How To Make Fluffy Vegan Pancakes from Scratch

How To Make Fluffy Vegan Pancakes from Scratch

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Meghan Splawn
Dec 19, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Pancakes are a weekly occurrence at my house, but I occasionally find myself without key pancake ingredients like eggs and butter. Much to my own delight, I discovered that those ingredients weren't required to make a delicious pancake from scratch. What's more, the resulting pancakes were light, fluffy, low on ingredients, and vegan.

If you're looking for a pancake that is incredibly easy, but also delivers on lightness and fluff, this is pancake recipe that you'll want to memorize.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Basic Pancake Without Eggs

Discovering this incredibly simple vegan pancake happened by accident. I'd been making a variation on these pancakes with almond milk and eggs for years, usually when I needed a quick batch of pancakes on a weekday. There's no separating the eggs or whipping the egg whites, so these pancakes were as basic as they come with just flour, leavening, a little sugar, milk, and eggs.

Until one harried morning when I promised my 3-year-old pancakes and we were out of eggs. So I took my basic pancake recipe and simply left out the eggs. The results were pretty delicious, if not a little flat. Increasing the baking powder a tad and adding a little more moisture in the form of maple syrup easily remedied its shortcoming in the next batch.

For Your Information

  • All pancakes require fat, and these call for coconut oil or vegetable oil for the batter and for frying. The coconut oil lends a subtle sweetness that I love, but vegetable oil makes for a more neutral-tasting pancake.
  • This recipe calls for unsweetened almond milk, but water works as well.
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Cooking Vegan Pancakes

Once you've got the batter mixed up, it's time to preheat a pan and add a little fat for frying. I love coconut oil for frying these vegan pancakes. It does a better job mimicking butter in the pan and lends its sweetness to the finished pancakes. These pancakes can still easily be fried in a little vegetable oil instead and still turn out incredibly delicious.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Key Steps for Better Vegan Pancakes

  • Check your baking powder. Because this recipe is getting all of its lift from the baking powder, make sure yours is fresh. Check the expiration date and if you're still not sure, try testing it with this method.
  • Rest the batter. This is my favorite piece of pancake advice: Always rest your batter before cooking it. Not only does this give the flour time to absorb the almond milk and break up any lumps, but it also gives the baking powder time to go to work making tiny bubbles that will lift the pancakes.
  • Keep the pancakes warm. These pancakes do deflate a little bit when they cool, as do most pancakes, but keeping them warm keeps them fluffy and ready for syrup, making them even more irresistible.

How To Make Fluffy Vegan Pancakes from Scratch

Makes 15 (3-inch) pancakes

What You Need

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup maple syrup, or 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup vanilla almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or coconut oil, for cooking

Equipment
Large mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Whisk
Large cast iron or nonstick skillet
Flat spatula

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add the maple syrup or sugar, melted coconut oil, and milk, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Set the batter aside while you heat a pan. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Fry the pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes per side, 3 pancakes at a time. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable or coconut oil to the pan and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add 2-tablespoon portions of the batter to the pan, cooking about 3 per batch. Cook on the first side until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges begin to look dry.
  5. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a warm oven or plate. Using a flat spatula, flip the pancakes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate or into a 200°F oven to keep warm. Repeat cooking the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Leftover pancakes will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or can be kept frozen for up to three months; reheat in the toaster until warmed through and crispy.
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