What’s the perfect weekend breakfast or brunch meal? We’ll pass on the bacon and eggs and take a plate of pancakes any time. You can easily serve pancakes minus the butter, and without a side of sausage or bacon, but are pancakes themselves vegan? We took a closer look to see if you can make pancakes from a packaged mix (or from scratch) without animal products like eggs and buttermilk.
All About Pancakes
What are pancakes, anyway? Generally speaking, they are a thin round cake made from batter and cooked on a hot flat surface. Pancakes have been around since ancient times and are made all over the world. They go by lots of different names, are made with many different types of flour, and can be sweet or savory, eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
In the U.S. pancakes are thought of primarily as a breakfast or brunch food and are sometimes served with meat or eggs, but often they are accompanied by sweet toppings like syrup, fruit, chocolate, or cream. Pancakes are also called flapjacks, hotcakes, or griddlecakes. At home, you can make pancakes from a mix or your own homemade batter.
Pancake Mix Ingredients
Your grocery store is full of different kinds of packaged pancake mixes. Pancake mix ingredient lists can be very simple and short (and are sometimes free of animal products). Here’s the ingredients list for Bisquick Original Pancake Mix:
- Enriched four
- Soybean and/or cottonseed oil
Sounds good, but the bad news is that the package cooking instructions call for both milk and egg. This scenario is very common for many pancake mixes. Many look vegan but the ingredients you’re instructed to add when making them are not. What about mixes that say just add water (usually called “complete” on the package)? Aunt Jemima Complete Pancake Mix, even the one that doesn’t say “buttermilk” contains nonfat dry milk. So, are there any truly vegan pancake mixes that stay vegan when you add your own ingredients in the kitchen?
Vegan Pancake Mixes
Here are a couple of pancake mixes (clearly labeled as vegan) that you can buy which have specific vegan-friendly instructions for making them with water or nut milk and no eggs:
Lady Jane Gourmet Seed Co. Vegan Flap Jack Mix: This vegan mix is also gluten free because it’s made with non-wheat flours like hemp and rice. The best news is that the instructions on the box say make with almond (or other nut) milk.
Madhava Deliciously Organic Flip For Flapjacks Pancake Mix: An organic, vegan mix that’s made with wheat plus ancient grain flours; the instructions on the package say you can use water (or organic milk, so non-dairy should work too).
What about vegan mixes that say add eggs and milk? According to PETA, you can still use them, just substitute nut milk and an egg replacer for cow’s milk and egg. Check out PETA’s list of approved varieties (not buttermilk of course) from brands like Arrowhead Mills, Stonewall Kitchen, and Bob’s Red Mill, to name a few.
How to Make Your Own Vegan Pancakes
You can make your own vegan pancake batter quickly and easily, without some of the processed ingredients and preservatives often found in store-bought packaged mixes. Here’s a very simple recipe from the website food.com:
5 Minute Vegan Pancakes
- 1 cup flour (any kind)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup soy milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Heat a pan on the stove over medium heat. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the heated pan. Flip to the other side when you start to see bubbles and/or stiff edges. That’s it!
Need a little more guidance? There are plenty of vegan cooks out there who are eager to share their recipes with you on YouTube. Here’s a recipe for vegan pancake batter that uses almond milk. The pancakes are then topped with berries, banana slices, and chocolate sauce…yum!
How do you prepare and top your vegan pancakes? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you! Pancakes not your favorite Sunday morning breakfast? That’s OK, we’ve got you covered…check out our article on vegan grits!