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Whole Wheat Recipes – What Does It Mean To You

 WW Choc. Chip Cookie

Whole Wheat Cookies

I was recently twittering and emailing with Amy From Things Finer Things about whole wheat and whole wheat recipes. We were discussing what whole wheat in recipes mean. After discussing it for awhile we both thought the subject would make a great post. We are both curious what you will have to say.

When a recipe says whole wheat what does it mean? What should it mean? And has this changed over time?

When I post a recipe that has whole wheat in it, I usually put whole wheat in the title. I do this because I have a variety of readers and I feel it is important to let you know that the particular recipe has whole wheat in it and is more of a healthy type recipe. Some of you are here for the healthy recipes and you will be sure to read that post. Others of you are here for other kinds of recipes and this will let you know that you may want to skip over that particular recipe. I think the title of the recipes should give you a quick overview of the recipe and by putting whole wheat in the title it does that.

However, many people are looking for 100% whole wheat recipes and when searching for whole wheat recipes they have to search through those like mine that contain only part whole wheat. Many recipes sites use whole wheat in the title of recipes even if it only has a small part of whole wheat. I can see why this might be frustrating if you are looking for only 100% whole wheat recipes.

This can also be a problem when buying food products containing whole wheat. If you look at the ingredients in whole wheat bread, whole wheat is usually not in the first 3 or 4 ingredients. Many times it is way at the bottom of the list. When buying whole wheat items, I have learned that if I want 100% whole wheat I need to read the ingredients to make sure it is 100% whole wheat.

So, what are your thoughts? When you see whole wheat it a title like in my Whole Wheat Zucchini Cake , what do you think it means or should mean? Should that mean it is part whole wheat or all whole wheat?

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. To me, Whole Wheat should mean 100% whole wheat, no all purpose, or whatever. But, I can also see the other side of it, on the recipe name being an “overview” of the recipe. I guess what I am trying to say, is recipes that have 100% wheat flour should be called Whole Wheat __, but if there is any other flour used it should either be left out of the title, or maybe just called Wheat __.

    I don’t know, but I have often pondered the same thing after searching for 100% Whole Wheat recipes and ending up frustrated! 🙂

  2. It is my understanding that whole wheat should be just that, whole wheat. If other types of flour are added, then it become just wheat.

    I personally do not care for whole wheat recipes so it doesn’t bother me very much to have a recipe called whole wheat and it contain other types of flour.

    Good luck and I hope someone else can be of more assistance to you than I was. 🙂

  3. I’m with Phoebe. I think the whole labeling thing is confusing and often (in the stores) misleading. I wish whole wheat meant WHOLE WHEAT. 🙂

  4. I accidently hit tab and published my comment before I was finished. Very few people are going to make 100% whole wheat recipes because they tend top be heavier and drier. So I think putting whole wheat in the title to alert people to the fact that there is some whole wheat in the recipe, but may not be completely whole wheat is fine to do.

  5. I use whole wheat flour for everything (except pie crust and Christmas cookies). Having ‘whole wheat’ in the recipe title makes no difference to me, I’m going to use whole wheat flour anyway. Maybe I should follow new recipes to the letter, but where’s the fun in that?

    PS, love your site, keep up the hard work!

    • I have a 5 lb bag of whole wheat flour that i bought and put in the freezer to maintain freshness.Now I don’t remember what i was plannng to make with it. Could you provide me a few of your favorite recipes using wwflour?


  6. I feel it should be 100% whole wheat too! If someone wants a flour mix they can change the recipe themselves. There are so many recipes already out there with mostly white flour that when I see ‘wheat’, I want 100% wheat.

    In addition, I’d like to see those whole wheat recipes include flax seed, wheat germ, etc. I’d like good, tasty recipes that are full of good flour and fiber.

  7. Now that I’ve been baking for a few years, I am a bit more confident to discuss questions like this.

    I used to buy Whole Wheat in the 5lb sack at Walmart. It tasted awful! But we kept using it 50/50 with all purpose non bleached flour. Recently I found Bob’s Hard White Wheat flour at Sprouts. WOW! The white wheat flour is just great! It tastes much milder than the red berry traditional whole wheat.

    When a recipe contains Whole Wheat in the title, I expect that it will be 100% whole wheat. Also, I would expect that the author would include adjustments in the notes section instead of within the recipe body. (This is distracting otherwise!) I think that it’s ok to sub ingredients, but do it as a *note at the bottom.

    🙂 Allie

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