Friday, March 5, 2010

Maple Syrup Needs Pancakes

It seems our wet, brown, snowless winter is already over (unlike the mid-Atlantic, we've had nary a flake since December). Temperatures reach the 40s most days, our yards are turning to mud, and the sap is beginning to run. The spring melt means that Maine Maple Sunday is approaching, so I've been making pancakes.

There are lots of recipes for vegan pancakes, and lots of recipes for gluten-free pancakes, but gluten-free vegan pancakes? Not many. I am a goddang trailblazer.

The talented and meticulous a-k of Swell Vegan posted Gluten-free Gingerbread Buckwheat Pancakes in December. I played with buckwheat pancake recipes for awhile, but they felt and tasted like pulverized cardboard. I want to like buckwheat, but maybe it's an acquired taste I'll have to work toward. I decided instead to strive for soft, fluffy, nutritionally void diner-style flapjacks, the kind that soak up syrup like sponges and disintegrate in your mouth, washing all your cells in glucose almost the instant they hit your tongue.

After much consideration of protein, starch, and fiber, I had the most success with this recipe, described by the original poster as "not bad." Replacing the eggs, milk, and melted butter with vegan alternatives was easy. I was skeptical of using rice and almond flour, which tend to be grainy, but the resulting pancakes were smooth and fluffy with a golden nutty flavor. The flax seed provides plenty of binding, so even without xanthan or guar gum, these pancakes hold up well in a maple syrup bath.

Fluffy Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes

2 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons water
1 cup rice flour (brown, white, or a mix of both)

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup almond flour

3 teaspoons granulated sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg (optional)

1 cup soy or rice milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup wild blueberries (optional)

Whisk flax seed and water together in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes; mixture will thicken.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Mix dry ingredients—rice flour, potato starch, almond flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg—in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients—soy milk, oil, vanilla, and flax mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until just combined.

Spray or lightly coat skillet with oil. Pour batter onto skillet 1/4 cup at a time. Sprinkle a tablespoon of blueberries on top of each pancake if desired. Flip when bubbles form on top of pancakes and edges look dry. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until undersides are browned.

Yields 8 4-inch pancakes


  1. Our winter seems to have returned. :( I wouldn't mind eating hot pancakes to warm me up right now. Your gluten free recipes always amaze me, those look so good!

  2. You're gonna have me cooking gluten-free pretty soon. All I need is some almond flour - I've got all the rest. Do you use the grainier Bob's Red Mill almond flour, make your own (what I've done in the past), or have another source? Even though I don't have to cook gluten-free, I like to use a variety of flours and meals rather than just depend on wheat.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Maine Maple Sunday?! how much fun! I'm not sure i'd ever make GF pancakes if I didn't need to, but if I'm wrong, this will be the recipe I turn to--I trust yo skillz in the kitch! :) Great photos!

  5. Hi Andrea-I've used BRM almond meal in the past, but this time I was out of it, so I ground my own blanched almonds in the blender. I was expecting the pancakes to be really lumpy and grainy, but they were not! Almond flour really seems to be a miracle.

  6. Wow! Those look so fluffy and amazing. Since I've started using whole wheat pastry flour for everything, I've yet to make a fluffy pancake. I'm beginning to think its not possible with wwpf. But I'll have to make your GF version because those look fantastic and are naturally free of white flour. Thanks!

  7. Those look awesome, good for you Mary!

  8. Yum those look delicious, I'll have to give this recipe a try.

  9. Mary, I'm so glad you were able to make changes that made the recipe workable for you. It really is a "not bad" recipe :-). I hope you have a wonderful day...Mary

  10. That is a pretty awesome way to trailblaze! I'm not gluten free by any means, but I'm going to have to try these. They look fluffier than a lot of my gluten-full pancakes ever turn out

  11. Those are so cute and look delicious. Serious Comfort food there.
    Eco Mama

  12. YUM! pancakes with REAL local maple syrup is the only way!! (I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada btw)

  13. I know they're totally not the same dish, buuuut... I de-glutenized the crepe recipe from Vegan Brunch and added a pinch of xanthan gum (after a couple of baking, bubbling explosion/disasters, I always do just to make myself feel safe!) and it turned out fantastic. My gluten and meat and dairy and egg eating boyfriend gobbled them up and didn't notice they were gluten-free till he, in a quick look up from his crepe-scarfing frenzy, noticed that I was eating them too. Momentary puzzlement!

    Anyway, I just subbed Bob's gluten-free AP flour mix for the wheat flour in the savoury crepes.

  14. I would honestly never have guessed that these were gluten-free. They look so fabulously fluffy.

  15. Beautiful! I personally love the buckwheat gf vegan pancake recipes I've tried, but I think I'm going to have to give these a try. They look so fluffy and satisfying for a late-winter brunch!

  16. Girlfriend, you are a trailblazer! These look so good. I concocted a pedestrian (not vegan) gf pancake, which is very good, but I knew feel short of the mark in not making it vegan. Thanks for all your delicious, hard work. :)

  17. You have a lot of people celebrating your every gluten-free success with you, that's for sure! And what would life be without pancakes? (Or waffles?) They're such tasty, comforting delivery vehicles for maple syrup! :-)

    I know what you mean about the flavor of buckwheat. It's definitely unique! I didn't dislike it the first time I tried it, yet it had to grow on me. But now I love buckwheat, especially in pancakes.

    Anyway, congratulations on another gluten-free triumph!

  18. Sorry you aren't a buckwheat fan :( But your pancakes look flippin' amazing! Utterly, utterly gorgeous :)

  19. OH MY GOODNESS! yes... this is the recipe I really wanted to use when I made pancakes this weekend... :(

    Guess I'll have to make pancakes again soon! This time, I'll use your recipe :) These look insanely good...insanely.

  20. These look excellent. I've been trying for the longest time to make gluten free vegan pancakes, and I've had a few modest successes, but I will admit to going back to using eggs for my pancakes. I'm blogging about them this morning, but tomorrow, you can be sure, I will try your recipe. I don't care so much about the fluff factor, but what really has been frustrating is that my GF vegan pancakes are sort of gummy. Looks like your combo of ingredients is the way to go. Thanks for your trailblazing efforts! Glad, also, to have found your blog. I will definitely be back for more!

  21. I've been experimenting with gf/vegan pancake recipes a lot lately. This one turned out excellent. Looking forward to trying the Ginger-buckwheat recipe soon. Thanks for posting.

  22. My daughter is allergic to eggs. The most success I have had with gluten-free egg-free pancakes, and I have tried many recipes including my own concoctions, is to use The Cravings Place Pancake and Waffle Mix. I don't what it is about that mix, but you just add water and the pancakes come out fluffy! Sometimes I add a little teff flour to it and we also make waffles from it. Just wanted to pass this along in case people don't know about this mix! I haven't experimented with it that much, but I suppose you could use it as a base and add your own twist.

  23. Can you freeze these?



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.