Fermented pancakes – vegan, no oil, no eggs, no dairy, no sugar

March 2, 2015 Published by Dina

A healthier alternative to regular pancakes that are loaded with eggs, butter, sugar and dairy, this easy recipe calls for mixing flour and water and letting it sit covered for several hours or overnight before cooking. The flour ferments and lightens with the air bubbles and the pancakes are surprisingly light and delicious. This morning I used half white flour and half garbanzo flour because that was what I had in the pantry but I have made it with other flours with equal success. Keep the proportion of flour to water at 1:1. You can even make it gluten free if you wish by using garbanzo with chia, buckwheat or brown rice flour. Of course the texture will be different with whatever ingredients you use.

I make these pancakes sugar free but you can add a tablespoon of sugar, a little vanilla or a sprinkling of cinnamon if you wish. You can ver carefully add a handful of berries or shredded apple to the batter before cooking. Mixing the batter after it is fermented will lose some of the lightness but it is still good. Keeping in mind that this is a special treat and not a daily breakfast I still serve these with syrup but sometimes I make unsweetened fruit sauce or homemade fruit jam to serve along with the pancakes. I don’t pretend to eat sugar free all the time. That has never worked for me on an ongoing basis, but it’s good to cut down where possible.


Fermented pancakes - vegan, oil and sugar free

Fermented pancakes – vegan, oil and sugar free


Makes 10 pancakes.


Fermenting batter

Fermenting batter



1 cup white flour

1 cup garbanzo flour (chickpea flour)

2 cups water

Optional ingredients: 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a sprinkling of cinnamon, berries, shredded apple



combine the flours and water in a bowl, mix well until combined.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit overnight at room temperature.

The next morning heat up a non-stick skillet and if you are unsure about it you can spray it with a little spray oil.

Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out the batter and cook the pancakes on medium heat  until golden, turning once.

Serve with  maple syrup or fruit sauce


Fermented pancakes - vegan, oil and sugar free

Fermented pancakes – vegan, oil and sugar free



  • ara says:

    I’ve done something similar with whole wheat flour but I put in a lot of water because I was making thin, crepe-like pancakes. And yeah, with a lot of water, it separates and you have to mix well before cooking so the pancakes don’t turn out fluffy at all. Fermented them too long so the batter was rather sour but still edible.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Ara, I haven’t made those in a while so can’t really tell you how to fix it now. Mine were quite fluffy as you can see from the pic. If I make them again Iill remember to let you know. thank you.

  • Lora says:


    Just to let you know that we featured your recipe for Fermented Pancakes in our recent ‘5 Ingredients Or Less’ article. It was a great recipe, so thank you.

    I’ve linked the article below – please feel free to take a look and share.
    – Lo


  • Mukesh Garg says:

    Great post. If you are vegetarian and want to have some Indian cuisine http://www.rajdhanisweets.ca is best place to visit.

  • Zoe Blarowski says:

    Hi, I’m a writer with Care2.com. Is it alright if I use one of your photos and a link to your Fermented Pancakes recipe in one of my articles? If so, how would you like me to credit the photo? Thanks! BTW, I also live in Kelowna 😉

  • celine says:

    Hi, if i don’t have chickpea flour can i use those can one and blend it up and mix with the flour and water? And is there any specific no. Of hour for the fermentation so that perhaps I can prepare the mixture in the morning and eat it at night?

    • Dina says:

      Hi Celine, not sure what you mean exactly. If you don’t have chickpea flour maybe try another flour. You cannot make flour from canned garbanzo beans, if that’s what you mean. If you blend canned chickpeas you’d get hummus consistency which will not ferment. As to length of fermentation, I leave it overnight but you can make it in the morning and cook at dinner. I hope this helps.

  • OctoMom says:

    Hi Dina, these sound intriguing. I’m thinking about making them savory with onions, garlic and herbs and I wonder if you’ve tried that. Would I add the extras in before fermentation and leave it all overnight or only after?

