Pancakes make most things better. There’s just something about pure, sweet, fluffy, crispy carbs first thing in the morning that turns a potentially tedious day into something special. Kids love ‘em, adults love ‘em—what’s not to dig?
But what about people who don’t eat milk or eggs? Traditionally, pancakes are made with eggs and buttermilk, and are often made in a buttered griddle. Fret not, vegans, you’re not excluded from the pancake party.
There are a couple easy ways to to work around traditional pancake recipes without using milk or eggs. Bonus? Vegan pancakes taste great doused with maple syrup (or bananas, blueberries, pecans, chocolate chips, pecans—whatever brings you bliss).
The 3 (Okay, 4) Ingredient Work Around Method
This is the easy method, the one for when you wake up groggy and starving (or maybe a little hungover) and can’t be bothered with following a recipe. Seriously, you can memorize this one. Ready?
Put equal parts flour, bananas, and nut milk in a blender. Add a couple pinches of baking powder. Proceed to cook as you would any other pancakes, in a hot skillet with the vegan cooking oil of your choice.
These can be a teensy bit dense, though, so they’re better for weekdays or other times you’re in a pinch. For fancy, impressive, lighter-than-air pancakes, try...
The Magic Trick Egg Replacement Method
First, the non-magical part: Take a typical pancake recipe, like this buttermilk number. To replace the buttermilk with a vegan substitute, take the same quantity of your favorite non-dairy milk (almond, soy, etc.) and add just a bit of acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar). Buttermilk is naturally acidic, and the acid reacts with the baking soda to give your pancakes their light and fluffy texture.
And then there’s that egg. Until recently, most folks replaced eggs in baked goods with a commercial egg replacement, or foods like applesauce or bananas (see above). But then the genius vegans of the internet collided to discover aquafaba, a pretty foolproof egg replacement that uses the typically-discarded liquid from a can of chickpeas. (Don’t believe it? Watch this video, it’s insane.)
According to aquafaba.com, you need about three tablespoons of the chickpea liquid to equal one egg. Whip them for super light and airy pancakes, or lightly beat them (as called for in the recipe) for standard-issue.
The Best Vegan Pancake Toppings
Now you’ve got your pancakes. So what do you do with them? Thankfully, vegan folks don’t need to make compromises in this arena. The O.G. pancake topper, maple syrup, is vegan,. Fruit is always a crowd pleaser, whether cooked into the pancakes themselves or added on top. And for a super satisfying treat, we’re partial to a smear of peanut butter and some dark chocolate chips (especially on that banana tweak above).
Vegans and omnivores, feel free to flip out.