The great conversion: yogurt pancakes and waffles (plus a recipe!)

A favorite breakfast from childhood that is still going strong is homemade pancakes and waffles on the weekend.

No mixes – everything must be from scratch. The recipes my family use are from an early 1970s reprint of the original 1931 version of the Joy of Cooking. (This is a spectacular piece of work. My favorite section still includes how to skin a squirrel complete with illustrations.)

Without exception, real Canadian maple syrup is the best topping to truly appreciate pancakes and waffles.

real Canadian maple syrup

the only acceptable topping

A novel change?

When it came to a waffle/pancake recipe, I was stubborn.

The standard ingredients are flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, eggs, oil or butter and milk. It’s true that I played around with the basic recipe, removing the sugar, adding flax and discovering that skipping the salt is bad.

But I could not imagine a drastic change in ingredients.

edible sculpture

preparing for takeoff

A few years ago, my sister gave me a recipe for *yogurt* pancakes. She enthusiastically shared how good, light, delicious and fabulous they were.

Yogurt? In pancakes? Yuck! Wrong! Never!

A few months ago, my mother gave me a recipe for yogurt pancakes.

What?! Yogurt? In pancakes? Again? No!

don't feed the monkeys sign

After I was fed yogurt pancakes.
Mount Takao near Tokyo

Unsure of what overtook me one Saturday morning, I dragged out that bizarre recipe for yogurt (ewww) pancakes and gave it a shot.


Once again, I was wrong.

Those yogurt pancakes were amazing! Delicious! Incredible! Mind altering! The sky began to sing and the heavens rained down maple syrup!

It is now my mission to spread the word of yogurt pancakes and waffles.

The recipe below is modified from a photocopy with no details on where the original came from. Thanks to Google, I tracked it down to what I believe is the Weight Watcher’s One Pot Cookbook from 2011. (Don’t be scared. The modified version swimming in maple syrup and peanut butter is far from a low-fat breakfast.)

small statue in front of house

The feeling of bliss and joy after eating a great pancake.


feeds two adults and one toddler with some leftover or two very hungry adults

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup white flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Balkan Style full-fat plain yogurt or whatever yogurt you like, as long as it is plain
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 to 5 tbsp 1% or 2% milk
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray
pancake in maple syrup

mmmm…. swimming in syrup


  1. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine.
  2. Place wet ingredients, except for the milk, into a smaller bowl. Whisk together.
  3. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix together. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until you get a batter than can just be poured.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan for the pancakes. You’ll have to fiddle with your stove but I tend to start with 4 (medium low) on an electric stove. If you are making waffles, make sure the iron is very well coated with cooking spray or oil before you heat it up. You have been warned! The non-stick pan for the pancakes does not need any spray or oil.
  5. Once the pan and/or iron is hot, add about 3/4 of a cup of batter each to the pan and/or iron. Add less or more depending on the size of the pan and/or iron and how big (or small) you like your pancakes and waffles.
  6. The general rule with pancakes is to flip when you see bubbles on the surface. That doesn’t work well for this recipe. Check after three minutes and flip if the underside is a lovely shade of warm brown. If not, try again one minute later. For the first pancake, it’s normal to need an extra minute or two. For later pancakes, shorten the time by about 30 seconds per side or lower the heat slightly.
  7. Waffle irons are pretty foolproof. Follow the instructions or give about 4-6 minutes per waffle.
  8. Now get eating! And don’t forget the real Canadian maple syrup! Other toppings could be peanut butter, butter or margarine and/or honey or jam.
berry sauce with icing sugar on top of pancakes

a *very* occasional topping – homemade berry sauce and icing sugar


  • From the beginning, I used high fat Balkan style plain yogurt. This makes for a very thick batter. I stuck with the dough-like batter the first few times before getting annoyed. My solution was to add milk until I got a batter that was just on the verge of pouring. This is very different from a standard pancake batter, which is usually very runny.
  • Use whatever yogurt you like but the runnier the yogurt, the more you will have to adjust the oil and perhaps eliminate the milk. And avoid flavored yogurt. I ran out of plain yogurt one breakfast and substituted strawberry. Awful!

Please tell me in the comments that you live for pancakes and waffles made from scratch with REAL Canadian maple syrup. If you don’t, have you tried or made a great pancake or waffle somewhere in the world?

45 thoughts on “The great conversion: yogurt pancakes and waffles (plus a recipe!)

  1. Sound fab!! And.. we know… anything with maple syrup?? Yum!!!

    I’m usually a buy my favourite pancake mix from Canada, add egg, milk and a dash of oil kinda gal! Then don’t eat pancakes for years…

    However you are inspiring me. I think my baking soda is from 2005 and don’t have any baking powder… and whole wheat flour?! I wonder if chapati atta would work? 🙂

    • Ha ha! Does baking soda go bad? ;D Please try chapati atta! I’d love to hear how it goes. I honestly think just about any grain would work as long as there’s enough gluten and little bits to hold things together?? White flour is fine but I prefer whole wheat. I like the taste and texture… white flour doesn’t have enough weight to it for me.

      • Haven’t put it to the test but I think 12 years lying dormant in a plastic container would be pushing it. 😉 Honestly the flour we get in Canada is quite fabulous in quality, nutrition and price. I’ve seen some whole wheat flour here but it’s expensive. And I’m lazy… with bakeries around the corner… heck we can even get fresh hot pau (local buns) delivered to our door daily. Did I mention lazy???

        • I hear you about lazy! And 12 years for baking soda? Ha ha! Does it still work to put out fires?

