These lentil pancakes are light, sweet, and fluffy without needing any eggs and milk. What is best is that they contain a natural protein source from red lentils and only require six pantry staples. Thanks to the delicious flavor, you will not be able to guess they contain lentils, and they are essentially vegan protein pancakes without using any protein powder.
I love nutritious and plant-based recipes to serve my family for breakfast. Some other recipes that my family enjoys include these red lentil waffles, vegan crepes, and vegan banana pancakes. Check out these 10 sweet vegan breakfast recipes for more ideas.
❤️ Why you’ll love it
My kids and I, we love this sweet lentil pancakes recipe, and I am sure you will too. The use of red lentils in this recipe is a game-changer. Not only do they add a natural source of protein to these pancakes, the taste of the red lentils is completely hidden, making these pancakes a hit for kids and adults alike.
One of the things that makes this recipe stand out is the use of buckwheat flour and white rice flour. These gluten-free flours add a unique, slightly nutty flavor to the pancakes. These pancakes are absolutely delicious, thanks to the sweet and creamy homemade cashew milk used to make them.
They are perfect for a breakfast treat or a dessert. I love serving these pancakes with a dollop of vegan yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup for a truly delicious treat. My kids prefer vegan custard though.
🧾 Key ingredients
Red lentils are the star of this recipe. Soaked and then blended, they provide a natural protein source, making these pancakes a nutritious breakfast option.
Buckwheat flour and white rice flour are used to give these pancakes their light and fluffy texture. You can use all-purpose flour if it is easier for you.
Corn starch is another essential ingredient that helps to bind the pancakes and gives them a slightly crispy edge.
Dairy-free milk, particularly homemade cashew milk, adds a creamy texture to the pancakes. It is a fantastic vegan substitute for traditional milk, and it complements the other ingredients beautifully.
Baking powder is the leavening agent that makes these pancakes fluffy and light. It reacts with the apple cider vinegar, another key ingredient, to inflate the pancakes. If you want your pancakes to be fluffy, you need these two.
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The most crucial equipment you will need is a high-power blender for this lentil pancake recipe. This is because our recipe involves blending soaked red lentils with dairy-free milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract to a smooth consistency. A high-power blender, like my beloved Vitamix, guarantees a perfectly smooth batter, which is essential for the texture and taste of your pancakes.
Preparing the ingredients
Start by soaking the red lentils for at least one to two hours. If you plan to have them for breakfast, it is advisable to soak them overnight. Drain and discard the soaking water once you are ready to use them.
Making the red lentil pancakes
Gather your wet ingredients. These include the soaked red lentils, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Place these in a blender and blend until you achieve a smooth consistency.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. These are buckwheat flour, white rice flour, baking powder, and cornstarch. Mix these until they are well incorporated.
Pour the blended mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Stir the ingredients together until they are well mixed.
Preheat a griddle or a frying pan on the stovetop over low-medium heat. Spoon a quarter to a third cup of the batter onto the heated griddle or pan. Allow one side to cook until bubbles appear and the edges begin to harden, then flip to cook the other side.
Lower the heat slightly to ensure that the pancakes and the soaked raw red lentils are cooked thoroughly. Once both sides of the pancake are golden brown, they are ready to be served.
💡 Expert tip
The most crucial step is managing the heat as this will ensure your lentil pancakes are light, fluffy, and thoroughly cooked. Avoid using high heat as it can cause the outside to become golden brown while the inside remains uncooked, resulting in soggy pancakes. Instead, cook them on low-medium heat, so the red lentils in them are cooked thoroughly.
Try adding fresh blueberries to your lentil pancakes for a burst of freshness. Incorporating them into the batter while the first side cooks ensures that each pancake is loaded with juicy blueberries.
Consider adding chocolate chips to your batter if you are a chocolate lover. This variation will give them a delightful chocolatey surprise with each bite. Remember to mix the chocolate chips evenly into the batter for a consistent taste.
If you want a tangy twist, consider adding citrus zest to the batter. A tablespoon of lemon or orange zest will give them a refreshing citrusy flavor, especially when combined with blueberries. This variation is perfect for a bright start to your day.
For a decadent variation, try adding cocoa powder to the batter. Adding a tablespoon of cocoa powder can transform your pancakes into a chocolatey delight. This variation is perfect for those mornings when you crave something sweet and indulgent.
