Sunday Pancakes

Sunday Pancakes can be a great family tradition, and sneaking in some healthy grains isn’t a bad thing either.

Years ago, I started a simple family food tradition. We lived in Europe, and I wanted to share with my children a tradition from my childhood: Sunday pancakes. Not Swedish pancakes, not French crepes, but good old American-style pancakes doused with maple syrup.

Each Sunday, I would make our pancakes from scratch (no such thing as a mix in Europe), and my children would help out, stirring the batter, flipping the cakes, and arguing over who would stand on the stool next to the stove. Eventually my children didn’t need a stool, and then they lost interest in making the pancakes, but they never lost interest in eating them.

We moved from Switzerland to London and eventually to Copenhagen, and with each move, we packed our belongings, our memories and our family traditions, only to unpack and arrange them in our new home, carefully placing and comforting ourselves with the familiar, while reassuring ourselves with our rituals. The first morning we woke in our new house, we would make Sunday pancakes, even if it was Monday or any other day, because some rituals are that important.

I still make Sunday pancakes from time to time. Whenever I can, I try to slip some healthy grains into the batter, because, after all, that’s the motherly thing to do. Sometimes I substitute a little almond flour, whole-wheat or kamut flour in the mix. The whole-grain flours add a nuttier density to the pancakes, while the almond flour is lighter. Fortunately, all of these substitutions have passed the Sunday morning pancake taste-test. (It can be tricky messing with a family tradition, after all.)

In this recipe, you can simply omit the whole-wheat or almond flour and use a total of 2 cups all-purpose flour, if desired.

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Lynda Balslev is the co-author of “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” (Gibbs Smith, 2014). Contact her at TasteFood, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to Or visit the TasteFood blog at

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