Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes

These healthy pumpkin pancakes are made with rolled oats and pumpkin spices, and come out hearty and satisfying. Perfect for fall mornings!

Healthy pumpkin pancakes

Alex and I were college sweethearts. We spent a fair amount of that time long distance: summers, since I lived in Minnesota and he lived in Indiana. Half of my junior year I studied abroad in Madrid and he stayed in the US. It was hard, and I remember thinking often, “When will we ever just be able to be together?” It’s ironic because as much as we were apart then, we are together now, running a business together and co-parenting our 2 year old.

It takes a unique working relationship to be husband and wife business owners. At times we disagree and get stressed, of course. But 100% of the time, we love it. Sometimes it’s easy to forget when you’re in it, but we’re living in what used to be a distant dream! And that distant dream may also have included pumpkin pancakes for breakfast on fall mornings. That’s where these healthy pumpkin pancakes come in!

Related: Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Healthy pumpkin pancakes

What makes these healthy pumpkin pancakes?

So, what makes these healthy pumpkin pancakes? We’ve used our favorite trick and made oatmeal pancakes! For us, eating pancakes for breakfast is usually just an excuse to eat cake. Right? Standard pancakes are fluffy and sweet, and we both get hungry a few hours later. Instead, these healthy pumpkin pancakes are made with rolled oats (oat flour) instead of all-purpose flour. This makes them heartier and more filling than a normal all-purpose flour and sugar pancake. And the oats provide lots of nutritional benefits (see more below)!

These pancakes are more like eating oatmeal for breakfast than cake! You’ll notice that that there’s just a bit of cornstarch to provide a lightness that helps to offset the denseness of the oats. Another healthy spin is we’ve cut back the sugar level. These healthy pancakes are sweetened just enough with maple syrup, which sweetens more gently than sugar.

Healthy pumpkin pancakes

How to make healthy pumpkin pancakes

Due to the denseness of the oats, these pumpkin pancakes are not as light and fluffy like a typical pancake. Instead, they are hearty and filling! They feature both pumpkin puree and pumpkin spices, like in your favorite pumpkin spice coffee.

Here’s how to make these healthy pumpkin pancakes (see the recipe below for full quantities):

  • If using rolled oats, grind the oats in a food processor for about 1 minute until oat flour forms.
  • Mix together the dries: oat flour, gluten-free (or whole-wheat flour), cornstarch, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves.
  • Mix together the wet ingredients: eggs, maple syrup, pumpkin, milk and butter.
  • Mix the wets and the dries. Scoop batter onto a greased griddle and cook until golden on both sides.
Pumpkin pancakes

Nutrition benefits of oats

There are lots of great things about eating these healthy pumpkin pancakes. Since they are made mostly of oats, they bring all the benefits of eating a big bowl of oatmeal. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, oats:

  • Are high in fiber
  • Can reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Can be helpful for weight control

Alex and I eat lots of oatmeal in our household, so we love that this trick turns it into something that looks like a pancake but has all the benefits of oatmeal.

How to freeze and reheat pancakes

These pumpkin pancakes can easily be frozen for later and are perfect for reheating on busy mornings. To freeze, let them cool to room temperature before laying them on a baking tray. Stick the baking tray in the freezer; once the pancakes are hard enough not to get squished, stack them in a freezer bag. To reheat the frozen pancakes, warm them in the toaster or microwave.

Healthy pumpkin pancakes

This healthy pumpkin pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free.

Print
Healthy pumpkin pancakes

Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 large pancakes 1x

Description

These healthy pumpkin pancakes are made with rolled oats and pumpkin spices, and come out hearty and satisfying. Perfect for fall mornings!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats or oat flour (see Step 1)
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (or coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. If using rolled oats, make oat flour by placing the oats in a food processor and processing until finely ground.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: oat flour, gluten-free or whole-wheat flour, cornstarch, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and milk. Pour into the dry ingredients, then add the melted butter and stir to combine. The batter should be thick but just pourable. If not pourable, add a small bit of milk to lighten the batter and stir again.
  4. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off any extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet to medium heat. Pour the batter into small circles and fry the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top. Then flip and heat until cooked through and lightly browned.
  5. Serve the pancakes with maple syrup and other toppings of your choice (maple-sweetened Greek yogurt, chopped pecans, and so forth). 

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: healthy pumpkin pancakes, gluten free pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pancakes

Looking for pumpkin recipes?

Here are a few of our favorite pumpkin recipes, from penne to oatmeal cookies!

Last updated September 2019

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

22 Comments

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    October 6, 2014 at 2:56 am

    That mascarpone is catching my eye in a huge way!! Holy delicious!!

