Fluffy, delicious, and nutritious, these healthy Plant Based Pancakes are an easy breakfast that will please even the pickiest of eaters. Full of fiber, protein, and micronutrients, these delicious pancakes are indulgent only in taste so you can feel satisfied and ready to take on your day.
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Hey Internet, I’m bringing you something I haven’t in awhile: breakfast! This is the toughest meal for me, and I often end up skipping it.
I’m very picky, and I don’t like a lot of normal breakfast food. This, however… I REALLY loved testing these plant based pancakes, and made them a lot not out of necessity (like some of my baking recipes, that are challenging to get right the first time), but just out of sheer enjoyment.
These vegan pancakes are super light and fluffy, but they’re really healthy too! No refined flour, no refined sugar, no oil, and low-fat to boot--these little pancakes are the real deal.
Of course, you could make them big pancakes if you wish. I just like the little ones (3-inch, not those quarter-size ones going nuts on Tik Tok…) because they’re so cute!
It’s also my experience that 3” pancakes are easier to flip.
I’ve always thought pancakes were elusive. I failed a lot at them in the past.
Either they weren’t fluffy, or they didn’t cook all the way through. And sometimes I just burned them.
But, I’ve got a whole tips section below that I wrote just to help those of you who feel pancake-challenged like I did a month ago before I started testing these.
And, these pancakes are delicious on their own, but especially awesome with some fruit (like berries or banana or even baked/pan-caramelized apples) and drizzled either with maple syrup or date syrup if you’re looking for something a little healthier.
Okay, enough talking about these pancakes, let’s get into making them.
What You’ll Need
The first thing you’ll need is a base. I tested this recipe with store bought and homemade oat flour.
How to make oat flour:
Using a decent quality blender or food processor, grind up old fashioned rolled oats into a mostly fine flour. You may need to stop and shake the container or scrape it down with a spatula.
If it’s not completely smooth that’s OK for this recipe. I tested it with a more coarsely ground oat flour first to see if it would work and it was fine!
You can also purchase oat flour online or at a grocery store!
This recipe is written as gluten-free, but if you cannot have gluten make sure you buy Certified Gluten-Free oats, as they are often produced in facilities that also produce gluten-containing products and may have cross contamination.
If you have Celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance, ensure you’re buying certified gluten-free old fashioned or rolled oats.
You’ll need some sort of non-dairy milk to soak the oats and also just to add to the pancake batter. Any sort will work, but I recommend buying unsweetened original flavored non-dairy milk.
Next, you’ll need an egg and oil replacer--I use the same one to accomplish both tasks: a mashed banana! When a banana is ripe it starts to get brown spots on the skin. It’s sweeter and easier to mash this way.
I just mash a peeled banana with a fork in a small bowl. It will start to become a little glossy when it’s mashed well enough -- it only takes about 30 seconds.
Other things work as well, see the substitutions section below for ideas.
A tiny bit of fat makes a nice fluffy pancake. A nut or seed butter is perfect for this.
Just a tiny bit of any sugar will help this vegan pancake recipe come together--I used coconut sugar as it’s unrefined and a slight bit lower on the glycemic index.
However, if all you have is maple syrup, or even cane sugar, those will work too! It’s just a tablespoon, so it doesn’t make a huge impact if you substitute something.
To get these pancakes to be ultra fluffy and *rise*, you’ll need a bit of baking powder. I recommend getting aluminum-free double acting baking powder.
If you don’t have this, your pancakes will still work, they just won’t be fluffy, and might taste a tad flat. Cover them with fruit and you won’t notice.
Finally, for flavor, I recommend a pinch of salt and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Salt actually makes an enormous difference in the taste of oats. And cinnamon’s just tasty--but leave it out if you desire.
What Substitutions Can I Make?
I have not tested this recipe with any other flour except all purpose which it worked fine with. I think it would work fine with a whole wheat flour (be prepared to add a bit more non-dairy milk) or 1:1 gluten-free flour blend.
I encourage you to experiment with other flours if you’d like. My only guess is that coconut or almond flour might need some modifications as they tend to be more dense than fluffy.
Banana is one of my favorite oil replacers, and it even often works as an egg replacer (as long as you don’t need to really bind something (like latkes, which are savory potato pancakes).
Quick trick to make a spotty banana almost overnight: stick a banana and an apple in a paper bag and seal it. The gases from the apple help speed the ripening process!
But if you have a banana allergy or you just don’t have any, you could use applesauce, pumpkin or sweet potato puree or even solid coconut cream.
I used a small amount (a little over a tablespoon for the whole batter) of peanut butter to help make these pancakes luscious and fluffy. It’s not ABSOLUTELY necessary, but I try to write my recipes so that they are truly delicious and delightful (sounds tacky but come on, I want you to like them!) so I hope you’ll try it.
Or, you could substitute with a bit of solid coconut cream (the chunky bit in a can of coconut milk or canned coconut cream) or even vegan butter.