🥣 Serving ideas
Lentil pancakes are a versatile and delicious vegan dish that can be enjoyed in many ways. For a delicious breakfast or brunch, serve these lentil pancakes with a generous dollop of vegan butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. The sweetness of the syrup complements them perfectly, creating a balanced and satisfying meal.
If you have been using honey, please note that it is not considered vegan. Choose any of these honey substitutes where we included homemade vegan honey recipes as well. You can also top them with fresh fruit or fruit sauces, like a quick strawberry puree, for a refreshing start to your day.
You can transform these pancakes into a decadent dessert as well. Top them with a dollop of whipped cream or some vegan chocolate frosting. Add a drizzle of caramel sauce or a spoonful of vegan Nutella for an extra indulgence. Serve with a side of banana slices for a dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
❄️ Storing tips
Storing and reheating these vegan lentil pancakes is easy and does not compromise the flavor or texture.
To store the leftovers, allow them to cool completely first. Once cooled, transfer them to an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator for up to one day. I do not recommend storing them for longer than that since they can get quite dense and tough after 24 hours. It is best to make and serve them fresh.
You can freeze any leftovers by placing them in freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags. Freeze them for up to one month.
To reheat, you can pop them in your toaster or warm them on a griddle. If using a stovetop, place the pancakes in a pan over medium heat and heat them until they are warmed through. They may get a crispy crust, but I quite like them like that, and you will get a better result than warming them in the microwave.
Yes, you can use other types of flour for this recipe. All-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend works just the same. Buckwheat flour can be substituted with oat, millet, or quinoa flour. Experiment with different flours to find your preferred taste and texture.
No, you do not need to add oil to the pancake batter. This recipe works perfectly without the addition of coconut oil or nut butter. However, if you do not have a non-stick griddle or frying pan, you may want to use a cooking spray to prevent the pancakes from sticking.
Apple cider vinegar or any type of acid is needed to react with the baking powder, which is a leavening agent. This reaction helps to make the pancakes fluffy and light. If you do not have apple cider vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice can be used as an alternative.
If your pancakes turn out soggy, it could be because you are using high heat. High heat can cause the outside of the pancakes to brown quickly while the inside remains uncooked. To prevent this, lower the heat and allow the pancakes to cook thoroughly.
More sweet vegan breakfast recipes
THANK YOU so much for visiting our website. Please comment below if you have tried this recipe. We LOVE hearing from you! If you loved the recipe, please don’t forget to give us a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ RATING. We appreciate all of our readers.
Sweet Red Lentil Protein Pancakes (Vegan, GF)
- Soak the red lentils for at least 1-2 hours. If you would like to have them for breakfast, then soak them overnight. When you are ready to work with them, discard the soaking water.
- Add soaked red lentils, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract to the blender. Blend it until smooth.
- Stop the blender and add the dry ingredients: the flour, the baking powder, and the coconut sugar (or the sweetener of your choice). Blend it until nice and smooth.
- Preheat a griddle or a frying pan on the stovetop over low-medium heat. To be safe, you can coat it with some oil if yours is not non-stick.
- Spoon ¼ – ⅓ cup of the batter and cook one side. Flip when bubbles appear, and edges harden.
- Decrease the temperate a bit to ensure that the pancakes and the soaked raw red lentils are cooked thoroughly.
- If both sides are golden brown, they are ready! Cover the cooked pancakes until you’re ready to eat them, as they are always better when served warmly.
- High-powered blender vs immersion blender – If you have an immersion blender, only you can use that. The batter may not be as smooth, but if you blend them long enough, any small pieces will still cook properly. Pre-cooked red lentils are easier to blend, so you can choose to use that instead of raw ones.
- Why do you need apple cider vinegar at all? – If you want your pancakes to be fluffy and light, you need a leavening agent like baking powder. It will only react and inflate the pancakes if exposed to any type of acid. So you need apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Why don’t you need xanthan gum? – If you use a boxed gluten-free flour mix with xanthan gum, your pancakes may turn out gummy. As that is exactly what xanthan gum does, makes them rubbery and gummy. While it is beneficial for yeast doughs like pizza, you don’t want your pancakes to be gummy.
- Why are my pancakes soggy? – You probably used high heat, which meant that the outside got golden brown while the inside wasn’t cooked through. Lower the heat then.
This pancake recipe was inspired by Nest & Glow’s Lentil Protein Toast.
UPDATED: This recipe was originally posted in July 2018. It has been re-tested and improved in January 2022.