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Easy Whole Grain Gluten-Free Pancakes Recipe

These whole grain pancakes are easy to make and gluten free! Simply prep the night before and wake up with the batter ready to make for a quick, delicious, gluten-free breakfast. Top your pancakes with butter and maple syrup or sorghum syrup.

A close-up view of a stack of gluten-free pancakes with a pat of butter and a small bowl of syrup

I’m kind of slow to try new things.

Example: I refused to learn how to use a graphing calculator in high school calc/trig because I didn’t want to learn “one more piece of technology.” So stubborn! And yes, I see the irony in opting out of new technology at age 17 in this ever-changing, technologically dependent world I now find myself in. Ha! Joke’s on me…

Example: I wanted to try a natural DIY dusting spray for years before I finally mixed some up…which of course took all of 5 minutes.

Example: I didn’t have a smart phone until last Thanksgiving when my husband handed his old one down to me.

There’s a reason I’m so comfortable in talking about baby steps here at Kitchen Stewardship® – it’s because I need them myself! I’m just glad that others resonate with that need. It makes me feel much more normal. Smile

A really good example of my slow-to-move tendency has been my resistance to trying conventional gluten-free recipes. It’s been about four years now since our family discovered that we really should cut gluten down or out, and I’m just in the last year starting to learn to bake with actual gluten-free flours instead of strictly the coconut flour or almond flour I chose to start with (because it seemed easier, and it is!).

The Gluten-Free Flour Baby Step Number One

Easy Gluten free Pumpkin Muffins

Finally last fall I figured out how to make our previously favorite easy pumpkin muffin recipe into a delicious gluten-free version, and by golly, that felt pretty good!

Of course, that recipe is so versatile, I think you could forget half the ingredients and mix it up while standing on your head and the muffins would still work out…but that’s why I started there! Winking smile

One reason I was so hesitant to jump into gluten-free baking is because nearly all the recipes call for many flours, sometimes three, sometimes five, and sourcing those to have on hand and measuring them all out seemed like a lot of work and risk to me (if you didn’t like a recipe).

After three years, of course, I had slowly built up a stash of GF flours, so more recipes were accessible to me, but I still didn’t bother with them all that often – the whole “something new” aversion I guess, and the fact that all those flours can take a long time.

GLUTEN-FREE CAN BE CONFUSING BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HARD!

I’m thrilled to share a FREE gluten-free cheat sheet mini eBook to help get you started! This is perfect if you’ve just been told you need a GF diet, if you have a friend or family member eating GF and you’d like to cook for them, or if you’re just curious what it’s all about!

Once we were pretty well established at eating gluten-free, my next step was to get it on my list to mix up a gluten-free flour blend so that I could speed up the process of baking since I wouldn’t have to get out all those flours every time.

I wasn’t generally happy with the options I was seeing online – either there was a lot of starch or a flour I didn’t have yet even after 3 years of baking GF. Same problem with commercial blends, which were often highly refined. It felt like a huge step backward in baking to go from soaked, home-ground whole wheat to refined flours, you know?

I decided to be bold and create my own blend – I realized that when I tried adapting a whole wheat flour recipe (like the pumpkin muffins) to GF, I would use two or three of the following flours:

  • buckwheat
  • sorghum
  • brown rice

After reading the great explanation of gluten-free flour blends and the balance of protein to starch in Kimi Harris’s mini eBook Whole Grain Gluten-Free Muffins, which is now a free bonus item that comes with my eBook The Healthy Lunch Box, I felt pretty confident in adding slightly more than 25% arrowroot starch plus the flours above and giving it a try.

Success!

A stack of whole-grain gluten-free overnight pancakes with a pat of butter. Easy recipe kids can make.

My new GF flour mix has worked in these homemade crackers, the pumpkin muffins mentioned above, and now these new pancakes!

Recipe: Mostly Whole Grain Gluten-Free Flour Mix

If you’ve been like me and hesitant to purchase or create an easy gluten-free flour mix, I hope you’ll try this one. A few recipe testers helping me out with my spa party eBook (coming end of this month – very excited!!) have also tried it in other recipes with great success.

In fact, one husband said this about the gluten-free version of the wheat thin crackers:

“Wow, I finally get to eat a cracker that tastes like something other than glue.”

