Category Archives: Recipe

Buckwheat Cakes: A Yeasty Version

I wrote some time ago about my paternal grandmother and her buckwheat cakes. My father said that she kept a buckwheat starter going all the time. After I published the recipe for buckwheat pancakes, I got comments from people who had old fashioned buckwheat cake recipes. I still have not tried the one that sounds most like my maternal grandmother’s recipe. It goes like this:

 “….true Old Fashioned buckwheat cakes…are made by creating a starter. You lay them up every night. No milk, no grease. Only buckwheat flour and water to start the starter, unless you have saved some. When you are ready to eat them you dissolve baking soda in boiling water to the pitcher. Stir until it settles down a bit then cook on cast iron griddle.”

Karen Chearney

I emailed her, and Karen gave me some more specific instructions:

“Unfortunately, I do not have a written recipe. My mother used yeast to start hers and she doesn’t use a recipe either. Her basic ingredients to start are: Buckwheat flour, water, pinch of salt and a spoonful of sugar and about a half pack of dry yeast. 

I have started mine before with a little yeast , but I normally use my starter I have in the fridge (it’s name is Earl, lol) I basically pour about 1/4 cup of starter in the pitcher and add almost equal amount water and buckwheat flour (usually a little more flour than water). I leave this set at least 2 days and “lay it up” every evening. Laying it up is just adding a bit more flour and water. Letting it set a few days will give it a sour taste that is characteristic of buckwheat cakes. The day I want to cook them, I use a heaping spoonful of baking powder and scald that in a cup with boiling water (the amount of water I use is also dependent on how thick my batter is and if I want to thin it a bit. I pour this into the batter and stir it in. (Be careful it will foam up). Let it settle a minute or two then bake on a cast iron griddle.

I am sorry I have no measurements. I just wing it. Lol. Mine even varies from my mothers and she also does not measure.”

Karen talked about the difficulty getting good buckwheat flour, and listed a couple she had found: “I actually picked up 2 bags last time I was back home. Burnt Cabins Grist Mill LLC is where mine comes from. Or Stanton Mills. Not sure if you can find either of those but they are good, old fashioned flours.”

I found Arrowhead Mills gluten-free Buckwheat Flour in my grocery store, but I still have not experimented with the yeast-version. BECAUSE…..along came Buckwheat Banana Bread–a totally luscious sweet bread that verges on cake. And that is the story just below this one. [Please let me know if you try Karen’s buckwheat cakes–making your own “Earl.”]

Thanks so much to Karen, and I look forward to this more authentic old-style buckwheat pancake.

Buckwheat Banana Bread

After my discussion of Buckwheat and Buckwheat pancakes, including the latest suggestion from a reader, I went off and made something entirely different. Introducing: Buckwheat Banana Bread.

Buckwheat Banana Bread
Buckwheat Banana Bread with chocolate chips.

As a bonus, this healthy buckwheat banana bread is not only delicious, it is gluten free. Pecans add a crunch, and chocolate chips nudge it toward the cake category. You won’t believe you are eating healthy.

Although I am credited as Author of this version, credit goes to the original source—-The Alternative Daily


Buckwheat Banana Bread

A quick bread made with healthy Buckwheat flour and chocolate chips to put it over the top.
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 14 slices
Author Vera Marie Badertscher


  • 4 medium-sized ripe bananas mashed with fork or electric mixer—1 ¾ cups
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp melted and cooled butter or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups light buckwheat flour gluten free
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips optional
  • 1 cup chopped pecans optional


  • Heat the oven to 350 °
  • Lightly grease the loaf pans and set aside.
  • In medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: buckwheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Whisk thoroughly.
  • In larger bowl, mix mashed bananas, buttermilk, honey, eggs, melted butter or coconut oil and vanilla. If you are using powdered buttermilk, see NOTE.
  • Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and blend well. I like to use an electric mixer to ensure there are no chunks of banana. Stir In chocolate chips by hand.
  • Pour batter into greased pans. Sprinkle pecans on top if desired.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until top springs back when pressed lightly. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack. One more step for ultimate moistness. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours before cutting.


I keep powdered buttermilk on hand.  To use it, measure water and powder as instructed on package. Whisk the powder into your dry ingredients. Stir the water in with your liquid ingredients. Voila.

Lemon Pie With the WHOLE Lemon

Whole Lemon Pie with dish of lemons
The pie made with whole lemons.
Jump to Recipe

You’ll find the recipe called Shaker Lemon Pie or Ohio Lemon Pie, but whatever it is called, this is not your mother’s lemon meringue pie.

I call it Whole Lemon Pie because that’s what it is. It turns lemons into a fruit-filled, double crust pie. Don’t be shy, it is just another fruit pie. And you know that you can use the Perfect Pie Crust recipe for great results in your lemon pie.

I have to admit that I have no recollection of eating this pie in Ohio, so assume that name came along because the Shakers had a colony in Ohio. If you want to see the recipes I DID know about–see the post that has my Grandmother’s lemon pie recipe.

The key to the Whole Lemon Pie is slicing those lemons really, really, thin, and if you have a Mandoline, that might be best. I don’t have one because I’m convinced my fingers would get sliced, too, but if you have one, or if you’re brave and want to get one…. Otherwise, make sure your knife is really, really sharp.

One of the many types of Mandoline:

A slice of Whole Lemon Pie

Whole Lemon Pie

Also known as Shaker and Sometimes as Ohio Pie, this pie has thinly sliced lemons and a double crust.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword fruit, lemon, pie
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8
Author Vera Marie Badertscher


  • Double Crust Pastry
  • 2 lemons large or medium
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/4 twp salt
  • 4 eggs large
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • sugar Demera–for top if desired.


  • Grate the zest off the lemons. Slice the lemons very, very thin. Cut slices in 1/2 or 1/4.
  • Mix the zest and lemon slices with sugar and salt in glass or aluminum bowl, Mix gently, cover, and leave to macerate a few hours to overnight. (Overnight is best) Mix again a few times while it is macerating.
  • When you are ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out 1/2 of dough and line pie pan. Put in refrigerator.
  • Whisk 4 eggs until frothy, then whisk in the melted butter.
  • Mix in the flour until there are no lumps. Stir together with the lemon/sugar mixture. Don’t worry about the liquid. That has collected on the lemons. Just stir it in and it will solidify in baking.
  • Roll out the 2nd half of the dough for pie top, fill the pie with the lemon mixture and top with the pie top. Make slits or holes for the steam to release. Fold the edges of the top under the edges of the bottom, and crimp. Return to refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
  • Sprinkle top with Demera sugar if you wish. Put pie pan on cookie sheet in middle of hot oven and bake 20 minutes.
  • Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more, or until the top crust puffs up and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Let cool to room temperature before cutting. After it is totally cool, can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


These ingredients are from the Joy of Cooking Cookbook, and apply to a 9″ pie pan.
The key to a good whole lemon pie is to get the lemon slices extremely thin.  If you use a mandoline, that would be best. Otherwise, use a very sharp knife and take your time.
My Pyrex pie pan is larger, and so I increased the ingredients to 3 lemons, 3 cups of sugar, 5 eggs, 5 Tablespoons melted butter, and 4 Tablespoons of flour. 
You can see in the picture that the crimped edge of my pie disappeared in baking. That is because I ran out of time and did not refrigerate after putting on the top crust. So, lesson learned.  Do as I say, not as I do!