    • Dina says:

      Hi OctoMom, thanks for stopping by the blog. I have made these pancakes savoury before with garlic powder and onion powder and chopped parsley but not onion, and added them before fermentation. If you add the filling after the batter may lose the bubbles that form in the fermentation as you mix it. Best is to try it, and let me know how it worked for you.

  • Caro says:

    This is what in Uruguay (my country) and Argentina call Fainá. Just the flours mixed with water and a pinch of salt. You can buy Fainá at any pizza place and this is what vegan people most times eat there (or pizza without the muzzarella cheese)

    • Dina says:

      Very interesting Caro, thank you for the comment. I guess there is nothing new under the sun, at least when it comes to food.

  • Amanda says:

    Hey Dina, do you think these would not ferment properly if I premixed a bit of stevia and vanilla in them or used pumpkin purée in place of some of the water? Can’t wait to try with whole wheat flour! Do you think coconut flour would work with the garbanzo? Thanks!

    • Dina says:

      Hi Amanda, I have only made it the way I posted the recipe but I don’t think the stevia and vanilla would change the fermentation. The pumpkin puree and coconut flour would likely change the texture but it’s a question of experimenting and seeing the results. I am sure they would be delicious, but maybe have a different texture. Let me know how it worked.

  • Dawn says:

    If one adds the optional ingredients, must they be added when mixing the flour and water, or afterwards. Just wondering, ’cause you said not to mix after fermentation.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Dawn, you are right. I have not added them before fermentation and if I add them after I try to do it with little disruption as possible. The batter doesn’t bubble up and inflate high like bread dough, it just becomes a little more airy and I try to disturb it as little as possible. Thanks for the comment.

  • Suzi says:

    Can you let me know where to find the nutritional values please. Thank you!
    Made them & cooked some right away and they were good. Fermenting the rest for tomorrow 🙂

  • Jen says:

    I would like to ask if I have to mix the batter after fermentation? I tried it last night but it came out with water floating on top. Had I not mixed them right?
    Thank you very much, it looks amazing 🙂

    • Dina says:

      Hi Jen, humm, not sure why you would have water on top. I can think of three things: did you mix the flour-water mixture enough in the beginning? Did you used too much water? The flour should absorb all the water. Did you keep the batter in the fridge or on the counter? I keep mine on the counter. I generally don’t mix it after fermentation because I don’t want to deflate the batter. During fermentation it bubbles up a bit and this is what give the pancakes the relative lightness. If there was not much water on top rather than mix it try to pour it off and cook a couple of pancakes to see what they are like. I hope this helps I have made these many times and have not run into this issue. The batter is shiny on top and a little puffy in the morning. Thanks for dropping by the blog and let me know how it worked for you.

  • barbara moore says:

    can I use gluten free flour?

    • Dina says:

      Hi Barbara, I haven’t tried it with completely gluten free flour mixture but I am quite sure that it should work. The chickpea flour is gluten free already so it’s just a matter of replacing the white flour. Let me know if you try it and how it worked.

  • Javiera Uchida says:

    Hi! I’m looking forward to taste these wonderful pancakes, but could you tell me why is it important to let the batter ferment? What happens if I don’t?

    • Dina says:

      Hi Javiera, good question, I should have mentioned it in the post. The fermentation creates the air bubbles in the batter that makes the pancakes light and fluffy (reasonably so) without the eggs and baking powder that you would normally use. They will not be the same without the fermentation. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for visiting the blog and for your comment.

  • Ron says:

    These look amazing and are simple yet inventive. Thank you for sharing; I’ll be trying these over the weekend for sure.

    • Dina says:

      Thanks Ron, I hope they work for you. Don’t skip the fermentation, that’s what makes them fluffy.

  • Barbara says:

    Love this idea for vegan pancakes and the garbanzo flour makes them more nutritious.
    Will try these soon!