It’s easy to mix up a batch. Just pour the following into a gallon plastic bag (or any container):

Mix together. Store in the freezer.

Use in any recipe approved for GF flour blends and some that aren’t!

Whole grain gluten-free pancakes

I cannot tell you how much easier, mentally, having a GF mix on hand makes tackling gluten-free recipes. Quick!

And Now to Make my Family Happy

Years ago when I was first looking for the perfect whole wheat pancake recipe, I tried quite a few before settling on our absolute favorite – a fluffy, moist version that I shared right here. We adored it for years until going gluten-light, and although I actually make a LOT of pancakes, quite often, we never really settled on a favorite “basic” whole grain recipe as a family favorite.

Now I’ve finally gotten to resurrect the old favorite in a new way:

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Gluten-Free Pancakes

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 min
  • Total Time: 12 hours 1 min
  • Yield: 60 1x
  • Category: Breakfast

Description

This super-easy pancake recipe will help you ease into gluten-free breakfast cooking!


Ingredients

UnitsScale


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Instructions

  1. The night before: Mix flour, milk or yogurt, water, and vinegar. You can add coconut oil at this time or in the morning. Leave batter on the counter for 12-24 hours to soak.
  2. In the morning, mix in the eggs and coconut oil if you omitted it the night before. (If your coconut oil is solid, it can be handy to melt it in the pan you cook your pancakes in or a metal measuring cup on a griddle.)
  3. Sprinkle baking powder, soda, and salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase) evenly over the top and mix in thoroughly. There should be some bubbling from the interaction of the vinegar and baking soda.
  4. Cook on a well-greased griddle over medium heat or so. They act just like your average pancake, getting bubbly (quickly) when time to flip, and then only need 5-15 seconds or so on the second side.
  5. Makes LOTS. Maybe 4-5 dozen 2-3” rounds.

Notes

* Because you’re adding vinegar to the milk, it’s a “fake” buttermilk of sorts and hasn’t had a problem sitting on my counter overnight. Raw milk would be safest for this though if you choose to use milk. You can also use the dairy choice in place of the water for even richer pancakes. I have tried all three options, and I think the milk is the best one, but I often use homemade yogurt.

* Feel free to cut the batch in half if you don’t have a large family, but leftovers freeze and reheat well!

* Want to do it without any starch at all? See below for a few more variations without the arrowroot.

* Dairy-free? You can use all water instead of the milk/yogurt, but it might be too thin. I recommend trying coconut or almond milk in place of at least the dairy milk and maybe the water too.

  • Need a little help getting healthy food on the table every day? Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more! You remain totally in control: use your own recipes, accept theirs, and teach the system what your family likes…Check out how powerful it is here!
 

If soaking overnight is something new to you or you’re afraid you’ll forget, try the new “prep notes” feature at Plan to Eat– you can use the recipe HERE and when you plan it, PTE will automatically put “soak pancakes” in your digital calendar for the day before. I love technological automation (even though I still don’t know how to use a graphing calculator, and I took 2 semesters of calc in college)!

100% Whole Grain Gluten-free Pancake Variation

As starches go, arrowroot is actually pretty healthy, from what I understand, but if you’d like to up the “whole grains” to 100%, it’s totally doable with these adaptations! In fact the second one might even be better than the blend…

100% Whole Grain GF Pancake Recipe no. 1

The big change between the GF version and the original whole wheat was that I realized I needed to add some liquid as the pancakes were very dry. To take out even more starch, I sought to add even more moisture, and it worked! If you don’t feel like making a flour blend, this is a great, quick option too.

Ingredients:

Follow the same instructions above to make the pancakes.

Whole grain gluten-free pancakes

This version might seem too thin when you mix it up, but after soaking overnight it really thickens up. The resulting pancakes are thick and fluffy and have a really hearty flavor. They cook really quickly with lots of bubbles evident, so be careful not to overcook or they’ll become dry.

100% Whole Grain GF Pancake Recipe no. 2

When we went camping just before school started, I decided we were finally going to get to take our favorite recipe again – it had always been our “camping pancake,” and the time we brought a different gluten-free recipe sort of ended in a hilarious disaster.

 

The holidays are a tough time for healthy eating, especially when kids really just want to bake fun foods!

(If they want to get into the kitchen at all!) 

