What Are the Best Tips for Making Lactose-Free Pancakes?

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  • Written By: Megan Shoop
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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Lactose-free pancakes are often an important breakfast recipe for those who are lactose-intolerant or vegan. This style of pancake does not include any dairy products from animals, including milk, cream cheese, sour cream, and yogurt. Some cooks like to replace the milk in basic pancake recipes with water, while others prefer nut-milks or other non-dairy milks. Even those without dietary restrictions may occasionally make lactose-free pancakes to achieve unusual pancake flavors.

Plant-based milks are typically a very common replacement for dairy milk in lactose-free pancakes. Soy milk is often the most popular, but those allergic to soy or simply opposed to the taste, may also use nut milks. Almond milk is thinner than soy milk, but adds flavor and body. It is also usually available in most grocery stores. Those that make their own nut milks at home can play with the flavors of any nut they like, from macadamias and cashews to walnuts, hazelnuts, and even Brazil nuts.


Water is another, very basic, milk replacement in lactose-free pancakes. Both lactose-intolerant individuals and those allergic to nuts can consume pancakes made with water as the liquid. Any basic pancake recipe that calls for milk can be modified by simply replacing the milk with water. Some of these modified pancake recipes also replace any eggs with about two large spoonfuls of water per egg. Though this substitution is among the simplest, some cooks feel pancakes made with water lack the richness and fluffiness often inherent in this breakfast-time treat.

Individuals with strict dietary requirements don’t always have to settle for water. Hemp, oat, rice, and coconut milks may not be as widely available as nut milks, but many grocery stores do stock them. These milks are dairy-free, nut-free, and generally have plenty of flavor and richness. Oat milk could give lactose-free pancakes a hearty oatmeal flavor, and could go well with dried cranberries or blueberries thrown into the batter. Rice milk pancakes might taste a bit like rice pudding, particularly if the cook adds some cinnamon or raisins.

Coconut milk is usually the thickest, richest variety of non-dairy milk. Pancakes made with coconut milk may be slightly denser and heavier than those made with other kinds of liquids. Cooks using it should also note that their pancakes will probably taste a bit like coconut. Those that want to underscore this flavor may also want to add a few scoops of cocoa powder or some chocolate chips to their pancakes. A tropical version of these lactose-free pancakes may include a little pineapple juice and pieces of banana, in addition to the coconut milk.


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