Vegan Life > Recipes > Breakfast & Brunch > Vegan Protein Pancakes

Vegan Protein Pancakes

January 27, 2024

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please read my full disclosure.

You can have your pancakes and eat them too, because not only are these pancakes vegan, protein-packed, and easy to make, they're also delicious!

A stack of vegan protein pancakes on a plate with maple syrup being poured on top.

These protein pancakes are going to change your mornings for the better. The batter comes together in under 10 minutes, and they're a delicious way to start your day off with some extra protein.

These pancakes are easy to whip up on a busy workday, or after the gym for a post-workout meal. And they're so delicious, the whole family will love them too!

A stack of vegan protein pancakes topped with blueberries and walnuts, with a slice cut out.

What kind of vegan protein powder can I use to make protein pancakes?

I developed this recipe using an unflavored pea protein powder, but it will work with almost any vegan protein powder, including hemp, rice, and flavored blends. However, each type of protein powder may have a slightly different texture, or absorb moisture differently.

To make this recipe as consistent as possible, I recommend switching to metric measurements and weighing your protein powder.

A close up view of a stack of vegan protein pancakes drenched in maple syrup.

You can also adjust the recipe a bit if your batter is too thick or too thin. It should be on the thicker side, but pourable. If it's too thick, add some additional plant milk. Too thin, add some flour.

If you do need to add plant milk or flour, make a note of how much you added. That way you can adjust the recipe directly in the future. It's better to add the right amount from the beginning because adding more later can result in overmixing, which can lead to dense pancakes.

If you're using a flavored protein powder that contains a sweetener, you may also wish to reduce or eliminate the sugar in this recipe.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A top-down view of all the ingredients required to make vegan protein pancakes, with labels.
  • Unsweetened almond milk: You can use any plant milk you like here, but I like almond milk because the consistency is usually pretty similar between brands. If you have a thicker type of plant milk, you may need to add more milk to achieve a pourable batter.

  • Apple cider vinegar: This curdles the almond milk creating a flavorful "buttermilk." White vinegar works as well.

  • All-purpose flour: The base of the pancakes, also provides some protein. You could use cake flour or whole wheat flour as well. Cake flour will provide less protein but create fluffier pancakes, while whole wheat flour will result in a grittier texture.

  • Vegan protein powder: I used unflavored pea protein powder here; see the section above for more suggestions. I don't recommend increasing the amount of protein powder, or your pancakes may become too dense.

  • Granulated sugar: I like to use raw turbinado sugar, but you can also use other sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, white sugar, monk fruit, or stevia. If your protein powder is sweetened, you may wish to reduce or eliminate the sugar.

  • Baking powder: This is the key to creating fluffy pancakes, and because protein powder is so dense, you'll need a lot. If your pancakes are not fluffy, try increasing the baking powder.

  • Salt: Helps enhance the flavor of the pancakes. Leave it out or cut it in half if you're trying to reduce sodium.

  • Sunflower oil: Makes your pancakes moist and delicious. You can use another neutral-tasting oil here if you don't have sunflower oil.

  • Vanilla extract: Adds flavor to the pancakes.

A stack of vegan protein pancakes next to cut pieces on a fork.

Tips for Better Pancakes

Pancakes can be a bit tricky to get right, and protein pancakes are even more difficult. Here's some help if you're running into issues:

  • Batter consistency: Your batter should be slightly lumpy, and thick but pourable. Since protein powders vary widely, you may need to add more flour or non-dairy milk to get the right consistency. Make sure your batter still has some lumps by avoiding over-mixing.

  • Pan heat: If your pancakes are uncooked on the inside but golden on the outside, your heat is too high. I like to check the heat of my pan by tossing a few drops of water on the pan. If the water evaporates violently (splashing out of the pan), your heat is too high. If it takes more than 5-10 seconds to evaporate, your heat is too low.

  • Weigh ingredients: Flour and protein powder can be difficult to measure accurately using cups. I recommend turning on the metric measurements and weighing these two ingredients for best results.

Topping Ideas

For these protein pancakes, I like to spread some cashew cream on top (half water, half raw, soaked cashews, blended into a cream), with blueberries, walnuts, and maple syrup. Here are some other ideas you may like:

  • Vegan butter

  • Fruit jams or jellies

  • Caramel or chocolate sauce

  • Vegan yogurt

  • Nut or seed butter

  • Berries (strawberries, raspberries) or chopped fruits (bananas, apples)

  • Seeds (chia, hemp, sunflower) and nuts (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts)

A close up view of a stack of vegan protein pancakes showing the toppings: cashew cream, blueberries, walnuts, maple syrup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of pan is best for making these pancakes? I like to use either a non-stick pancake griddle or a pair of non-stick pans. The non-stick surface makes it much easier to cook and flip the pancakes, and having a larger surface means I can cook all the pancakes faster. Make sure you don't use a metal spatula with a non-stick surface, because metal can damage the coating.

Why are my pancakes uncooked inside? This is a sign that your heat is too high. Turn the heat down a bit and test the pan with the water method: toss a few drops of water on the pan and watch the reaction. If the water splashes out of the pan, your heat is too high. If it takes more than 5-10 seconds to evaporate fully, your heat is too low.

