These fluffy vegan buttermilk pancakes are all you need to make your Sunday mornings a whole lot brighter! With one bowl, 6 ingredients, and 15 minutes of your time, you're just moments away from a delicious breakfast.
Let's settle the ultimate breakfast debate: pancakes or waffles? Nostalgia aside, I'm personally choosing pancakes.
Even without eggs (or an egg replacer) or dairy, these vegan pancakes taste just like classic, diner pancakes! They can be loaded with whatever add-ins you love and served with whatever toppings you prefer. They're super easy to make, better than a boxed mix, freezer-friendly, and a guaranteed way to get everybody out of bed.
Why you'll love this recipe
- You only need 1 bowl, 6 basic ingredients and 15 minutes to make everyone's favorite breakfast!
- They're fluffy as can be and reminiscent of those diner pancakes you used to get as a kid (or as an adult, no judgement here).
- You can easily customize these pancakes with any add-ins and toppings you like.
- They're free of dairy, eggs and refined-sugar! They can also easily be made soy-free, if needed.
You don't need anything special, just basic kitchen tools that you likely already have on hand:
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Pancake Griddle or large nonstick pan
What's vegan buttermilk?
Whether your vegan or not, nobody should be buying buttermilk. All buttermilk is is 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon of an acid. That’s it! To make vegan buttermilk, we'll just be using 1 cup of plant-based milk + 1 tablespoon of an acid. Just mix two together and allow them to rest for about 5-10 minutes. As it rests, the acid will curdle and thicken the milk, causing it to develop a sour taste similar to that of buttermilk.
The majority, if not all, of these ingredients are pantry staples!
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour but you could also use 1:1 gluten-free all purpose flour as well.
- Plant-based Milk: The best vegan milks to use when making vegan buttermilk are either soy milk or almond milk. I personally always opt for soy milk because it curdles the best and has the most similar consistency to cow's milk. But really, any plant-based milk will do so long as it's plain and unsweetened.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: In order to make vegan buttermilk, we'll need an acid to curdle the milk! I usually use apple cider vinegar but lemon juice, lime juice or distilled white vinegar will work perfectly.
- Baking Powder: to help our pancakes rise. This reacts with the buttermilk and creates perfectly airy pancakes.
- Coconut Sugar: to keep this recipe refined sugar-free, I opted for coconut sugar. If you don't have it, regular sugar will work just the same! This will soften the pancakes, add a touch of sweetness and help you achieve that golden color.
- Vanilla Extract & Salt: I used my homemade vanilla extract and it made them even better! These two will add flavor and balances out the sweetness.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Variations & Substitutions
I love this recipe as is but there are definitely a few ways you can change it up that would work perfectly!
- Make these into gluten-free vegan pancakes by using 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour. Other gluten-free flours, like oat flour or almond flour, cannot be substituted at the same ratio, as you will have to alter the amount of the other ingredients.
- Up the nutritional content of your pancakes by using whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose flour.
- Make vegan protein pancakes by adding in a scoop of your favorite protein powder. I love to add a scoop of this Orgain plant-based creamy chocolate fudge protein powder. Whatever you choose to use, be sure it doesn't make the batter too dry. If so, just add 1-2 tablespoons more of buttermilk.
- Add a ½ teaspoon cinnamon to the batter to bring some warmth and extra flavor.
This recipe has not been tested with any other substitutions or variations than the ones listed above. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
Step 1: Combine non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. Whisk in vanilla extract.
Step 2: Add in the flour, baking powder, coconut sugar, and salt. Mix everything together until JUST combined. There should be no streaks of flour remaining, but there should still be plenty of lumps.
Step 3: Set your griddle to 350 degrees F or your stove to medium heat. Grease lightly with cold vegan butter or cooking spray.
Step 4: Scoop the batter using a ⅓ cup measure and pour onto the heated griddle or pan. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bubbles in the exposed batter have formed and start to pop. Flip the pancake and let it cook for another minute or two, or until golden brown then remove from the griddle.
Serve immediately with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, or any preferred toppings!
Toppings & Mix-ins
What's better than customizing your pancakes with some yummy add ins? Nothing. Here are some of my favorite ways to take these classic pancakes to the next level:
- Chocolate chips
- Fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or bananas
- Peanut butter, cashew butter, nutella
- Crushed peanuts
- Coconut shreds
- Berry compote
- Vegan mascarpone
- Vegan whipped cream or coconut cream
- Vegan butter & maple syrup, duh
Enjoy these classic pancakes for the ultimate Sunday brunch, breakfast for dinner, or a weekday treat.
