Preston County Raised Buckwheat Cakes

"This is the original recipe which has been used for decades in our area. Many households had this every morning for breakfast served with sausage, bacon, eggs, sausage gravy, and maple syrup as toppings. Apple butter is also very good. Most people spread butter on each layer before eating as well. These are NOT called pancakes and are not nearly as thick as pancakes when prepared properly, the batter should be thin enough to spread out on its own to about a 7-8 inch circle without using the ladle to spread. Most people use a large measuring cup with a spout or a pitcher with a spout to pour them out onto the griddle. Traditionally a piece of pork fat skewered onto a fork was used to grease the griddle before each cake was baked. A well seasoned cast iron griddle is the only way I have found to successfully make these. Save at least a cup of the batter to save as a starter for the next batch (this will give a sour taste--sort of like sourdough) to the next batch you fix and is most excellent IMHO. Hope you enjoy. Prep time includes overnight rising time"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
9hrs 10mins
8-12 cakes




  • In a large bowl, mix 1 cake Fleishman's Yeast or 1 envelope dry yeast and 1 teaspoon salt into one quart lukewarm water. Let stand a few minutes and then add 3 cups, or enough buckwheat flour to make a stiff batter, (may use 2 1/2 cups buckwheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour). Cover and let stand overnight (or at least 4 or 5 hours).
  • When ready to bake the cakes, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 2 teaspoons sugar in 1 cup hot water (may use 1/2 cup milk). Stir into batter, then add about 1 cup or enough warm water to make a thin batter. Bake on a hot, (I use med/high on my electric stove) greased griddle. Use a long thin metal turner to lift edges and check bottom, it should be golden brown and bubbles should form on top, flip a cook on other side till done.
  • We usually serve stacks of 2-4 cakes each.
  • Save at least 1 cup of the batter for the next baking. (It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week) To renew, add 1 pint lukewarm water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and enough Buckwheat flour to make a stiff batter. Cover and let stand overnight (or at least 4 - 5 hours).

Questions & Replies

  1. How can I order this How can I order this Buckwheat flour


  1. I've been eating these since I was a kid (and at 62, that's a long time!) and they are one of my favorite breakfasts! My dad grew up in the Preston County area and attended the first-ever Buckwheat Festival when he was a kid. We have always made the batter just a bit different, though. When getting ready to bake, we use 1 cup of hot coffee instead of 1 cup of hot water, and we use buttermilk to further thin the batter instead of water. And if you're going to make these, don't rush the bake. Let them get a bit crispy on the edges, but make sure they're still moist in the middle...and make sure you use plenty of butter to fry them in! And they shouldn't be thick like a pancake, they should be a little thicker then a crepe. That's why you stack them up to eat them. Sometimes you have to roll the pan around to spread out the batter to get the right thickness.
  2. Not the buckwheat recipe you’re looking for. Not quite the same as what you would get at the Preston County Buckwheat Festival. I like that this recipe is gluten free, but I’m afraid it probably needs the wheat flour to give it the right texture. These cakes will look identical to the original ones, but no matter how long you cook them these will always be a little mooshy in the middle. I checked Stanton Mills and they have an authentic recipe that I’ll have to try. It does call for wheat flour, but I’ll try using a gluten free flour. That recipe uses 1:1 wheat flour and buckwheat flour.
  3. This is a wonderful recipe. My mother made these for me as a child and I still buy the same Preston County buckwheat flour today. Like sourdough, the flavor develops after you've set them a few times.
  4. I don't think I can rate this recipe, but I did want to comment. If this is something you grew up eating and enjoyed or tried once and enjoyed and want to make it for yourself then I would recommend trying this recipe. I think the historical element of this recipe is cool, however I grew up on regular pancakes and couldn't handle the strong flavor of the buckwheat flour (I'm not saying no one would like them, just my personal view). My husband thought they were OK. I was looking for pancake substitutes as my husband's current diet excludes wheat flour. Right now I think I will stick with Quick Oatmeal Egg Pancake (#223534) or experiment on my own with spelt or other non-wheat flours.
  5. Love Buckwheat cakes. The sour flavor. Yum. A tradition in our family September to January growing up. Pennsylvania raised with WV. roots. Lol


  1. I use this recipe, but before you prepare to bake the cakes, I remove one cup of batter to act as a “starter.” After I bake, I put a pinch of yeast and the starter back in the batter in the renew stage. Use buttermilk to thin. That helps the batter “sour.” I grew up in Preston County. Buckwheat cakes were a staple on our farm table between September and March or until we ran out of flour.
  2. I'm in Florida for the winter but my husband likes his "cakes" sour so I did let the batter sit out for several days in a glass container w a loose cover... After it began to smell sour...You can tell as soon as you walk into the kitchen I refrigerated...?...His often do you need to renew the batter? And btw u did not use the baking powder because he also likes his cakes thin....Like New Centerville PA firemen make them.



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