My batter doesn't look like yours, what should I do? Because protein powders have different textures and absorbancy, you may need to adjust the recipe a little bit to get the right consistency. Look for a lumpy and thick batter that's just thin enough to be poured. If you need to make your batter thinner, add almond milk; to make it thicker, add flour. I recommend noting how much milk or flour you needed to add so you can adjust the recipe in the future.

Can I add more protein powder? Protein powder is more dense than flour, so to keep the pancakes fluffy, I don't recommend increasing the amount of protein powder.

Why aren't my pancakes fluffy? Different protein powders have different consistencies, and yours may be more dense. To counteract that, add additional baking powder to your batter 1 teaspoon at a time until you end up with fluffy pancakes.

Do these pancakes taste gritty? These pancakes are not gritty when made with the pea protein powder I used. However, different protein powders have different textures, so your results may vary if you're using a different brand or type.

Can I add blueberries or chocolate chips to these pancakes? Yes! But don't add them directly to the batter. Instead, pour the batter onto the pan as you normally would, then immediately drop the berries or chocolate chips on top of the pancakes. You may wish to press them in slightly with the back of a spoon.

A wide view of a stack of vegan protein pancakes, with maple syrup being poured from a small pitcher above.

Vegan Protein Pancakes

Yield4-6 medium pancakes

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time10 minutes

Total Time20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. plain, unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegan protein powder (I used pea protein)
  • 2 tbsp. vegan granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • additional oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine almond milk with vinegar. Stir and set it aside to curdle.

    Almond milk and vinegar mixed together in a measuring cup.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, protein powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix well.

    Vegan protein pancakes dry ingredients mixed together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add your sunflower oil and vanilla extract to your almond milk and stir to combine.

    Wet ingredients for vegan protein pancakes all mixed together in a measuring cup.
  4. Pour your wet ingredients into your mixing bowl with your dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Your batter should have some lumps remaining. If the batter is too thick to pour, you can add additional almond milk; if it’s too thin, you can add additional flour.

    Finished batter for vegan protein pancakes in a bowl, ready to be transferred to a pan and cooked.
  5. Preheat a pancake griddle or low-sided non-stick frying pan over medium to medium-low heat. You can check the temperature of the pan by tossing a few drops of water on the pan. The water should sizzle and gradually evaporate. If it pops violently, your pan is too hot; if it takes more than a few seconds to evaporate, it’s too cool.

  6. Pour a few drops of oil onto your pan and spread it around the pan by tilting it. Then pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto your pan.

  7. Allow your pancake to cook for 1-2 minutes, until you start seeing bubbles at the center of the pancake and the bottom is golden brown. Use a spatula to turn the pancake and cook the other side until golden brown. (Don’t use a metal spatula with non-stick pans). Then remove the pancake and place on a plate.

    A vegan protein pancake in a pan, ready to be flipped, with bubbles in the center.
    Your pancakes should look like this when they're ready to be flipped. Note that bubbles are appearing not just around the edges, but in the center too.
  8. Repeat steps 6-7 with the remaining batter. You may want to keep your finished pancakes on a baking tray in a warm (200°F/95°C) oven until all the pancakes are ready. Just don’t leave them too long or they’ll dry out!

  9. Serve pancakes with your choice of toppings (vegan butter, berries, and maple syrup are popular choices; see the blog post above for more ideas!)

Notes & Hints

For fluffier pancakes, you can use cake flour in place of all-purpose flour, but you will lose around 1 gram of protein per serving.

Protein powders and plant milks vary in thickness; feel free to add more plant milk or flour if your batter is too wet or too dry. It should be lumpy but pourable.

If you use a pancake griddle or two non-stick pans, you'll be able to cook multiple pancakes at once and save time.

Store cooled pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, lay the pancakes on a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the freezer until firm, then transfer to a freezer bag.

Reheat in a pan over medium-low heat, or wrap in foil and reheat in the oven.

Nutrition Data

Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe; Calories: 342Fat: 9 g.; Saturated Fat: 1 g.; Cholesterol: 0 mg.; Sodium: 1179 mg.; Carbohydrates: 48 g.; Fiber: 0 g.; Sugar: 12 g.; Protein: 15 g.; Vitamin A: 39 mcg. RAE; Vitamin B12: 0 mcg.; Vitamin C: 0 mg.; Vitamin D: 2 mcg.; Calcium: 382 mg.; Iron: 3 mg.; Potassium: 0 mg.; Zinc: 0 mg.

Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.

Four vegan dishes: Creme Brulee, Detroit-style pizza, General Tso's Tofu, and Lemon Tart

Vegan recipes in your inbox

Join the community and get my newest and best yummy vegan recipes sent right to your email!

A close up view of a stack of vegan protein pancakes having maple syrup poured on top.
StephSunshine

Share this:

Leave a Comment

I love reading comments! I'll do my best to answer questions, too. If you made the recipe, please leave a star rating, it helps support the blog so I can make more recipes and articles. Thank you!

Your rating:

says