Basic, Vegan, Oil-free, Gluten-free Pancakes!

Did you know that I've been experimenting in the test kitchen for about THREE YEARS to create an easy-to-make, basic vegan pancake that can be used as a base for any and all flavors, additions and enhancements? Well, we finally have a winner with minimal ingredients and they're a snap to make!

What's special about this pancake recipe? Of course, it's plant-based, but what else? It's not only gluten-free but it's grain-free, too! Buckwheat flour, take a bow! It also has NO OIL which is not an easy task in creating that perfect, fluffy, pancake texture. It's also pretty to look at! This is because I sought and found "light" buckwheat flour online. Yes. We're striving for perfection here and food should be easy on the eyes as well as the tastebuds. While regular buckwheat flour would work just fine, I wanted a pancake to look like a traditional pancake, not brownish gray like buckwheat, but light, gorgeous and golden. And I was told by the manufacturer that the removal of the outer bran layer of the seed does not affect its nutritional properties, just decreases the fiber a bit.


There is something special about buckwheat flour that helps the batter stick together without the use of gluten or ANY other additives, like flax or xanthan gum (I do NOT like that stuff). This magic substance it called "mucilage." What is that? It's a substance that some seeds produce to make them slippery when they become wet. This is a self-protective mechanism because if an animal happens to ingest the seed, the mucilage will create a slippery slope and the seed will just pass out of the animal intact, still able to germinate and grow! And buckwheat is a seed, not a grain. Flax and chia seeds also have this property, as you might know since we often use them in baking to replace the viscous quality of eggs. If you've baked with buckwheat before you know how it gets all gooey and slimy when you let the batter sit. That's the mucilage working and it's a good thing! Especially for these pancakes.

These cakes are light and fluffy, but they are also substantial. Kind of hard to explain. But when you bite into one, you know there is nutritional goodness in there. NOT empty calories like most pancakes, vegan or not. Another great quality about these? They have such a great structure that you can pop any leftovers in the toaster in the morning for a quick, hearty breakfast on your way out the door. So make a big batch and enjoy them throughout the week.

Personalize them to your heart's desire. Add blueberries, apples, chocolate chips, nuts—pretty much anything you like, or just enjoy them plain. They're that good.


~ dry
  • 1¾ cups light buckwheat flour
  • 3 TBS tapioca starch
  • 1 TBS aluminum-free baking powder
~ wet
  • 1½ cups unsweetened plant-based milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 TBS pure maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl or measuring cup.
  3. Add wet to dry and whisk well to combine. LET BATTER SIT FOR 10 MINUTES.
  4. Drop by ¼ cup onto a non-stick skillet over medium heat (an ice cream scoop works great to keep them all the same size). Flip when bubbles appear and cook a few more minutes. They should be a light golden brown when done.

Makes 18. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

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