          That’s interesting about flour in India! We ran into a dilemma trying to make soba noodles one year. They were a disaster and we suspect it had something to do with the flour combo we used. We couldn’t find something here in Canada that was the same sort of thing easily found in Japan. I had no idea there were so many different types and grades of flour until Hitoshi and I had a “dispute” about flour and gluten quantities for another one of his projects… making ramen noodles from scratch. 😀

          • I’m sure it would still work for fires. 🙂

            And I completely appreciate the flour debate! We have a bewildering range of ‘atta’ (flour) here too… however the kind I would use to make bread in Canada? Nope!

              • Haha! I’m no expert on the different types but the most common are maida and atta. Lots of others too…

                I was just gifted a bread machine and gotta be honest I’m waiting for my trip to Canada next month to get the base ingredients. 😉

                • Yahoo! Bread machines are fantastic. I’ve only used them for making whole wheat bread and dough for an egg bread and they haven’t disappointed. I love being able to throw all the ingredients in and a few hours later, there’s freshly baked bread waiting for me. Apparently, you can make jam and other fancy bits in them, too.

                  • Yeah I just need to get hold of the ingredients. Am staying with a friend in Delhi right now and she uses a bread machine… about to dive into her raison bread for breakfast – yum!!

  2. Your pancakes look delicious ! I also cook everything from scratch. I love to make banana pancakes. I blend oats, peanut butter, banana and milk, eggs. Then I put blueberries and maple syrup on top of it. It’s our favourite post workout treat 🙂

      • We use 60g oats (breakfast oats), 30g peanut butter, 20g protein powder (because we eat that after gym), 2 whole eggs, 1 ripe banana, a little milk to make the right consistency for pancake dough. Then everything in the blender !

        • Sounds good! I don’t think I’ve ever tried protein powder. 😀 That’s something my sister is very fond of… she buys it in gigantic containers! I like the idea of putting pancake batter in the blender! What a good idea… perhaps we’ll have to give this a shot. 😀

          • We bought it in big bags as well, and I often put it in deserts (that’s the only option if I want my boyfriend to eat them)

            We’ve decided to get married in 2017. I remember you posting a post about how much cost a wedding and and stuff…. and I think we are going to be broke :’) I’ve made calculation for a small wedding (just family — but family from abroad so we have to pay for flight tickets)

            • Egads! Yes, weddings are so expensive. I recently saw an article about how the couple got married with only immediate family and then had a huge party several months later with all their friends. They said how it was so much less stressful and perhaps there are ways to cut down on costs that way?? Not sure but I thought it was a neat idea! And here’s to 2017!!!!

              • Oh dear, I’m so sorry for the delay. Life has been so busy starting to plan our wedding and …. damn it, we’ve decided to elope, it was too expensive for us. But even eloping is sooo expensive. Our honeymoon will probably be around Vancouver 🙂

                • Ha ha! Now it’s MY turn to apologize for the delay! I’m a-okay with two month reply turnarounds if you are! 😀 Yehaaah! How is wedding planning going? Yup… I hear you about wedding costs. Is your honeymoon still going to be around Alberta?? ;D

  3. It contains yoghurt so it must be good for you, right? Maple syrup must be good for you too, I reckon – well it is a natural product after all. We do try not to eat anything too fattening these days, but these have to be worth a go. Thanks

    • Yes! I was really shocked how good the yogurt pancakes were. They seem to be lighter and less cakey than the regular version. The only thing I found was having to mix well and not overmeasure the yogurt…. otherwise the yogurt taste was too strong for me. And measuring yogurt is a pain so it was easy for me to use too much the first several times. Do you have a regular weekend breakfast food?

  4. I need to try this one ! We are more on crepes, obviously, being French 😉 But your recipe is too tempting! thanks for sharing

      • yes yes I do! we have the most simple and efficient recipe of the universe! 5mn to make and they are delicious. Let me know if you read French and I ll send you the link, otherwise I ll translate it with pleasure 😛

          • Feel free to ask for the translation 😉 Bon Appetit !

            Temps de préparation : 5 minutes
            Temps de cuisson : 10 minutes

            Ingrédients (pour 2 personnes) :
            – 1 oeuf
            – 1 cuillère à soupe de sucre blanc
            – 1 cuillère à soupe de beurre fondu
            – 150 g de farine
            – 1 bonne cuillère à café de levure
            – 200 ml de lait

            Préparation de la recette :

            Battre grossièrement l’oeuf et le sucre dans un saladier.
            Y rajouter le beurre fondu.
            Mélanger à part la farine et la levure, puis en mélanger la moitié avec la préparation.
            Délayer progressivement avec le lait tout en rajoutant l’autre moitié de farine petit à petit (cela évitera de créer des grumeaux).
            Aucun temps de repos n’est nécessaire, si ce n’est juste le temps de faire chauffer votre poêle à feu moyen.
            A l’aide d’une petite louche ou d’une grosse cuillère à sauce, déposer des “ronds” dans la poêle.
            Lorsque les bulles apparaissent et éclatent, retourner les crepes et ne pas les laisser plus d’une min sur l’autre face.

  5. Pancakes – Yummo! One of my favourite breakfast foods, but I’ve stopped ordering pancakes when we’re dining out for breakfast because some people don’t know how to make them and I’ve had some very bad pancakes over the years. Thanx for the recipe Hilary, I’ll give it a go and let you know how they turn out on this side of the world – but not before I find some authentic Canadian maple syrup to have with them.

        • I don’t know what it is about waffles. Maybe it’s the little pockets that collect everything from syrup to fruit or the crunchy outside with the soft inside or that a waffle seems less cakey than a pancake even though it’s the same amount of batter… waffles will always be my number 1. 😀 I even switched to a waffle recipe for pancakes to make the pancakes more like a waffle.

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