Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes {Guest Post}

February 10, 2014 51 Comments »

Every morning, my one-year-old daughter greets me with a smile and exuberantly exclaims, “mama, breakfast, pancakes!”. As you might have guessed, pancakes are truly the way to her heart and a staple for breakfast in our household.

In my pursuit to provide a wholesome, nutritious breakfast and simultaneously fulfill her request for pancakes, I’ve tested dozens of pancake recipes. While I love cooking from scratch, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to take a little help from the store when you need it.

As a busy mom with a hungry child who hasn’t quite grasped the concept of patience, I can’t usually spare 45 minutes to prepare pancakes. So, I have actually found the best solution for a quick and healthy pancake breakfast is a combination of a prepared mix with a creative twist.

These “heart healthy” semi-homemade pancakes are made with whole wheat pancake mix, infused with cinnamon, and fashioned into heart shapes. Moms can be confident in the added calcium, fiber, and iron, while kids will love the fluffy texture, sweet flavor, and fun heart shapes, perfect for Valentine’s Day, or, just as in our house, perfect for every other day too!

Easy Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipe

Easy Heart Healthy Pancakes


• 2 cups of whole wheat pancake mix of your choice

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

• 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)

• Heart-shaped cookie cutters

Heart Healthy Pancakes for the family


1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)

2. Prepare the batter according to package instructions and mix in the cinnamon.

3. Grease the griddle and the cookie cutter(s) using butter or cooking spray

4. Place the cookie cutters onto the griddle and spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the cookie cutter (amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Also you might need to use the back of a spoon to even out the batter and push the batter into the edges of the cookie cutter)

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until you can lift the cookie cutter and the edges will retain their shape (i.e. batter will not run and the edges will be browned).

6. Remove the cookie cutter from the griddle (Caution: if using a metal cookie cutter, it will be hot)

7. Flip the pancakes and cook on the reverse side an additional 3-5 minutes

8. Serve with the syrup/topping of your choice (my daughter even eats them without any syrup!)

Bonus Tip

Mix your favorite fruit, like blueberries or bananas, into the pancake batter to add further flavor and extra health benefits!

What’s your family’s favorite healthy breakfast food??


imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.



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  1. Robin Ruehrwein February 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM - Reply

    I love ANYTHING in the shape of a heart LOL 🙂 This is a simple recipe and it sounds delicious!

  2. Mandy (The Household Hero) February 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM - Reply

    We love fruit parfaits in our house! I have always wanted to try doing shaped pancakes but haven’t yet. This inspires me to do so. What is your favorite whole wheat pancake mix? I recently posted another healthy pancake too:http://www.thehouseholdhero.com/2014/02/09/healthy-birthday-pancakes/

  3. Melanie February 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM - Reply

    Those look delicious & so cute in heart shapes!

    Baton twirler, whoa!

  4. Kenda Smith February 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM - Reply

    Our favorite meal of the day is breakfast. My toddler especially loves pancakes. This seems like a fun, healthy way to start the day.

  5. Brandy February 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM - Reply

    We love pancakes, what a great recipe idea. I love the heart healthy ideas, especially since heart issues run in my family.

  6. Whitney February 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM - Reply

    This confirms I need a griddle!! Ha! I love the cookie cutter idea. I know my kids would too. Do you know how well they freeze?

  7. brett February 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM - Reply

    we are big fans of homemade pancakes too! i’m always tweaking box recipes 🙂

  8. Amanda Her February 10, 2014 at 2:29 PM - Reply

    I’m going to have to get some of those heart-shaped cookie cutters. These would be perfect to make on Valentine’s Day!

  9. Jennifer @TheRebelChick February 10, 2014 at 3:22 PM - Reply

    Those pancakes are just adorable! I love the addition of the fresh fruits, yum!

  10. Melissa February 10, 2014 at 3:26 PM - Reply

    YUM! I need to make these this week for Valentine’s Day. I bet my son would love them!

