I love pancakes.
Pancakes are my friends.
Over the years, as I transitioned to an egg/meat free (and primarily dairy-free, but I still indulge now and again…just rarely with my cooking at home), I have worked on perfecting my favorite type of pancakes. I use the term “vegan-friendly,” because I believe that the term “vegan” is thrown around so loosely these days, without a true understanding of it being an entire lifestyle. So yes, these cakes are vegan, but pancakes aren’t healthy. If you enjoy them, and you are also working towards a vegan diet, then this one is a great place to start.
What I’ve experimented with (and crafted to my own little perfection) has come from the use of several store-bought mixes. This homemade-mix that I am sharing with you here, is one of a few that I’ve come to love. I just took measurements from recipe pages online, and then altered them to my own desire. One primary source that I gathered the basic ingredients for a homemade-cake from is Food.com’s “Basic pancake mix.”
So here goes my version that I hope you enjoy!
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free: brown rice, oat flour, cornmeal, spelt, and buckwheat flours are healthier alternatives. These will also require alterations in other ingredients to make the pancakes more moist)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (alternative sweeteners I also use: agave, organic cane sugar, and coconut sugar)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
- 11⁄4-1 1⁄2 cups almond milk (I use Califia Farms toasted coconut almond milk (LIFE) found at most Krogers, Sprouts, and Target grocery. Here are other options: coconut milk, vanilla or plain almond milk, hemp milk, soy milk.)
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ teaspoon (natural/pure) vanilla extract, almond, or whatever other flavors you might like (optional)
- Dash of cinnamon (optional, but such a good flavor-enhancer)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Place dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, dry sugar, salt) into a large bowl, and mix with spoon.
- Mix apple sauce & any extracts or liquid nectar sweeteners together in a separate small bowl.
- Add milk slowly to the dry mix, and stir. More milk for thinner pancakes; less milk for thicker pancakes. Once the mix is the consistency that you prefer, add in the apple sauce mixture.
- Wisk all ingredients that you have mixed into the large bowl until smooth. Note: a few bumps and lumps are just fine. Over-mixing will impact the texture of the cakes.
- Get your pan, and dab a bit of coconut oil onto a paper towel, rubbing it over the pan to create a thin layer before heating the pan over medium-high heat.
- Test heated pan to see if it is ready. The thin film of oil should be shiny and slightly sizzling. If you need to “add the single drop of water” trick to the pan, then go for it.
- Grab your spoon/scoop/measuring cup, scoop up that delicious batter, and pour slowly into the pan.
- Let cook until you start to see several bubbles forming on the top of your cake. If you are not sure when it is time to flip, gently slide the tip of your spatula underneath the cooking side of the cake, and peak to see if it is golden brown. If so, flip that thing! If not, have more patience…about 5-10 seconds more patience.
- Then flip. Don’t be alarmed if this first cake did not come out as pretty as you pleased. It’s a tester, many times. If you need to adjust heat, add more milk or flour, or adjust your serving scoop size of batter, then now is the time!
Extra tips & tricks:
- Using a cast iron skillet for pancakes makes them even crispier on the outside, adding more flavor and texture.
- Using an ice-cream scoop or a 1/3-1/4 measuring cup to scoop & pour the mixture into the pan helps them to be perfectly round and even in size, if you’re into that sort of thing. 1/3-1/4 cup makes smaller pancakes, and 1/2 -1 cup makes large ones.
- Reminder-Do not over-mix. A few lumps and bumps are just fine.
- Pour in more or less milk for the thickness of the cakes. If you like them thick and doughy, use less milk. If you like them thin and crispy, use more milk.
- Add-ins are also great for more flavorful cakes: cocoa, unsweetened coconut flakes, pecans, rolled oats, and finely-chopped fruit pieces! It is best to sprinkle your add-ins on the battered cake that is face-up while cooking, before flipping.
- The heat of the pan also impacts the cakes- the longer time spent cooking, the hotter the pan will get, so sometimes taking the pan off the direct heat for a few seconds or just turning down the heat a bit will ensure that the pancakes do not cook too fast.
- I use organic maple, any syrup without the high-fructose corn syrup, or a fruit reduction to spread on top (especially since the little ones eat them)…it’s all sugar, at the end of the day, but that high fructose corn syrup is another monster.
- Speaking of syrup, someone that I know loves his syrup warm, and suggests that it elevates the entire pancake experience when it soaks through that scrumptious cake.
Now, go forth, and make yummy pancakes.
Comment and let us know how yours came out!
Peace & Pancakes
**This post will also be permanently available in the “Food” section for future referencing needs.