Is it possible that words alone can conjure up wonderful memories and tempt your taste buds, even without the food? Words like pancakes . . . butter . . . maple syrup . . . blueberries . . . diners . . . short stack . . . get the idea? And we won’t even mention the smell of pancakes steaming on a hot griddle. This is why low-carb pancake recipes are everywhere on the Internet. Low carb pancakes are almost an essential. They certainly are for those of us who love breakfast. Our recipe will satisfy those taste buds and keep the carbs low!
A “short stack” of homemade pancakes with real maple syrup will register 70 grams of carbohydrates. Make it a full stack (three) and you jump up to 85 grams. That calculation assumes a 4 inch pancake and 1 tablespoon of syrup. That is very important. We have seen and tried many low-carb pancake recipes with all types of flour substitutes that purport to be “low carb.” Yet, if you look closely at their pictures and actually make the recipe, the size of the pancakes are more like a silver dollar. That will keep the carbs low, but if you are trying to satisfy the taste buds and your hunger at the same time you need a normal sized cake.
Syrup is also a main culprit in trying to lower the carbs. Plus, think of all the various toppings that you can use in addition to maple syrup. Some people use honey or chocolate. How about powdered sugar or even bananas. The reason why all these sugary carb-laden toppings exist is that a basic pancake is pretty bland. The toppings add the taste, but also the carbs.
So we believe that the goal is to make a normal size pancake that tastes great without all of those toppings and keep it low carb!
Low Carb Pancake Ingredients
The basic ingredients of a pancake are pretty simple. Flour and baking powder are the normal dry ingredients with eggs, milk, and butter providing the wet ingredients. Often sugar will be added and some recipes call for water rather than milk. There are also the classic “buttermilk” pancakes. You will also see everything from blueberries to chocolate chips added to the batter and a lot more as a topping. We have also seen vanilla added for flavor.
Our recipe substitutes almond flour for traditional wheat flour. We have tried coconut flour and unflavored whey protein. The pancakes just seemed too dry, although using the whey protein isolate will lower the carbs more dramatically than the normal flour substitutes. It seems that with the whey protein varieties you need to add more sugar-free syrup to add moisture and that will result in more carbs.
In addition, we want our low carb pancakes to be tasty so we add cinnamon and vanilla and even a dash of almond extract, and just a small amount of sweetener. Either Sweetleaf or EZ Drops would be our choice for sweeteners. Using the ingredients shown in our recipe below will yield a delicious taste and keep the net carbs at 3 grams for each pancake. We use butter for our topping and let the taste of the cinnamon and vanilla dominate. You can see that we can add berries. For our pictures we added a lot of berries and our “full stack” clearly has more than three cakes. That is not our normal breakfast pancake meal. As we mentioned, we usually just add butter on top of a short stack to keep the carbs low and just enjoy the flavor of the cake. If you cannot live without syrup, we recommend Joseph’s Sugar Free Maple Syrup, a delicious low-carb product.
Joanie and I did split the pictured finished recipe. Not as low-carb as we would usually make, but delicious!
The first tip on cooking the perfect pancake is not to mix your batter in advance and store in the refrigerator until it is needed or let it rest too long. The flour substitute will absorb too much liquid and your pancakes will end up too thick and gummy. We hand mix our batter and that leads to our second tip – do not over mix! A few lumps are okay. If you prefer you can use your hand mixer. We do not suggest a blender. It will over-mix the batter.
Our tip to add moisture is to try adding very small chunks of cold butter to the batter just before cooking. The pancakes will not be greasy as the butter will melt inside the cake as it cooks. This is optional, but butter does make everything taste better.
As for cooking heat, higher heat will not make your pancakes cook faster. They will simply burn. A medium heat is best for most ranges.
Do not flip your pancakes until you see bubbles on top. Do not shake the pan or move them around with your spatula. If you are worried about burning the bottom since they cook fast, lift an edge and take a look, but do not over flip. This will deflate your pancake and who wants a perfectly flat breakfast. Low-carb pancakes are just like regular pancakes in terms of cooking. They will tell you when they are done.
Just like regular old-fashioned homemade pancakes, the first one just never seems to come out right – or is it just us? The rest of the batch was perfect and we made nine 5-inch pancakes with our batter.
So there you have it – memories of Sunday breakfast from years ago – your taste buds are likely clamoring to make a batch right now – and you have another Tasty Low Carb recipe! Honestly, this recipe tastes better than restaurant pancakes and even the homemade version that we grew up enjoying!
- Blend all of the ingredients except the butter chunks with a hand or regular mixer until smooth. Then let the batter sit for a couple minutes.
- Add the butter chunks and combine - do not over mix.
- Heat a buttered non-stick skillet to medium heat. Pour approximately 4 tablespoons of batter onto the skillet. Size should be approximately 4 inches in diameter.
- Look for bubbles on top, then flip and continue to cook until pancake is browned on each side.
- Serve pancakes with a pat of butter or berries or low-carb syrup.