Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Beetroot Buttermilk Pancakes Two Ways - #FreeFromPancakes : gluten free; sugar/refined sugar free; optional dairy free

One week until Pancake Day. Yay! Love love love pancakes!

These ones are full of good stuff...... and they're a bit girlie pink! The blush comes from pureed beetroot which is low in cholesterol and full of fibre, vitamins (especially from the B-group), minerals and anti-oxidants. Eating beets can even help in protecting against coronary artery disease and stroke, lower cholesterol levels and may have anti-aging properties......

The pancakes are also gluten free, sugar free (or refined sugar free if you want a slightly sweeter pancake) and can be made dairy free with some minor tweaks if you are dairy intolerant. Looks like you might be able to eat a whole pile of these babies without guilt or ill-effect!

As with most recipe development though, they have a story attached to their evolution. Having joined an amazing group of free from bloggers this month to bring you an incredible variety of #FreeFromPancakes, I originally intended for my beetroot version to also be vegan..... but they were a disaster! Instead of trying to make an egg-free pancake, I tried making a whipped egg-white pancake, subbing eggs for aquafaba. Disaster!

Now..... I have never actually tried using aquafaba before, but as I was using a can of chickpeas for something else, I thought I'd give it a try....... It whipped up perfectly into beautifully stiff peaks..... all good. Unfortunately, whilst the batter into which it was folded remained thick, once cooking, the pancakes didn't 'set' and by number 4, I gave them up as a bad job and threw the remaining batter in the bin.......

Whilst I could have faddled around for hours finding uses for chickpeas, just so I could use the liquid aquafaba to test, test and test again, I have been seriously strapped for time this week, so decided to revert to my old favourite..... buttermilk pancakes.

I have two other buttermilk pancake recipes on the blog : Banana Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelised Banana Sauce and straight Vanilla Buttermilk Pancakes. Always delicious!

I made two successful batches of Beetroot Buttermilk Pancakes...... The first was a savoury version, with a little extra pinch of salt, no cocoa and no sugar, although if I make them again, I would probably add the cocoa anyway, as it gave a lovely depth of flavour. As you can see from the photos, I paired them (rather unusually) with a minted pea soured cream and crispy grilled bacon. Actually, the flavours and textures worked really well together........ the crisp salty bacon against the fresh, clean creamy pea and soft, fluffy beety pancakes..... The bacon was a must!

My second batch was slightly sweetened with coconut sugar and had a little cocoa added to enrich the batter and slightly offset the beetroot. I guess they would probably count as natural red velvet pancakes, but with the added sugar, they cooked-up a little darker than the savoury ones, so I hesitate to call them 'red'. I ate a couple 'neat' and could barely taste the beetroot, but served with lashings of maple syrup, sliced banana and firm, sweet red strawberries, they were absolutely delicious!

Oh..... and see the sprinklings of roasted nuts, oats and seeds on the top? That's a little addition from my new delicious muesli recipe which brought an enhancing  crunch to the pancake party. Recipe to be posted soon!

I am sharing my Beetroot Buttermilk Pancakes Two Ways with the following :

Cook Blog Share - this week with Hijacked by Twins.

Sunday Fitness & Food with Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

Free From Fridays with the Free From Farmhouse and Le Coin De Mel.

Gluten Free Fridays with Vegetarian Mamma.

As we rapidly approach Pancake Day, check out the other inspired pancake recipes from the amazing UK Free From Bloggers who have teamed up to help you be part of the pancake fun whatever your allergy or intolerance - #FreeFromPancakes :

Renee over at Mummy Tries : Paleo, Gluten & Dairy Free Pancakes
Vicki the Free From Fairy : Easy Pancakes in a Jar (gluten & dairy free)
Nath the Intolerant Gourmand : 4 Ingredient Pancakes (free from gluten, dairy, eggs)
Emma at the Free From Farmhouse : Chia Seed Pancakes (vegan, gluten free)
Rebecca over at Glutarama : Apple & Cinnamon Pancakes (gluten, dairy, egg free)
Le Coin De Mel : Banana Pancakes (vegan, gluten & refined sugar free)
Jo at Paleo Crust : Almond Pancakes (grain & dairy free)
Nova at Cherished By Me : Coconut Pancakes (free from refined sugar, dairy & gluten)
Laura at Dairy Free Kids : Classic Lemon & Sugar Pancakes (dairy free)
Midge at the Peachicks Bakery : Coconut & Lime Pancakes (vegan, gluten, dairy free)
Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie : Oat, Almond & Banana Pancakes (gluten, dairy & egg free)
Kirsty at Hijacked By Twins : Banana Pancakes (gluten & dairy free)

Beetroot Pancakes


50g oat flour (make as in this post)
50g buckwheat flour
50g tapioca flour
1 tablespoon GF baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch fine sea salt (or add a little more if making savoury pancakes)
2 large eggs
285 ml buttermilk (or sub with dairy free yoghurt)
25g butter - melted (or sub with dairy free spread)
125g beetroot - pureed 

optional (for a sweeter pancake)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (but can also add to savoury version)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar


