Poppy Seed Pancakes Recipe

My go-to poppy seed pancake recipe. Made with buttermillk, a generous amount of poppy seeds, toasted sunflower seeds. Drizzled with an simple-to-make, chunky citrus syrup.

Poppy Seed Pancakes

This freckled batch of fluffy buttermilk pancakes is punctuated with all manner of surprises. The recipe was inspired by a tiny pouch of Full Belly Farm poppy seeds hand-delivered to me by regular Mighty Foods contributer Rachel Cole. While the poppy seeds here are apparent, enveloped by the batter you'll also find deeply toasted sunflower seeds which lend a nutty depth to the pancakes you wouldn't get otherwise. I drizzled the lot with a chunky, orange and lemon-flecked, homemade citrus syrup.

Don't skimp on the poppy seeds, there's something irresistibly delightful about the role they play in these crowd-pleasing pancakes. I mean really, who can complain about the peppy crunch they lend to every bite of pancake or muffin they infiltrate?

And lastly, while I love this citrus-drizzled version of the recipe, you might certainly rework it into a delicious savory poppy seed pancake. You would just stir a few handfuls of anything from chopped sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, lemon zest, and/or crumbled cheese to chopped olives, cooked grains, or smashed roasted garlic into the batter. Replace the syrup with a generous slather of a creatively concocted compound butter and you're on your way.

Related links:
- Full Belly Farm
- Just noticed this informative Michael Ruhlman post on compound butter as well.

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Poppy Seed Pancake Recipe

If you can't find white whole wheat flour, feel free to substitute unbleached all-purpose flour. If you can't find agave nectar, substitute 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup maple syrup, I use the light agave nectar for this recipe (it also comes in amber). You can also use whole wheat pastry flour in place of the other flours I've mentioned. I love cara cara oranges and use those when I can get them.

1- 2 oranges, peeled, segments torn into small pieces
1 lemon, peeled, segments torn into small pieces
1/3 cup agave nectar

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or unbleached a-p flour)
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted until deeply golden
2 1/4 cups organic buttermilk
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted

butter, to serve (and for pan)

To make the citrus syrup put the orange and lemon segments and agave nectar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat and stir until the ingredents combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for for 5 or 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the pancakes combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Stir all the ingredients until they are just combined. Don't worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don't want to over mix.

Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Test for the right temperature. If a drop of water dropped onto the pan starts to dance, you are in the ballpark. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of batter into the skillet. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with a golden pat of butter and a nice drizzle of syrup.

Makes about 12 large pancakes, or dozens of silver-dollar pancakes - enough to feed a small crowd.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Hi Heidi, love your blog and your recipes, for years I have made orange and poppyseed puddings and OPS cake, never thought about using the combination in pancakes (of which we sell many) am gonna try it, cheers R


I took your suggestion and tried the savory version for dinner. I added a handful of spinach and a few handfuls of shredded cheese to the batter and ate it with a compound butter (made of garlic, lemon, rosemary, marjoram and thyme) and some baked fish. Absolutely delicious. I've been looking for ways to make pancakes for dinner acceptable!


These look fantastic...I love pancakes and definitely will try these out with the poppy seeds i have in my spice cabinet.


I can already tell this is a recipe that's going to get used. And used. And used. I agree with Stephen about the Hungarian poppy seeds, I found some delectable poppy seeds in Poland, and some parts of Czech Republic as well. It's worth your effort to see if you can get your hands on them locally, it's a subtle but wonderful difference. Finding agave juice might be a bit tricky, on the other hand. Here's a list I found as well to buttermilk suppliers in the UK: http://www.kellysearch.co.uk/gb-product-131643.html


Sounds great! Poppy seeds are anchored in my mind that brings laughter. Seinfeld show had an episode that Elaine was tested positive with drugs. It turned out to be the poppy seed muffins. http://hotcookies.net

John Calkins

Mmm! I love poppy seeds! My pancakes never turn out right and I've vowed to stop making them several times, but I think I'll break my promise for these :)


I dare you to make these for your colleagues at the drug testing company!


I love poppy seeds, and the added crunch the sunflower seeds would lend makes me hungry for pancakes.


What a wonderful idea! My boyfriend loves poppyseeds - puts them in every homemade pizza crust he makes and sometimes the sauce - these are definately on the docket for this week. I'm always pleased to visit your site and be inspired by your fresh take on nutritious food.


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