Vegan Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

A weekly or bi-weekly creation in the YumUniverse kitchen, Vegan Pumpkin Protein Pancakes are, yes, packed with quality complete protein, but that’s not all the goodness. They are gluten-free, wheat-free, full of fiber, easily assimilated into the body and just plain delicious. I usually make a batch, eat a few right away and keep the rest in the fridge, grabbing one or two to enjoy cold, as a snack throughout the week. This recipe was inspired by some of Brendan Brazier’s incredible recipes for athletes in his book Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. You can serve them with our without natural sweeteners like yacon syrup, brown rice syrup or maple syrup. You can also prepare them in a dehydrator if you’d like to maintain more beneficial enzymes.

Makes: approx. 12-24 pancakes depending on size you like to make  |  Preparation Time: 30mins


3/4 cup sprouted or cooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup of store-bought organic buckwheat flour or homemade Raw Buckwheat Flour.
1/3 cup organic hemp seed
2 cups coconut water (can substitute plain pure water)
4 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 can of organic pumpkin
Pinch Celtic or pink Himalayan sea salt
Cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil for skillet


Let’s Get Started:
Place all of the ingredients in your blender except the coconut oil and optional maple syrup. Blend away until you get a smooth batter. Warm your skillet to medium heat and coat bottom with coconut oil. Pour batter into the pan to create the pancake size that you want. Note that medium- to baby-size flip easier than colossal skillet-sized Pee-Wee Herman “Mr. Breakfast” pancakes.

You can prepare Vegan Pumpkin Protein Pancakes in a dehydrator (shown bottom right) to maintain more of the beneficial enzymes. Just pour your pancake batter onto Teflex dehydrator sheets and put on trays in a dehydrator set to a temperature of 95-100°F. Dehydrate for about 2-3 hours or until tops are dry to the touch, then remove, place new Teflex sheet and tray on top of pancakes and flip. Peel back Teflex on top and dehydrate pancakes for another 2-3 hours or until dry to the touch.

Vegan Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Since these pancakes are natural, hand mixed, use alternative flour and basically don’t have preservatives or chemical binders in them (like most commercially produced pancake mixes), they will take a tad longer to cook than what you may be used to. Slow cook your pancakes in your skillet over medium heat until the edges are dry and your tops are dry too. Then slide your spatula underneath the pancake completely and carefully flip. Your patience will pay off with delicious, healthy pancakes.

Once they are cooked, you can “butter” them with some coconut oil and then drizzle the natural sweetener of choice on top. Store leftovers in an airtight, glass container in your fridge for up to 7 days, but I promise that they won’t last that long. You can reheat them in a skillet, in the oven or just eat them cold.


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  1. Alex

    I had a very frustrating attempt at making these! No matter what I tried the batter stayed raw on the inside and would not cook through. I tried thinning the batter with more water and putting less batter for each pancake and still – raw on the inside. I slow cooked on medium as you suggest and waited for edges and tops to dry but no success. I threw everything out 🙂 Any advice?

    • Alex~
      I’m so sorry that this didn’t work for you! Sadly, since I wasn’t in your kitchen, I’m not sure why it went wrong. I have, and know of others, who have made these pancakes many times with success. Hmmm. It could be many things. Are you cooking on an electric range? How old is your pan? How long did you wait for the edges to dry and tops to cook? Did you follow the recipe exactly or adapt it a bit? Wondering if you tried a 1/2 can of pumpkin (not sure what you are working with) if it would be less moisture? Try the recipe exactly as it is and substitute 1 organic banana instead of pumpkin? Let’s figure this out so you can enjoy these.

  2. hi there, im enjoying checking out your drool-worthy recipes. question; doesn’t buckwheat contain gluten? just curious, and wondering if a gf flor could sub.

  3. Robin R.

    I had a similar problem this morning. Mine were gooey inside no matter what I tried. I followed the recipe exactly. I have a gas range with an even surface. My pan isn’t that awesome but it doesn’t seem that should make that much of a difference.

    I really don’t want to waste the batter (I threw it in the fridge before going to work) so if you have any ideas let me know!

    I was reminded to make these by seeing Beth had made them- maybe she can share what she did that might have made hers more successful? Mine were so goopy inside but I ate them anyway 🙁

    (I tried to post a comment earlier today, not sure that it went through so if so- sorry about the duplicate!)

    • Hi Robin~
      It is super important to remember that these are not your regular pancakes, they are super pancakes, and super pancakes take more time to cook! Try setting your range to a low/medium temp and let them cook until the entire top is dry before you flip. This could be 5+ mins depending on the range. They are a moist pancake thanks to the fiber-rich pumpkin, but they should not be gooey in the center. I’ll reach out to Beth and make sure she posts her tips for success. Stay tuned! You can try baking them in the oven on a parchment-lined cookie sheet too, and spread some buttery coconut oil on them when done.

