Perfect Paleo Pancakes

September 15, 2012 in Categories: , by

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These hotcake-style pancakes were a serendipitous accident.  I was working on a crepe recipe (which I will be posting soon!) and my first attempt was not crepe-like at all, but a light fluffy and delicious, if maybe a little too thin, pancake.  Once my crepe recipe was perfected, my next priority became to take a step backward and see if I could thicken up the first batter variation to make an even better pancake.  The results were more marvelous than I could have hoped for.  These pancakes are awesome.

One of the biggest complaints about paleo pancakes is that they are difficult to flip.  Because almond flour batters don’t hold together very well, you have to make small 2-3” diameter pancakes that also take an eternity to cook.  Coconut-flour pancakes hold together marginally better, but many people don’t like either the texture or the flavor (including me) and they still take 15-20 minutes to cook over low heat so they don’t burn on the outside before cooking on the inside.  Paleo pancakes also tend to be very dense.  I have tried 7 or 8 different paleo pancake recipes from other blogs, looking for one that works or was at least close enough to use as a base to experiment with.  I never found one I liked… until now!

These plantain-based pancakes are not dense; instead they are so light and fluffy.  They cook quickly (about 6 minutes total, which is comparable to traditional pancakes).  They are so easy to flip that you can make them as big as your pan (I made mine 5-6” in diameter) or as small and dainty as you like.  They also happen to be nut-free (and you can sub any fat you want for the coconut oil to make them coconut free).  See my recipe for plantain crackers for tips on picking and storing green plantains.

What can you top these with?  My kids love maple syrup and butter (total shocker, right?), but berries, sliced peaches, sliced bananas, pretty much any sliced fruit would be delicious.  Nuts or a dust of cinnamon would be good additions too!  You could throw some coconut cream on top to be extra decadent (you can buy coconut cream in a box or you can take the thick fatty top part of a can of full fat coconut milk that has been sitting in a cool pantry or refrigerator overnight).  However you choose to dress these pancakes, I hope you enjoy them!  This recipe makes 6 large (5-6”) pancakes.



  1. Peel plantains (I find it easier to quarter them before I peel them) and place pieces in your blender or food processor.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender or food processor and process until it forms a smooth batter (about 1-2 minutes).
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan or on a griddle over medium-high heat.  Pour batter into the frying pan until your pancake is the desired size.
  4. Let cook 4-5 minutes on the first side, until the top looks fairly dry with little bubbles in it (just like regular pancakes!).
  5. Flip!  And cook on the second side for 1½-2minutes.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter, adding a little more coconut oil to your pan as needed.

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:


I tried you pancake recipe but it was very dense and the taste of plantain was very strong. I must have done something wrong. Help

Could be that the plantains were too ripe? You can read through the many comments on this recipe to read other’s experiences with this recipe. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

If it helps anyone, I actually find that I get opposite results of what people usually suggest for plantain recipes. The unripened green ones gave me thick, mealy like batter and very dense, plantain flavored pancakes. Riper yellow or black ones give me a batter that is much smoother and exactly like traditional pancake batter with a milder slightly sweeter fluffy pancake. I’ve had the same result with other plantain recipes too- maybe it’s the variety I get, but could be worth a try for people not getting an amazing pancake out of this recipe!! We LOVE it, thanks!!!

Oh. My. Goodness!!!!!! I have been looking for a non-grain pancake for so long now. I was skeptical and almost gave up during the making of this pancake, however, glad I stuck it out. Yes, pealing the plantain was time consuming and my blender wouldn’t blend at first, but in the end it all worked and actually made a very good pancake!! Yeah!! I’ll definitely be making it again. :-) Thank you.

Sarah has not used plantain flour in this recipe. I don’t know how much plantain flour equals to one plantain. But if you do try, please leave another comment and let us know how it turns out. Thank you! — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Num num num num num! Thank you so much! These were soooo yummy!
AND the best part…guilt and stomach upset free!
My plantains were large, my eggs were small…I used 5 eggs but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Fantastic taste, texture and my kitchen smells wonderful!

I get about 8 – 10 good sized ones from one batch.

Also, I have discovered that if you have a large round skillet, you can bake these in the oven at around 350 and they come out awesome! I have time issues so standing and flipping cakes is not always convenient. Baking one big plantaincake has been my savior. We cut it up like a pie :)

Just Me,
How long do you bake your plantain pancakes for? It’s not so much a time issue for me, I just don’t care to stand and flip… would love to put in the oven, walk away ’till they’re done. Thanks for sharing!

Hi Debbie,
If its just a single batch I bake them for 15 minutes. If its a double batch, 25 minutes. I use a rather large stainless steel skillet so if yours is a bit smaller it may take slightly longer, but 15 minutes is my “check time”.
Have a great day!

Thank you for replying! I appreciate it! So much easier to put in the oven, can also put bacon in the oven and walk away, awaiting an awesome breakfast. Have a good day also! :)

I was skeptical about these pancakes, but decided to try them. My husband, who is verrrry picky about his pancakes thought they were wonderful and asked for seconds!. I served them with fresh sliced banana and pure maple syrup. Awesome!

I am so glad someone mentioned baking it in the oven. I decided I would try it even though I probably didn’t have the right size pan- it was my only pan that would go in the oven and I’m tired of setting off the fire alarm. So, I made a go of it and wow – it was amazing!!! Thicker than usual, more like a bread or cake and incredibly moist. I might also mention that I didn’t have coconut oil this morning so I used organic butter. I also add 2 TB of maple syrup to the batter as well as a pinch of baking powder. That was by accident one time – the baking powder – but it worked well for me. Kept things together. Oh, and my plantains were way passed green – perhaps overripe – but worked great!! So grateful for this recipe.

