Healthy Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes
Yields: 20 small silver dollar pancakes
These pancakes are moist and fluffy with lots of bright sunshiny flavor and poppy seeds in every bite! They taste very similar to lemon poppy seed muffins (my childhood favorite muffin flavor!). These pancakes reheat well and will keep if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 5 days (if not longer). They also freeze well!
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp (135g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 2 ¼ tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp (8g) freshly grated lemon zest (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (120mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium)
  • ¼ cup (60mL) nonfat milk
  • 2 tbsp (30mL) water
  • optional: drizzle, for serving (see Notes—highly recommended!)
  1. Whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg white, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain. Stir in the lemon juice. Stir in the milk. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the water, beginning and ending with the flour, stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.)
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick pan or griddle with nonstick cooking spray, and briefly preheat over low heat.
  3. Using a scant 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake, dollop the batter onto the hot pan, and spread into a circular shape using a spatula or back of a spoon (if desired). Let the pancakes cook for 2-3 minutes, or until a slight skin starts to form around the edges. Slide a spatula underneath, and flip. Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Re-coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and repeat with the remaining batter.
Notes: For the gluten-free flour, I recommend the following blend: ½ cup (60g) millet flour, ½ cup (60g) tapioca flour, 2 tbsp (15g) brown rice flour, and ½ teaspoon xanthan gum. Many store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) will work as well, if measured like this.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted in place of the white whole wheat flour.

Remember to measure the flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much will dry out your pancake batter.

For the best lemon flavor, use lemons that are pure yellow with no green spots. Use the full amount of zest! The zest actually provides the majority of the citrus flavor, so don’t skip or reduce it.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

These pancakes aren’t overly sweet—and that’s intentional! Because my family usually covers their pancakes in lots of maple syrup, I found that adding more to the batter was completely unnecessary. However, if you prefer sweeter pancakes, increase the maple syrup by 2-4 tablespoons, and omit the water. (If using more than 2 additional tablespoons of maple syrup, then reduce the milk by the same amount as well. For example, if using an extra 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, omit the water and use just 2 tablespoons of milk.)

Remember… Thick batter = thick pancakes. Thin batter = thin pancakes. However, when you add thick batter to your pan, it doesn’t spread, so you’ll need to spread it a bit yourself using a spatula, the back of a spoon, or the bottom of a measuring cup to get that nice, circular pancake shape.

For thicker pancakes, decrease the water by 2 tablespoons, or omit it altogether.

For thinner pancake batter, add more water or milk until you achieve your desired pancake batter consistency.

This recipe is easily doubled to make more. If you have any leftovers, they freeze really well too!

Optional Drizzle: Stir together 2 tablespoons (18g) confectioners’ style erythritol and 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice or milk (any kind!) in a small bowl. Transfer to a zip-topped bag, cut off a tiny piece of one corner, and drizzle over the pancakes.

For more cooking tips, see the blog post above, as well as the text and pictures in this blog post of mine.

{gluten-free, clean eating, low fat, low sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at