September was my month of pancake testing….okay, I did spend a few extra October days to test all my options. I went through many fun failures to find what truly works the best. Ironically, the gluten-free and vegan recipe using only water was triumphant. It was also the very first variation I tested. Below I documented my 6 trials where you can find helpful tips!
1) September 16th: Gluten-Free & Vegan Pancakes (water only)
These pancakes can seriously rival “the real thing”. Savory and sweet notes make this a great little delight to make at any time of day. The batter is super smooth and nice to work with, it looks very pale but the pancakes brown nicely!
2) September 20th: Chocolate Gluten-Free & Vegan Pancakes
WARNING: Don’t ever try to make random substitutions in gluten-free and vegan baking! As I just started to get involved in gf/v baking, I was a bit too excited to make changes to recipes that I found. However, the ratio of wet and dry ingredients is so important in baking–even more so sensitive in gf/v baking. If you want add to recipes always use substitution methods, don’t just add a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder, like I did in this trial, and expect the same results! I Recommend taking gradual steps and over multiple trials so that if you know what ingredients can be attributed to successes and failures.
(The pictures were so atrocious that they were deleted by “accident”)
3) September 24th: Gluten-Free Pancakes (eggs and almond milk)
The variations for this trial were 1 large egg instead of 2 Tbsp water as well as ¾ cup of almond milk instead of water. These browned more evenly and had a bit of an eggy taste for quite obvious reasons. They were the fluffiest pancakes of all the trials, but I thought that the egg flavor was not characteristic of a traditional pancake.
4) September 25th: Vegan Pancakes (whole wheat flour)
Instead of using King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Baking Mix, I opted to substitute 1:1 for King Arthur Flour Whole Wheat Flour. These were the easiest to flip in the pan and check for doneness because they bubbled well. However, they were very flat, most likely due to the gluten not having enough structural elements for leavening. Eggs would probably do the trick but then this variation would be neither vegan nor gluten-free! The amount of sugar added was exactly the same as the previous trials, yet the sweet flavor was very intense. If I were to make these whole wheat pancakes again I would cut the sugar in half–unless you like your pancakes to taste almost like maple syrup.
P.S. If you have Trypophobia (fear of small clustered holes) please scroll past these quickly. The third image makes me a bit uncomfortable too.
5) September 26th: Gluten-Free & Vegan Pancakes (water only)
I had to take a break from all this testing to have the original water only pancakes. These are seriously tasty. Testing this twice ensures that this recipe will work for you!
Okay, I have a lot to say about these pancakes. First off, I used light agave syrup instead of honey to make this recipe vegan and gluten-free. I also used olive oil for the skillet because I did not have coconut oil on hand.
Coconut flour is a great alternative to rice, bean, or other special flours, but it is very hard to use by itself. From my pancake experience, these were extremely awkward to flip. The eggs and coconut flour easily brown too. The flavor is good, but definitely not pancake like. When a recipe calls for 4 eggs, you better be prepared to eat a sweet egg creation. These are truly in their own category of egg deserts, the unique taste did grow on me though. The pancakes pair well with agave syrup drizzled on top. If you love coconut and also love eggs, maybe you should try this recipe.
Ultimately, throughout this pancake journey I learned a lot about introductory gluten-free and vegan baking. Pancakes are technically “quick-breads” which require only chemical leavening agents instead of yeast. I was exposed to great successes and humorous failures. To sum it up my two favorite types of pancakes from this experiment were the water only and coconut flour ones!