Tuesday, 3 February 2015


I love pancakes as much as the next guy, especially those overly-sweet American-style thick ones, and when it comes to eating out for breakfast they would always be my first choice. There are so many alternatives to the pancake rule and, believe me, this connoisseur has trialled them all. 2- ingredient mashed banana and eggs; vanilla protein; buckwheat; runny batters; thick batters; sugar; no sugar... I feel like there was no balance in any of these options. It was either totally healthy but boring, or unhealthy but momentarily satisfying. 

Believe it or not, I think I may have found my perfect balance of pancake. It contains no sugar at all but boasts wholewheat spelt flour, whole milk (yes, really) and coconut oil amongst other ingredients. You might be reading this a little dumbfounded as to how this is going to work. I mean, a pancake without sugar - am I mad? But you guys just need to go with me on this one, seriously! 

These pancakes are really simple to make. Instead of buttermilk - the ultimate indulgence that makes American-style pancakes thick and fluffy - we use whole milk and sour it with the juice of half a lemon. You get the same results and it's a cheaper (and more available) alternative to buttermilk. Like I said, there's no sugar in the batter itself. The natural sweetness comes from the vanilla and the coconut oil. By all means add sweetness later - I added a drizzle of pure maple syrup on top of my stack, for example.

The plum compote is also super easy to make. Similar to my apple sauce recipe (click here to read about my healthy apple crumble), all you need are 6 ripe plums, a cinnamon stick and about 1/2 cup of water (or enough to cover the plums). Prepare the plums by taking out the stones and quartering them. Pop them in a small saucepan with the water and cinnamon stick, and simmer until thick - approximately 10 minutes. The compote thickens as it cools, so take it off the heat and let it sit while you make your pancakes. 

(makes 16)
225ml whole milk
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g wholewheat spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut oil

Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 1 (140ºC/275ºF) - this is for keeping the pancakes warm as you make them. Add the lemon juice to the milk and stir well. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or until it has thickened, then beat the egg with the vanilla and add it to the mixture. In a large bowl, mix together the wholewheat spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the middle and gradually stir in the wet ingredients, making sure the batter is smooth.

Melt your coconut oil in a frying pan, then tip the melted fat into the batter and stir well. Wipe the inside of the frying pan with a piece of kitchen towel. The added coconut oil means that there is no need to grease the pan with butter when cooking - win! 

Place the frying pan on a medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Cook on one side until you can see little air bubbles and the batter starting to set around the edges. At this point, flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven while you make the rest, then serve in a stack with your favourite toppings.

Overall I am so impressed with how these have turned out. The vanilla adds natural sweetness, and there's a lovely coconut hint from the oil too. The plum compote is sharp and warming, but works so well twinned with the maple syrup - it's just the right balance. 

I love pancakes so much I was worried that I wouldn't find my refined sugar-free fix, but now I can have pancakes for breakfast every day and not feel the slightest bit guilty about it!

*Pancake recipe adapted from Davina's 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free


  1. These look delicious! Definitely bookmarking this :) Gorgeous photos too xx
    Elise @ Elise Dopson

  2. Well now I desperately want pancakes! These looks absolutely amazing, I'm trying to cut unnecessary sugar out of my diet, so this is going to get tucked into my bookmarks!

    little miss fii || Fii x

  3. These.look.amazing. I just made pancakes this weekend.... I am from the US and never realized they were american style! I will have to try this sooner rather than later!

  4. These look amazing - definitely bookmarking this to try. I'm doing the I Quit Sugar 8 week programme and have found so many lovely pancake recipes without sugar - and was surprised they taste SO good.
    Lucy @ Lucy--Loves xx

    1. Thanks Lucy! It's amazing how much sugar is in some things, but there are much healthier alternatives out there that actually taste amazing - these pancakes are proof! Xx

  5. mmmm, these look so yummy! I usually go for the banana-egg combo pancakes and love them, but I love trying new recipes, especially ones with no sugar. The plum compote is also a great idea, I never would have thought to top pancakes with that! Will definitely need to give these a bash :)
    Nicole x / Life in Ginger

    1. Thank you Nicole! I had a clean eating phase where banana-egg pancakes were my absolute staple - very simple and surprisingly delicious (I used to sandwich the pancakes with dark chocolate chips, mmm!) I love any type of fruit compote for breakfast. I mainly have plums or blueberries, and I top them on pancakes, yoghurt, porridge or just have it on its own - so lovely! Xx

  6. These look incredible! Who would have thought you could get good pancakes without the sugar x

    Amanda / Amanda's Escape

  7. Umm they look so yummy! and I'm trying to cut down on my sugar intake!


  8. these look so yummy, thanks for sharing! even better that they have no sugar, I think it's in my best interests to try them! :)

    Tasha xo


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