I’ve never liked pancakes. I’m just not a pancake kind of girl. I prefer french toast (I have a thing for toast). One of my brothers is pancake obsessed though. He likes them practically raw in the middle. He doesn’t know it, but I’m basically his type of pancake maker, because up until recently, no matter how hard I’ve tried to make them perfectly, I’ve always made pancakes with a gooey center. Ugh. It’s terrible, I know. Well, I think I finally figured it out. I’m so embarrassed to even be admitting any of this. Pancakes have a lot to do with being patient and up until recently, I’ve not been the most patient person in life so it makes sense that I’ve never waited enough time for them to cook in the middle before flipping them.
After three solid days of working on this recipe (and having consumed 21 pancakes in that time and being the proud owner of a new chin), I think I finally got it right. I know this may be simple enough for many of you, and you may be wondering, “Wow. This girl can make a vegan cheesecake, but she can’t even make a pancake?! For shame!” But honestly, I think sometimes, simplicity eludes me (I know plenty of people who know me who are nodding their heads at that last statement, haha). Bear with me, please. This is what I figured out:
1. Don’t overmix the batter. It should be lumpy, this is how you make “fluffy” pancakes!
2. Don’t use too much butter or non-stick spray to grease the pan. You’ll end up frying and burning the pancakes.
3. Only grease the pan once.
4. Cook the cakes slowly, on medium heat, if you are using a pan on a stove (not an electric griddle).
5. Wait until bubbles form all around, and especially in the middle of the cake, before flipping.
6. Flip quickly using your wrist, not your hand.
Those are the rules. Stick to them and your pancakes will be just right. These pancakes are gosh darn tasty. My aim was to make something reminiscent of the classic buttermilk pancake and I think it’s pretty close. Since vegans are all about nut milks (and the occasional soy) I thought, “Screw you, buttermilk! Nutmilk is the real deal!” and went to town. This is also a really great way to use up some cashew cream if, like me, you make about 2 cups at a time for a dish that only requires 1 cup and thus get stuck with leftover cashew cream.
Despite how many of them I’ve eaten in the last 36 hours, I am now officially a fan of pancakes. I really enjoy how sweet these are. The batter reminds me of the boxed Bisquick pancakes my mom used to make us, but I honestly think this batter tastes a whole lot better and it’s probably because there isn’t a raw egg in it! These cakes are just sweet enough to eat without syrup and still taste good! And they are fluffy just off the pan, like they’re supposed to be, too! I added flax seeds just because I thought they’d give the cakes a nice look and because they’re nutritious and can’t be tasted, so why the heck not? You can leave them out if you want. I thought to make these with flax eggs in place of Egg Replacer, but that didn’t work out so well (that was day 1). Pick up a box of Ener-G Egg Replacer if you don’t already have one. It’ll last quite a while and comes in handy more often than you’d think!
(makes 9 six inch pancakes)
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 tsp baking soda (cruelty free, please!)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flax seeds, optional
1 Egg Replacer Egg
4 tbsp Earth Balance Butter, melted (any vegan butter will do)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup thick cashew cream
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
Non-stick canola oil spray or 1/2 tsp vegan butter (for the pan)
Preheat your oven t0 175 F. This will keep your finished cakes warm while you continue cooking.
Prepare the egg replacer egg in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter should be lumpy, thick, and pourable. Over mixing will result in tough-to-chew pancakes. If the batter seems too thick, add more almond milk by the tablespoon until a desired consistency is reached.
Very lightly grease a non-stick pan with oil spray or butter. If using butter, make sure to wipe off any excess butter. When I say “lightly” I mean, lightly. Now place the pan on medium heat and, using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, pour the batter into the center of the pan, pooling it in the middle and allowing it to spread out to the sides on its own. Immediately pour another 1/4 cupful onto this cake. If you are using a rectangular non-stick pan and can make multiple cakes at once, make sure to pour the batter for each cake, 2 inches apart from its neighbor. Cook until air bubbles pop through to the surface around the edges and in the middle, and the cake is slightly dry on the edges. This means the cake is cooked through. This could take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes depending on your stove. The bottom should be a nice golden color.
Now flip the cake. Remember, the perfect flip is all in the wrist! Cook until a light gold color is reached, about 1 to 2 minutes. The cake on this side will not be as dark as the other side.
Place the finished cakes on an oven safe plate to keep warm while you continue cooking.
Top with fresh fruit, agave nectar or maple syrup and serve!