If you want to make a full breakfast spread, feel free to serve these pancakes alongside some vegan bacon, vegan sausages, tofu scramble and air fryer smashed potatoes!
- Don't make the batter ahead of time. The baking powder reacts with everything as soon as it's added, so if you wait too long (I'm talking the next day) to make the pancakes, they won't rise or be fluffy.
- Do not over mix the batter! Mix it until it's just combined, meaning there are no streaks of flour but there are still lumps. The batter should not be completely smooth. Over mixing your batter results in dense and tough pancakes.
- Let the batter rest after you've mixed it while your griddle heats up for 5 minutes. While it rests, the moisture in the batter helps release some of the starches and proteins in the flour that will give the pancakes lift without making them tough.
- Use a pancake griddle! Not only does it reduce cooking time but it creates an evenly-heated surface.
- Make sure your griddle or pan isn't too hot! It's better cook over medium-low heat for a few extra minutes to ensure your pancakes are golden brown and cooked through.
- Only flip the pancakes once after the bubbles in the exposed batter start to pop. Flipping the pancakes too many times pushes the air out of them, resulting in dense pancakes.
- Wipe down your skillet between pancakes! This will ensure you don't get any burnt bits or pancake batter or burnt butter in your pancakes.
- If you're using a pan or making extra batter where all of the pancakes won't be done at the same time, keep them in the oven or a convection oven on low heat to keep warm until they're ready to serve.
- Have your toppings ready to go! This ensures your pancakes don't get cold while you're prepping the toppings.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerator: Store the pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: Always allow the pancakes to cool completely, then place a piece of parchment paper between each of the cakes before placing them into a freezer-friendly bag. Or, spread the cooked and cooled buttermilk pancakes across a baking sheet then transfer to the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until the pancakes are frozen completely solid. Then place in a freezer safe bag or container. Either option will keep the pancakes from sticking together into one big clump.
Reheating: There are so many different ways that you can reheat these pancakes. Reheat in the microwave, in the toaster, in non-stick pan, in the oven, or in an air fryer. If you're reheating in the oven, do so at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through. For the air fryer, air fry at 350 degrees F for 3-5 minutes, or until warmed through. If reheating from frozen, add 1-2 minutes to all of the methods.
Chewy or dense pancakes are usually the result of over mixing the batter! Over mixing whips too much air into the batter and over-activates the gluten, which causes the batter to become tough and stringy, resulting in tough pancakes. If the batter is completely smooth, you've overmixed! There should be lumps.
Make sure you didn't overmix the batter! It should be lumpy, not completely smooth. Also, let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes before you start cooking. Get your toppings ready and heat up the griddle while you wait. Letting the batter rest allows the flour to hydrate and time for the leavening agent to start working, which will give your pancakes the lift they need to be fluffy.
I wouldn't, as you will not get the same result. Not only does buttermilk add that classic tangy flavor in pancakes, it helps activate the baking powder in the batter to make them super fluffy.
It sounds like your griddle or skillet was too hot! If the heat is too high, the outside of your pancakes will cook very quickly and give the impression that they're cooked through. Be sure to cook on medium-low heat.
Make sure to lightly grease your pan with oil or vegan butter. If your pancakes are still sticking to the pan, it may be too hot or your pan might not have a good non-stick coating.
Other recipes you might like
Fluffy Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes
- Pancake Griddle or non-stick skillet
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Spoons
- 1 ¼ cup (150 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (24 g) coconut sugar
- 1 cup (200 g) vegan buttermilk 1 cup (~190g) unsweetened non-dairy milk + 1 tablespoon (~12g) apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make your vegan buttermilk by mixing 1 cup of non-dairy milk with apple cider vinegar in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes.1 cup vegan buttermilk
- To the vegan buttermilk, add in the vanilla and give it a stir.1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add in the flour, baking powder, coconut sugar, and salt. Mix together until just combined.1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- Set pancake griddle to 350 degrees F or your stove to medium heat. Grease griddle or pan lightly with cold vegan butter or cooking spray.
- For each pancake, scoop the batter using an ice cream scoop or a ⅓ cup measure and pour onto your heated griddle or pan. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bubbles in the exposed batter have formed and start to pop. Flip the pancake and let it cook for another minute or two, or until golden brown then remove from the griddle. Repeat until all of the batter is used.
- Serve immediately with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, or any preferred toppings!