  1. Weigh and mix together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt (and cocoa and coconut sugar if using), making sure the ingredients are well combined and all lumps are broken down. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light and airy.
  3. Add the buttermilk and melted butter and beat and then add the beetroot and beat again.
  4. Finally add the dry ingredients and beat until all ingredients are fully combined into a smooth, thick batter.
  5. Heat a flat-bottomed pancake pan over a medium-low heat. Spray a very light coating of cooking oil, or wipe the surface with sunflower oil on a kitchen towel and then pour a spoonful of batter into the pan.
  6. Allow the first side of the pancake to cook slowly. When you see lots of bubbles starting to pop on the surface and a spatula slides easily under the pancake, turn it over and cook the other side until fluffy but set.
  7. Remove from the pan and place on a heat-proof dish. Cover with foil to keep warm whilst you make the rest of the pancakes.
  8. Pour the next spoonful of batter into the pan and repeat steps 5 to 7 until all the batter has been used.
  9. Serve either savoury or sweet with your favourite topping.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-17 unless otherwise indicated


  1. I LOVe the sound of these - the Peachicks are great fans of both beetroot and savoury pancakes and we will definitely be giving the bacon & Pea combo a go!! x

  2. I love these! What a clever lady! I've had a fair few aquafaba disasters too! I reckon you have to be vegan to get it to work ;)! Glad you've joined in the challenge x

    1. Thanks Vicki. If I had had more time, I probably would have done banana & beetroot as an alternative test...... I think they would be quite an interesting pairing! x

  3. Wow - looks and sounds amazing! I love that you've made them work with both savoury and sweet toppings. Sorry to hear the aquafaba ones didn't work out - I'm not sure I've ever had a pancake that didn't set - just a whole load that set a little too well!! I am still yet to experiment with aquafaba - but bananas work really well if you want to make egg free pancakes. :-) Eb x

    1. Thanks Eb. The aquafaba version was pretty gross! I did think about doing banana & beetroot to try it, but ran out of time x

  4. Oh I love beetroot and so do all the kids, this is a must try! x

  5. another fabulous creations Kate - I love chocolate pancakes especially and with the bananas and strawberries served alongside, that is a dessert I would happily tuck into to x

    1. sorry meant to also say, that adding the beetroot is a great way of greeting some extra goodness and colour into your batter x

  6. What amazing piles of pancakes - I am too impatient to do a lot of stacking and end up just snacking rather than stacking :-) The addition of beetroot sounds lovely to me and it looks really colourful (sometimes the colour just ebbs away with beetroot in baking). I am sorry to hear your first go at aqua faba was not great - I have tried AF in crepes which worked but not pancakes. For the thicker pancakes there are some good egg free recipes - I like Isa Chandra Moskowitz's vegan fluffy pancakes and have had fun fiddling with this recipe.

    1. Thanks Johanna. American-style pancakes definitely look best in a pile, but I agree...... they are always way too tempting not to eat them straight from the pan.
      The aqua faba was interesting, but I won't be risking it again in pancakes! I will definitely check out your recommendation for Chandra's pancakes though x

  7. I’m loving all of the pancake recipes bloggers are posting this week.Great idea to add beetroot.

    1. Thanks Balvinder. Me too! There is definitely an explosion across the internet and SO MANY to choose from x

  8. Love love love these beautiful gluten-free pancakes! Your recipes are always so creative and I love the gluten-free flour combos yo are using! Pinning and stumbling! Absolutely yummy!

  9. Oh I'm glad you've written about using aquafina in pancakes as I was planning to try it at some point. I won't now :) Thanks for sharing as it helps and means others are not wasting time making the same mistakes. I have been planning to try adding pureed beetroots to pancakes too (I have cooked beetroot in the fridge!), but I'm also worried the children will hate the earthy taste. Must bite the bullet and have a go. Go on, you tell me to have a go! xx

    1. Thanks Mel. There may be a way to make the aquafaba work, but I don't think it will be me testing it next time! Bit of a waste of good chickpea water!!!!!
      I did however, love the beetroot in there. Miss GF was a little reluctant because she knew what it was, but I reckon if you sneak it past the kids as 'pink pancakes' you should be fine! It disguises very well..... Go on....... Have a go! x

  10. Wow!!! I love the sound of these, and your images are simply stunning!! x

  11. They look ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS Kate! I love the idea of there being beetroot in the mixture, something I've never heard of before (adding them to pancakes, not beetroot itself of course! ;-) ) I can just imagine that they taste wonderful with the chocolate and buttermilk. Shame the aquafaba idea didn't work. I don't know if you've come across them or not, but there is a FB group dedicated (I believe to aquafaba) where people share their successes and failures so as to learn from one another. Great bake!
    Angela x

    1. Thanks Angela. The cocoa was lovely with the beetroot..... Would definitely recommend it. I'll have to check out the aquafaba group..... I'm sure there must be some way to make it work in pancakes. x

  12. These look absolutely amazing!! I have got top try them...and I love the two ways idea, pea soured cream and crispy bacon with them...mmmmm

    1. Thanks Nova. I love savoury pancakes, so its always good to test a new recipe two ways! x

  13. I love the idea of having these with a savoury topping and have some beetroot that needs using. It's great to see all these different pancake ideas. #freefromfridays

  14. Lovely recipe. I like your addition of oat flour, I will try that too next time I bake something gluten free. They look amazing!

    1. Thanks Alida. I love using oats. They add texture, flavour and goodness. Just lucky we can tolerate them really!

  15. Wow these look fantastic and I love the sweet and savoury options, savoury pancakes are so underated but they are yummy!

  16. These sound amazing! I love the idea of using beet root, sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing at Sunday Fitness & Food.

  17. Defo need to be taking note of your photography, it's top of my list to perfect my images, beautiful, photos, delicious pancakes xxx

  18. This is looking delicious. I would love to bake this for the coming occasion Thanks for sharing the recipe


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