Gluten-free and vegan cassava flour pancakes are fluffy, light and airy, not an easy feat for a paleo pancake! These AIP friendly pancakes make a great alternative breakfast, store great in the freezer and are quite delicious with a simple fruit jam on top.
My mom is currently following the AIP diet which sparked my interest in playing around with some alternative flours such as cassava.
If you’ve ever looked at the specifics of the AIP diet, you’ll see it’s quite restrictive.
After the 20th or so picture of her sweet potato, chicken sausage and sautéed greens breakfast, I took pity on her and decided to try and figure out a decent pancake recipe she could enjoy for a change of pace.
When you’re not allowed to eat any grains, nuts, seeds or eggs though, that’s not an easy task!
Cassava flour is like the saving grace of the AIP diet though.
You’ll often see it used in many paleo, grain-free and gluten-free baked goods and it ends up making some delicious pancakes!
WHAT IS CASSAVA FLOUR?
Cassava flour is made from the cassava root, also known as yuca root.
It’s a root vegetable/tuber that when ground down creates a fine white flour often used in gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free baking recipes.
It’s also delicious as mashed yuca for a wonderfully creamy alternative to mashed potatoes.
Its rise in popularity is mainly due to the fact that it mimics wheat flour better than any other gluten-free/nut-free flour out there.
It can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for wheat flour unlike many other alternative flours and it has a very mild and neutral flavor.
Texturally, it’s not gritty at all – another bonus and differentiating factor from most nut flours.
It’s also used in vegan and vegetarian preparations often as well.
In fact, these cassava flour pancakes are not just gluten-free and grain-free, they’re vegan too!
Because the AIP diet excludes eggs, it pretty much necessitates most baking recipes to end up vegan.
It should be noted that cassava is high in carbohydrates so it’s not fit for keto or low carb diets.
This is something to be cautious of when consuming gluten-free products made with cassava (like many of my beloved Siete tortillas) as the carbs add up quickly and can result in an insulin spike for many if not balanced with the appropriate amounts of fat, fiber and protein for your body.
Lastly, quality and brand choice matters when it comes to cassava flour.
These pancakes were made and tested with Otto’s cassava flour.
I can’t vouch for any other brands and discourage you from trying with an off brand as there tends to be a wide degree of outcomes when baking with this flour due to quality and processing variabilities.
I’m not brand loyal to many things but, cassava flour is one of them.
This post explains cassava flour in depth for more info.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE CASSAVA PANCAKES
You’ll need the following ingredients to make these pancakes:
- Cassava flour – again, I recommend and use Otto’s brand.
- Tigernut flour – used in small proportion to the cassava flour, tigernut flour is another gluten-free, nut-free (don’t be fooled by its name) flour made from another tuber called the tigernut. I’ve used this flour before in these apple fritter muffins. Organic Gemini or Anthony’s are two brands I recommend that can be purchased on Amazon.
- Tapioca starch/flour – a little bit of this starch/tuber flour helps bind the pancakes together. Arrowroot powder can be substituted here if necessary.
- Baking powder – this helps give the pancakes some rise. If following an AIP diet, be sure to check the ingredients of your baking powder. If it’s not compliant, you can use a cream of tartar/baking soda substitute.
- Coconut milk – use a coconut milk from a can not from a carton and choose the full fat variety. Make sure to stir the contents well so the liquid and cream are incorporated.
- Coconut oil – melted coconut oil brings the necessary fat to the recipe to create a good pancake.
- Collagen peptides – the use of unflavored collagen is a great way to add some protein to these cassava pancakes. It’s optional but recommended.
- Flax eggs – lastly, the “egg” component is achieved through flax eggs. This recipe uses two which is 2 tablespoons of ground flax and 6 tablespoons of warm water. When stirred together and left alone for 5-10 minutes, it thickens and creates a vegan alternative to eggs for binding baked goods. Flax isn’t allowed on AIP diets (nor are any seeds) so if necessary, substitute 1/3 cup of mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce.
HOW TO MAKE CASSAVA PANCAKES
Start off by making the flax eggs and setting aside to thicken.
Next, combine the flours, baking powder, salt and collagen (if using) in a large bowl. Whisk together.
In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the coconut milk and coconut oil until thoroughly combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the thickened flax eggs and stir until just incorporated. It’s important not to over mix the batter.
