When I first went vegan, even though I had very strong reasons for doing so, I had this moment of regret that I may never get to eat a lot of my favorite foods again. I mean, cutting out meat was simple enough for me, but even if I stopped frying eggs or putting cow’s milk in my cereal, it seemed like there were eggs and/or dairy in almost everything!
Pancakes being of those things.
But thankfully, there are vegan geniuses out there who already figured out how to replace the eggs and dairy in many baked goods; you wouldn’t even miss them. Better yet, you can still be semi-lazy and use a mix as a shortcut to pancake bliss, as all the pancake mixes I’ve used so far are naturally vegan. They’re pretty much just a blend of flour and baking powder (but do check the ingredients in case they sneak in powdered milk or something weird like that).
Most pancake mix instructions I’ve seen tell you to combine the mix, milk, eggs, and oil (in varying proportions). I happened to use a buckwheat pancake mix for the ones in the pictures.
Here’s how to replace the milk and eggs in your mix instructions to make vegan pancakes:
For the Milk:
This one’s simple. Just replace the cow’s milk called for in the pancake recipe with an equal amount of non-dairy milk, such as soy milk or almond milk.
This part is totally optional, but to take it a step further, add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar for every 1 cup of non-dairy milk (ie 1 tsp. vinegar per 1/2 cup milk). Stir and set aside for 5-10 minutes. The vinegar will start to curdle the milk and result in a thick, “buttermilk”-like texture, which is perfect for pancakes.
Another optional step, but one which I highly recommend: add a teaspoon of vanilla extract for every cup of non-dairy milk. Your pancakes will smell even better as they’re cooking.
For the Eggs:
For each egg called for in the recipe, make a “chia egg” by combining 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 Tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes; it will develop a gelatinous “eggy” texture. Add to your pancake mix as directed. When cooked, the chia seeds will lend a subtle, toasty, nutty flavor to the pancakes.
If you prefer a more even-looking batter, you could instead make a “flax egg” by using ground flax seeds a.k.a. flax meal instead of the chia seeds and follow the steps above. IE 1 Tbsp. flax meal + 3 Tbsp. water per egg, let sit 5-10 minutes.
For the Oil:
You could just use whatever oil you would normally use for pancakes here (such as canola or coconut oil). But, since we’re going to be cooking the pancakes in oil too, why not make the batter just a tad bit healthier?
For every Tablespoon of oil called for in the recipe, try replacing with 1/2 a small ripe banana, mashed. It makes the batter nice and moist, and it adds a little hint of natural sweetness.
The batter prepared in this vegan way may result in a slightly thicker batter than you’re used to. Instead of pouring it into your greased, hot pan, you may have to scoop it in and then spread it out on the pan a little with the back of your spoon. I personally liked it this way, because the pancakes come out thick and fluffy. But, if you prefer a thinner batter, you can always add some more non-dairy milk to compensate. Cook the pancakes as directed on the box.
Store-bought pancake mixes can be plain, but that’s also what makes them such great starting points. You can keep it simple or get creative by folding in chocolate chips, blueberries, or whatever additions you like. I like to spice mine up with a little sprinkle of cinnamon before I add the wet ingredients.
If you have a box of pancake mix in your cupboard, try making some vegan pancakes this weekend!