This post was originally published in August 2015. It has been updated with new pictures, text, and improvements to the recipe as of April 2020.
Gluten Free Banana Pancakes
Yes, really, fluffy gluten free pancakes without eggs! And even if you do eat wheat flour, trust that these are actually good but I, too, eat gluten. So if you just feel like trying something new, or need to eat to eat gluten free, they’re great either way. Bonus, these are totally sugar free and sweetened only with dates.
The bananas are key in this recipe. They hold everything together so multiple flours aren’t needed, and make the vegan recipe possible. Keep in mind that they make the pancakes rather sweeter than usual, so you can use less maple syrup, or leave it off altogether.
I think topping them with something a little tart, like a raspberry sauce, is excellent, as is nut or seed butter. I usually serve these vegan buckwheat pancakes with extra banana, cinnamon, and a touch of maple syrup. You can see that these are also topped with a few lilac blossoms, which are edible, and delicious!
But is Buckwheat Gluten Free?
Sure is. Despite the name, buckwheat is actually a seed, so the flour is totally grain free and ideal if you’re celiac or otherwise can’t have wheat. It has a really nice flavour, especially in combination with banana and cinnamon, and works well in pancakes. It’s also super cheap. Win, win.
Buckwheat tends to be pretty widely available and can often be found even when other types of flour might be in short supply. Depending on where you live, you might be able to get both light or whole grain buckwheat flour. Both work well for these pancakes.
You can make your own buckwheat flour by grinding buckwheat groats into a fine flour using a high speed food processor or dry-ingredient safe blender (or a mill, of course). This will be whole grain flour.
Vegan gluten free pancakes – then what’s in them?
There are a handful of ways to make pancakes that are both vegan and gluten free. One is to use a mix of multiple different flours and starches, which I don’t love as I prefer to keep the number of ingredients as low as possible. Another method, utilised here, is to add a natural binding agent into an integral part of the pancakes. Bananas!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Buckwheat flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Overripe bananas
- Non-dairy milk
- Coconut oil
Like most pancakes, the method is very simple. These are one-bowl pancakes – less dishes! Mash the bananas, mix the wet ingredients, mix in the dry ingredients, and cook in a pan. You don’t need to worry about over mixing these because there’s no gluten to overwork.
Making the pancakes
Any type of frying pan will work. If it tends to be sticky on a good day, make sure you add enough oil to prevent this as gluten free pancakes can be a bit trickier to flip. I use a cast iron pan.
As with wheat-based pancakes, flip them when you see bubbles forming around the edges. They do brown and cook quite quickly due to the banana adding a higher natural sugar content, so keep an eye on them. The exterior is almost caramel-like and very nice.
Since you don’t need to worry about over-working gluten, it’s no problem to make these in one bowl and mix everything together that way. Just make sure the baking powder/soda is incorporated throughout to avoid those awful pockets.
I haven’t tried making these with any alternative flours to the buckwheat. I don’t recommend messing around with that unless you’re very used to working with gluten free flours, and please don’t sub coconut flour.
Arrowroot is interchangeable with cornstarch and tapioca starch. Any thinner non-dairy milk is fine – think almond milk, cashew milk, or oat milk. If milk is no problem for you then feel free to use regular dairy milk.
There is no substitute for the banana (in these vegan banana pancakes) and I haven’t tried making them with any alternatives. I also haven’t tried making them oil free.
More Gluten Free Recipes
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Gluten Free Banana Pancakes
- 2 overripe bananas mashed
- 180 ml oat or nut milk
- 2 tablespoons oil olive or another light, liquid oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 120 grams buckwheat flour*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Coconut oil for cooking
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add enough coconut oil for a thin layer to cover the bottom.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon to the bowl with the banana mixture. Whisk to combine.
- Scoop about 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake into the now hot pan, and cook until you see bubbles forming around the edges before flipping, 30-40 seconds. Carefully slip and cook for another 30 seconds on the other side, repeating until all of the batter is used.
- Keep the pancakes on a baking sheet in a warm oven (about 100C / 200F) until the batch is finished.
- Serve with extra banana, berries, or any toppings you like. The pancakes freeze well for up to three months.