Maybe…just this once…we should do something I don’t normally recommend. 

What if we give them what they want?

If you’re ready for your kids to gain baking independence without sacrificing all the healthy standards you value, join the Holiday Baking Challenge! Now on sale for just $19, you get professionally filmed videos of me and my kids teaching you to make baking favorites with healthier ingredients.

Holiday Baking Challenge

I tweaked the recipe above even further and they were the best pancakes ever! Of course, that may have been because they were cooked in bacon grease out in the woods and all food tastes better when you’re camping…so I look forward to hearing in the comments which version you try and how it goes.

Ingredients:

Follow the same instructions above to make the pancakes.

Want to know how else pancakes taste extra amazing? When your kids make them for you! Maybe on a lazy Saturday morning or even on a school day. It is possible when your kids know how to cook.

Kids Research and Create Gluten-Free Waffles, Too!

Our members at Kids Cook Real Food are just amazing.

Check out what Jude, Avonlea, and Maisie figured out one morning when they wanted waffles, and had our gluten-free flour blend made up already (from the measuring lessons in the course):

We modified the “Favorite Gluten-Free Pancake” recipe into a waffle recipe and it turned out so well!

 

We did a little research to figure out the difference between pancake and waffle batters and discovered that waffles have more fat, some sugar for caramelization, and for Belgian style waffles, the egg whites are whipped and folded in for air.

Here are the modifications we made to create waffles with this recipe:

  • Increase the fat (we used butter) by two tablespoons
  • Add one tablespoon honey
  • Separate the eggs, add the yolks to the batter and mix. Whip the whites until stiff. Fold the whites into the batter

Way to go, science geek young chefs!

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

41 thoughts on “Easy Whole Grain Gluten-Free Pancakes Recipe”

  1. Katie – for those of us who are dairy free, can we soak it with just lemon juice and water? Or ACV and water?

    1. Heather,
      You caught me right before I went on maternity leave here – but I’m catching up! You can absolutely just use ACV and water to stay dairy-free, although you might want a little more substance than water and could use any non-dairy milk. Enjoy! 🙂 Katie

  2. Enjoyed your post! I am someone who’s been totally gluten free for about 2 1/2 years. I feel so much better when off gluten, but I have to admit, the first few months were rather unpleasant. I had a vague notion that I could replace what flour with brown rice flour and be fine 🙂 hence some very dry, crumbly baked goods. (Didn’t help that I was pregnant and then coping with a newborn and toddler and had no time to experiment)

    The past year I have had more time to experiment in the kitchen, and now I make my own gf flour mix (brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot, and potato starch). My biggest discovery had been the fact that you can make gluten free sourdough, and the results have been much moister and more full of flavor than ordinary gluten free recipes! I make gf sourdough pancakes and muffins that are actually delicious. And I hope, more nutritious! I use my own brown rice sourdough starter.

    Sorry for the long post! This is a subject that is very interesting to me 🙂 and I haven’t found much info online about adapting gf recipes to sourdough, so I have had to make up my own… Which means more time and fun in the kitchen 🙂 Going gf definitely comes with a learning curve…

    1. Rebecca,
      Oh, I’ve missed sourdough! I used to have a great whole wheat starter but haven’t for about 4 years now. I really should just bite the bullet and make a GF one, but I keep putting it off… The eCourses that I actually did a guest lecture in for my honey whole wheat sourdough have a whole gluten-free track, if you’re interested: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/GNOWFGLINS

      🙂 Katie

    2. Rebecca–When you make your GF flour do you just use 2 cups of each one of your 5 ingredients? If not what are your proportions? Thanks so much.

      Sheila

  3. I have a “wheat” issue and am wondering how to go GF without exacerbating the wheat problems. Wheat for me is like liquid plumber.

    1. Suzanne,
      Sounds like you want to do some experimenting with an elimination diet to see what really bothers your gut, wheat, gluten or all grains…right? Gluten-free grains won’t have any wheat in them – buckwheat is confusing because of the name, but there’s no wheat or gluten in it. Does that help at all?
      Katie

  4. I’m curious, since you said that arrowroot is healthy (for a starch). I’ve been subbing tapioca starch only because that’s what my local store carries, and baked good turn out well, but I’m wondering if it’s worth ordering arrowroot??
    Good advice above to buy small quantities of a new grain to find out if you like it. But I don’t think buckwheat is too strong. Eden Foods has a good hulled buckwheat that easily grinds into flour, and I buy kasha (roasted buckwheat groats) in my local supermarket that I sub for the oats in granola. I can’t imagine anyone selling buckwheat flour with the hulls ground in it. They don’t do that with any other grain. Maybe it was a bad batch?

