Old School Vegan Buttermilk Pancakes

Growing up my dad would make his famous pancakes every weekend.  Everybody knew about his pancakes, all of my friends, our extended family, neighbors…my dad is a creature of habit, and he had three different kinds–ricotta, Swedish oatmeal, and blueberry buttermilk–and he would rotate without fail, every Saturday and Sunday.  To this day, when I go home to visit, I can always count on my paps making us pancakes.

When I became vegan (well as you know, I’m “almost” vegan…for reasons such as this…how could I turn down my dad’s pancakes??), I wanted to find an equivalent vegan version that were as good as his buttermilk pancakes.  Literally for years and years, I tried different pancakes.  From vegan cookbooks, blogs, and making my own.  But they always came out too dense and heavy, or too fluffy, or just not right.  That’s why I never included them in this blog until now.  But I have finally found the perfect combination of ingredients, and these pancakes literally taste just like my dad’s, and with none of the comatose side effects I always get after eating the original, dairy-heavy version.

I think one of the secrets that make these so good is the flax eggs.  I’ve noticed a lot of vegan pancake recipes do not call for some sort of “egg” but I think it makes a difference.  Also, these are quite healthy–especially if you use all whole wheat flour: in addition to flax seed, I also put in a good deal of hemp hearts.  Not-to-worry if you have picky kids, you can’t taste the flax or the hemp hearts =)

This recipe makes a lot of pancakes, but I have a lot of mouths to feed–five in total!  You can always cut this in half, however they do keep well for a few days, and even when I was just cooking for my husband and myself, I’d always make this amount so we could have them again a couple times during the week.

Now let’s just get on to the recipe!


  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed + 5 tbsp water (to make flax egg)
  • 3 1/2 cups unsweetened, non-dairy milk
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups flour–I use 2 cups whole wheat flour and one cup white.  White whole wheat flour would work well too.
  • 2 tbsp baking powder**
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp hemp hearts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp canola oil (or oil of choice)
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Make the flax egg by mixing together ground flax seed and water.  Set aside and it will thicken within a couple minutes, which means it’s ready to use.
  2. Make the “buttermilk” by adding the apple cider vinegar to the non-dairy milk.  It will curdle pretty quickly and will be ready to use in a couple of minutes as well.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add together all of the dry ingredients
  4. Add the wet ingredients, including the flax egg and buttermilk, to the dry ingredients, and mix well to combine.  A few lumps are okay, and just be sure to not over-mix.
  5. Heat pan–I recommend cast iron but non-stick will work well also–over medium-low or medium heat (depending on your particular stove), and let it heat up a good 10 minutes or so.  This is also the time the pancake batter needs to rest before cooking.
  6. Spray pan with oil, and add about 1/2 cup of batter.  Let cook for a couple minutes, until the border has bubbles and is beginning to just dry.
  7. Spray again with oil (this is important, it makes a difference!), and flip.  Cook an additional couple of minutes.
  8. Serve with vegan butter (I love Earth Balance), and maple syrup!


**I don’t love super fluffy pancakes so I go light on the baking powder. But if you like them fluffier, add one more tablespoon of baking powder.

**Feel free to add in blueberries or raspberries as well!

One Comment Add yours

  1. These are so good. They are similar in chewy texture to a pancake I always order at the Pancake House in Eugene, Oregon. BTW, Dad’s recipe for buttermilk pancakes is actually originally Grandma Esther’s recipe!


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