Plantain Fritter Pancakes with Maple Coconut Cream and Toasted Walnuts

May 11, 2012 in Categories: , by

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This just may be the most decadent breakfast ever.  It’s perfect beside some eggs and sausage for a luxurious Sunday Brunch.  In fact, we treat this more as dessert in our house than a breakfast because it is quite sweet.  I had never cooked plantains before going paleo and I have fallen in love with the flavor of super ripe plantains (a kind of cross between banana and apple). These plantain pancakes are delicious both warm and cold, so I often make a larger batch of them in the evening (and I just scale up or down depending on how many really ripe plantains I happen to have around).  The pancakes really only flip easily if you keep them on the small side, or at least not much bigger than the size of your spatula.  I usually make them about 3 inches in diameter (so I typically get 5 pancakes out of two plantains).  The toasted walnuts add a lovely banana-maple-nut flavor to these pancakes (and somehow also reminiscent of apple pie), but they are optional (omit for AIP–other AIP modifications, replace nutmeg with mace and omit allspice).  Other delightful toppings include a little extra cinnamon or nutmeg, Cacao Nibs (love that crunch!), other nuts, berries, or nothing at all!

Ingredients (Toasted Walnuts):

1.     Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
2.    Add walnuts to the hot skillet and cook, shaking the pan or stirring frequently to turn the pieces.  Cook until walnuts start to brown and are fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
3.    Remove from the hot pan and set aside.

Ingredients (Maple Coconut Cream):

1.    Let the can of coconut milk sit still at room temperature for at least 24 hours (mine are still all the time on the shelf in my cupboard; this basically just means don’t toss a can into the fridge right out of your shopping bag).  Then gently (no shaking!!!!) place the can in your fridge overnight.  If you are using homemade coconut milk, pour it into a jar and let it sit on the counter for 2-3 hours after making it, then carefully put it in the fridge overnight (or longer).
2.    Carefully remove the can/jar and open it.  Spoon out the thick cream from the top half of the can into a small bowl.  Avoid getting any of the coconut water which has separated to the bottom (I like to use that coconut water in smoothies).
3.    Stir the maple syrup into the coconut cream and place it back in the fridge until ready to eat.

Ingredients (Plantain Pancakes):

1.    Using a fork or potato masher, mash plantain to a thick, slightly lumpy pulp (this can be a bit of a forearm workout).
2.    Add spices and mash in until completely mixed in.
3.    Heat 1-2 Tbsp of oil in a skillet over medium heat (use non-stick or a very well-seasoned cast iron frying pan).
4.    Spoon 1/4-1/3 cup globs of mashed plantains and drop into the frying pan.  Using the back of a spoon, spread them flat and about ½” thick.  They should be something like 3” in diameter.  I can usually fit three pancakes in a standard 12” pan so I have to cook them in batches.
5.    Cook for 7-9 minutes on the first side (you should have the temperature low enough that they aren’t browning too fast; low and slow is best for these).  Carefully, flip the pancakes over and cook for another 7-8 minutes on the second side.
6.    If you’re going to eat them warm, then enjoy!  If you are planning on eating them later, cool them on a wire rack.  Add more coconut oil to the pan before cooking subsequent batches.


I have never had plantains. Would you give some tips on where to buy them and what to look for when buying them?? Thank you!!

Looking forward to trying these out.

I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to plantains. I look for ones that aren’t obviously bruised and then let them ripen until almost completely black on my counter top (which can take a while, so patience might be needed).

I love fried plantains! I’ll be trying your recipe soon. The way I make them is to slice them thin, fry in coconut oil until brown, then plate them, squeeze lime juice over then and sprinkle on a little salt. Amazing.

I made these with yellow plantains and they were superb.. Jamie was so unbelievably happy to have a pancake!!!!! awesome for a lunchbox too 🙂

I had two plantains that have been completely black for several days so I wasn’t sure if they were still good and they were. I just started eating plantains on the paleo autoimmune plan in Practical Paleo, so I am still learning about them. My 2 plantains only made 3 pancakes, probably a little bit bigger than yours, and they were yummy. You are right, this was a very decadent breakfast, worthy of a lazy Sunday morning. I’m glad I ate my bacon first, then I cooked the pancakes in the bacon fat. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes. I love your website and visit it regularly.

