When Gluten Free Goes Wrong: Pancakes

Those pancakes look great, right? Totally delicious, huh? Not really. Truth is, I know how to make a fine looking pancake (let’s chock that up to my brief stint at IHOP as a teenager), but these pancakes didn’t taste very good at all. I think it just goes to show that gluten-free substitutions don’t always pan out.

Despite my gross pancake experience, I thought that now would be a good time to give some pancake tips. You first want to concentrate on the batter, and my biggest suggestion is to not over-stir the mix. You want to make sure the batter is still a little bubbly, and let it sit for at least five minutes. Once you pour the batter onto a medium-heated and slightly greased pan, you want to flip it at the perfect moment: when the batter is bubbling and the edges are slightly dried. Once flipped, you only want to cook the other side for about 45 seconds.

Okay, let’s get down to business.

I’ve looked around at several pancake recipes, and even a few Paleo versions (again with the crushed nuts!). However, just as regular packaged pancake mix can taste great, I decided to try one I found in the grocery store: Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pancake mix. It’s made mostly with potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and corn flour.

The recipe calls for milk, eggs and oil (we used coconut oil). I religiously followed the instructions and the batter came out really thick, so I added more milk to get a better consistency.

I greased each pan with coconut oil in order to get an extra serving of healthy fat and to add a crispy outside.

The pancakes themselves were overly dense and had a strange aftertaste. The general taste was similar to a poorly-made cornbread, and even pure maple syrup couldn’t salvage it. I haven’t made a bad pancake in years, so my only guess is that this mix is the culprit. I may try my hand at a homemade recipe in the future (especially because I’ll be able to remove corn-based ingredients); for now I’ll stick with a meat-and-eggs breakfast.

7 thoughts on “When Gluten Free Goes Wrong: Pancakes

  1. Great looking blog! And that pizza looks amazing. I haven’t seen that pizza crust before – I must try!

    As it happens, I made some primal pancakes this weekend. They were good enough that I would make them again. I used a combination of almond flour, golden flax flour and arrowroot. Next time I make them I’m going to increase the arrowroot and reduce the almond meal a bit and see if I can get them a bit fluffier. I even had leftoevers and heated them up in the microwave the next morning and they were still shockingly good topped with butter and real maple syrup. You might try working with different combinations of those 3 dry ingredients I used to equal one cup. Then: Add 1-2 eggs, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, pinch of cinnamon and salt, 1 tsp. baking poweder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 2 TBsp. stevia, 1 c. buttermilk. I used a combination of 1-2 Tbsp. of butter and coconut oil. I would modify this just depending on the consistency of your batter (same with the eggs). This batch will make 10-12 medium to large sized pancakes.

    If you try it, let me know how it goes. Happy flipping! :-)


  2. The easiest and most delicious gluten free pancake I have ever tried is:

    1 pkg cream cheese (room temp)
    2 eggs

    Mix together in a bowl with a whisk until fully incorporated. You can add a little vanilla to it if you wish, but I don’t. Cook it just like pancakes, only make them smaller because they will be easier to flip.


  3. My family and I LOVE Bob’s pancake mix, so something else must be going on. The only difference I can see is that I cook my pancakes in olive oil not in coconut oil. It was just by accident that I used olive oil because I like using it to fry eggs and have used coconut oil for other cooking without any problems. The only thing I can think of is that for some reason coconut oil doesn’t work with Bob’s ingredients. I make my mix pretty thin so the pancakes are almost like crepes. MMMM, delicious.


  4. Try this,
    2/3c millet flour, 1/2c blue corn flour, 1/2c rice flour, 2tsp baking powder, 1tsp salt, and sugar to your preference. 2 or 3 eggs depending on size and a 16oz can of coconut milk. follow the great directions above.


  5. I know this is an old post, but Pamelas GF mix changed my life. You’ve gotta try it. Simply amazing pancakes every time. Makes awesome muffins and cookies too.


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