gluten-free pancakes with melted butter on top and syrup

Every now and then I wake up with an insatiable craving for a sweet brekkie. Normally I am a savoury kinda girl – think eggs, congee, soupy-noodley stuff… I know for some of you that may sound a bit odd but what can I say?

Anyway, as I was saying, the sweet craving follows me for about two days until it gets to the weekend and I have time to honour it. Sometimes I’ll temper it with a bircher muesli or in the winter with a wholegrain porridge, but other times I want to push the boat out and treat myself to pancakes.

My mouth is watering as I write this and am thinking about all of the wonderful varieties of pancakes I have concocted over the years. I am so excited to be able to share some of them with you here in this blog.

Now, I am a lover of thick bouncy pancakes that the maple syrup can bury itself into. Below are two varieties: a delicious gluten free sweet potato and ricotta gluten free pancake and a very tasty coconut banana vegan pancake.

The gluten free pancake uses some of my favourite flours to give a nice light fluffy batter, the egg white giving the flour a bit of lightness that would normally come from gluten in the flour. This batter needs to be used straight away, as the egg white will fall if they are left too long.

The temperature of the pan is really important when you are cooking your pancakes. Expect a few “eat while no one is looking” failures at the beginning as you establish the correct heat. You want the batter to brown and small bubbles to appear on the surface. If you are cooking in butter you don’t want it too hot or the butter will burn and taint the flavour of your batter. I like to put my flavourings onto the pancake before the bubbles appear instead of in the batter, this way I can ensure everyone gets the same amount of surprises. Be creative; add berries, thinly sliced apples, shredded coconut, flaked almonds, chopped macadamias or go crazy and do a savoury version with some fresh corn kernels or some crumbled goats cheese. Dont be afraid to jazz up your batter with some warming spices in winter, too! Cinnamon, ginger, clove and cardamom are perfect for this job. In summer you may want to add some shredded mint, rosewater, or coconut cream to the mix.

I would like to spend a little minute talking about some of the flours I have chosen to use for my pancakes here. Buckwheat flour is perfect for making pancakes and it is often used on its on to make a simple gluten free pancake. However, I think it can taste a little bland so I have decided to combine it with some coconut flour in the vegan recipe here today. Coconut flour is a rich dense flour that is perfect for a pancake style batter; however, it can be a bit stodgy for cakes and will usually need to be mixed with another gluten free flour such as arrowroot or rice flour.

Adding some ground nuts or seeds to the batter will give it a much better texture, too. I have done this in the sweet potato and ricotta pancake, and I am sure you will agree it works perfectly. I have also used some quinoa flakes in this pancake. If you can’t find them and you are on a wheat free diet you could use rice flakes or rolled oats. Arrowroot flour is a versatile gluten free flour that is often used in gluten free flour mixes you will find in the supermarket. It has a neutral flavour and is not too heavy, so it was a natural choice for the vegan pancakes.

Most speciality flours are available at health food stores, though supermarkets are starting to stock more of them. If you live in a hot climate or have problems with moths, store you flours in an airtight container the refrigerator.

Enjoy trying out these two new beauties I have created for you. I am particularly fond of the sweet potato and ricotta pancakes, and feel it would make a great dessert as well as a knock-your-socks-off brekkie.


There is no egg in this recipe, instead I have used chia seeds to bind the mixture. Soak the chia seeds in water for 5-10 minutes, stirring a couple of times so the seeds don’t clump together. The seeds will actually take on the consistency of egg white. This egg replacement can also be used in cakes and muffins – 1 tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in 60 ml water is equal to one egg.


  • 1 cup (85g) buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (45g) arrowroot
  • 1/3 cup (50g) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 small banana (100g), mashed
  • 60g extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons white chia seeds mixed with 125ml water
  • 300ml coconut water
  • extra virgin coconut oil, for cooking

Sift the buckwheat flour, arrowroot, coconut flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the coconut. Make a well in the centre.

Whisk together the mashed banana, coconut oil, chia mix and coconut water.

Fold the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Heat a little of the coconut oil in a non stick frypan, cook large spoonfuls of the mixture over a medium heat for 3 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer to a warm oven, keep warm whilst you cook the remaining mixture.

Serve the pancakes topped with slices of the butter and finish with a good splash of maple syrup

Serves 4-6 


These are hearty little numbers so bring your appetite to the table with you. Leave them to warm in the oven for about 15 minutes before serving, that way when you pop the butter on top in will melt and create a wonderful cardamom, orange-infused buttery sauce.

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ cups (375ml) almond milk
  • 11/2 cups (130g) buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (25g) almond meal
  • ½ cup (25g) quinoa flakes
  • 250g ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 100g peeled sweet potato, grated
  • 25g butter, for cooking
  • maple syrup, for  serving
  • Orange Cinnamon and maple butter
  • 100g butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoons maple syrup

Combine ricotta, egg yolks and almond milk.

In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and spices, stir in quinoa and almond meal. Make a well in the centre, stir in the ricotta mixture.

Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold through the batter with the grated sweet pototo.

Melt butter in pan, cook 3 tablespoons of the mixture at a time to make large pancakes, cook for 3 minutes over a medium heat or until the underside is golden, turn and cook the other side for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a warm oven, keep warm whilst you cook the remaining mixture.

Serve the pancakes topped with slices of the butter and finish with a good splash of maple syrup

Serves 4-6 

Jamie has loads of traditional pancake recipes on his website, too – his One-cup Pancakes with blueberries are so quick and easy that they can be enjoyed any day of the week.

About the author

Jody Vassallo

Jody Vassallo is an award-winning recipe writer and food stylist who has spent the last 20 years writing recipes that inspire people to eat well. She has authored cookbooks for people with diabetes, celiac disease and a range of allergies and food intolerances. Jody has studied both Ayurvedic medicine and Macrobiotic cooking and weaves the wisdom of these traditions through her recipes and stories. For more about Jody go to her website,

Jody Vassallo