My Grandma’s Gluten Free Pancakes

Light and fluffy, my Grandma’s gluten free pancakes will have everyone wanting more, and no one will know they’re gluten free 🙂

grandma's gluten free pancakes with syrup poured on top

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.

pancakes on fork with butter and syrup

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.
gluten free pancakes on fork with butter and syrup

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 grandma's gluten free pancakes with syrup and butter

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 with syrup and butter

My Grandma’s Gluten Free Pancakes

Light and fluffy, my Grandma's gluten free pancakes will have everyone wanting more, and no one will know they're gluten free 🙂
Print Recipe
CourseBreakfast
CuisineAmerican
KeywordGluten Free, pancakes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings12 4-inch pancakes
AuthorKim

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*You don’t have to whip your egg whites separately, but you can whisk them in separately.  If you jumped right to the recipe and didn’t read the post, please go back to the tips section in the post and read about the genius trick that makes life a little easier in the morning! 
**Freeze leftover pancakes by placing in a single layer on a baking sheet and flash freeze (allow to freeze until hard).  Remove pancakes from sheet tray and place in large ziptop bag and remove as much air as possible.  Store in freezer for 1-2 months, removing individual pancakes as desired.  To reheat, pull out as many pancakes as desired and place in toaster, toaster oven, or oven preheated at 350 degrees and reheat for about 5-10 minutes.  Or microwave in 30-second intervals until heated through.  


16 thoughts on “My Grandma’s Gluten Free Pancakes”

    • Thanks, Arlene! I agree, Grandma’s recipes were always the best!! My mom says I get my love for baking from my grandma. I hope I can continue to revive some of her old goodies into gluten free versions 🙂

  • Delicious! Actually tastes like pancakes. We made them a bit thinner and my husband wrapped them around a breakfast sausage (pig in a blanket). So. Good. Thank you, Kim. Another fabulous recipe 🙂

  • My batter wasn’t thick ,,, 2.1/4 c milk and 1.1/2 flour seems it could be an error? I added another 1/2 c. Perfect. Yum! Thanks!

  • What we we Trynna do make crepes or pancakes 🤣🤣🤣 Needs more flower super thin laughing how thin it is just needs a little more flower is all!!

  • WOW! These were simply perfect!!!!! I didn’t have buttermilk, so I substituted KEFIR. I beat the egg whites…not to peaks, but thickened quite a bit. LOVE your site and the recipes! THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Kim, I wish I could hug your neck! Your recipes have brought so much joy into my kitchen! Thank you a billion times! I’ve enjoyed so many of your recipes but I’m just struggling with these pancakes. They fluff up on the griddle but go super flat and eggy off the griddle. I have followed the recipe exactly with the exception of subbing in almond milk, as we are also dairy free. Almond milk has worked so well in all the other recipes, would it make that much difference here? Any suggestions? I’d be thrilled to hear them.

    • Oh no, Joy! I’m so sorry they’re not working for you!! I don’t know enough about dairy free milk to know if this would make a difference, but the acid in the buttermilk does play a role in reacting with the baking powder so that could be the problem. Could you make your own dairy free buttermilk using almond milk and a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice?

    • Interesting. What flour blend did you use? If it was a store bought blend, there are so many out there with so many different ingredients in them that that could be the problem. My homemade flour blend makes them thick and fluffy. I’ve been making these pancakes gluten free for YEARS using these exact measurements so I’m not sure where it went wrong with your batch.

  • These pancakes were very tasty, but my batter was fairly thin. I wonder what I did wrong? I used your flour blend & weighed it to be exact. The only variation I did was to make my own buttermilk for 1 cup, as I only had 1-1/4 cup of real buttermilk. But I don’t see how that could have changed the consistency that much…? But they were delicious, just not fluffy.

    • What type of buttermilk and milk did you use? If it was low fat or fat free, that could have been the problem. I use full fat buttermilk and it’s so thick, that’s probably why my pancakes come out much thicker. I’ll make a change to the recipe that if you use a thinner buttermilk or buttermilk substitute, you’ll need less, but that’s what I would do (add less buttermilk).

      • Yes- I did use low fat buttermilk since that’s all they carry at our store. It would make total sense for that to be the culprit since it is considerably thinner than buttermilk that is higher in fat.
        Thanks again! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating