One Sunday morning, I decided to surprise my husband with some vegan spelt pancakes. He grew up on fluffy white flour baked goods, but I wanted to see if I could sneak more whole grains into his diet. When I asked him how the pancakes were, he handed me an empty plate and said “Great! Can’t you tell?” I still wondered, could he detect the whole spelt flour? Perhaps, but he was undeterred. Did he notice the added dose of protein? It was welcomed, if anything. But was the texture good without eggs? He said it was slightly different, but still fluffy and very cakey – just the way he likes them.
Fluffy Spelt Pancakes made without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, or Soy
This recipe is adapted from one of Ricki Heller’s original cookbooks, Sweet Freedom. She later went completely gluten-free, so yes, we do have her gluten-free vegan pancakes recipe up too! But these vegan spelt pancakes are must for those of us who do eat gluten. We’ve enjoyed them several times in our home over the years, so I’m updating this recipe and post with some options and tips:
- Spelt Flour Substitutions – We love the flavor of spelt flour, but you can use kamut flour or even wheat flour if you prefer, both work great. If you need to avoid gluten, see this recipe.
- Flaxseed Substitutions – Chia seeds, ground or whole, work as great vegan swap for flaxseeds in these spelt pancakes. If you are okay with eggs, you can omit the flaxseed and add one to two eggs.
- Sweetener Substitutions – You can use any natural sweetener, granulated or liquid. But sugar-free sweeteners might negatively affect the taste and/or texture. We haven’t tested any in this recipe.
- Pancake Height – You can adjust the fluffiness of your spelt pancakes with the liquid. If you want them thicker and cakier, aim for a thick batter that slowly pours and doesn’t spread too much. For flatter pancakes, aim for a thinner batter that easily pours and spreads more quickly as it hits the pan.
- Protein Powder Options – Ricki likes to use soy protein powder, but we’ve found that most dairy-free protein powders work just fine. The ratio of protein powder in this recipe isn’t high, so it doesn’t dramatically affect the taste or texture.
Reader Raves for this Recipe
Matt whipped these up for his young daughter and friends: “They were a big hit. I was scratching my head about the vinegar, but, they turned out really good. They would have been amazing with chunks of apple & cinnamon, which I will do next time.”
Another reader gave these a try but subbed the apple cider vinegar with rice vinegar: I made these pancake this morning,,they were great..Also added a tsp of vanilla. They were light and fluffy.”
Special Diet Notes: Fluffy Vegan Spelt Pancakes
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian. Just be sure to pick the milk beverage, oil, and protein powder or flour that suit your dietary needs.
- 1¾ to 2 cups unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil (I use 2, but more oil means more fluffiness!)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1¾ cups whole spelt flour
- 2 tablespoons unflavored dairy-free protein powder OR soy flour OR chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg or ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1 cup berries or chopped fruit (optional)
- Measure 1¾ cups of the milk beverage into a large glass measuring cup. Add the oil, flaxseeds, vinegar, and sweetener and whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and spice (if using).
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix just to blend (there should still be a few lumps here and there). If the batter is too thick, gently fold in another ¼ cup of milk alternative (I usually need to since I only using 2 tablespoons of oil). Gently fold in the fruit, if using.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, and spray the pan with oil. Using an ice-cream scoop or measuring cup, scoop a scant ¼ cup of batter for each pancake and spread the batter slightly in the pan. Cook each pancake for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and puffed up.
- Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. They can be reheated in the toaster!