golden brown underneath.
- Serve warm with orange blueberry compote and maple syrup.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.