  11. Hanan February 10, 2014 at 4:23 PM - Reply

    My girls love when I make heart shaped pancakes. I actually have some whipped topping in the fridge too. I think I’ll make these for dinner this week!

  12. Debi February 10, 2014 at 4:31 PM - Reply

    I love pancakes/ The hearts are cute

  13. MelHey February 10, 2014 at 4:32 PM - Reply

    Hi Mandy, I like Hungry Jack’s Wheat Blends complete mix because you only have to add water. Aunt Jemima makes a great whole wheat mix as well, but you have to add oil and eggs. I sometimes mix the Aunt Jemima with a regular buttermilk compete mix (use a 4:1 ratio) and that only requires water added, no eggs or oil. All depends what I have in my pantry 🙂

  14. Susanna Barbee (Zealous Mom) February 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM - Reply

    These are so cute and look delicious! My boys would seriously love some heart-shaped pancakes. Melissa, you won’t believe this, but I am also a former baton twirler. I twirled at NC State. Did you compete at DMA?

  15. MelHey February 10, 2014 at 4:39 PM - Reply

    Hi Whitney!
    Yes if would definitely recommend a griddle! You can make so much with a griddle- pancakes, bacon, grilled cheese sandwiches- and it’s only one pan to clean up ;)… You can get a good griddle for about $20 at Walmart or target!
    I haven’t tried to freeze the pancakes but I assume they would work in a freezer ziploc… I do know that they stay great in the fridge for 3 days (just microwave them to warm them up)

  16. MelHey February 10, 2014 at 4:41 PM - Reply

    Hi Susanna!
    Yay baton twirlers! I competed NBTA and judge NBTA now. I was feature twirler at Clemson. Did you happen to know Courtney Patterson? I grew up competing against here and she twirled at NC State from 04-08 I believe it was

  17. Moody Blonde February 10, 2014 at 4:46 PM - Reply

    Those are too cute! What a nice Valentine’s Day breakfast that would be! Picturing them stacked with loads of butter and syrup…not so much heart healthy, but still hearts anyway!

  18. Felicia February 10, 2014 at 7:24 PM - Reply

    These look delicious! I love anything that combines healthy and breakfast.

  19. Jessica February 10, 2014 at 8:39 PM - Reply

    I love making whole wheat pancakes in the morning. They are delicious and my daughter always requests them for Breakfast. With a little whip cream and fresh berries on the side, there is nothing better.

  20. Tess February 10, 2014 at 8:41 PM - Reply

    So adorable!! I love making pancakes and breakfast on the weekends. Thanks!

  21. Jaime February 10, 2014 at 9:13 PM - Reply

    My son lovessss pancakes and shapes. These would be fun to make for him this weekend!

  22. Shell February 10, 2014 at 9:42 PM - Reply

    We found a vanilla bean pancake mix at Food Lion a few weeks ago and I’ve been using that. They are so good, we’ve been having breakfast for dinner.

  23. Kecia February 10, 2014 at 9:47 PM - Reply

    My favorite would be fruit and yogurt! These heart shaped pancakes make me want a stack right now though.

  24. Pauline February 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM - Reply

    Thanks for this awesome recipe. Will be trying it out tomorrow morning.

  25. Lisa Joy Thompson February 10, 2014 at 10:45 PM - Reply

    Our favorite are breakfast burritos. We use the refrigerated tortillas that you cook (if you haven’t tried them, they’re seriously life-changing) and fill them with eggs, cheese, and spinach. Sometimes the kids add sausage and/or bacon to theirs! My hubby always adds salsa to his!

  26. Jenni E. February 11, 2014 at 12:16 AM - Reply

    Pancakes are my favorite breakfast food! We don’t have them all too often, just because we’re so busy and go-go on the weekends. I really need to do the freezer method and make some ahead. I love whole wheat recipes…will give these a try!

  27. Chrysa February 11, 2014 at 12:17 AM - Reply

    Our favorite healthy breakfast food is steel cut oats. They’re so good! (But your pancakes are cute!)

