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When I was vegetarian, I made small, light, fluffy, puffy pancakes. The batter consisted of spelt flour, ricotta, orange oil, honey and eggs. Crucially, the egg whites were beaten until stiff before combining. This gave the batter its fluffy consistency.

I now make savoury pancakes with gram flour and soya/oat milk, and sweet pancakes with buckwheat and chestnut flours and rice/nut milk. These taste great, but the texture is heavy.

How can I achieve a light, fluffy textured batter for pancakes that is suitable for vegans?

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There is a really good, unexpected replacement for egg white:

Chickpea liquid (Aquafaba)

Seriously. Buy a can or glass of chickpeas, pour it in a sieve, collect the liquid. Set the chickpeas aside and make some hummus. Now the fun begins.

  • Take the liquid and beat it like egg white.
  • Add icing sugar and continue beating, it will facilitate the process. You'll get a stiff, white, voluminous, airy mass.
  • Add a tiny bit of baking powder and flour (the flour needs to be sieved). Mix everything together, quickly, but gently. Don't be disappointed if you lose some volume again.
  • Start baking.

The idea to replace egg white by chickpea water isn't mine, and people have already been making meringue with it. However, I found that one can make sponge cake as well, with the above recipe, and I'm expecting it to work well with pancakes and waffles.

Your other options:

  • Add enough baking powder
  • For savoury pancakes: Fermented batter, e.g. a Dosa is an excellent choice.
  • +1 I have heard about this magic "aquafaba" and I was hoping someone would give me this suggestion, but, for the green tick, I'm trying to make pancakes, not meringue - I don't want to add a load of icing sugar (I avoid refined sugar, although I didn't mention that in the question). Could you edit a bit to clarify whether I have to use icing sugar or I could use something nicer in small quantities, like maple syrup? – Zanna Feb 3 '17 at 19:51
  • @Zanna, sure, I think pancakes should work. I've never succeeded vegan meringue (tried it once, failed, not a big fan anyways), but the sponge cake is sublime, and it should be adaptable to pancakes as well. (Maybe it's best not to leave the batter standing around for too long.) Replacing icing sugar is something I haven't tried yet. In Germany, there is icing sugar made from raw cane sugar, it tastes great and works well. This is what I use. If you leave out the icing sugar, the chickpea liquid mass might not be as stiff as you'd want. But I haven't tried that. – Turion Feb 3 '17 at 21:04
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    In that case, I'll test it myself and make a little edit to your answer if I can get it to do what I want – Zanna Feb 3 '17 at 21:06
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To create a whipped sweet you just need some fat. Vegetable margarine or non-light coconut oil will suffice. Of course the ingredients ratio is different from a regular recipe so you will have to make some attempts. You have to use a wooden spoon and you should mix from bottom to above to avoid destroying too many air bubbles.

Actually I've seen recipes that just use 3 ingredients to achieve a fluffy texture. Of course you will not achieve the same exact texture of a non-vegan pancake, but in general I prefer almost all vegan variants over sweets.

The cream should be whipped with a whisk, then you mix other ingredients later using a wood spoon (from bottom to above), the reason is that if you first add other ingredients the cream do not whip properly, while if you mix it too strongly with a metal spoon you destroy the air bubble and hence the whip. Also ingredients ratio are different: depends on fat concentration of the coconut oil you use, check the % in weight which is fat and use that to compute a new dose.

Usually butter have 80% fat. A simple computation, assume your coconut oil have 70% and in your recipe you were using 200gr of butter,

then you need:

(1,8/1,7) * 200 = 211 gr of oil

Of course keep in mind that the lesser the fat in the oil, the more you may need, and eventually some fatty ingredients may have a too low concentration of fat for whipping to happens ( the % of ingredient that is not fatty actually prevents whipping).

  • what does "sweat" mean here? I've never heard the word used to mean anything other than water shed from skin to lose heat from the body! I'm from the UK. And no, I use a whisk to whip coconut cream and I used to do the same for egg whites. You link to a page about making fluffy coconut cream, but I'm not sure how to translate that into pancake batter (or the first part of your answer, which mentions fats - what should I combine them with?) – Zanna Feb 1 '17 at 9:41
  • The link content changed my fault sorry. And the word was sweet. The autocorrector changed it for some strange reason. – GameDeveloper Feb 1 '17 at 13:48
  • I tried to create whipped cream with coconut fat before, and failed miserably. – Turion Feb 3 '17 at 19:45
  • Tried and can confirm it is nearly impossible. It starts englobing few bubbles only with a electric whip, but it never reaches the cream "status" :( – GameDeveloper Feb 4 '17 at 3:52

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