This is a variation of our whole grain pancakes base recipe. With more people adopting plant-based and vegan diets these days, we set out to create a pancake recipe that accommodates these dietary preferences. We also traded out our usual white whole wheat flour for spelt flour to create a unique, nutty flavor. These vegan spelt pancakes are fluffy, filling, and plant-forward. Give ‘em a try!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for Vegan Banana Pancakes
Once you learn how to make healthy vegan pancakes at home, you will realize how easy it is to make a fun, tasty, and balanced breakfast!
What makes these spelt pancakes vegan? This recipe uses soy milk and lemon juice to make vegan buttermilk, and uses ground flaxseeds to create a flax egg. In our other recipes, we recommend making the flax egg separately, but in this case, it is okay to mix it in with the other liquid ingredients.
Be sure to use a ripe banana; it should have lots of dark spots. If you want to make this recipe but your bananas aren’t quite ripe, you can always roast them! Don’t worry if you have slightly more or less than ½ cup mashed banana; the recipe will still work. Add a splash more soy milk if the batter is too thick.
Be sure to measure the spelt flour correctly. Fluff, spoon, and level! Packing it into the cup creates dense pancakes.
Don’t overstir! Too much mixing can result in tough pancakes which is not what you want when making fluffy buttermilk pancakes. Stir gently until all ingredients are just moistened; the batter should be slightly lumpy.
Have you ever noticed how the first pancake or batch looks splotchy? It is all about the pan! It takes time to distribute heat evenly across the pan’s surface. Oftentimes, you need to adjust the heat as you cook multiple batches. Also, be sure not to coat the pan with too much oil – excess will lead to splotches! Use as little as possible.
Don’t have time to make the batter in the morning? Whisk the batter together the night before and give it a gentle stir in the morning. Now all you have to do is heat the griddle and get cooking!
If you have kids, have them help you make these easy vegan pancakes. It keeps them distracted from their hunger while they help cook, and they have fun measuring, mixing, and sprinkling! Older kids can even help flip the pancakes!
- Spelt Flour: substitute white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. You can also substitute regular whole wheat flour, but the flavor, color, and texture won’t be quite as light. If you don’t have spelt flour or white whole wheat flour, you can substitute half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, although this will slightly decrease the fiber content.
- Sugar: substitute maple syrup or agave. Mix liquid sweeteners in with the wet ingredients. If your banana is extra ripe, you may be able to get away with leaving it out.
- Banana: substitute any other fruit or vegetable puree – sweet potato, pumpkin, or applesauce.
- Soy Milk: substitute another plant-based milk, but note that buttermilk made from soy milk makes the fluffiest pancakes.
- Canola Oil: substitute melted coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Lemon Juice: substitute 1 Tablespoon white vinegar.
- Flax Seed: substitute 1 large egg if not vegan.
- Vanilla: substitute or add ¼ teaspoon of any other flavor extract – almond, coconut, lemon, etc.
Add any other toppings of your choice – coconut flakes, flaxseeds, nuts, nut butters, chocolate chips, fruit, etc. Feel free to mix into the batter, add during cooking, or garnish at the end.
Turn these into multigrain buttermilk pancakes by adding ½ cup oats to the batter. This will create a slightly thicker texture, but you may like the added nuttiness that oats add. If too thick, add a splash more soy milk.
To make blueberry spelt pancakes, fold fresh blueberries into the batter right before cooking, or add them immediately after placing on the griddle. You can also use frozen blueberries, but be careful not to overstir, as this will turn the batter purple!
Need some recipe inspiration?
Use our whole grain pancakes base recipe as a guide, or check out some of our other variations!
Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:
- Mixing Bowls
- Dry Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- ¼ cup Portion Scoop
- Wide Turner/Spatula
Are vegan pancakes healthy?
These spelt flour pancakes are full of nutritious ingredients that will keep you satisfied and energized for hours: whole grain spelt flour, soy milk, low added sugar, and bananas.
Spelt flour is an ancient grain that has been in production for thousands of years. It is a variety of wheat, so it is not a gluten-free grain. However, some people with wheat or gluten intolerances may tolerate spelt flour better. (1) If you have a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, speak with a medical professional before adding this grain to your diet. Spelt flour is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, trace minerals, and phytochemicals. Replacing refined grains (i.e. white flour) with whole grains (i.e. spelt flour) may reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. (2)
Soy milk is made by soaking soybeans in water. It contains as much protein as cow’s milk and is rich in disease-fighting isoflavones. Additionally, soy milk is fortified with calcium and other vitamins and minerals to make it comparable to cow’s milk. Some people express concern over soy intake and increased breast cancer risk, but research does not support this hypothesis. (3, 4)
Learn more about the differences between cow’s milk and plant-based milks in this article.
Less Added Sugar than Leading Pancake Brands
High sugar consumption is not good for health, and in general, most Americans eat way too much! Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (~36 grams) of sugar per day, and women and children should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (~24 grams) of sugar per day. (5) This entire recipe only contains 1 Tablespoon of added sugar, which is just over 1 gram per pancake!
Learn more about hidden sugars in this article.
Bananas contain fiber and potassium. The natural sugar in bananas (and all fruit) does not count against your daily sugar budget. Aim to include fruit in all of your meals so that you fill up on beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and phytochemicals!
Hold the pancakes in a warm oven (~170 ºF) or the warm setting in a microwave until ready to eat. Serve with Greek yogurt, nuts or nut butter, or a side of scrambled eggs and fruit for a balanced breakfast full of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
How to Store Leftover Banana Spelt Pancakes
Want buttermilk spelt pancakes from scratch every morning? Cook once, and eat all week! Multiply the recipe by your desired final yield, cook, and cool. Place cooled pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Frozen whole grain pancakes are great for a quick “reheat and eat” breakfast. For best quality, place cooled pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet, freeze for 1-2 hours, then place in a freezer-safe container. This helps prevent the pancakes from sticking to each other.
When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave or a toaster until warmed through.
Want the convenience of a pre-made pancake mix so that you can make healthy pancakes whenever you want? Make your own high fiber pancake mix recipe at home by whisking together the first 5 ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the pantry.
Want more healthy plant-forward breakfast ideas?
Check out these other delicious breakfast base recipes!
Vegan Spelt Pancakes
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Dash salt
- 1 ripe medium banana
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, gently whisk spelt flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, mash banana. Add soy milk, lemon juice, oil, flaxseeds, and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat a griddle or large non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Whisk until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Lightly grease griddle or pan with non-stick spray or a little canola oil. Pour ~¼ cup batter onto the griddle to create pancakes. Immediately sprinkle any desired toppings on pancakes, and gently press toppings down as needed. Cook until tiny bubbles appear on the surface and the edges start to firm up.
- Flip and cook for ~2 more minutes. You might need to lower the heat as you cook additional batches. Hold in the oven on a warming setting or ~170°F until ready to eat. Enjoy!