Who doesn’t love fluffy pancakes served with freshly made Canadian maple syrup? A firm favourite with our kids and perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner! My dairy free pancake recipe makes 12 large pancakes that can be served straight off the griddle, stacked with fresh fruit or bacon and of course drizzled with lashings of maple syrup. Can it get any more Canadian than that? So easy to make for a quick satisfying treat and the maple syrup works wonderfully in many baked goods as a natural sweetener as well.
Sugar Bush Tour
Spring is finally here and it’s Maple Syrup season in Central Ontario! We recently took a trip to a local sugar bush and I thought it would be fun to share some photos from our visit and show you how maple syrup is made.
We are fortunate to live in an area that is rich in maple trees and it is common to see trees tapped in early Spring when the sap starts flowing. Maple syrup season begins when the overnight temperatures are a few degrees below zero and the daytime temp is a few degrees above. That swing in temp is a sure sign that it’s time to make syrup.
We visited Shaws, which is located just north of Barrie. They have a long history of making maple syrup and have a tubing system set up that runs through most of their 4500 maple trees. It’s a very complex system that helps to collect the gallons of sap that are needed so it can be boiled and turned into lovely maple syrup. On average they collect over 160,000 litres of sap each season and turn it into liquid gold.
The more traditional method of collecting sap is to tap the tree and attach a bucket. It was really interesting to watch the sap drip out into the bucket. Check out the video from our visit to see this up close.
Making the Maple Syrup
When the sap flows from the tree it is completely clear and needs to be boiled at 180 degrees to create the golden amber colour. The sap, which is made up of 2% sugar and 98% water, will go through an evaporation process until it eventually turns a golden colour and becomes maple syrup.
Did you know that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup? You can imagine the amount of trees that a sugar bush needs to keep up with the demand for their maple syrup. Over 75 percent of the world’s maple syrup is made in Canada. Our kids really enjoyed our visit to the local maple syrup sugar bush and I highly recommend taking a trip if you live near one.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To ensure this is a dairy free recipe we are using plant based milk. If you are vegan or have other dietary needs, continue reading for my ingredients substitutions and check out my FAQ for more tips.
Flour: I am using all purpose (plain) flour in our pancakes. You could do a straight substitute with a 1-to-1 gluten free flour if required.
Sugar: I generally use white sugar. If you want a caramelly flavour, golden sugar works extremely well in pancakes, especially if you are adding cinnamon to the batter as well (drool).
Baking Powder: to ensure our pancakes are light and fluffy, I am adding two teaspoons of baking powder. For thinner pancakes, use one teaspoon.
Salt: salt helps to enhance the flavours.
Egg: the egg is our binding agent and also helps with richness and colour. I usually use large eggs in my baking, which are equivalent to approximately 50g once removed from their shell. You can also use a medium egg in this recipe. You can sub with 50 grams of apple sauce or a mashed banana if you want to make vegan pancakes.
Plant Based Milk: I prefer to use creamier plant based milk in pancakes, such as oat or almond. You can sub with dairy milk or even buttermilk for an extra tang. Check out my rustic vegan almond blueberry cake recipe for tips on making your own vegan buttermilk.
Oil: I like to use a neutral oil in the pancakes such as canola. You can sub with melted plant based butter if you prefer.
For a true Canadian treat, maple syrup is a must with pancakes. Our kids always like a side of Ontario blueberries with their pancakes as well. We pick a lot of blueberries every Summer from the local berry farm and freeze them so that we can pull out what we need as we go through Winter and Spring.
How to Make Dairy Free Fluffy Pancakes
Once we got home from the sugar bush, we made dairy-free fluffy pancakes as you can’t beat freshly made maple syrup on pancakes for a truly Canadian treat. A firm favourite with our kids and perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner as they only take 15 minutes to make! For a quick step by step, check out my pancake web story.
Making the batter
This recipe contains basic pantry items that you most likely already have. Ensure that your egg and milk are at room temperature before starting the mix and sift your flour if it is particularly lumpy.
Add all of the batter ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix to combine with a hand mixer. You could also use a spatula or spoon to mix everything together.
Ensure that there are no lumps in your batter then allow it to rest while the griddle heats up.
Cooking the Dairy Free Fluffy Pancakes
I like to cook pancakes on an electric griddle but you can also make them in a flat frying pan. If your griddle has a temperature gauge, set it to 350°F / 175°C. Once the griddle is warm, add dollops of batter onto the griddle, using an ice cream scoop. They will start to sizzle a bit and puff up as they cook. Once the bubbles start to burst on the pancake, flip the pancake.
When you flip them, the underside should be lightly golden. My griddle is a bit temperamental and runs hotter on the right side so often those pancakes will be a bit darker than the others, but they still taste great. Watch out for uneven heat if you are using an electric griddle. Cook the second side until lightly golden.
Breakfast is served
Add the pancakes to a plate and cover with foil until the entire batch is made. You should get around 12 large pancakes from this recipe. We often double the batch so that we have some for the next day. Serve with maple syrup and fresh blueberries.
Breakfast doesn’t get much better than this!
This batch makes roughly 12 3-inch pancakes. The yield will depend on the size of pancakes that you make.
To substitute the egg, I recommend either using a mashed banana or 50 grams of apple sauce.
These pancakes are best enjoyed immediately and served with Canadian maple syrup and fresh berries. They do store well in the fridge though. For best results, store them in the fridge in an airtight container and eat them within 24 hours (they will go soggy if you leave them any longer). Reheat in the microwave before serving.
More Breakfast Ideas
If you are craving more breakfast ideas, check out these favourites:
- Copycat Tim Hortons Blueberry Burst Muffins (Dairy Free)
- The perfect weekend treat with no yeast – 30 minute Cinnamon Rolls (Vegan)
- Fluffy Hot Cross Buns (Vegan)
Dairy Free Fluffy Pancakes with Maple Syrup
For the Pancake Batter:
- 120 grams All Purpose Flour (1 US Cup)
- 240 ml Plant Based Milk (1 US Cup)
- 30 ml Canola Oil (2 tbsp)
- 1 Egg (large – see note)
- 20 grams White Sugar (1.5 tbsp)
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- Maple Syrup
- Gather all equipment and ingredients. The ingredients need to be at room temperature.
To Make the Pancakes:
- Add all of the batter ingredients in to the mixing bowl and mix to combine. Allow to rest while the griddle heats up.120 grams All Purpose Flour, 240 ml Plant Based Milk, 30 ml Canola Oil, 1 Egg, 20 grams White Sugar, 2 tsp Baking Powder, 1 tsp Salt
- If your griddle has a temperature guage, set to 350°F.
- Once the griddle is warm, add dollops of batter on to the griddle, using an ice cream scoop.
- Once the bubbles start to burst on the pancake, flip the pancake. The underside should be lightly golden.
- Cook the second side until lightly golden.
- Add the pancakes to a plate and cover with foil until the entire batch is made.
- Serve with maple syrup and fresh blueberries.Maple Syrup, Blueberries
- This batch makes roughly 12 3-inch pancakes. The yield will depend on the size of pancakes that you make.
- I usually use large eggs in my baking, which are equivalent to approximately 50g once removed from their shell. You can also use a medium egg in this recipe.
- Best enjoyed immediately with Canadian maple syrup and fresh berries.
- This batch can be easily doubled, tripled etc.
- Spare pancakes should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container and eaten within 24 hours (they will go soggy if you leave them any longer).