When I first started experimenting with gluten-free baking, nearly every flour-based recipe I tried was a disaster. Cakes were dry and gritty, bread decidedly unbreadlike, and pancakes fell apart in the pan. Because the properties of gluten-free flours are so different from those of wheat, creating successful meals can be a long process of trial and error – unless you happen across some really great recipes online, of which there are many. This recipe for hearty, moist banana oat oven pancakes is my greatest gluten-free achievement, and it’s really easy, too.
This recipe utilizes three secret weapons to fight the texture problems common in gluten-free baked goods: bananas, ground flax and a baking pan. Without gluten to hold them together, pancakes will quickly crumble, making them almost impossible to flip. After many frustrating tries resulting in plates of pancake mush, I realized that baking them in the oven would be far less stress-inducing. Now, I just pour the batter onto the pan, stick it in for ten minutes, and I’ve got a full batch of delicious pancakes with very little effort.
Almond flour is my favorite gluten-free flour for the flavor and texture it provides, and sweet sorghum helps make the pancakes light and fluffy. I like Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose baking mix for its convenience, but you could experiment with your own flour blends, if you have others you prefer. This recipe could also be made into standard wheat-based pancakes by replacing all the gluten-free flour with all-purpose wheat flour.
I like to pair these pancakes with whipped cream, flavored with a little matcha (Japanese green tea powder, available in health food stores and specialty tea shops).
2 ripe bananas, mashed (plus optional sliced third banana for added flavor)
2 tbsp ground flax
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sweet sorghum flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup thick rolled oats
3 tbsp raw sugar or honey
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
small pinch nutmeg
small pinch salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips or blueberries (optional)
1/2 tsp coconut oil
Matcha whipped cream:
8 ounces heavy cream
2 tablespoons matcha powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mash two bananas with a fork and mix them thoroughly with the honey or sugar and eggs in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the ground flax. This is the ‘binder’ that will help hold the pancakes together.
In a separate bowl, mix all of the flours with the salt, nutmeg, baking powder and oats. Add to the banana egg mixture slowly, mixing thoroughly by hand. Finally, mix in the milk, and chocolate chips or blueberries, if using. The batter will be slightly thick, all the better to produce moist, thick pancakes.
Heat your baking pan in the oven for a minute or two and then remove it to grease it up with a half-teaspoon or so of coconut oil. Using a ladle, pour on the pancake batter in roughly three-inch rounds with at least two inches separating each one. If you want extra banana flavor, place additional slices on top just before baking.
Bake for about ten minutes, or until the tops of the pancakes are firm to the touch.
While you’re waiting for the pancakes to bake, you can whip up a little bit of cream and then stir in matcha powder by hand for a little extra color and flavor.
Makes 12-14 4-inch pancakes