  28. Paige February 11, 2014 at 4:31 AM - Reply

    I love that you made these heart shaped! Perfect for Valentine’s day!

  29. Alex February 11, 2014 at 6:32 AM - Reply

    Nothing wrong with semi-homemade pancakes. It wouldn’t be practical to make them from scratch every morning. Those look delicious though 🙂

  30. Janet W. February 11, 2014 at 7:00 AM - Reply

    This is such a cute idea! I’d love to make this on Friday morning for my family!

  31. Debbie L. February 11, 2014 at 7:09 AM - Reply

    These are so cute..we have been making shaped pancakes for years. I tis amazing how much better a pancake taste when it is a shape – especially a heart of love.

  32. angela(ajackeduppeach) February 11, 2014 at 8:02 AM - Reply

    My 5 year old loves pancakes. I need to try this recipe much healthier and it doesn’t seem to take too long

  33. Veronica Spriggs February 11, 2014 at 9:45 AM - Reply

    those are cute pancakes though i confess i’m not a fan of wheat pancakes

  34. Sue February 11, 2014 at 9:49 AM - Reply

    That is awesome! Your little one gets pancakes and you get her to eat healthy! Win – Win! The recipe sounds great too!

  35. Amy Lynn Desrosiers February 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM - Reply

    Pancakes are one of my favorite foods! When they get healthier that just makes me smile! Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM - Reply

    The addition of cinnamon is lovely in these. I’m all for the healthier twist too. Yum!

  37. Piera February 11, 2014 at 12:29 PM - Reply

    Love that you added cinnamon – especially for the winter! Our favorite healthy breakfast is probably yogurt, fruit and homemade granola OR smoothies OR oatmeal…OR just a simple whole grain cereal with fruit and milk…OK we have lots of favorites LOL

    • MommyB February 11, 2014 at 1:59 PM - Reply

      Piera I love how into breakfast you all are!!

  38. erin February 11, 2014 at 12:41 PM - Reply

    That extra step of making them heart shaped really lets the kids know you care. It’s crazy. My son LOVES when I make his food into shapes.

  39. Cassie @ Southeast by Midwest February 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM - Reply

    I love pancakes so pancakes that are heart healthy are an added bonus. I think these would be great with some banana’s on top with some light syrup 🙂

  40. Janel February 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM - Reply

    I tried this once with cookie cutters. My cookie cutter melted!! What did I do wrong? I didn’t leave it on the whole time, just for one side.

  41. Elizabeth Norton February 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM - Reply

    I just realized I need to start doing two things. One,,,,,,start eating breakfast….and two start writing about it. I will def try this with cookie cutters.

  42. Lolo February 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM - Reply

    My family would love those this weekend!

  43. Katy Rawson February 11, 2014 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    I absolutely adore using cookie cutters to shape pancakes. When I was a kid the staple in our house was Mickey Mouse pancakes. My dad make them the best. And I love that you use whole wheat mix, I do the same for my kids.

  44. katherine February 11, 2014 at 5:26 PM - Reply

    That looks like a great breakfast! It looks delicious!

  45. Eliz Frank February 11, 2014 at 5:46 PM - Reply

    The shape is so adorable that I would eat them too. Love that they are a healthy version of the usual.pancakes.

  46. Liza @ Views From the 'Ville February 11, 2014 at 10:30 PM - Reply

    Pancakes are so yum! I love the heart shapes – so appropriate for both heart-health and Valentine’s Day 🙂

  47. Alissa February 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    Love this! They’d make a fun (and heart-healthy) “breakfast for dinner” Valentine’s Day celebration!

  48. Christina S February 12, 2014 at 4:24 PM - Reply

    These turned out cute! I need to make some shaped pancakes for the boy.

  49. Janeane Davis February 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM - Reply

    One of my favorite things about modern life is that there is a healthy alternative for almost every meal.

  50. Jordan March 8, 2015 at 9:54 PM - Reply

    What a great idea! Thanks!

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