I LOVE sweet plantains. Growing up in a Puerto Rican household they were a staple at dinner almost every night – I never thought of them for breakfast. I will have to definitely try this recipe and I’m so happy to see that they can remain a part of my diet. Yay!


REALLY enjoyed these! I was too lazy to make the coco cream and roasted nuts so I put pumpkin spice instead and ate them plain.

Hi! I’m sorry…perhaps I’m a novice…but I thought that NUTS (walnuts) were NOT allowed in an AIP friendly meal. Confused. s

You’re right. I thought because I say that the nuts are optional, it would be obvious that someone on the AIP would leave them out. I’ve edited the recipe to be more explicit.

This hit the spot! So delicious! I have been craving something like a pancake since starting AIP and this was great.. Thank you!

Going to try this AIP style and make a blueberry sauce. Thanks again for great AIP recipes, your easing this transition for us 🙂

I will be getting some plantains tomorrow and as soon as a few ripen enough, I will be making these AIP style as well! How did you make the sauce? Just cooked down blueberries? Maple syrup? Mmmmmm I’m hungry thinking about it! I was thinking also trying a mandarin sauce. I have quite a few in the fridge. I’ll let ya know! Hopefully I get to hear what you did as well 🙂

MMM, good. I made these pancakes without the allspice or the nuts or the maple syrup and they were fabulous and sweet without any sweetener. Yay Paleo Mom!

Thank you for the AIP suggestions. I’m not quite up to eating starches but hopefully someday… soon. 🙂
I have a question about nutmeg. I haven’t eaten it for years because I have interstitial cystitis (mostly under control with diet) and eating nutmeg makes my bladder hurt very badly, but I’ve never known why. Can you shed some light? The only thing I can figure is that it’s acidic and/or it causes inflammation.

The only reason I can think why nutmeg would do it is a food sensitivity or allergy. It is a drupe (like many tree nuts), so high in phytic acid and other antinutrients, but I don’t know what else would be in it to have such a dramatic reaction.


Could you make a video on this recipe? Step by step instructions? I have no patience, so I took my plantain and processed it into my food processor. BAD IDEA! I added water, coconut oil and cinnamon ( I don’t like Nutmeg or Allspice) I added the water because the dang thing was so dry. I suppose I am so used to adding water when making plantain wraps that I thought it wouldn’t ruin it. I ended up with a MESS! It was grainy, dry and resembled grits. I cooked them anyway thinking they were going to be okay. After I almost choked on one, I ended up just discarding them! HELP!!

I just made these pancakes and they are delicious. Different than the usual fried plantain, and I will definitely make them more often.

I have a suggestion about the coconut cream.
When you put the can in the fridge, make sure that the can is upside down. When ready to use, simply pull the ring and the water will be on top. Discard the water and scoop the cream.
In case you forget to put the can upside down, just open the bottom of the can with a can opener.
(I’m not that smart, I didn’t figure this method by myself, I saw it on a blog and I tried it. It works)

The recipe calls for two plantains, and Sarah notated in the post that she usually makes the pancakes about 3 inches in diameter and typically get 5 pancakes out of two plantains. — Tamar (Sarah’s assistant)

Thank you!! AIP and have trouble finding traditional breakfast ideas this is soo good!! i even add some AIP friendly wing sauce to make it a lunch

So the maple syrup is OK while following AIP? I don’t have autoimmune issues that I know of, but I am essentially following the AIP per doctor’s orders due to leaky gut. There is so much conflicting information about using sweeteners (i.e., honey, maple syrup) while on a diet for leaky gut.

i have some blood sugar issues so i dont use the honey maple syrup i either make them super crispy and thin and put Celtic sea salt on them or i put coconut butter on them with Celtic sea salt or i even put wing sauce on them so yummy!

Thanks Stacy, extra thin with sea salt is right up my alley, which I usually do for dinner. But for breakfast, I still pine over traditional breakfast foods on occasion. I think warm berries would work well as a topping and I usually find maple syrup too sweet and only use a touch of it.

But my question was does Sarah recommend Maple syrup be omitted for those with leaky gut. I was under the assumption all her recipes were AIP allowed, until I realized many clearly were not(included eggs, etc)

Sarah has a combination of AIP and traditional Paleo recipes on her blog. As another commented notated, it is recommended to use sweeteners sparingly on the AIP. I believe when Sarah says “omit for AIP” in this recipe she is referring to the walnuts. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Made these this morning…absolutely delicious. Am AIP so skipped the nuts. A little tricky to flip but next time I’ll make them smaller. Haven’t tried one of your recipies I didn’t liker.

