dairy-free pancake recipe water

Fluffy Dairy-Free Pancake Recipe Using Water

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Updated on April 15, 2024

Picture this: It’s Sunday morning, the rain is drumming a lazy rhythm on your window, and all you crave is a stack of fluffy, golden pancakes dripping with warm syrup. But then reality hits – you’re out of milk, and dairy just isn’t an option. 

Does this scenario sound familiar? Fear not, fellow pancake enthusiasts! We have a solution that will turn your frown upside down faster than a perfectly flipped flapjack. Here’s the secret: you can create an incredibly delicious dairy-free pancake recipe using water; yes, you read that right – water! 

No more scrambling to the store, no more sacrificing breakfast bliss. This easy recipe is a game-changer, and we’re here to walk you through every step, from gathering ingredients (don’t worry, they’re all pantry staples) to achieving that perfect stack of fluffy goodness. So ditch the Sunday blues and get ready to whip up a breakfast that’s not only delicious but also caters to dietary restrictions – because everyone deserves a plate of happiness!

Dairy-Free Pancake Recipe Using Water

dairy-free pancake recipe using water
dairy-free pancake recipe using water

You can whip up a delicious dairy-free pancake recipe using water! Here’s a detailed recipe:


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour for a gluten-free option)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter or vegetable oil (plus extra for cooking)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Dry Mix: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. This ensures even distribution of the leavening agent for fluffy pancakes.
  2. Wet Mix: In a large bowl, combine the water, melted vegan butter or oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. You can use a whisk or a fork for this. Don’t worry about over-mixing at this stage.
  3. Combine Wet and Dry:  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Gently fold the mixture together with a rubber spatula until just combined. A few small lumps are okay, but avoid overmixing, as this can result in tough pancakes.
  4. Rest the Batter: Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. This allows the gluten in the flour to relax, leading to lighter and fluffier pancakes.
  5. Heat the Pan: Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. A non-stick pan is ideal for this recipe. Grease the pan with butter or oil.
  6. Cook the Pancakes: Once the pan is hot, pour about ¼ cup of batter for each pancake. You can use a measuring cup or a ladle for even portions.
  7. Watch for Bubbles: As the pancakes cook, bubbles will start to appear on the surface. This is a good indication that it’s time to flip.
  8. Flip and Cook: When the edges look set and the bubbles start to burst, carefully flip the pancakes using a spatula. Cook for another minute or two on the other side until golden brown.
  9. Serve and Enjoy: Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate and stack them. Serve immediately with your favourite dairy-free toppings, such as fresh fruit, maple syrup, or vegan butter.

Tips for Achieving Pancake Perfection Every Time

Even the simplest recipes can sometimes have hiccups. Here, we’ll address some common concerns and offer solutions to ensure your dairy-free pancake recipe using water turns out fluffy and delicious every single time.

Batter Consistency

The ideal pancake batter should be thick but pourable, resembling smooth heavy cream. If your batter seems too thin, it will spread too much on the griddle, resulting in flat and wide pancakes. Conversely, a batter that’s too thick will be difficult to spread, leading to dense, undercooked pancakes.

Thin Batter Fix

Don’t fret! Simply add a tablespoon or two of flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the batter reaches the desired consistency. Remember, adding a little more flour is always easier than trying to salvage an overly runny batter.

Thick Batter Fix

If your batter is too thick, gradually whisk in a tablespoon or two of water until it reaches the right pourable consistency. Be mindful not to add too much water at once, as you don’t want the batter to become too thin.

Achieving Fluffy Pancakes

The key to achieving those coveted fluffy pancakes is minimising gluten development and maximising air incorporation. 

Here are some tricks:

Don’t Overmix

Once the dry and wet ingredients are just combined, with a few small lumps remaining, stop mixing! Overmixing develops the gluten in the flour, leading to tough and chewy pancakes. A few lumps are perfectly fine and will actually contribute to a lighter texture.

