Vegan Cornmeal Pancakes Recipe

Cornmeal Pancakes on griddle
Alfonse Pagano/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings/about 8-12 cakes

Before pancakes were made with wheat flour, they were made with corn meal. Native Americans used the overabundance of corn for a great number of dishes in early America and pancakes, also called johnnycakes, were one of those dishes. This vegan cornmeal pancake recipe is easy to make with familiar ingredients. This dairy-free pancake is made using soy milk instead of traditional milk and olive oil instead of butter. Serve these as you would regular pancakes, with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon if you'd like. More suggestions on toppings follow below in the preparation section. 

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

Although it is called a cornmeal pancake, this recipe calls for the use of wheat flour. This is essential to making sure the pancake has the consistency and fluffiness of the pancakes we've become accustomed to. If you try to make the recipe without flour, using only cornmeal, the result will be a much rougher texture more likened to cornbread, than pancakes. 

Topping cornmeal pancakes is no different than topping pancakes. If you like fruit, syrup, and nuts, have at it. Flavored syrups seem to go well with cornmeal pancakes as well, so combining maple syrup with your favorite syrup-friendly fruit over medium heat may work. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are perfect for this purpose. If you'd rather cook your flavor right into these vegan cornmeal pancakes, add two teaspoons of lemon zest and two tablespoons of lemon juice to this recipe for an extra citrusy taste. Given the more savory flavor of the cornmeal, the extra sweetness of honey can also work drizzled on top. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coarse corn meal
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to Make It

  1. 1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk, lemon juice, and olive oil, set aside. In another mixing bowl, sift together the remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just combined. (Tip: do not over-mix).
  2. 2. Heat a lightly-oiled skillet or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the batter to the pan 1/4 cup at a time, cooking until the edges and surface are bubbly and the underside is golden brown. Using a spatula, flip the pancake and cook for about 1 minute more until both sides are golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter and serve hot with syrup, sugar, or fruit.