Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes

These Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes pack an extra punch of flavor! Perfect for a quick breakfast or lazy brunch any day of the week.

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stack of banana bread pancakes seen from above

I’ve felt a bit torn lately. To be completely honest, between writing the book, traveling, freelancing, keeping up with VV, building a magazine, and working at the music distro, I’ve been really busy the last few years. It hasn’t been the kind of busy I dread or hate, but more a sense of feeling in my element and thriving on creating rewarding work. Despite really enjoying all of this, I did start to feel the constant stress of having a huge to-do list in my clenched jaw, my tight shoulders, and my slight weight gain (although I think I could chalk that up to a slowing metabolism as I inch closer and closer to 30).

Sometime towards the end of last year, I decided I would finish up some of these projects and not book new ones. I decided to make a goal that come the new year, I would pair down my life to enjoy the “little things.” January came and went in the busy haze that I’ve become used to. But then upon returning from California last month, I began trying this whole “slowing down” and enjoying the little moments.

I’ve started to do all the things I used to really enjoy in my free time and it’s been really great — more yoga, started making weeknight dinners again, more hangs with friends, more walks, and more snuggles my with boxer dog and Netflix. The only “issue”, so to speak, is that all of these relaxation activities have my mind wondering to new creative ideas that I want to pursue — the exact creative big projects I’ve tried to pair down in my life. Call me crazy, driven, or a workaholic, but what’s a girl to do when her relaxing activities are sparking the creative framework for the exact kind of big projects she’s been trying to avoid?

Maybe I’m forcing this whole leisure thing too much and I should just embrace that I love big (stressful, rewarding, creative) projects? For example, I’ve become obsessed with buying a house and fixing it up. Everyone (well, mostly Wyatt) keeps telling me how much work that is going to be, but I get so giddy at the thought of thriving on planning, budgeting, working with my hands, and then basking in the end result of a beautiful space to spend my time.

I guess when it comes down to it, maybe these slowing down moments are good as they give me the head space to remember how much I enjoy big rewarding projects (which you can sometimes forget about when you are buried in the nitty-gritty of month-long projects) and to help me guide to what is next. Will this be the year we buy our first house? And will I finally get to redo the kitchen of my dreams and build a studio in the backyard? I sure hope so!

Anyhow, now that I’ve ranted long enough, let’s talk about these Healthy Banana Pancakes. As part of my slowing down, I’ve started to make breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings and these fluffy pancakes have been on repeat the last few weeks. Where you expect only cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg, the cardamom punches through with an addictingly aromatic flavor.

ingredients for healthy banana pancakes laid out on countertop

What’s Needed for Banana Bread Pancakes?

Nothing fancy is used in these whole wheat banana pancakes! Here’s what I use to make banana bread pancakes:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cardamom, cinnamon, & nutmeg
  • Sea salt
  • Mashed bananas
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract

How to Make Healthy Banana Pancakes

Here’s an overview of how I make these easy banana pancakes:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then fold in the wet.
  3. Dollop the batter onto a hot, greased skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, then flip.
  4. Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

My Go-To Banana Pancake Toppings

I topped these banana bread pancakes with yogurt, maple syrup, toasted coconuts, chopped hazelnuts, and a little bit of The First Mess’ caramel sauce (made out of cashew butter). They are also delicious with just a little bit of butter and maple syrup; feel free to go as light or as crazy on the toppings as you’d like!

Can You Freeze Healthy Banana Pancakes?

Absolutely! Make a batch of these whole wheat banana pancakes, let them cool completely, then stash in a freezer bag to enjoy later. To reheat, toast in the toaster or nuke in the microwave.

maple syrup being drizzled over stack of Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes

Tips for Making Banana Bread Pancakes

I used whole wheat flour, but all-purpose can be used too. I can’t speak to how these healthy banana pancakes would turn out using gluten-free flour, but I imagine a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend would work.

You can use any milk you’d like in this recipe — I used coconut milk, but any non-dairy milk works.

Note that the browner your bananas are, the sweeter your banana bread pancakes will be.

Want More Easy Breakfast Recipes?

Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 mins
Total Time
16 mins
These Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes pack an extra punch of flavor! Perfect for a quick breakfast or lazy brunch any day of the week.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana, pancakes
Servings: 2 large servings
Calories: 287 kcal
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (from about 2 large bananas)
  • 1 egg , slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter or coconut oil , for greasing the pan
Optional toppings:
  • Toasted coconut
  • Hazelnut pieces
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Nut butter
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the mashed banana, egg, vanilla, and milk.

  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients and then fold the dry ingredients into the wet until completely combined.

  4. Melt enough coconut oil or butter to coat a medium saucepan over medium heat.

  5. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into the saucepan (how many you can cook at a time will depend on how big your pan is) and let cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the top is completely bubbly. Flip, cooking for another 2-3 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

  6. Serve warm and enjoy with all of your favorite toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Cardamom Banana Bread Pancakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 287 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 354mg15%
Potassium 833mg24%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 215IU4%
Calcium 325mg33%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Sophie MacKenzie
    March 16, 2017

    Working from home can be such a struggle, especially when you have your foot in so many busy areas. I’m happy to hear you’re finding a great life and work balance (please tell me your secrets), and I secretly dream of seeing your entire house buying a revamp journey.

  • Considering The Radish
    March 16, 2017

    I think that life comes in seasons. There are seasons to hustle and seasons to relax. The trick is knowing what season you’re living in.

    These pancakes look excellent. I’m such a sucker for cardamom and caramel both. Can’t wait to try these.

  • Sarah | Well and Full
    March 17, 2017

    I feel like I’m on the opposite end of this … I was going kind of slowing down for a while and now my projects and work are starting to ramp up. And I think that’s the natural ebb and flow of things… both situations (being busy + taking it slow) make you appreciate the other more!

  • Tessa | Salted Plains
    March 18, 2017

    I totally know what you mean about slowing down and then getting excited about adding more to your creative plate. The slowing down always seems to allow for a different perspective; kind of freeing and refreshing in a way. Makes me think I should take more mini “slow-downs”! The flavors in these pancakes have me ready for breakfast – lovely, Shelly!

  • Jennifer Farley
    March 19, 2017

    Girl, I totally get you. The endless to do list is extremely draining. I’ve been very focused on slow living lately, and it’s a game changer. I love adding cardamom to recipes, I just make some cookies with it yesterday! What a unique idea for pancakes, I love these <3

  • bella | ful-filled
    March 19, 2017

    I love everything about these and I am really craving a stack now!

  • Sherrie
    March 19, 2017

    Shelly! I squealed a little when I noticed your book cover on your website. It’s absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to hold it in my hands. These pancakes are perfect way to slow down and refresh. More chill vibez to you to come. xx

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker
    March 21, 2017

    Ohh man, these are perfection for a weekend breakfast! I feel you 100% on this, between working full time and blogging, plus just trying to live life, it often feels like there are too many to-dos in the day. I’ve found that (like you) making time for yoga and just relaxation time resets me so much more. xo

  • Teresa
    March 27, 2017

    I’m not a baker but I would love to make these for breakfast. I am allergic to coconut and was wondering if there are any ingredients I can use as a substitute?

    • Shellywest
      March 28, 2017

      Hey Teresa! I’d just use butter instead of coconut butter and then you can top with fresh fruit or nuts instead of the toasted coconut. Hope that helps!

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  • Muriel
    September 19, 2018

    Can i use normal flour instead of whole wheat? and can i freeze the pancakes so i can just pop them in the toaster every morning to save time?

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