Although I see my parents often and work only ten minutes from where they live, Christmas is really the only time of year when I go ‘home’ (albeit not to the home which I grew up in which was sold several years ago). 
I have always been fiercely attached to my rituals and routines at Christmas. 

Year after year, I insist on recreating the Christmases of my younger days. This Christmas was very much like last Christmas which was very much like the Christmas before it which was very much like the Christmas before it and so on. It is a testament really to the happiness of those Christmases when I was growing up. The idea of not having a Christmas at ‘home’ fills me with dread – like I’ll be severing the last link that I have with my childhood. 

I’m very lucky to live in a flat that’s practically perfect in every way. Except it’s never really felt like my home.  I have been very happy there but after six years, I still have no real emotional attachment to it. The emotional attachment has always been to my parents’ home. Somewhere in tumult of the last few years though, it’s faded and I’ve been left anchorless. I don’t feel like my parents’ home is my home any more. 
London was awarded the 2012 Olympics in the summer after I left university and as I was in the throws of a messy break up. 2012 seemed unbelievably far away on that day; a distant line in the sand that I wasn’t sure I’d ever reach and couldn’t comprehend what life might look like if I did.
Now that we’re in 2013, it feels like it’s time to draw a new line in the sand. I turn thirty at the end of this year and that I’m actually very okay about that. I feel like I’m done with my twenties and I’m ready to embrace the next chapter of my life. I want to throw down my anchor somewhere and stop drifting though life. 
And so, this has ended up becoming somewhat of a clichéd ‘new year, new me’ post which isn’t what I really intended. I don’t believe that anyone wakes up on the first of January and is suddenly a completely different person. But time away from the busyness of life gave me the space and time to think about what I really want. My boyfriend and I spent a lot of time in the days after Christmas having uncharacteristically serious conversations. We decided to move this year, to buy what will hopefully be our first home together, and have more tentative plans beyond that for what our lives might look like. It was a fitting note on which to end the year. 
I got back to my flat early on the Thursday after Christmas, the day before my boyfriend was due to return. I hadn’t slept well the night before, my mind racing with the unanswered questions that haunt you in the early hours of the morning. 
On that first morning back in my flat, tired and still all at sea, I decided that pancakes were the answer, as they so often are. 

Whole wheat coconut pancakes
Yield: Makes about 10 – 12 pancakes

I clearly have not yet mastered the art of making a good pancake (although it’s not for want of trying). Mine always come out a little uneven or a slightly odd colour – the taste, however, remains unaffected. These pancakes have a triple hit of coconut (quadruple if you count the flaked coconut that I scattered on top), some body from the whole wheat flour and just enough sweetness for the morning. Despite the solidness of the batter, the resulting pancakes are surprisingly light and fluffy. 


  • 115g (1 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 30g (4 tablespoons) unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons golden caster/granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 180ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter, for the pan
  • Maple syrup and flaked coconut, to serve

Cooking Directions

  1. Lightly whisk the flour, desiccated coconut, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, coconut milk, melted coconut oil and vanilla.
  2. Using a fork, combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix until you have a smooth (albeit fairly thick) batter. Leave to stand for half an hour.
  3. Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add a spoonful of batter and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side. Repeat until all the batter has been used up.
30 Responses to "whole wheat coconut pancakes"
  1. I’m so excited for you and your boyfriend and what’s to come this year for you!! That’s so awesome and exhilarating to buy your first place together!! I kind of want to be a fly on the wall through your european experience cause i wonder how much it differs there than here.

    i love the addition of coconut in these pancakes – there’s so much coconut in here that i would be in paradise eating these!

  2. Beautifully written. I’m so excited to see where things end up leading for you this year, in many ways. :)

    Cheers to a new year, wonderful pancakes, and bidding farewell to your twenties!!

  3. Erin says:

    Happy New Year Kathryn! Hope it holds all kinds of wonderful things. :)

  4. An excellent first post of the year. I love your outlook on life. Not every 29-year-old will say that she is ready for the next stage of her life. I’m excited for what’s to come :)

  5. london bakes says:

    @Julie – I’m sure I will moan enough about it on twitter that you’ll feel like you’re there ;)

    @Ali – Thanks lovely!

    @Erin – Thank you, you too :)

    @Antonia – Ha, thanks! Let’s see if I still have such a good outlook on life as it gets closer to my birthday ;)

  6. I love this post — super refreshing and inspiring for the new year. I hope 2013 has great things in store for you! And if all else fails, the answer is almost always pancakes — especially ones that look and sound this ridiculously delicious. :) Definitely making these ASAP!

  7. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    Coconut in these pancakes sounds incredible! That’s so exciting that you’re going to be buying a house! I hope that it becomes the home that you wish it be (and I’m sure it will!) gorgeous photos as usual!

