Fluffy Banana Pancakes

Pancakes may be my ultimate comfort food.

As a kid, every few weekends Dad and I would make pancakes for everyone. Always, we used the recipe for griddlecakes in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, a collection of basic American dishes that was a staple in our house. Fluffy, bready, mildly sweet cakes drenched in maple syrup (hold the butter): Ah, perfection.

One thing I learned in making this recipe with Dad so many times is that recipes can be tweaked, and improved upon. For pancakes we always used the ingredient ratios in the book, but we added vanilla extract and entirely changed the order of their incorporation and the recommended technique. Improvising, simplifying, fancifying–editing recipes to one’s tastes is creative, interesting and a tiny bit dangerous, and often leads to the satisfying reward of being right.

So, as an inaugural post on this blog it seems appropriate to post a vegan pancake recipe I whipped up for Saturday breakfast. I used a recipe I found through Google but heavily made some tweaks for my preferences! These are far more nutritious, but just as satisfying and indulgent as the version from my childhood.

The original recipe for vegan banana pancakes came from The Pretty Bee blog. I used regular all-purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour, substituted melted coconut oil for the canola oil and unsweetened rice milk for the coconut milk, added cinnamon and was careful with my ingredient combination technique (explained in the recipe below!).

Top with anything you like. True to my roots, I love straight 100% maple syrup, but lately have enjoyed adding a tablespoon of peanut butter as well (who knew PB and maple taste so good together?). These pancakes have such a lovely, light banana flavor that I went with a modest amount of maple syrup and some raw pecans to bring out the banana.

Fluffy Banana Pancakes (vegan!)

Generously serves 2 hungry adults (about 8 pancakes). Adapted from recipe posted by The Pretty Bee.

  • 1 very ripe banana (almost black), at room temperature or warmer
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened rice milk, which is fattier than most nut milks so adds richness to this recipe; you can also sub coconut milk or a nut milk if that’s what you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • generous 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use all-purpose, or regular whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp aluminum-free baking powder (yes, tablespoons)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash salt (optional)
  1. Add the room-temperature banana to your standing mixer and mix on high til significantly mashed, about 30 seconds (you could also use a blender or hand mixer). Add the granulated sugar to the bowl and mix on high for another 45 seconds to 1 minute. Thanks to the grit of the granulated sugar, the banana should be pulverized to a smooth liquid.
  2. Add the vanilla and melted coconut oil into the banana (if you freeze your ripe bananas and forgot to bring yours to room temperature before, use canola oil instead of coconut oil or you will have hard flecks of solid oil in your batter). Mix thoroughly, at least 20 seconds.
  3. Add the milk in a slow stream with the mixer running at low-medium speed. Adding the milk slowly is especially important if your milk is cold from the fridge, to avoid the coconut oil solidifying.
  4. Once mixed, turn off the mixer and add flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt to the bowl. Mix at low speed until just combined. Scrape down bowl and mix for a few seconds. The batter will have an airy-looking consistenty when you mix it (see photo above).
  5. Turn on your stove to a medium heat. I used the 4 1/2 mark on my stove that has a high of 9. Heat the pan for several minutes to make sure it’s hot. My pan is non-stick but if yours isn’t, you may want to put some non-dairy butter in it when it’s close to temperature.
  6. Add the batter to the pan. I scooped a 1/3 cup measure half full for each (so 1/6 cup per pancake). Let cook for 2 – 3 minutes and gently lift one to check the color. Once they are golden brown or to your taste, flip and cook for another 2 minutes or so on the other side. Cooking time will vary with your stove–if you desire, test a single pancake before filling an entire pan and adjust your times accordingly.
  7. Top as desired, and enjoy!

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