These pancakes have become a staple in my house!!! They are so delicious and the texture is perfect. In fact, on a whim, I decided to try them in my old cast iron waffle iron and they were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I’ve served them to friends and they couldn’t believe they were flour free. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe. I would like to ask permission to share it on my blog as waffles, but would not print the recipe, I would just take pics of the waffles and link up to your recipe here.

Take care –

PS – SO thankful for The Paleo Approach book!

Yes, that is fine. As you stated, please have your post link to the recipe here. Thank you! —- Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

I L-O-V-E you for this recipe. It is amazing. The texture is just like the real thing. Some butter and maple syrup and you don’t even taste plantains. Seriously, you are soooo awesome. You are my base for all paleo recipes. Love you so much!!! If you can share more dessert recipes and sweets that would be great. I have a very strong sweet tooth. My kids don’t even miss the “regular pancakes”. Keep up the amazing work. Oh, and I never leave reviews (I had to for you cause you are so cool!). Do you think you can use bananas instead of plantains?

So glad you liked it. You can view all of Sarah’s baked goods recipes here: Regarding the banana, in this comment someone discussed using bananas: Sarah herself has not prepared this recipe using bananas. If you do, please leave another comment and let us know how they turn out. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for such a delicious pancake recipe!! I made these this morning and was so excited to see that they turned out so beautiful and yummy!!
I have a question though… Mine made 10 pancakes. How many days will these last in the fridge? Would I be able to freeze them? If you have time and could let me know today, that would be great!! That way I can figure out how to store this batch that I made this morning.
Thank you again!!

I believe these will last a a couple of days in the refrigerator. Regarding storage in the freezer: Sarah puts them on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once they are frozen, she puts them in a freezer bag (if you try and freeze them in the bag first, they stick together). She reheats in the microwave, but a toaster would work too. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Thank you!! I just wanted to make sure I was able to save them and not have them go to waste. I could easily eat all of them at one sitting, BUT…. I probably shouldn’t do that :)

When I make these, I make a double batch and freeze like Tamar says to do. I reheat in the oven, just put in a glass dish, cover with foil and they take about 30 min. at 350. Delicious!

Thank you Debbie!! I will make a double batch for sure next time!! These were the best Paleo pancakes I have had!!

I can’t hardly wait to try these this weekend. I am going to make the recipe and use my waffle maker. A paleo friend told me about them a while ago but I’m just hitting my paleo cooking phase.

These are great! I’ve tried a ton of paleo pancake recipes and these are by far the best. I love the subtle banana flavor the plantain brings. I like to add cinnamon to the batter and mix in walnuts or pecans and some Enjoy Life chocolate chips. It’s become a Sunday morning ritual for me.

Thanks for these. I honestly don’t miss “real” pancakes anymore.

[…] Nu hadden wat lezers wat moeite met de Engelse tekst en vroegen om een vertaling. Dat wil ik best doen, kost mij niet veel moeite. Natuurlijk heb ik Sarah, The Paleo Mom herself, wel eerst om toestemming gevraagd en gelukkig heb ik die gekregen. Bij deze dan de Nederlandse vertaling van de Perfect Pancakes van The Paleo Mom (ik heb het recept niet helemaal letterlijk vertaald, dat leek me niet nodig), die zo goed zijn dat ik ze jullie niet wilde onthouden. Het originele recept vindt je trouwens hier. […]

I LOVE these pancakes! Thank you so much for this recipe, it will surely be a weekend staple and I love that I can freeze them for weekday breakfasts as well. I’m curious if anyone else has noticed that they cook to a perfect honey golden brown but turn a much darker brown when plated? I’m cooking w green plantains, cocnut oil in a stainless steel pan as well. Either way still yummy but made me wonder….

If using “real” vanilla, is the alcohol burned off during the frying of the pancake batter? If, not, is that little amount anything to worry about?

this willl be our go to pancake recipe! thanks so much. Closest thing to regular pancakes that I have made. Love the podcast and blog too!

I made these for breakfast today – and they were so delicious! They didn’t even need any sort of cream or syrup with them, they were delicious on their own. My favorite paleo breakfast so far! I wonder if I froze them, how they’d do as a toaster or microwave breakfast-on-the-go….

Glad I stumbled on this recipe this morning– I had a plantain and NO idea what to do with it! I made these into waffles and plan to use them for almond butter & jam sandwiches! Yum- thanks!

I have served these as a side at dinner with coconut cream and maple syrup optional. Tonight we are having them along side crispy oven baked chicken leg quarters! Yum!

Hmm. Did you measure the plantain puree at two cups, or did you just use two plantains? There may not have been enough if your plantains were smaller. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I’ve just tried this recipe with one green plantain I got from the market.
This recipe is simply awesome and so easy!!!
I tried to make a few pancakes and they were delicious and crispy, then I added some raw milk to have a more liquid texture, still yummy :)
We ate them with salty raw butter…
Thanks !

I cut the recipe in half has it is just me and my husband and he is very picky. He didn’t care for the color but he did like them. I thought they were great! Will definitely be making these again. I served them with homemade pan sausage, and fruit. Thank you for another great recipe.

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