My Grandma’s Famous Pancakes (Made Gluten Free)

Light and fluffy, My Grandma’s Famous Pancakes will have everyone wanting more, and no one will even know they’re gluten free!

stack of three large pancakes on white plate with butter and syrup

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. Apparently everyone loved them so much, their house would be absolutely full of people every Sunday morning, just there for the pancakes. I don’t remember my mom ever making these for us when we were kids. But 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, especially when the teen years hit. Having gone through teen years with only one daughter, I can only imagine how hard those days must’ve been for my parents (sorry, mom and dad)!

Anyway, back to these wonderful pancakes. My mom says I get my love of baking from my grandma (unfortunately, by the time I came around my grandma was wheelchair bound and didn’t bake anymore). I would have loved to have been able to bake with her, but I feel in some ways that she’s in the kitchen with me now. So far, I’ve been able to recreate some of her well-loved recipes into gluten free versions, and I plan to do as many as I can. That is, if my mom can either remember them or find the recipes, haha!

The Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 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 and browning.
  • 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.
line up of ingredients

Tips for Making These Pancakes

  • Before beginning, make sure all 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.
  • My grandma said to sift together the dry ingredients, but I simply whisk them together. That’s my lazy way of sifting.
  • 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!
  • I use a large ladle or cookie scoop to scoop the batter into the pan. It’s a very thick batter and I find the scoop or ladle 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 of years ago I read this article on NOT whipping egg whites separately and obtaining the exact same results. Taking this GENIUS shortcut is one of my most favorite finds in cooking/baking. The only thing I do different is whisk them just until frothy so they’ll incorporate better into the batter. I tried both ways and it really does work not having to whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Anything I can do to save time when making breakfast in the morning works for me!

Grandma’s Famous Pancakes FAQs

I’d Like Thinner Pancakes!

You can certainly make these pancakes thinner if you’d like. They get a little lacy and delicate and still taste amazing! Either use a lower fat buttermilk or increase the amount of buttermilk by 1/2 cup (120 ml) or more until a thinner batter is obtained.

Can I Double the Recipe?

Yes! I always double the recipe because I like to keep extra in the freezer.

How Do I Freeze These Pancakes?

Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and flash freeze them for about an hour. Then store them in a gallon-sized ziptop bag and pull out as many as you need at a time. They’ll keep in the freezer for 1-2 months. To reheat, pop them in a toaster for a few minutes, or microwave for about 30 seconds at a time, until they reach the desired temperature.

gluten free pancakes on fork with butter and syrup

My favorite topping for pancakes has and will always be butter and 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 together, almost saucy, and it is so good! If you’ve never tried pancakes and peanut butter, you gotta try it.

stack of three large pancakes on white plate with butter and syrup

My Grandma’s Gluten Free Pancakes

Light and fluffy, my Grandma's famous 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 thin, as will your pancakes. 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 (a store bought blend containing xanthan gum should also work, but hasn't been tested)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp very soft butter (not melted)

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.
  • Whisk egg whites until frothy and add them to the batter. Fold in to incorporate. Don't overmix. Batter should be thick (if you use whole-fat buttermilk).
  • Heat large nonstick skillet over medium low to medium heat. Greasing the pan is not necessary.
  • When skillet is heated, using a ladle or large cookie scoop or spoon, 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. Butter and peanut butter are my favorite!

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.  


19 thoughts on “My Grandma’s Famous Pancakes (Made Gluten Free)”

    • 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! 🙂

  • Thank you so much for all the yummy recipes on your site. My daughter has just been diagnosed with Celiac, so I’ve made your flour blends and am we’re enjoying trying your recipes. I wondered if you have any tips (or even a step by step process) on how to take family recipes and convert them to gluten free using your flour blends. Would you try them first just subbing one for one with wheat flour? Or would you increase the liquid by a certain ratio? Thank you for all the kitchen success you’ve given our gluten free change-over!

    • It depends on the recipe. With these pancakes, for instance, I just increased the liquid, but the first time I made them I didn’t increase the liquid enough and the batter was super thick and the pancakes were dense. For my family’s chocolate chip cookie recipe, though, I didn’t change a thing and just subbed my AP flour blend and it worked perfectly. Sometimes it takes me literally YEARS to work on recipes, especially bread recipes because they are the ones that are so dependent on gluten in a normal gluten-filled world. Usually, when I’ve posted a recipe on my blog, behind the scenes it often takes me 2-3 tries to get it right, and other times it might take me 20 tries to get right (those are the recipes like cinnamon rolls and croissants).

      • That makes sense – and I appreciate all the work you’ve done for the recipes and that you are sharing them with us. =) They have made the change to gluten free a lot easier for our family.

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