Light and fluffy, my Grandma’s gluten free pancakes will have everyone wanting more, and no one will know they’re gluten free 🙂
My mom told me that when she was young and my grandma worked at a hospital, she would invite her nursing friends over for these pancakes. They would come every Sunday because her pancakes were so special. I was intrigued by the story, so I asked my mom for the recipe.
I don’t remember my mom ever making these for us when we were kids. Then again, we were always too busy to grab anything more than a Poptart! After all, there were 3 of us girls and if I can remember right, it was chaotic every morning. Anyway, I made them my way (gluten free) and they came out perfect!!
I LOVED how thick and fluffy they were! When telling my mom this, though, she said they’re not supposed to be thick. They’re somewhat thin pancakes, similar to a crepe or Norwegian pancake (which is also very thin).
I guess using the gluten free flour made them thicker (gluten free flours tend to soak up more liquid). We loved them so much that I didn’t change a thing! If you want them thin like Norwegian pancakes or crepes (something you could fill and roll up) add more buttermilk.
The Ingredients In My Grandma’s Gluten Free Pancakes
The ingredients are what you’d imagine for making any pancake recipe, gluten free or not. They’re simple, but each one plays an important role.
- Gluten free flour blend — I use my own blend (Kim’s Gluten Free Flour Blend). Feel free to use whatever blend you have on hand. Some gf pancake recipes call for xanthan-gum free flour blend, but I find a blend with XG produces a fluffy, thicker pancake.
- Eggs — eggs are used for binding, as well as lift.
- Buttermilk — I would suggest using REAL whole-fat buttermilk, not a substitute. It really makes a difference in flavor and texture. My grandma called it “thick buttermilk.”
- Sugar — a very small amount of sugar is added for sweetness.
- Baking powder — baking powder is needed for leavening.
- Salt — salt is used for flavoring, but also reacts with the baking powder for leavening.
- Butter — butter adds flavor, but also when it melts it helps create the outer crust.
Tips for Making These Pancakes
My grandma’s gluten free pancakes don’t require many ingredients, but the method used and the freshness of the ingredients are what make them so good. Making them gluten free changes some amounts of the original recipe, and I’ve simplified them even more with an unusual trick. It doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture, though. Just time. Who doesn’t want that, right?
- Before beginning, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. If you put the very soft butter into cold buttermilk, you won’t be able to mix it in well.
- The first step is to whisk the egg yolks and buttermilk together in a large bowl. I added about more buttermilk than the original recipe called for to compensate for the gluten free flour.
- The next step is to sift together the dry ingredients, and then add them to the wet mixture. You can also whisk them.
- Add the very soft (not melted) butter into the batter and combine throughout. Not all the butter will incorporate. Little pieces of softened butter will remain. When they hit the heat, they’ll sizzle and make the pancake crispy at that edge. So good (so good, so good!!).
- I use a large cookie scoop (here) to scoop the batter into the pan. It’s a very thick batter and I find the scoop to be perfect for getting even sized pancakes.
- Because these pancakes are pretty fluffy and tall, they do well with lower heat and more time. Cook them on medium low to medium for as long as 3-5 minutes per side.
- My grandma’s original recipe said to whip the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the batter. Everyone knows whipped egg whites incorporate air and that’s definitely what we’re going for here. A couple years ago I saw an article on NOT whipping egg whites separately and obtaining the exact same results. I was intrigued so I tried it. Taking this GENIUS shortcut is one of my most favorite finds in cooking/baking 🙂 But if you’re a traditionalist, you’re welcome to whip your egg whites separately.
Can I Make Grandma’s Gluten Free Pancakes Thin?
You certainly CAN make them thin if you’d like. They get a little lacy and delicate like a crepe almost, and they taste amazing! If you’d like to make them the original way, increase the buttermilk by 1/2 cup at a time until a thin batter is obtained. Continue with the recipe as directed.
Can I Double the Recipe?
Absolutely!! I always double the recipe because I always want extra for the rest of the week.
Are These Pancakes Freezable?
My grandma’s pancakes freeze very well!! When they’ve cooled to room temp, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and flash freeze for about an hour. Then add them to a ziptop gallon bag and squeeze out as much air as possible, and freeze for about 1-2 months. To serve, remove as many pancakes as you’d like and pop them in a toaster or oven for a few minutes, or microwave for about 30 seconds at a time, until they reach the desired temperature.
My favorite topping for pancakes has and will always be peanut butter!! I know it sounds crazy, but I spread the pancakes first with softened butter and then add the peanut butter while everything is still nice and hot. The peanut butter and butter get super melty and it’s my favorite way to eat a pancake!!!
My Grandma’s Gluten Free Pancakes
- 2¼ cups (562 ml) buttermilk, whole fat, at room temperature (Real whole-fat buttermilk is very thick. If you don't use this, your batter will be very thin. You can reduce the amount of buttermilk to 1¾ cup to compensate for this)
- 3 large *eggs, separated and at room temperature
- 1½ cups (210 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or any blend with xanthan gum)
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp very soft butter
- In a small bowl, sift or whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with buttermilk. Add dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk to combine. Add very soft butter and whisk. There will still be medium to large pieces of butter throughout the batter, which is normal.
- *If you'd like to whip your egg whites, do so now and fold them into the batter. If you choose not to whip the egg whites, add them to the batter and whisk just to incorporate. Don't overmix. Batter will be very thick.
- Heat large nonstick skillet over medium low to medium heat. Greasing the pan is not necessary as the butter in the batter will melt and help the pancakes to not stick.
- When skillet is heated, using large cookie scoop or large spoon or ladle, scoop batter onto skillet, 3-4 pancakes at a time. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes on the first side before flipping over. Cook about 3 minutes on the second side before flipping over again to make sure inside of pancakes are completely cooked before removing from skillet.
- Serve hot with softened butter and syrup or toppings of choice.