Flapjacks or Flapjanes

Cakey Pancakes, low-fat vegan
Cakey Multigrain Pancakes are low-fat vegan and rise more than other recipes.

Pancakes, hotcakes and the like are pretty much just another flatbread. But they mean breakfast maybe more than brunch and sweet usually not savory. These two low-fat vegan versions are not bland, either.

Cakey Multigrain Pancakes

Four servings

  • 2 Tablespoons egg replacer powder OR ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups plant milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Dash vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal, traditional OR quick
  • Zest from 1 orange, minced (optional)
  • 1 cup berries (optional), frozen is fine (thawed or not)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Oil spray
  1. Turn oven to 200 degrees and place cookie sheet or pizza pan on rack to keep pancakes warm. No need to grease or use parchment paper.
  2. Mix ground flaxseed or egg replacer with water in ramekin or small bowl, squishing out all lumps. Let stand at least 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the liquids in a pint or quart measuring cup: stir the lemon juice well into the plant milk, then mix in “vegan egg” and optional vanilla and optional zest. Let stand at least 2 minutes, before Step 7.
  4. Heat large nonstick skillet on medium about 4 minutes.
  5. Combine dry ingredients: Mix thoroughly the flour, baking powder, salt and optional poppy seeds in medium to large mixing bowl.
  6. If using traditional rolled oats, stir into the liquids’ cup to soak a bit. If quick oats, stir into the dry ingredients’ bowl.
  7. Pour liquids into bowl of dry ingredients. Do not overmix. The batter will be on the thick side. Adding a little water 1-2 tablespoons at a time for slightly looser consistency is OK.
  8. Add oil to pan, move around with spatula then pour into clean ramekin for re-use.
  9. With large spoon, dollop out 4 or 5 pancakes 3-4 inches wide onto skillet. Optionally, drop a few berries onto top of pancakes then squirt these pancakes lightly with spray oil. Cook 2-4 minutes, until edges are dry with some bubbles, flip and cook other side about 2 minutes. Raise or lower heat if needed for desired level of browning. Remove pancakes to stay warm in oven.
  10. Return oil to pan, distribute with spatula then return oil to ramekin. Cook pancakes as in Step 9. Recipe makes about 15, so there should be 3 to 4 rounds of stovetop baking. Serve with syrup, jam, fresh fruit etc.


The manufacturer of my nonstick skillets warns against oil cooking spray, as its other ingredients (chiefly lecithin) can build up over time and can’t be scrubbed off without removing the nonstick. The company instead advises adding a tiny bit of liquid oil to the skillet, to make the nonstick coating more effective and last longer. That’s what I’m indicating here. However, the sugar in berries (or banana or apple slices) will stick, so I “Pam” just the tops of fruit-topped pancakes, then turn. (This is also helpful for veggie burgers.)

Browning is tricky. Whole grains don’t brown like all-purpose or bleached white flour. With no oil, eggs and especially sugar there’s little caramelizing, either. unless you cook longer or hotter, but that may result in disaster. So experiment but keep an eye — and nose — on the pan.

Source: “Blueberry-Poppy Seed Pancakes,” How to Eat Plant-Based magazine 2020, from Forks Over Knives

Multigrain Pancakes for Two

I’ve used this recipe for seven years, since I went vegan, adapted from “Pancakes” in the book that helped my wife and I transition to the whole-grain plant-based diet, 2011’s 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Neal D. Barnard, M.D.

This recipe looks long but not really: at base it’s 2/3 cup liquid, 2/3 cup flour and some leavening.

  • 2/3 cup plant milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Dash vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and/or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon (all optional)
  • 1 grated medium apple, cored, unpeeled (optional)
  • 2/3 cup whole grain flours (roughly 50-50 buckwheat and whole wheat is my favorite)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Up to 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Oil spray
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or nuts chopped to that size (optional)
  • 1/2 cup berries, frozen thawed or not is fine (optional)
  1. Set oven to 200 degrees and place cookie sheet or pizza pan on rack, to accept cooked pancakes. No need to grease or use parchment paper.
  2. Combine milk, lemon juice, and optional vanilla and optional spices into a pint measuring cup, stir well. Add in optional grated apple. Let stand a few minutes while completing other preparations.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: thoroughly stir flours, baking powder and salt in medium mixing bowl.
  4. Heat large skillet on medium about 4 minutes.
  5. Pour liquid ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir; do not overmix. Add up to 1/4 cup water, by the tablespoon, for consistency of a melted milkshake. The batter thickens while standing so it’s OK to add 2-4 Tablespoons of water to remaining batter while cooking a set.
  6. Spread vegetable oil around skillet then pour in ramekin and reserve. Spoon out 3-4 pancakes. Optionally top with seeds, chopped nuts or berries. Top lightly with oil spray if using the add-ons. Cook 2-3 minutes, until edges are dry with bubbles, flip then cook another 2 minutes. Move to sheet in oven to keep warm.
  7. Spread oil over skillet then return oil to ramekin and spoon in another 3-4 pancakes. Cook as in Step 6. Stovetop temperature may need to be adjusted a little cooler or warmer for desired browning. The recipe makes about 10 4-inch pancakes. Serve with the usual pancake toppings.


Leftover pancakes can be warmed in a toaster, as a microwave toughens them. If topped with berries, toast on low just enough to heat through, well under a minute. Berries can burn, as in flames and smoke detectors going off! Alternately, reheat in a skillet.

My wife and I use regular or original plant milk as their (added) sugar content is designed to be similar to dairy milk. Unsweetened plant milk works well in both recipes. The pancakes rise just fine, and you have syrup or fruits at the table for the sweet kick.

All whole wheat flours work fine in either recipe whether regular, high protein for bread or pastry style, lower protein. Buckwheat has a great, unique flavor with a solid nutrition profile.

The optional grated apple adds subtle flavor and nutrition. Interestingly it always melts into the pancakes, even if you include the peel, recommended for added nutrition and extra fiber.

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