I just started the AIP a week.ago…these plantain pancakes were just what my breakfast time needed today to help me move forward! Thanks!!!

I also make Plantain pancakes and bread, but with some egg. Popping the plantain in a food processor or a vitamix removes the arm workout!

THANK YOU for this egg-free pancake recipe!! We have an egg & peanut allergy in the family & I like to make food we can all eat. Thank you! I am hugely excited for your Paleo Approach cookbook to come out around August…have pre-ordered my copy. That being said, wishing you continued healing…do take care of yourself because we need you & of course your family does too. Thank you for your wonderful knowledge & recipes…I love them & so appreciate all you & your team does!

Wow these are amazing!! This is exactly what I had in mind when thinking about breakfast this morning since I have plantains (which I’m addicted to btw) but wanted something different than usual. I almost didn’t find them because I googled plantain fritters. Anyway, fabulous with a couple of fried eggs over the top instead of the sweet toppings. Will definitely try it that way someday. Thank you!!

I’m following a low-FODMAP diet at the moment. Could I still eat ripe plantains? I just made green plantain chips today to see how I tolerate them.

Why not just use coconut cream instead of trying to separate the coconut milk? It’s about 30% fat and has just coconut extract with no water added.

I tried these today and they tasted great, but they never really cooked. Every time I tried to flip them, they just kept falling apart on me. I followed the recipe to the T. Any thoughts on why this was and what I could try differently the next time? They tasted great though, after I scraped off what I could!

I’ve only just stumbled over your site, and I’m excited about using plantains in lieu of almond/coconut flours. I make an applesauce, coconut flour, almond butter pancake, but the cook time and stability is an issue. I’m so eager to try your idea. Thank you!

These look wonderful, thanks. I’m very strictly following AIP so just need to check about nutmeg – the instructions say for AIP modifications replace the nutmeg with mace. I thought nutmeg was ok for AIP as its used in the baked spiced sweet potato recipe listed under ‘AIP Friendly’. Im really working hard to follow AIP strictly so would appreciate some clarity on this.

By the way, many thanks for your fantastic website!

I’ve never eaten plantains before, I followed your recipe and they tasted very sweet and like bananas. They were delicious but I just wanted to make sure I did indeed buy plantains and not some large green banana.

If I replace the nutmeg with something else, would it be AIP? I am very new to AIP and compiling my recipes for success!

BTW ~ I love your book, online post and everything! It is really helping me. Thank you!

Just finished eating the pancakes and they were reasonably edible. My plantains were too green so I processed them , added an apple and some applesauce, also a tbsp. of ground flax seed to help hold it together and the spices. Fried them on my iron griddle in coconut fat very slowly. we sprinkled roasted walnuts on top. All in all this has promise and i will continue to work with the recipe. Thanks, I am learning lots!

Totally new to all of this. Your recipes sound so delicious. I must ask though, I have to have rules, what size is the can of coconut milk? I would imagine they come in various sizes. Thank you in advance for your response. Take care and have a great day.

Diana, if you click on the link provided, it will take you to an Amazon page with a picture of an actual brand of coconut milk. The size is clearly visible.

Can you tell us how much cream we expect to skim off the top? I purchase cans of coconut cream, and it seems like such an easy thing to save my cans of milk for recipes that require milk (not cream or water)

Thanks in advance!

Uh oh, I see now….Totally black….Good, that is what two of mine are and one is still yellow with black spots. I am anxious to try this out because I have not cooked with plantains before. Thank you for the recipe

I bought the Paleo Approach book and am almost (still working on 100% compliance) there……and just tried this recipe, minus the cinnamon and with a dash of ginger…first time I have ever had plantains….and omg….this is the start of a beautiful relationship…..

Thank you Sarah for all of your hardwork, research, help and sharing…….

Mine turned into a mushy mess…..where did I go wrong? They just never set for some reason. Still tasted good though

Oops. . .I just saw where someone else mentioned the walnuts as well. I looked again . . I sure don’t see where you say to omit them on the autoimmune diet.

“The toasted walnuts add a lovely banana-maple-nut flavor to these pancakes (and somehow also reminiscent of apple pie), but they are optional (omit for AIP–other AIP modifications, replace nutmeg with mace and omit allspice). “

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