Pancakes are one of those undoubtedly delicious, somewhat nutritious foods that we all know and love. Whether you like yours thick, stacked way up high and dosed with syrup or eaten one by one with only some butter, pancakes make a memorable breakfast or dinner anytime.
And fortunately, (most of the time) gluten free pancakes are no different. That light and fluffy taste reminiscent of wheat pancakes is as pronounced as the original buttermilk pancakes your grandparents used to make. But not all gluten free pancake recipes are created equal.
For this introduction to the best gluten free pancakes, we’ll compare a few mixes and a homemade recipe. What’s to like, what’s not to like and what is worth trying out.
Gluten Free Pancake Mix #1 – Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix
From the website: “Our Gluten Free Pancake Mix makes up quickly and produces perfect, very light and fluffy pancakes everyone will enjoy. Use any kind of milk-soy, rice, almond, or cow-that is suitable for your diet. Add blueberries or bananas for pure pleasure. Ingredients: potato starch, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, corn flour, evaporated cane juice, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch, monocalcium phosphate), baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum.”
Pros: Pancakes bake up fluffy and light. If you’re feeling experimental, you may add some apple sauce and cinnamon/sugar, and use rice milk instead of the regular milk. The applesauce helps with them become great big fluffy pancakes. They were not gritty as some mixes tend to be. Nor do they have a corn taste that is sometimes present. Overall, fluffy, moist, very tasty.
Cons: Price – $16.50 for a 6 pound bag. There is a hint of a starchy aftertaste. Many bakers report needing to add ingredients to the mix to get the specific taste they are looking for.
Bottom line: You can tweak this mix easily – add applesauce or cinnamon, less or more liquid. But the price is still a bit hefty.
Gluten Free Pancakes #2 – Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
From the website: “Wake every morning to light and fluffy pancakes made in no time at all without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Quick, easy and delicious with 8 grams of whole grains per serving, use Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix to make all types of delicious baked goods! The whole family will love this — taste it yourself to see why Pamela’s is still the #1 gluten-free pancake mix!”
Pros: This mix is made with brown, sweet rice and white rice flour and almond meal. They bake up light and fluffy. They don’t have that “stick to the rook of your mouth” quality that many rice flour based recipes have. Using the portions recommended, the pancakes bake up thick. If you add a little bit more oil to your skillet, the pancakes will turn out with crisp edges. Make sure to enjoy these pancakes warm.
Cons: Price – $37.99 for a 24 oz. package (comes with 6). Not dairy free, so if you are allergic to dairy, do not use. They tend to get soggy if you keep them warmed on a serving plate.
Bottom line: This mix makes delicious pancakes. Definitely worth trying. These are not pancakes that you could prepare and keep warm on a plate however. Enjoy them right away.
Gluten Free Pancakes #3 – Arrowhead Mills Pancake Mix
From the website: “Made with Organic Rice Flour Wheat Free, Made With Non-Gluten Ingredients, Good Source of Calcium.”
Pros: The pancakes mix up easily by hand. They are one of the few mixes that are dairy free as well – so if you can’t have dairy, these are ones to try. They also pack a big punch of protein as well.
Cons: The pancakes turn out a bit dry – a little dense as well. They seem to have that overcooked quality, even though they were not overcooked. The taste is a cross between nutty and grainy. The rice base is not strong or overpowering. These pancakes did not turn out as the fluffy, light pancakes you’d picture.
Bottom line – If you like a more “healthy grain” taste to your pancakes, then you may enjoy these gluten free pancakes. They are fairly priced, which is good for a mix.
Gluten Free Pancakes #4 – Homemade pancakes
Homemade pancakes are ones that do not use a mix. Rather, you start from scratch, measuring all your flours and liquids, mixing them up and then preparing them.
Pros: As with anything gluten free they use a combination of different flours. Each flour offers a different taste so they are extremely versatile and can be customized to your liking. Don’t like brown rice flour? Try out white rice flour. Like your pancakes slightly sweet? Add some honey or brown sugar. Since you are working with a recipe, the amount of tweaking you can do is endless. Plus, homemade pancakes are much more cost effective than mixes. Typically you have flour you can use again and again in other recipes.
Cons: More labor intensive than a mix. Since the whole method of preparation depends on your labor, there is a degree of experimentation you must undergo if you are not happy with the results.
Bottom line – Homemade gluten free pancakes can be heavenly. If you are comfortable with recipes and would like to be able add or subtract your own ingredients, then homemade is the way to go.
As with any mix or recipe, tastes can differ dramatically depending on even the smallest things. Even a change in the amount of water can make a big difference in texture. Adding or subtracting ingredients can translate into a different pancake altogether.
But as with any pancake recipe, gluten free or not, make sure you cook on a hot skillet for optimal results. And have plenty of butter and syrup nearby.