I remember ordering pancakes the first time I visited America. The stack arrived and it almost towered over the top of my head. Each pancake was as wide as the plate and a few centimetres high. These weren’t at all like the thin crepes I was used to eating back home. But it was definitely love at first sight.
Since then, I turned vegan and have eaten my fair share of floppy flat pancakes. I’ve also had a few pretty awesome ones, but none have been quite as fluffy and delicious as these vegan buttermilk pancakes that I am showing you today! Rather than focusing on the usual vegan egg alternatives that you will see in pancake recipes, like the use of bananas in my banana pancake recipe, these are made using a vegan buttermilk base. It is absolute magic.
I am now going to take you through the creation of this amazingly fluffy vegan buttermilk pancake recipe. Alternatively, you can skip straight to the recipe here.
Why is buttermilk better for pancakes?
There are quite a few reasons why I believe that buttermilk makes better pancakes. To start, it aids in the cooking process. The acid within the buttermilk helps kick the baking powder inside the batter into action, resulting in a bigger rise when cooking the pancakes. Meaning fluffier and lighter pancakes.
Moreover, the tang from the acid in the buttermilk adds a really lovely flavour to pancakes. It is slightly sour but really well-balanced with sugar once you eat the pancakes. It is subtle but delicious and reminds me of the pancakes I ate that time in America.
Is buttermilk vegan?
Buttermilk is traditionally made from fermented cow’s milk, so no it isn’t vegan. Moreover, you are only likely to find buttermilk made from cow’s milk in supermarkets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make vegan buttermilk yourself from scratch.
How do you make vegan buttermilk?
Vegan buttermilk is really quick and simple to make. You just need to get a high-protein plant milk, like soy or oat milk, and mix in some acid to create the tang of buttermilk. I like to use lemon juice as an acid, but you can also use vinegar.
After you mix it in let it sit for a few minutes and then it is ready to use in place of buttermilk. It really doesn’t get easier than that!
How do you make vegan buttermilk pancakes?
These vegan buttermilk pancakes are really quick and easy to make. Don’t be put off by the sound of buttermilk, it doesn’t require weeks of fermentation, just a few minutes! So read through my step-by-step instructions to make these delicious pancakes. Alternatively, jump straight into the recipe and get cooking!
1. Make the vegan buttermilk
These wouldn’t be buttermilk pancakes without the buttermilk. Get your vegan milk of choice, I recommend soya or oat milk due to their protein content, and your acid of choice. I like using lemon, but you can use vinegar too.
Simply mix the two together in a jug and set aside as you continue prepping the rest of the ingredients. During this time, the liquids will do their thing. You may see some curdling and that is perfectly normal!
2. Mix together the batter
Measure out the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together so that you remove any lumps.
Whisk the oil into the vegan buttermilk mix and then gradually add it to the dry ingredients whilst slowly whisking everything together. Stop whisking as soon as it forms a smooth quite firm liquid. Don’t overmix as this may ruin the batter meaning it won’t cook well. It may look a little bit lumpy but that is fine!
Double-check your batter consistency against mine in the video above.
3. Fry the pancakes
Now comes the fun part, cooking the pancakes! You’ll want to get a frying pan (non-stick preferable) onto medium-high heat. Once it is hot add a knob of vegan butter and allow it to melt.
Using a serving spoon or ladle, spoon some of the mix into the centre of the frying pan. Let it fry off for a few minutes until you start to see bubbles popping on the surface. This shows that the batter underneath is cooked. Flip the pancake and cook for another minute or so on the other side, or until it has browned nicely. Repeat with the remaining batter.
4. Serve with toppings
Now you can serve up your vegan buttermilk pancakes with your favourite toppings! Here are some of my favourite combinations:
- Blueberries and maple syrup
- Banana and peanut butter
- Almond butter and agave
- Raspberries and cream
Vegan buttermilk pancakes
- 250 ml Vegan milk - use high-protein milks like soya milk or oat milk
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice - or apple cider vinegar
Vegan pancake batter
- Maple syrup
- Whisk together the vegan buttermilk ingredients in a jug and set aside
- Weigh out all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk them together to remove any lumps
- Add the oil into the vegan buttermilk mix and whisk together
- Start gradually pour in the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients whilst whisking it together
- Once it has form a smooth firm liquid stop mixing. If it looks lumpy this is okay, make sure not to overmix!
- Set the mix aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flour and the liquid to merge effectively
- Get your frying pan on a medium-high heat on the stove
- Once the pan is hot, add in a knob of vegan butter and move it around the pan as it melts
- Spoon in a ladle of the pancake mix into the middle of the pan
- Allow it to fry off for a few minutes until you start seeing bubbles popping open on the surface of the pancake. This tells you that the batter is cooked underneath
- Flip the pancake and cook for another minute or so, until it has browned on the other side
- Repeat this with the remaining batter. You can always keep the cooked pancakes hot by placing them on a baking tray inside a warm oven
- Serve up your vegan buttermilk pancakes with your favourite toppings and enjoy!
Vegan buttermilk pancake FAQs
There are many reasons why your vegan pancakes may be falling apart, like having too much liquid in your batter and using the wrong frying pan.
Consider using a non-stick eco pan, like this one from Prestige, or a well greased frying pan to cook the pancakes in. Also make sure to keep your batter thick (I have made a video of my vegan buttermilk pancake batter above).
You can try using many different vegan milks to create your buttermilk, but I would recommend sticking to the ones which have a higher protein content, like soya milk, pea milk, or oat milk. I personally like to use soy milk in this recipe due to its neutral flavour that compliments buttermilk well.
You can definitely sub the plain flour like-for-like with a gluten-free flour blend. But I would recommend avoiding simple flour mixes like oat, quinoa or coconut flour. You won’t be able to achieve a fluffy consistency with these. Instead, I would recommend using a gluten-free flour blend like this one from Freee. It is perfect for making fluffy gluten-free pancakes.
By letting your pancake batter rest you are giving the flour time to absorb the liquid that you have introduced to it. This will help you to achieve light and fluffy pancakes!