  8. Grace says:

    Beautiful post. My childhood home was sold the year I moved away for college. My sense of “home” has changed a lot over the last 5-6 years. Now when I go back to Minnesota it’s different. I’ve come to believe that home is not a place, but a feeling that you get. Good luck on your big moves! All the best in 2013!

  9. I am the same way. My heart breaks when traditions are changed, even if there’s no other way around it. We had to change a tradition this year and I know it was for the best, but it was still hard not to do the usual thing you know?

    Love this!

  10. I must say, I love being in my 30’s – it’s been so much better, and healthier, than my 20’s. And, hoping for so many good things for you this New Year! Much love to you. xo ps These pancakes look amazing!

  11. oliepants says:

    I love pancakes – and anything with coconut is an added bonus. Looks fantastic!

  12. My pancakes always turn out weird shapes and all that too! I’m convinced uneven pancakes taste better ;) I love the sound of coconut in these! I usually stick to the same old recipe for my hubby, but I love variety with my pancakes.
    We’re actually facing possibly moving in the near future too. I don’t want to move and I am emotionally attached to our house. It’s our first and 2 out of 3 kids were born here! But I guess we’ll see how things go :)

  13. Leanne says:

    These look delicious! I wish I had coconut milk and I’d make them tomorrow! Ahh, next week! Congratulations to you for moving forward, mindfully. I had a similar experience myself when I was on the verge of thirty– wanted to throw some roots down and was happily looking forward to my thirties and what lay ahead. Best of luck on your big year ahead, it sounds tremendously exciting … and hopefully you will find that homey feeling again, soon!

  14. Jessica says:

    WOW I just found your blog and am in food heaven! Thanks so much for all of these amazing recipes!

  15. Getting a place together is SO exciting! I’m so happy in our little flat and I hope you will be in 2013 too :-) How could you not be with breakfasts like these?!

  16. What fab pancakes…I wish I’d seen these yesterday and then I could have made them for Sunday brunch today…I guess they’ll have to wait until next weekend! :-) It sounds like you could have an exciting 2013 ahead of you…good luck with your house search! :-)

  17. I feel exactly the same, I love our flat but I could leave it at anytime and not feel emotionally attached and my parents house no longer feels like home anymore. It’s been bothering me for a while because I feel like I have no roots but this year should be the year we too start to put some down.
    On a lighter note, I’m a little in love with coconut at the moment. I want to put coconut into all my bakes. These pancakes look delicious! Hope your year is getting off to a good start :)

  18. Kathryne says:

    Pancakes are always the answer. :) I made coconut waffles for breakfast; now I want your coconut pancakes. Home is such a tricky concept to define. I’ve just decided to let it be for the time being.

  19. Ashley says:

    I love that a new year brings fresh thought, new dreams and a refining of a vision. You are suddenly a new person but it gives insight into who you want to be and how you plan to get there. Such a beautiful post. Happy 2013 and happy house hunting!

  20. I felt the same way about turning 30. I was SO DONE with my twenties, like I was officially an adult when my 30th b-day arrived. Pah, as if!

    Enjoy this coming year… buying a new place {eek!} will be so exciting for you guys!

    Ps. I love these pancakes, coconut rules!

  21. I’m so excited for you and your boyfriend on your first home together!

    And these pancakes? Yeah, they can help with almost anything, especially when coconut is involved.

  22. Erin D. says:

    Congratulations on your future first home together! :) That’s got to be fun.

    And pancakes! Yes. I’ve been on a pancake binge lately. I made some pancake mix and instead of rationing it, it’s pancakes all day, every day. Yours look fantastic! The funky shapes just make them more fun.

  23. You’re such an inspiring writer! I’m so happy life is treating you good and I look forward to reading all about ;-)

    And pancakes are such a great way to feel home – yours look perfect!

  24. Congrats on a new year, fresh start, and all the good things that I know life is going to bring you. Til then, pancakes like these are ALWAYS The answer to a bit of uncertainty :)

  25. Laura says:

    I’ve been looking for a good whole wheat pancake recipe, and I love the addition of coconut!

  26. I love the idea of adding coconut, so tasty! I turn 30 at the end of this year too (yikes!) maybe we can collaborate on a birthday cake : )

    Happy New Year!

  27. Liz says:

    Congratulations on what seems to be an exciting year ahead for you! These pancakes sound like some of my dream ‘cakes, I love anything with coconut!

  28. Looks like this year will be a big year for you! Congratulations on you and your boyfriend planning to buy a house. That is so exciting. I’m sure you will find something that will feel like home to you.

  29. Shannon says:

    Mhmm, yummy looking pancakes!

  30. nikki says:

    I agree, pancakes are so often the answer and over time will make your new place feel like home! These sound amazing.

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