These gluten free cornmeal pancakes have a really lovely texture and enough flavor that they scarcely need much syrup or butter for serving.
There's nothing like a traditional light and fluffy gluten free pancake, and there are so many ways to make them. But these cornmeal pancakes are a little different. The recipe has way more cornmeal than white flour, but you blend the batter so there's only the slightest chew in each sweet-and-savory bite.
Making the batter in a blender has the added benefit of making these pancakes incredibly easy to make. I've spelled it all out in the recipe below (and the how-to video, too!), but really? I could have just written the instructions like this:
Put all of the ingredients in the order listed in a blender, blend, then pour on a hot buttered skillet, cook, flip, cook and eat. Of course, there's a bit more to it than that. But not a whole lot!
When to flip
You'll know when the pancakes are ready to flip, like you see here, when the underside has set and begun to brown, and the edges on top are set. When you slide your spatula underneath the pancake, it shouldn't pour off the edges.
A quick tip for testing whether a pancake (really any pancake) is ready to flip is to slide your spatula only about a couple centimeters under the very edge of the pancake. If the batter on the top of the pancake starts to run at all, it's not ready to flip. If you flip it then, you'll end up with “feet” on your pancakes as the batter will slide around during transit.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Dairy: These pancakes are super easy to make dairy-free. Just use non-dairy milk (I like unsweetened almond milk best), and Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of butter.
Eggs: Eggs are almost always a bit trickier than dairy to replace. Here, since the recipe is right at my 2-egg threshold for successful egg replacement.
Two “chia eggs” (a chia egg is simply 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water and allowed to gel) should work, but you'll have to experiment.
Here's a quick how-to video where you can watch me make these cornmeal pancakes with my own two hands. They really are that easy!:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.) milk (any kind), at room temperature
2 tablespoons (42 g) honey
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of the shell) at room temperature
1 cup (132 g) gluten free coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (45 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I like Better Batter here)
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat, or heat a griddle according to the manufacturer’s directions.
In a blender, place the milk, honey, melted butter, eggs, cornmeal, flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Blend until smooth. The batter should be pourable.
Grease the hot skillet or pan with about 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. Pour or ladle the pancake batter on the hot skillet surface, taking care not to crowd the skillet or pan. Allow the pancakes to cook until bubbles begin to appear and the surface appears dry around the edges (1 to 2 minutes). Flip the pancakes and continue cooking for another minute, or until the underside is lightly browned. These pancakes cook more quickly than traditional flour pancakes. Remove the cooked pancakes and repeat with the remaining batter.
If you’d like, while you finish the batch, you can keep the cooked pancakes warm in a 200°F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet. Serve immediately with your favorite pancake toppings.
This recipe was originally published on the blog in 2012 (!). The photos and video are all new, the text is mostly new, and the recipe was tweaked to make the pancakes a bit fluffier.
I love lemon more than I love chocolate! Any reason why I can’t add a hint of lemon to these? I do make GF lemon pancakes (w/ blueberries) from a GF pancake mix. Can only imagine these would be even more fabulous w/ some lemon! ??? Yes? Either way, I am WAY IN on this recipe!!
Nicole Hunn says
I don’t see why not, Shari! I love your enthusiasm either way. :)
Thank you for another great recipe Nicole. You have helped me and so many others with your tasty recipes.
Nicole Hunn says
My pleasure, Carol! Thank you so much for the kind words. It means a lot!!
Loved these! Found that the cornmeal cooks a pinch faster than my other pancake recipes so I had to turn the heat down a little on my cast iron skillet to avoid burning.
Was wondering if these can be made into waffles?? Hope so, I got a new waffle maker and I love to put it to some use.
I haven’t tried to make them as waffles, so you’d have to experiment. I would recommend separating the eggs, beating the egg yolks with the rest of the batter, whipping the egg whites into soft peaks and then folding the egg whites into the batter for waffles.
I am one person who eats GF food. I’m constantly challenging by making a smaller portion of any GF recipe. Can you help me?
I’m making these pancakes right now and I can see that I’m going to have lots of leftovers. Then the leftovers go on for days while I eat it all.
I’m not sure what you’re asking. You can certainly cut the recipe in half next time. Just halve each of the ingredients and follow the instructions as indicated.
Tried these tonight, VERY GOOD! I am trying to eliminate gluten to hopefully deal with some tummy issues. Your site has been very helpful with that!
Thanks for reporting back, Stephanie! Cheers to your good health. :)
I often make cormeal waffles, but haven’t made cornmeal pancakes. Great idea! They look delicious. I, too have found recently that pancakes don’t need xanthan gum. It makes them so much more tender and easy to cook when you leave it out. Thanks for spreading the word!
JoAnn C says
Made cornmeal pancakes from another recipe this weekend with a little teff thrown in for good measure. Mom loves these and will eat them without complaint especially if I serve them for dinner. Oh so good.
My grandmother had celiac in the 70’s and she would make the most revolting (to me) corn pancakes (with lots of actual corn in them) and that was a real treat to her. (Not sure what I thought at the time…that old people don’t care what their food tastes like?!) So when my daughter was diagnosed recently, we were both super grateful that she has so many more options than my poor gran did. I keep a big bag of whole grain cornmeal on hand, and will definitely give these new-fangled corn pancakes a try. Thanks Nicole!
Your comment really made me laugh, Gina! I love to think about how we made sense of the world when we were kids. Your daughter does, indeed, have so many more options. I can’t imagine how your grandmother must have had to make do in the 70s. It was pretty grim just 7+ years ago when I started out GF.
The little bit of all-purpose GF flour really does make a huge difference in these pancakes. I tried it both with and without, and ‘with’ wins, hands down. :)
Hi Gina. My mom would make corn fritters when I was a kid. They were like a pancake but had corn in them. I loved them!
Chris, I’m not sure if it was the chunky corn part or the fact that she ate them with syrup that grossed me out. Of course, my tastes have definitely expanded since then!
Lol! I was just thinkung if making pancakes too. To funny.
theses look so yummy, But i don’t have nor even buy corn meal . Never knew i would need ut , i guess i was wrong and need to get me some asap. So i can try these yummy looking pancakes :).
And i Love your square plates :))
I don’t know what we’d do without all the many varieties of cornmeal! Well, we’d eat other stuff, that’s what we’d do. But I’d miss cornmeal. Between coarsely ground cornmeal, polenta, grits and masa harina, we could eat it all week long. :)