Gluten Free Pancakes

Gluten free pancakes and crepes can be made from various gf flours so there is no need to go without just because you can't eat wheat. There is nothing to stop you from enjoying them at any time of day. 

I am often asked what is the difference between pancakes and crepes. The way I see it, a pancake is risen and fluffy whereas a crepe is thin and flat. Baking powder is used to give the lightness to a pancake. Be sure to check that your baking powder is gluten free before using it.

Almond flour scotch pancakes

  • 50g (2oz) ground almonds or almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • butter or oil for frying

Break the egg into a bowl and whisk it with the milk. Almond or vanilla extra can be added as an optional extra if desired. 

Place the almonds and baking powder into a larger bowl and mix in the wet ingredients. If desired you could also add some dried fruit at this point, but check to make sure it is gluten free. Some dried fruits are rolled in flour to keep them separate. 

Heat a frying pan and add a knob of butter or some oil. Once hot, spoon a little mixture into the pan and cook until the base is browned and the pancake risen and fluffy. Turn over and cook the other side. Do ensure they are cooked all the way through. 

Serve with lemon juice and sugar or sweetener. Alternatively top with fruit such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. A little jam (or jelly for my US friends) is also nice on top of these gluten free pancakes. 

Buckwheat Pancakes

  • 50g (2oz) buckwheat flour
  • 50g (2oz) brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium egg
  • 275ml (10 fl oz) milk
  • butter or oil for frying

NOTE: Adding the whole egg is easiest and quickest, but if you have time try separating the egg white and whisking it before adding it to the pancake mix. This gives a lighter, fluffier result. 

Sieve the flours and baking powder into a bowl, then add the salt. 

Make a well in the middle and break the egg into it. Add half the milk and whisk together with a fork or balloon whisk. Add the remaining milk and continue to whisk until you have a smooth, pouring batter.

Heat a little oil, or butter, in a omlette pan or skillet. When hot, pour in enough batter for your first pancake. Then leave well alone! Let the bottom of the pancake set before trying to move it. 

When the edges begin to bubble, the base is cooked. Turn the pancake over and cook the other side. When you shake the pan and the pancake slides across the surface it is done. Serve.

Buckwheat Blinis

Blini are Russian buckwheat pancakes where, in addition to separating the eggs, yeast is used to make them light.

There is a fair bit of preparation to do before cooking these so you would need to plan to start the day before, ideally, making them a special treat, rather than something put together on the spur of the moment.

The quantities in my recipe for blini will make around 25, enough for everyone in the family to enjoy them, whether they need to follow a gluten free diet or not.

  • 150g (6oz) buckwheat flour
  • 100g (4oz) brown rice flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml water
  • 700ml milk (or milk substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons dried active yeast
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Start by dissolving the yeast in the gently warmed water in a large bowl, then add half of the milk, again warmed just a little (not too hot or you will kill the yeast). I find dried yeast doesn't start working as well, if I put it straight into milk.

Separate the eggs, then add the yolks and sugar into the yeast mixture. Tip in the brown rice flour and half the buckwheat flour. Mix well.

Then leave the bowl in a warm place for the yeast to do its job, and the batter to rise. It should double in volume within about one hour.

Add the remaining milk and buckwheat flour to the mixture and mix really well. Then leave it to rise again, preferably overnight.

In the morning, whisk up the egg whites and fold them into your batter mix. Fry as for the non-yeasted buckwheat pancakes above.

If you can stretch to it, caviar or smoked salmon make a wonderful addition to your blini. But if you can't push the boat out that far, then any of the serving suggestions for the buckwheat pancake recipe at the top of this page will work fine.

Cheesy Cornmeal Pancakes

A savoury pancake mix, with added cheese and sweetcorn, these make a lovely lunch. 

Yellow cornmeal (also known as maize, polenta or grits) is used for these gluten free pancakes not the soft white powdered cornstarch, which in the US can be a mix of corn and wheat flours. In the UK, the white cornflour equivalent is gluten free and safe to use, but the yellow gives more flavour and a lovely golden pancake.

  • butter for frying
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (or milk substitute)
  • 1/2 cup (50g / 2 oz) yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup (25g / 1 oz) rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 small tin sweetcorn (whole kernel corn), drained
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Add the egg and milk to a small bowl and whisk well together. 

Sieve the flours and baking powder into a larger bowl, add the salt, and make a dip in the center. Pour in the wet ingredients and beat well together (this can be done in a food mixer if preferred). 

Stir in the grated cheese and sweetcorn kernels.

Heat the butter in a small frying pan, until sizzling. Add 2 tablespoons of the pancake mix into the center of the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side, until the base is set and golden, before turning your pancake over. This will help avoid breakages. Flip the pancake over and cook the second side for about 3 minutes. If the pancake slides when you shake the pan then it is likely ready on the bottom. 

I like to serve mine with tomato, salad and pickles for a tasty savoury lunch. If you don't need the whole recipe for lunch, cook them all, cool and save the rest to spread with butter for a bread replacement. 

- - Gluten free pancakes


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