    1. Sarah,
      I think tapioca starch is on the healthy side? It’s been a really long time since I researched it, but in my head, arrowroot has some actual nutritional benefits, tapioca starch isn’t bad, and then most of the other starches (potato for example) are just straight carbs. ???

      The buckwheat from the store pretty much always has black flecks; I’m not the only one who experienced this so it’s standard. But I don’t get it either!
      🙂 Katie

  5. Mary Agnes via Facebook

    You might have me convinced to give it a go. It could not be worse than the flecky stuff. I didn’t know there was a difference.

  6. Mary LOL you’re right on the buckwheat flour sold in most stores, the kind with the black flecks. But freshly ground *hulled* buckwheat is totally different, trust me. Almond and rice flour can probably be subbed 1:1, but coconut flour is an entirely different beast (see my comment above yours). Got to be careful trying to sub that one; you can end up with a recipe disaster on your hands. 🙂

  7. That’s true Marleena Alkire for celiacs for sure, but for the gluten sensitive, it really depends on how sensitive they are. Our family is only “gluten-light” and still eat full on what hamburg buns and pizza from time to time, so I personally don’t worry about the wheat contamination…but it’s a really good reminder for those who need to be serious about gluten-free 100%!

  8. Marleena via Facebook

    if you are doing gluten free do not grind gluten free grains in a grain mill previously used for grinding wheat or other gluten containing grains. You will get a large amount of cross contamination which can make the gluten free person sick. Also cleaning it won’t help to many little nooks and crannies for small flour particles to hide.

  9. Mary Agnes via Facebook

    I grew up in a wheat free household. My mother was doing this stuff before it was cool. So I feel fairly confident when I saw this. Buckwheat is deeply nasty. It has a strong taste. Really gross. My life goal is to never eat it again.The analysis I would make is it’s a close to wheat as chicory is to coffee….It has a huge taste most kids won’t like. Almond or coconut flour or rice flour would taste better. But OTOH, mom was so right. I’m trying to be more gluten free. Just not buckwheat. So to you moms trying to do the right thing, get a small bag before you invest huge $$.

  10. How would I use the gf blend in other recipes besides yours? New to this gf thing, and find that flour substitution is not easy. If a recipe called for 1/2 cup almond flour and 1/2 coconut flour, could I substitute 1 cup of the gf blend?

    1. Hey Kim,
      I hear you! That’s why it took so long for me to bother – many recipes will actually call for an amount of “gluten-free flour” because you can buy commercially prepared blends, pretty mainstream now, but usually pricey. So this would work in anything like that, but you don’t want to mess with subbing coconut flour IN or OUT one iota. Coconut flour is the most unique flour out there I think, and it never subs 1:1. A little more on that here if you’re interested in adding to your knowledge base: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/10/01/how-to-bake-grain-free-with-coconut-flour/

      Hope that helps! 🙂 Katie

  11. Katie, there is no clickable link to the “FREE eBook: How to Cook Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet: A Quick Guide.” Will you please fix that or make it available on your downloads page? Thanks!

  12. Jenifer Boyer Demchak I buy it in bulk from Country Life Natural Foods, but they are only in the midwest. I would think any of those bulk ordering places like Azure Standard would have it too, or a health foods store hopefully. Buckwheat isn’t a make-or-break thing though. For just starting out, I would get coconut flour and maybe a bag of sorghum, and then you can grind brown rice really easily in your mill. The GF muffins linked to in the post are superb with any blend of flours (not coconut though – read here for how to use that: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/10/01/how-to-bake-grain-free-with-coconut-flour/). And you would probably get some baby-steps relief from my free eBook, also linked to in this post. When you’re just experimenting with GF, I totally recommend taking it easy and not baking too much. It feels stressful! Just focus on meat, veggies, fruits, dairy. There’s lots to eat in those categories! If you want pancakes, this one is awesome with just a teeny bit of coconut flour OR brown rice flour works too: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/recipes/orange-vegetable-pancakes/

  13. Thanks so much for the response. I am going to make the muffins today after my soup is done canning. I took out some pureed butternut squash from last year. I will let you know how I made them and how they turned out. Thanks so much for all your hard work. It really has helped our family learn how to eat better.