Equipment I Use
A good nonstick pan makes a huge difference in making good plant based pancakes without oil. It’s really challenging to make them on a crappy pan.
My number one recommendation for pan is the All Clad B1 Series Nonstick Skillet. I have this pan as a 4 qt soup pot and as a large skillet, and they have never stopped impressing me after years of oil-free use.
The nonstick coating is safe, and not going to make you ill. They are solid, but not too heavy and they heat evenly.
I think they each ran me about $90. They were so worth it. I have never had a better quality pan.
I can make anything in these pans and nothing sticks--crepes, sauteing veggies with no oil, rice, etc.
But, I understand not everyone can afford that. A few cheaper options:
- A non-stick griddle--the only brand I can personally vouch for is the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler. It has grill plates on one side and griddle on the other. Fantastic, and only $50. You can purchase waffle plates for it too! I did, and they make fantastic waffles without oil, too.
- A Green Pan--I have not personally tried this brand but I’ve heard good things
- Ceramic non-stick--While I don’t have a particular brand I can recommend, this kind of pan has served me well in the past, though they don’t last long in my opinion.
I’ve also heard great things about Scanpan but they are even pricier than the All Clad.
I used a blender to blend up my mixture. You don’t need the best blender to do this, though I do love my Vitamix, but you need a half-decent one.
Finally, a very thin but large nonstick OXO spatula makes a big difference in flipping pancakes successfully.
Tips for Making Plant Based Pancakes
- Start by soaking your oats. This makes a big difference in the texture of the oats. I’ve also had oatmeal based pancake batters seize up on me until I started doing it this way. I just soak them in an equal amount of non-dairy milk for 10 minutes while I get the other ingredients ready. Press the oats down a bit so they are covered by the non-dairy milk (they’ll float back to the top but at least they’ll get wet).
- If making your own oat flour (see above), you can make it and leave it in the blender or food processor and add the rest of your ingredients in that way. Not-so-great blenders might do better if you remove the oat flour and put in the extra non-dairy milk first, though.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and put in the soaked oats--no need to drain them if they haven’t soaked up all the liquid yet. Blend until smooth.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- I like to use a cookie scoop to add my batter to the pan. Less messy since I’m not so graceful at pouring from a blender. It’s also helpful in keeping your pancakes all roughly the same size. For me each pancake ended up being about 3 ½ tablespoons of batter.
- Cook 3 pancakes at a time--allow them to spread a little. When you initially add the batter to the pan, you can use the back of the scoop to adjust the shape of the pancake to make it more circular if you wish.
- Cook each side of the pancake for about 2 minutes. This will differ depending on your pan and stove, but you can tell it's ready to flip when the edges have started to lightly brown. I’ve found that after the first round of pancakes, you can actually smell when they’re ready to flip. It smells a little like a freshly baked cookie - yum!
- Tips on flipping: Use a good nonstick THIN spatula and the real trick is speed. Go fast to minimize any stickage during your flip. Steady the pan with one hand, and in a quick motion, slide the spatula under the pancake, focusing on making the bottom of the spatula one with the floor of your pan. Hug the pan, man. Sorry, I’m a dork. Anyway, once you’ve got the pancake on your spatula, quickly flip it over and try to place it right back where it was. DON’T attempt to move it. If you don’t have room for your last pancake because you put the other ones in a weird place, transfer it to a plate for a couple minutes until the others are done. If you attempt to move a freshly flipped pancake it will stick and create a mess… ask me how I know.
- If you find your pan is getting too hot or your pancakes are starting to look browner, turn down the heat a bit and give your pancakes a little less time, say a minute and a half each side.
- Transfer each cooked pancake to a plate wrapped in a kitchen towel to keep warm, or you can place them in a warm oven.
- Serve with fruit, maple syrup or date syrup, or even a little vegan whipped cream if you’d like. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftover pancakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can reheat them in a toaster or toaster oven if you’d like!
More Delicious Vegan Breakfasts
Whether you’re a sweet or savory breakfast kinda person, I’ve gotcha covered.
And if you don’t like breakfast, we can’t be friends.
Just kidding! Make these for lunch or dinner or dessert, heck I don’t care, I just want to feed people. I’m like a Bubbe, except a bit younger. Just a bit.
ANYWAY here are some awesome vegan breakfast recipes:
- Vegan French Toast Sticks
- Gluten-Free Waffles with optional Raspberry Compote
- Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
- Chocolate Chip Scones
- Lemon Blueberry Muffins
- Matcha Pound Cake
- Coconut Cacao Granola
- Gluten-Free Banana Bread
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Chia Pudding 5 Ways
- Cheesy Grits with Crispy Chickpeas and Garlicky Collard Greens
- Tofu Eggs Benedict
- Tofu Scramble
- Buddha Bowl with Sweet Potatoes
- Air-fried Breakfast Potatoes
As always, I hope you love this breakfast recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
These plant based pancakes are:
- Packed full of nutrients
- Quick to make
- Indulgent only in taste
- And great for kids AND adults (and kids-at-heart, like me)!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!