Heat a pancake griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat. A light brushing of coconut oil can be used to grease the pan if needed. Let it get nice and hot (this is important if you don’t want pale floppy pancakes!) then spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan.
Use the spoon or measuring cup to help the batter into a 3-4″ circle.
The batter will be on the thicker side and while pourable, it won’t spread easily by itself and will need some assistance to get it into a “pancake shape”.
Cook the pancakes for about 5 minutes until the edges are firm and the center has formed bubbles that have popped.
Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side until fully cooked through.
A hot griddle and patience to let the pancakes cook is important when it comes to gluten-free/vegan pancakes like these cassava flour ones. Otherwise, you risk the chance of uncooked, mushy centers.
HOW TO SERVE FLUFFY PALEO CASSAVA FLOUR PANCAKES
I wanted to keep to a paleo/AIP-friendly topping for these pancakes so I made a quick wild blueberry compote similar to these cinnamon raisin oat bran pancakes.
It’s simply frozen wild blueberries simmered with a squeeze of lemon and a a little arrowroot powder stirred in at the end until thickened.
This kind of topping can be made with any fruit although I like berries best.
If AIP is of no concern to you, other delicious topping ideas are nut butters, coconut butter (try the coconut almond butter sauce used on these coconut flour pancakes!), maple syrup, raw honey or grass-fed butter.
I love to round out the macros when I eat pancakes with lots of nuts and seeds as well for some healthy fat and fiber.
Sunflower seeds, pepitas, chia seeds and hemp hearts are all great options.
And of course, a side of bacon if you eat meat!
HOW TO STORE VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE AND PALEO CASSAVA PANCAKES
Pancakes are such a great meal-prep breakfast. Almost all recipes store really well and these cassava pancakes are no exception.
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Or, freeze with parchment paper between each pancakes for up to 2 months.
To reheat, place the pancakes in a toaster oven, microwave or, reheat in a hot skillet.
WHAT DO CASSAVA PANCAKES TASTE LIKE?
The taste of these pancakes is closer to traditional wheat flour pancakes more so than any other alternative pancake recipe I’ve made.
And that’s saying something because I’ve made A LOT.
They bring back memories of big diner pancake breakfasts (whipped cream topping and all!) as a kid when dietary concerns weren’t even a blip on my radar.
Texturally, they’re more light and fluffy than other gluten-free and grain-free pancakes with a nice neutral flavor that takes on whatever you add to it.
Feel free to add vanilla, cinnamon or other spices to the batter depending on preference.
The slightly sweet, mild flavor of cassava pairs well with those sweet baking flavors.
Try a pumpkin spice version for fall or test out these pumpkin protein pancakes, a seasonal favorite as well!
This is a blank slate of a recipe to be adapted to what you like or your diet calls for in that regard.
MORE GLUTEN-FREE AND VEGAN BREAKFASTS TO TRY:
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seed + 6 tablespoons warm water) - *see note for AIP version
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1/4 cup tigernut flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 scoops unflavored collagen peptides (optional)
- 1 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (1 can)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- Prepare the flax eggs by combining the flax seed and warm water in a small bowl. Stir and set aside for 5-10 minutes until thickened.
- Place the cassava flour, tigernut flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking powder and collagen (if using) in a large bowl. Whisk together.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and melted coconut oil until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture. Add the thickened flax eggs and stir together until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, brush lightly with coconut oil (or omit if using non-stick) and spoon 1/4 cupful of batter onto the pan. Use the back of a spoon or cup measure to shape into a circle, pancakes should be about 3-4" wide in diameter.
- Cook for about 5 minutes until edges look firm and bubbles have appeared in the middle. Flip and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
- Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve immediately or let cool then store in refrigerator or freezer.
*For AIP version - substitute 1/3 cup mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce for the flax eggs. Also make sure your baking powder is AIP compliant or use an AIP substitute.
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Anthony's Organic Tapioca Flour Starch, 2.5 lb, Gluten Free & Non GMO
Anthony's Organic Tiger Nut Flour, 1 lb, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Paleo Friendly
Otto's Naturals Cassava Flour (2 Lb. Bag) Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Baking Flour - Made From 100 % Yuca Root - Certified Paleo & Non-GMO Verified All-Purpose Wheat Flour Substitute
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 463Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 496mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.