Separate the Egg (Optional)

Consider separating the egg white and yolk for an extra dose of fluffiness. Beat the egg white to stiff peaks (soft white clouds with pointed tips) and then gently fold it into the batter. This adds additional air and creates a beautifully airy texture.

Vegan Option: Taking Your Dairy-Free Pancakes to the Next Level

dairy-free pancake recipe just water
dairy-free pancake recipe using water

The egg in the recipe might pose a challenge for our vegan friends. But fear not, plant-based bakers! There’s a clever way to achieve the binding properties of an egg and create a delicious vegan, dairy-free pancake recipe using water. Here’s how:

The Wonder of Flaxseed or Chia Seed Eggs

These magical egg replacements are a lifesaver in vegan baking. Flaxseeds and chia seeds absorb moisture and form a gel-like consistency when mixed with water. This gel mimics the binding properties of an egg in pancakes, holding the ingredients together and creating a satisfying texture.

The How-To

To create a flaxseed or chia seed egg, simply grind one tablespoon of either seed (a coffee grinder works perfectly) and mix it with three tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, allowing the seeds to absorb the water and form a gel. This gel can then be used directly instead of an egg in your pancake recipe.

Top Tip

For best results, use freshly ground flaxseed or chia seeds. Pre-ground seeds tend to lose their gelling power over time. If you don’t have a grinder, you can purchase a pre-ground flaxseed meal, but ensure it’s fresh and hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for months.

Can You Make Pancakes Without Milk?

Yes, you can definitely make pancakes without milk! There are two main approaches:

Using Water

This is the simplest substitute. Just replace the milk in your usual pancake recipe with an equal amount of water. However, milk adds both flavour and richness to pancakes, so you may want to add a little more fat (like melted butter) and vanilla extract to compensate for the missing flavour. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when using water:

  • The pancakes may be slightly less fluffy or tender than pancakes made with milk.
  • The flavour may be a bit bland. Adding more sugar, vanilla extract, or other flavourings can help.

Using Non-Dairy Milk

If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative but still want the richness and flavour of milk, you can use a non-dairy milk substitute like almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, or even coconut milk. These will work just as well as regular milk in most pancake recipes, and some may even add a subtle flavour of their own.


Toppings and Variations for Dairy-Free Pancakes

Here are some delicious topping and variation ideas for your dairy-free pancake recipe using water:


Classic Options

  • Maple syrup (of course!)
  • Fresh fruit (berries, sliced bananas, peaches, mangoes)
  • Powdered sugar

Fruity Delights

  • Fruit compote (made with your favourite fruits cooked down with a touch of sugar)
  • Sliced apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Fresh berries with a drizzle of agave nectar

Chocolatey Fun

  • Vegan chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate folded into the batter.
  • Chocolate sauce (made with melted dairy-free chocolate and a touch of coconut milk)
  • Chopped nuts and a drizzle of chocolate syrup

Savoury Twist

  • Vegan cheese and chopped chives
  • Scrambled tofu with a drizzle of hot sauce

Other Ideas

  • Toasted coconut flakes
  • Drizzle of nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
  • Vegan whipped cream
  • A sprinkle of granola for extra crunch


  • Flavor Boosters: Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, almond extract, or orange zest to the batter for a subtle flavour twist.
  • Spice it Up: Include a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger in the dry ingredients for a warm and comforting taste.
  • Festive Fun: Make colourful pancakes by adding a few tablespoons of pureed pumpkin or mashed banana to the batter.
  • Whole Wheat Option: Substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for added fibre and a nutty flavour.
  • Kid-Friendly Fun: Use cookie cutters to create fun shapes in your pancakes!

Remember: If you’re using a non-dairy milk substitute, check the ingredients list to ensure it’s dairy-free.


Making pancakes without milk is absolutely possible! By using water as a substitute, you can still achieve fluffy and delicious pancakes. This dairy-free pancake recipe uses water and provides a great option for those who are lactose intolerant or avoid dairy products. Enjoy these tasty pancakes with your favourite toppings, and feel free to customise them to your liking.

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