  14. I think we’ll have to give these a try! BTW, when I click the print button it opens a new page w/ the same post. Not a nicely formatted recipe.

  15. Jenifer via Facebook

    Thanks for doing the research. We are trying gluten free for our daughter and there is so much to learn. Where do you get your buckwheat? I have a grain mill but have only ground wheat.

    1. LOL Suzanne, that little bowl? It’s actually from a Pampered Chef “prep bowl” package with different sizes that I got when my great aunt passed away…we used to give our kids a shot glass with a little syrup in it. 🙂 Not attractive, but effective at rationing syrup. 🙂 Katie

  16. I feel the exact same way that you do about gf flours and flour mixes and gf recipes that call for various blends. (I’ve been gf for almost 2yrs now.) So THANK you for your research and experimentation to find something that fits better with our food paradigm. I think I am up for trying this one.

  17. Oh wow!! Lucky me.. I have buckwheat flour handy! Thank you for a great Sunday breakfast idea, Katie!!

  18. Jill via Facebook

    OK I asked some questions on your blog but will also ask here. Can I sub Almond Meal or another flour for Buckwheat. We have tried Buckwheat several times but just don’t like it. And we are also DF can I sub Coconut or Almond milk for the milk? And can I skip the soaking ? Sorry for all the questions.

  19. OH and we are also Dairy Free can I use coconut milk/Almond milk? And do I need to soak or can I make the morning of? sorry for all of the questions

  20. we have tried several times using Buckwheat but none of us like it. Can I sub Almond Meal in place of the buckwheat?

    1. Jill,
      I had buckwheat from the store once – it had black flecks in it and was awful. I think that’s “unhulled” buckwheat or something, so you either need to grind your own in a grain grinder or high-powered blender if you have one, find “hulled” buckwheat flour that has no black flecks, or skip it. I’d just try the brown rice/sorghum adaptation for these pancakes if I were you, and I’d guess that a mix of both of those in the GF flour blend would do fine as well, just make a smaller batch and test it on the pumpkin muffins or something. Other GF flours could sub too, like amaranth, maybe chickpea…probably almond flour would work, because it seems like almond flour can take the place of wheat flour 100%, but I can’t say I know enough about the properties of the flours to say for sure.

      You asked a few more Qs on Facebook –

      1. Yes most liquids should work fine – so DF milks should be good. I’d think the thick creamy coconut milk would be DELISH. Might need a Tbs. or 2 more water to thin out if you go that route.

      2. You can skip the soaking. Still include the ACV, which has a soaking purpose but also makes the baking soda/powder add all the lovely bubbles. Soaking isn’t hard though, and it’s actually kind of nice to have the batter halfway made when you wake up in the a.m. 🙂

      If you do try any substitutions, I’d love it if you’d let us know so we can edit the post for others who might be DF too!

      Thanks!
      Katie

      1. OH MY GOODNESS. I just made your GF flour blend. Made it with Sorghum, Millet, Brown Rice, and Potato Starch. Then I turned around and made the Pumpkin Muffins. I followed the recipe except for the blend above, then 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup homemade pear sauce. I also used the eggs instead of the flax seed egg replaces. These are the best darn muffins I have made homemade since going GF/DF. They are not so sweet but sweet enough, they are light and airy and spongey. Thanks so much again. I do have one more question for you. I have been making my own pancake mix for a couple of years now but I can’t get it right. Most of them time they come out gummy what am I doing wrong. I still have some left ( A Lot actually and I don’t want to through it out) Any help would be greatly appreciated)

        1. Jill,
          LOVE love love that comment! I’m so glad they worked out well. That pumpkin muffin recipe…man, that’s just a winner, every time.

          As for the pancake mix, what’s in it? Are there gums or flax or anything that would get gummy with liquid? Buckwheat is pretty gummy, but I know you don’t use that… 🙂 Katie

  21. Mattie via Facebook

    Baby steps… I live in baby steps mode. So glad you posted this! Now to try it out. 🙂

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