These pancakes are vegan, but taste like traditional flapjacks! With fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, nutty poppy seeds, and a hint of tahini, you'll love how these lemon poppy seed pancakes offer a tender crumb with a rich flavor. Breakfast is served!
Move over, lemon poppy seed muffins! New (and vegan) lemon poppy seed pancakes are the delightful springtime breakfast taking our house by storm. I wish you could smell these pancakes through the screen while they cook, but the good news is that you can easily whip up a batch for yourself and perhaps grudgingly share some with your friends or family. (I won't judge if you eat the entire batch alone...I promise!).
❤️ Why you'll love this pancake recipe
Of course, you should probably enjoy citrus flavor to really appreciate any form of lemon poppy seed pancakes, muffins...whatever baked good you choose. The lemon juice and zest is present just enough to be noticeable (and enjoyed) with each bite, without overpowering the pancakes.
The poppy seeds add a light, nutty flavor that is delicate enough to compliment the lemon. Add more or less, depending upon your needs. So, this recipe is absolutely customizable!
These pancakes offer a healthier alternative to traditional flapjacks, with more nutrients and healthful ingredient substitutions. Tahini and aquafaba aren't your typical pancake suspects, but they "take the cake" with this recipe! (Get it? Ha.)
They are so LIGHT + FLUFFY! Would it be a pancake recipe post without highlighting the height and fluffiness of these beauties? I think not. By not over-mixing the batter and folding in the whipped aquafaba right before cooking, we achieve the desired texture that compliments the light and delicate flavors. It's a match made in culinary heaven!
All-purpose flour: I use unbleached all-purpose flour for most baked goods, including these pancakes.
Baking powder: I only use double-acting baking powder and this does offer the majority of the leavening in the pancake batter.
Baking soda: We have an acid with both the lemon juice and zest, so why not get a little more leavening power by adding a teaspoon of baking soda?
Kosher salt: Non-coarse salt is more uniform in size and, therefore, better to evenly incorporate throughout a batter.
Truvia Sweet Complete: Since I like syrup with my pancakes, I decided to eliminate the amount in the batter (which, isn't really that much) and sweeten this with Truvia. I added a little more Truvia than the amount of sugar that is normally necessary for pancakes, in order to balance the earthy flavors of the tahini and aquafaba.
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk: To keep this vegan and dairy-free, plant-based milk is a great option here.
Lemon juice and lemon zest: Two tablespoons each of these really gives the pancakes the pop of lemon flavor that is what we are trying to achieve. With the size lemons I used, I needed the zest of two lemons, but only the juice of one. I used the other, zested lemon for a vegetable dish...you can absolutely repurpose a zested lemon.
Pure vanilla extract: I just love pure vanilla extract. Add an extra teaspoon to work with the Truvia in creating a sweet complexity and balance to the tahini and aquafaba.
Tahini: Organic tahini, or sesame seed paste, replaces melted butter and adds protein - along with a TON of other nutrients. The creaminess from the tahini also contributes to the moist, yet fluffy texture balance that makes these special.
Add these at the end...
Whipped aquafaba: I used six tablespoons of aquafaba, or chickpea juice, from a fresh can of chickpeas. After whipping this in a mixer for a few minutes, the structure can be gently folded into the batter
Poppy seeds: I only used one tablespoon, so you are welcome to increase this by as much as you like.
Combining your ingredients
Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes
- Non-stick skillet or pancake griddle
- 7 ounces all-purpose flour
- 7 ounces unsweetened almond milk or milk of your choosing
- 6 tablespoons aquafaba, whipped
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 2½ tablespoons Truvia Sweet Complete or granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for skillet or griddle seasoning or neutral-flavored oil of your choice
- Whisk or sift dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Truvia) into a small bowl.
- In a larger (medium) bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (milk, lemon juice and zest, tahini, and vanilla extract) until evenly incorporated.
- Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet, until combined and no large lumps remain.
- Using either a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk aquafaba on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until evenly frothy. There is no need to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold in the whipped aquafaba and poppy seeds until evenly combined.
- Scoop the batter onto the griddle or skillet. Flip the pancakes once they start to bubble in the center and the sides look a little sturdier than the center batter. This recipe creates 8 5-inch pancakes.
- Enjoy with pure maple syrup, or the topping of your choice!
- 2 whole eggs in place of aquafaba
- Melted butter in place of tahini
✨ A few tips for the ideal batch
Use either a hand mixer or stand mixer to save time when whipping the aquafaba. It is easier to whip than traditional heavy whipping cream, but it's still nice to actually save some energy.
When cooking the pancakes on the griddle or skillet, use a neutral-flavored oil. I chose extra virgin olive oil and it worked great, but you can definitely get creative.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
How much aquafaba replaces one egg?
When baking with aquafaba, these conversions should be a useful tool for you:
- 3 tablespoons aquafaba equal one whole egg (yolk and whites).
- 2 tablespoons aquafaba equal one egg white.
- 1 tablespoon aquafaba equal one egg yolk.
What creates fluffiness in these vegan pancakes?
Acid and baking soda love each other and their bubbles are proof! The acid from the lemons interact with the baking soda and create more of the fluffy texture that we love with pancakes.
The primary source of leavening does come from the double-acting baking powder in this recipe. This will do most of the leavening work, especially if you need to make these without baking soda for whatever reason.
Just like practically every other baked good on the planet, don't overmix the batter. Promise me right now you won't. I'll wait. In all seriousness, just fold in the whipped aquafaba and poppy seeds until evenly incorporated. Be gentle and save your arm strength for your weight workout later.
How are these lemon poppy seed pancakes considered healthy?
Well, they are healthy for a variety of different reasons:
Substituting tahini for butter. Tahini is packed full of nutrients that butter simply can't compete with. Besides offering less fat and calories, tahini provides more protein, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, compounds, and powerhouse vitamins like manganese, phosphorus, thiamine, and vitamin B6. BOOM. (Check out this article for more information about tahini's reason to brag.)
Replacing whole eggs (white and yolk) with *whipped* aquafaba. Though you give up nutrients inherent to eggs, using aquafaba for these pancakes reduces the overall calories and fat in the recipe. This is a great option for those who suffer from dairy allergies, or are following a vegan diet.
Truvia Sweet Complete reduces sugar. Pancake batter is not exactly knowing for being a sugar bomb (that comes with the additives and toppings, usually), but I'm all for reducing granulated sugar where possible. Truvia Sweet Complete works with an additional teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to ultimately smooth the flavors of tahini and aquafaba, while creating a little more sweetness.
Mix up your breakfast routine
If you love these pancakes, try my cherry mini pancakes and pumpkin spice sheet pan pancakes - both of which can be baked in the oven while your prepping the rest of your breakfast! Or, embrace summer with matcha baked oats or a blackberry strawberry banana smoothie!
I do hope you'll give these vegan lemon poppy seed pancakes a try and make your next Saturday morning extra special. Until next time friends, cheers to your hearth, health, and happiness!