You don’t have to be gluten-free to enjoy these tender, melt-in-your-mouth coconut flour pancakes. But there are some tricks to making them over-the-top delicious.
So the first time I tried making coconut flour pancakes, I was beyond frustrated.
If this is your first time making pancakes with this alternative flour, then let me tell you: this process is not going to be exactly the same as what you’re probably used to, if you want the best results.
Based on what I’ve learned from numerous failed attempts, here are the 5 most important tips for success when making coconut flour pancakes at home:
- Do NOT substitute another type of flour – it won’t work.
- Preheat the skillet or griddle only after your batter is made.
- Don’t over-grease the pan.
- Make them small, otherwise they won’t flip.
- Use a thin spatula for flipping.
Let’s break each of these recommendations down a bit more…
To start, I’m here to help you to understand the answer to two important questions:
What is coconut flour? And what makes it different?
Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat. It is naturally gluten free, and can easily be made at home. However, if you want to buy it from the store, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it’s generally cheaper than other alternative flours.
Nutritionally, it is high in fat and protein, while being low in carbohydrates. As a result, you’ll often see it used in paleo or low-carb recipes.
It’s also a good source of manganese, which is an essential mineral that plays a role in bone and skin health.
When using this particular flour, one of the biggest differences between it and other flours (including gluten-free ones) is that it loves liquid – and I mean loves it.
It is very good at absorbing liquid. As a result, using it can dry out your breakfast treats and baked goods.
In order to keep our pancakes tender and moist rather than dry, you’ll notice we have a lot of liquid ingredients in this recipe in relative proportion to a small amount of flour.
This is the main reason why you can’t substitute other gluten-free flours – the texture of the final product would be totally off.
This brings us to tip #2: wait to preheat your skillet until the batter is made.
While it doesn’t need a ton of time, giving the batter a few minutes to sit before you cook helps allow the coconut flour to absorb some of the liquid, resulting in a thicker batter and fluffier pancakes.
Next up: don’t over-grease your pan.
Since the batter contains a good amount of fat, I’ve never had a problem with it sticking to the pan.
A little butter, coconut oil, or cooking oil spray on the skillet can help these pancakes to brown nicely. But if you grease your pan too much, the batter will spread, creating thinner rounds with a greasy texture.
If I had to rank these, the fourth tip is perhaps the second most important: keep the pancakes small.
Remember how I said I was frustrated the first time I made these? It was because I tried to make them as large as traditional ones. I know I said up above that I have a passion for giant flapjacks, but you’re going to want to stick to something a little more petite with this type.
Coconut flour doesn’t contain gluten, so the texture is much more tender and delicate than those made with wheat flour. If you try to make large or even what some might call “normal-sized” pancakes, when you go to flip them, they will completely fall apart.
While I’ve had limited success using 2 or 3 tablespoons of batter per round, I’ve had the most consistent results by using just 1 tablespoon of batter each.
I know, that’s teeny-tiny. But do you remember loving those cute silver dollar pancakes when you were a kid? Trust me when I say that it’s time to embrace the idea of this miniature breakfast. It’ll save you a lot of frustration and heartbreak, plus they’re cute and delicious, and you can eat a whole bunch of them.
On to the final tip: use a thin spatula.
These are very delicate, and I’ve found that a thinner spatula is less likely to result in breakage when you go to flip them. A thin, flexible spatula is your best friend here.
If you only have a traditionally proportioned flipping utensil, then I recommend using a rubber or silicone spatula instead. Gently ease each mini flapjack onto the spatula before flipping.
Something like a fish spatula will also work nicely, just remember to be gentle on your frying pan or griddle surface, to avoid scratching.
Now that you have your plate of adorable, melt-in-your-mouth gluten-free pancakes, it’s time for the fun part: toppings!
Even though these don’t have a strong coconut flavor, I thought it just felt right to go all-in on the tropical theme with banana slices, diced strawberries, and coconut flakes.
Whatever toppings you choose, I know you’re going to love breaking out of your breakfast comfort zone with a (mini) stack of these flapjacks!Print
You don’t have to be gluten-free to enjoy these tender, melt-in-your-mouth coconut flour pancakes.
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or unsalted butter, cooled slightly
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk eggs until just slightly frothy. Add melted coconut oil, milk, and honey, and whisk until well combined.
- Add coconut flour, salt, and baking powder to liquid ingredients and stir until just combined. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over a medium flame, or heat griddle to 325oF.
- Once heated, lightly grease pan with extra coconut oil, butter, or cooking oil spray.
- Drop 1 tablespoon of batter per pancake onto pan. Cook for 1 minute, or until the tops are bubbling and the bottoms are lightly browned. Flip and cook another 30-60 seconds.
- Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve with toppings of choice.
- Category: Pancakes
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: pancake, coconut flour, gluten-free
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure Ingredients and Melt Coconut Oil
Measure out all of your ingredients.
Note: Coconut flour absorbs liquid differently than other flours. Do not substitute in another type of gluten-free or all-purpose flour. For the milk, feel free to use regular cow’s milk, or a plant-based option.
Microwave the coconut oil or butter in 15-second intervals until melted. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Step 2 – Whisk Together Wet Ingredients
Crack the eggs into a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk until slightly frothy. Add melted coconut oil, milk, and honey. Stir until just combined.
Step 3 – Add Dry Ingredients
Add the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt to the liquid ingredients, and stir until just combined. Set aside.
Step 4 – Heat Pan and Cook
Once heated, lightly grease the pan or griddle with coconut oil, butter, or cooking spray. Do not grease the pan excessively, or the batter will spread too much, and your finished product will have a greasy texture.
As coconut flour pancakes are very delicate and not easy to flip, I recommend making the mini-sized. To do this, drop 1 tablespoon of batter per round onto your lightly greased pan.
Cook for 1 minute, or until the bottoms of the pancakes are starting to brown, and bubbles are forming on the top.
Flip with a thin spatula and cook for another 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with the remaining batter.
To keep them warm until you’re ready to serve, either place on a plate and cover with foil, or place in an oven preheated to 175˚F, or the lowest setting.
If you want to try making them slightly larger, you can use 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake, but any more batter than that will likely spread too much and break each time when you go to flip it.
Step 5 – Serve and Top
Serve and enjoy! For a tropical feel, I topped mine with banana slices, diced strawberries, coconut flakes, and maple syrup.
Gluten-Free Breakfasts Are Just as Sweet
While gluten-free pancakes and baked goods used to get a bad reputation for being dry, crumbly, and not as satisfying overall as their gluten-containing counterparts, that’s no longer the case.
Thanks to the rise in popularity of baking with alternative flours, you can find gluten-free recipe alternatives that are just as satisfying. To get you started, here are some of our favorite gluten-free recipes to enjoy in the mornings:
Any tips for making pancakes with coconut flour that we missed? Share in the comments below. And after finishing your short stack, make sure to give this recipe a 5-star rating to let others know how much you loved these!
Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on September 22, 2010. Last updated: January 22, 2020 at 12:28 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
The written contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.
About Kelli McGrane, MS, RD
Kelli McGrane is a Denver-based registered dietitian with a lifelong love of food. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutrition science from Boston University. As a registered dietitian, she believes in the importance of food to nourish not only your body, but your soul as well. Nutrition is very personal, and you won’t find any food rules here, other than to simply enjoy what you eat.