  • Reply
    Megan
    October 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I have some leftover pumpkin and these are going to be perfect to make. Beautiful photos!

  • Reply
    shanna mallon
    October 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Wise words. While we live in a half-renovated house and I keep dreaming of “when the kitchen is finished..” it’s easy to forget how much I dreamed for and longed for the day when Tim and I would live in the same house and see each other every day, kitchen or not. I had this lightbulb over the weekend that one day I will probably look back on the sweet days in our house where we picnicked in the living room and ate cereal out of paper bowls and feel nostalgic.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    October 6, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I’m not a coffee drinker so I miss out on the whole pumpkin-spiced-latte craze. So I’m loving this recipe — a great way to work pumpkin into my breakfast routine!

  • Reply
    Ale
    October 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    This look amazing! Love your pics!

  • Reply
    sara
    October 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Wonderful reminder to practice contentedness – thank you.

    And mascarpone with maple syrup?! Umm, yes please!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    October 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    What a sweet post and awesome to get a glimpse into your history together and your dreams. You’re right though, it’s a challenge sometimes to raise above it all and see what a blessing our life is now even though we’re still going after some dreams. Looks like you’re in a pretty good spot. ;-) And these pancakes look delicious. Hello fall!!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy
    October 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    You had me at maple mascarpone!

  • Reply
    Jess
    October 7, 2014 at 6:30 am

    This looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table
    October 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I appreciate the beautiful story, as well as the recipe. Having lived apart from my partner for four months, I truly could not wait for when I would get to wake up to his face every morning. Everything else seemed extra. But now, that we spend so much time together and get to share in more than just morning rituals, I realize just what a boon it is to really share your life with someone. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lucie
    October 8, 2014 at 8:58 am

    These look delicious, will definitely give these a go! Please check out my website, http://juicyluciefoods.blogspot.co.uk/ :) x

  • Reply
    Beth
    October 8, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Just made the pumpkin pancakes for my family (I wanted the bowl of maple mascarpone for myself!). Delicious on a cool Minnesota fall day! Everyone loved them! Question: Can you explain the amount of cornstarch?
    Thank you for your inspiring blog and recipes. I make your recipes often and each one has been a hit; all winners! I’m constantly telling my friends to look you up!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    October 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Anyone tried pre-making this batter and storing overnight? My boyfriend and I are zombies in the morning but I’d love to wow him with this before a Saturday trip to the farmers’ market!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Patricia – great idea! We have not tried making this overnight, but we did notice the longer the batter sat, the thicker it got. So if you did store overnight, you’d probably have to thin it out with some milk in the morning. Another idea is to mix up all the dry ingredients, and then just combine with the wets in the morning (I suppose you could even combine the wets the night before and keep them separate; I’m not sure if the butter would harden in the refrigerator or not!). Let us know if you try it out.

  • Reply
    Grace
    October 18, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I make pumpkin pancakes practically every week in the fall. As far as GF pancakes go, they seem to hold up the best. It certainly is strange how by the time we achieve was used to be a distant dream, so often we’re onto the next that we barely take the time to stop and realize it.

  • Reply
    Annie
    October 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I love this post and it resonates so much with many things I’ve been thinking about lately. I’m always doing more and working forward in so many areas but at the same time feeling incredibly grateful that now we are really at the place we used to talk about as though it were light years away. So crazy how it has happened. Miss you both – we have to get together soon!

  • Reply
    Purely Elizabeth
    October 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Wow! These are so perfect for fall. I will have to try this recipe out. May sprinkle some granola on top to add a little crunch :)

  • Reply
    Raja Makan
    February 16, 2015 at 3:09 am

    even without gluten and free sugar so best breakfast for diet. The taste still amazing. Thank you for the recipe :)

  • Reply
    Janna Matthies
    October 16, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Hey Sonja and Alex,
    We are big fans of the PSL (there’s an orange stain on our rug from one spilled many years ago…evidence! And makes me glad you don’t add orange food coloring to your pancakes…). I so appreciate how your recipes move us through the seasons and that you’re willing to do gluten-free experimentation for those of us who need GF but aren’t as inspired in the kitchen. Thanks, and look forward to watching more of those “little” dreams come true.

  • Reply
    Beth
    October 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

    About to make the pumpkin pancakes again, but questioning the amount of cornstarch. Is 1/4 cup necessary? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Amy
    October 9, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I made these a few times and hey keep
    Coming out thick
    Like cake . I’ve tried to thin out with milk :(

    • Reply
      Sonja
      October 9, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Yes, thin the batter out if it is too thick — that is perfect! Also, try not to let the batter sit too long — it usually thickens up after sitting.

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