These light and fluffy vegan pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast! They’re easy to make and ready for pure maple syrup.
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My dad and I used to make pancakes from an old cookbook every Sunday morning when I was growing up. My job was usually measuring and mixing ingredients, careful not to overmix the batter. I would watch the batter start to bubble, waiting for the bubbles to pop, meaning it was time to flip.
He can flip the pancakes in the air with a quick flick of the wrist. My attempts may have ended with a half-cooked pancake splattered on the floor once or twice (or more). I don’t even try anymore.
When I went vegan, a good vegan pancake recipe was something I needed to figure out, stat. This vegan pancakes recipe is an adaptation of the recipe we used (for “griddle cakes”), and the results taste just the same. Flipping them in the air not required.
These pancakes are thick, fluffy, and not too sweet. They’re the perfect vehicle for maple syrup, sliced fruit, or any toppings you desire. In the recipe, the applesauce replaces eggs, and the margarine takes care of the melted butter from the original recipe.
Tips for perfect pancakes
Getting pancakes just right can be difficult, I hear you! It’s all about using the right tools and the right type of pan at the right heat. With so many things to get right, it takes a bit of practice.
Heat level to use
A common mistake when making pancakes is cranking the heat up too high, which results in burnt pancakes that are underdone in the middle.
You need to keep the pan at a low (but not too low) heat. Low medium is perfect. This will allow for the pancakes to cook thoroughly while slowly turning golden out the outside.
If your temperature is too low, the pancakes will take a very long time to cook and turn out pale and gummy.
Use the first pancake as a test, and snack on it while you cook the rest!
Pancakes should take about 5 minutes or so to cook per side. If your pancakes are ready to flip sooner, or take a very long time to cook, you’ll run into one of the issues mentioned above. Adjust the heat accordingly.
When to flip
As your pancakes cook, they will start to bubble and the bubbles will disappear. When the bubbles pop and start hold their shape, this is a sign that your pancakes will be ready to flip soon.
When most of the bubbles are holding their shape, check that the other side is golden, then flip. Don’t wait any longer or you’ll run the risk of burning them.
What type of pan to use
A cast iron pan makes for tasty, evenly-cooked, and crispy-in-all-the-right-places pancakes! I use my cast iron pan for pretty much all of my cooking (it’s great for tofu too), so I’d highly recommend investing in one. It will last a lifetime or more. If you don’t have a cast iron pan (or just don’t feel like cleaning it), a good alternative is a non-stick pan.
I wouldn’t recommend using a stainless steel pan. The batter will stick to the pan unless you oil it really well.
Keep them warm in the oven
You can keep your prepared pancakes warm in the oven while you’re cooking the rest of the batter. Simply place them on a plate or baking sheet and keep them in the oven set to 200°F.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This recipe calls for a mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I’d recommend whole wheat pastry flour because it’s less dense than stone ground wheat flour.
You could use only all-purpose flour if you’d like, but I wouldn’t recommend using all whole wheat. The pancakes will be too dense.
The margarine adds a nice flavor to the pancakes. You could replace it with any cooking oil if you prefer. Unrefined coconut oil would be best for a buttery flavor, especially if you like coconut.
My favorite milk to use in this recipe is oat milk or almond milk. Both of these have a very neutral flavor that doesn’t overpower the buttery flavor of the pancakes.
If you prefer thinner pancakes that are soft in the middle and crispy on the edges, you can add extra milk. Keep in mind that they will cook faster if the batter is thin.
Add ins and toppings
My favorites are dairy free chocolate chips and blueberries, but you could try raspberries, walnuts, or anything else you’d like. Sprinkle them on right after you pour the batter in the pan. That way, they’ll adhere to the pancakes and have a chance to melt or cook through.
If you prefer your accoutrements as toppings, have your fruit ready to go when it’s time for breakfast.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or more white flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 2/3 cups non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon margarine
- Combine all dry ingredients, then stir with a whisk.
- Make a well in the middle and add applesauce, vanilla, and soy milk. Stir until almost combined.
- Preheat your skillet or cast iron pan at medium heat, then rub some margarine on one of the pans and melt the rest in the other.
- Pour melted margarine into the pancake batter and stir until combined.
- Drop by large spoonfuls or pour batter onto the pan and flip when bubbles start to form. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
- Serve with a pat of Earth Balance, pure maple syrup, and fruit.
Want to try other vegan pancake recipes?
These pancakes have apples added to the batter and are topped with cooked cinnamon apples!
These rainbow pancakes are a colorful variation on this recipe.
This recipe calls for pumpkin beer to add flavor to the recipe and help the pancakes rise more.
This recipe was originally published in December 2014 and has been updated with additional info. The recipe has not changed.