  4. Hello ladies. Let’s see…what did I do for my super successful pancakes? I don’t know if this had anything to do with it, but I accidentally opened a can of coconut MILK instead of WATER so I used 1/2 the can and 1/2 regular water. Next, after my first 2 or 3 cakes I decided to add a little more water, as my batter was pretty thick – even though they cooked through just fine…I just wanted the batter to go further…

    As far as the cooking of the VPPPs:
    -I kept my electric range stove at 7
    -I used a small measuring cup (1/2 c) to scoop out my portion to put on my pan. My portion was a little smaller than a sand dollar and maybe 1/4 inch thick (?).
    -I used the tip of my spatula to gently even out the thickness. The tops of my cakes resembled a road that has a cattle guard bumps (that might not make any sense, the point is, even thickness).
    -Mine only needed about 3-5 min on each side. I could tell they were or weren’t ready by how easy they flipped. I rushed a couple and got ugly pancakes (but still delish). I intentionally undercooked some because i wanted that gooey center in a few.
    I hope that helps. I took a picture of them and will post it tomorrow on day 3’s YU+Me=Clean Challenge blog post on WhyKnotMassage. Good luck!

    Hey, did you try the popped amaranth crunch? I can see how that could be tricky, but I had good success with that too. Post back if anything is unclear or you have more questions, I’ll be happy to try to help!

  5. Robin R.

    Ok ladies! I am soooo glad I saved the batter! I thinned it down, used a bunch of coconut oil and cranked the heat a bit and basically fried these suckers into submission. They still weren’t exactly what I wanted, so then I set my conventional toaster to 300 and put them on a parchment lined sheet and baked them about 20 minutes each side and I am really super duper happy now! I am going to make up the rest when I get home tonight using the baking method.

    Thanks for the tips, I definitely gave them plenty of time so I am not sure what my problem was, but I will stick with baking and see many trays of baked pumpkin pancakes in my future.

    To answer your question Beth I haven’t tried the popped amaranth crunch yet… but I am a HUGE fan of the kale/millet salad & the lasagna. I have also made the carrot/almond pate but failed miserably without a good blender/food processor. Oh snap, I also sprouted quinoa and it is sweet and crunchy and adorable…. I am kind of all over this website, I think it just came out at the exact right time for me!

    I am sorta like you Beth- I just re-committed to vegetarianism and allergies beg me to stay dairy & gluten free. Good luck with your challenge. And hey, I do love a good latte with coconut milk, honey and cayenne….. there is a coffee shop up the street from me that makes it. See if you can hunt one down!!

  6. Awesome Robin!You have certainly added the “love” to your recipe for VPPP. Nice! I will check out a coconut milk latte, that sounds so. so. good. I added a pic to my blog of what my p-cakes looked like when I finished. One stack is the “well done” version,” and the other the “gooey” version.
    I too love the lasagna…I have even frozen it so that I have some in reserve. It gets a little water, but still delish!

  7. Amanda

    I just made these for the first time. Based on the other comments, I chose to use one can of coconut milk instead of coconut water. I also used flax seeds instead of hemp because that is what I had at home. I agree that these did turn out slightly gooey inside, but I enjoyed that. Next time, I’ll try using a spoon or spatula to create thinner pancakes. I covered the pancakes in Earth Balance and maple syrup and then slice a banana on top. I had wondered why Beth was eating these so frequently during her cleanse, but I now realize it’s because this recipe creates enough batter for about six people. I’ve left about half in my fridge to try again later this week.

  8. Julie

    Me and these pancakes are soulmates for life. The batter is tricky – like everyone was saying. I found mine cooked through as long as after pouring the batter, I went back over the middle with a spoon and made sure it was thin in the middle. I have found that the batter is quite dense, so the middle stays too thick unless you forcibly spread it!

  9. Joy

    I tried them over the weekend and they stuck like crazy for me too (well-seasoned cast iron skillet over med-low heat on a gas range). I ended up using way more oil than I wanted to. I was thinking of trying to bake them on a parchment paper lined sheet instead, so I can skip the oil.

  10. Laura

    These were also a disaster for me, sadly. I have an electric range, and used a high end non stick pan. They were wet, but the main problem I had is that they stuck like crazy to the pan. I tried two batches– the first with coconut oil, the second with canola oil. Same situation both times. I hate to throw out the batter. Is it possible to use this left over batter for a pumpkin bread or something else?

    • Laura~
      You can bake them in the oven until dry and they will be just as delicious (flip them as you bake too, if you like). Spread a tad of coconut butter on them when warm. Thanks for your honest feedback, looks like I am going to have to come up with an alt version of this recipe…people either nail it and love them, or have a tough time. It’s too bad that I can’t be in the kitchen with everyone to troubleshoot. Unique ingredients can be tricky to work with the first few times…back to the kitchen to figure out a simpler protein pancake recipe for everyone!

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