Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

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Pumpkin pancakes so incredibly fluffy and tender, no one will know they're vegan (or made with whole wheat flour). They're packed with warming pumpkin spices and pumpkin puree and are guaranteed to become a fall favorite (but are tasty year round). 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
5 from 9 votes

Y’all have been asking me for a vegan pancake recipe for ages, and I’m proud to report that these Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes are guaranteed to be a new favorite! 

Made with whole wheat pastry flour and clocking in with 5 grams of protein and fiber per pancake, but no one will ever know because they are fluffy and buttery, just like your classic diner pancake!

These pancakes are delicious on their own with some maple syrup, but for a full-on weekend brunch, serve them alongside my Eggy Tofu Scramble and a fresh fruit plate. And even though they’re pumpkin-flavored, these pancakes are delightful any time of year (and are a good reason to always keep pumpkin puree stocked in your pantry).

And for more delicious vegan breakfast ideas, check out my round-up of 40 fantastic vegan breakfast recipes! Whether you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, a hearty dish like breakfast burritos, or some breakfast cookies you can take on the run, this list has something for everyone!

vegan pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup and raspberries on linen tablecloth

Why you’ll love these pancakes

Easy to make but a lil fancy. These are as easy to make as standard pancakes, but are definitely not your standard pancake. Homemade pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree make them warming and cozy, vegan buttermilk gives them rise and lift, and vegan butter lends that irresistible buttery taste that you love about diner-style pancakes.

Looking for more vegan pumpkin recipes? This Vegan Pumpkin Bread is a must-make dessert and these Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells are always a hit at dinner parties!

Wholesome but indulgent. I’ve tested these pancakes with both all-purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour, and they’re pretty much identical, so I love using the whole wheat pastry flour for a bit of a protein and fiber boost. In fact, each pancake has about 5 grams of protein and fiber (using whole wheat pastry flour and Oatly milk). That said, these do not taste like “healthy pancakes” at all. They taste like classically indulgent Sunday morning pancakes.

Perfect pancake texture. Thanks to the vegan buttermilk (simply oat milk mixed with apple cider vinegar) and a generous amount of baking powder, these pancakes are fluffy central. I was honestly shocked the first time I sliced into them! They’re light and fluffy but feel substantial, thanks to the earlier-mentioned protein and fiber count.

action shot of pouring maple syrup onto a stack of vegan pumpkin pancakes

How to make vegan pumpkin pancakes

Gather your ingredients!

ingredients for vegan pumpkin pancakes with ingredients labeled

Make the vegan buttermilk: combine the oat milk and apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to slightly curdle.

Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined. Drizzle in the melted vegan butter and stir until just combined. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and homemade pumpkin pie spice blend in a large bowl.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Fold the batter with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not overmix – lots of lumps are fine. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat for several minutes. Add a touch of oil. Ladle ½ cup pancake batter into the pan.

Cook until bubbles become rather uniform in the center and the edges start to dry out and brown, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 ½ to 2 minutes on the second side.

Substitutes for this recipe

If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour works just great (same measurements in cups and grams). You honestly can’t even tell the difference between the two.

I haven’t tried these pancakes with regular whole wheat flour, but they should work – they will just be a bit more nutty and toothsome.

Tip: pancakes made with regular 100% whole wheat flour may spread more, so allow the batter to rest 30 minutes before cooking. This allows the whole-wheat flour (which needs more hydration) to absorb the liquid.

Or, if you can find white whole wheat flour (made with hard white wheat instead of hard red wheat), it will yield a milder, less detectable whole wheat flavor. 

You could also try using half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. I believe spelt flour would also work well. 

I prefer these pumpkin pancakes with non-organic canned pumpkin puree, like Libby’s, as the texture is slightly better than the organic versions. That said, most canned pumpkin puree varieties will work just fine, given there’s not a huge amount of pumpkin puree in the recipe. 

I love using full-fat oat milk in my pancakes because it brings a creamy richness and oat milk browns really well when baked or cooked. That said, soy milk should work well too. I wouldn’t use a thin plant-based milk like almond milk because it might make the batter too liquidy. 

One of my favorite things about these pumpkin pancakes is the buttery flavor (Max and my recipe tester Hannah both agree), but if you don’t have access to vegan butter or don’t eat it, you can sub with coconut oil with decent results.

In our tests, pancakes made with coconut oil instead of vegan butter tended to spread a bit more, so they ended up slightly less fluffy (but still a nice texture). The flavor of the pumpkin spice also seemed a bit more muted (perhaps the buttery flavor enhances the pumpkin spices). Still, a very good pancake, but my recommendation would be vegan butter.

softened vegan butter sitting on a stack of vegan pumpkin pancakes

Tips for making vegan pancakes

Mix the batter by hand and don’t over mix. All you need is a wooden spoon (no electric mixer) to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Once the flour pockets are gone, stop mixing. The batter will be lumpy – that’s fine! Overmixing yields rubbery and/or tough pancakes (no fun!).

Keep an eye on the heat level. I like to pre-heat my pan to medium (4 out of 7 on my burner), but usually after the first or second pancake, I need to reduce the heat to medium-low (3 out of 7). I don’t have a pancake griddle, but most sources say 375ºF is the sweet spot for an electric griddle.

Add a touch of vegan butter or oil to cook the pancakes. If you’ve got a new nonstick skillet, you probably don’t need to add more oil between pancake rounds. If you’re using a different kind of skillet, you will likely need to add a touch more oil between pancakes.

For the best texture, while you’re making each pancake, store the cooked pancakes on a tray or plate, each pancake separated by a sheet of parchment paper.

a stack of vegan pumpkin pancakes with raspberries on top

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use gluten-free flour?

We tested these pancakes with oat flour, and the results were okay. As you can see, the texture is very thin and flat, not like the fluffy pancakes you see in the other photos. But, the taste is still really nice. So, if you have a gluten allergy, oat flour makes a decent substitute.

We also tried these with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour and the results were bad (super gummy and the baking powder doesn’t get fully incorporated, and you can taste it). Do not recommend!

If you’re not allergic to gluten, I highly recommend sticking to whole wheat or all-purpose flours for a true pancake experience.

Can I use store-bought pumpkin spice?

I’d recommend not using store-bought pumpkin spice blends. Spices lose some of their potency shortly after being ground, so any store-bought spice is going to be less flavorful than its freshly ground counterpart. And when you combine several pre-ground spices into one pumpkin spice blend, the flavor will always be lackluster. On top of that, there’s no way to tell how fresh (or not fresh) the pre-ground spices are when the commercial manufacturer bottles that pumpkin spice blend.

Can I add in mix-ins?

Sure! Vegan chocolate chips would be amazing!

Can I make the pancake batter ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the pancake batter the night before with pretty decent results. This pancake batter has baking powder and baking soda. Baking soda starts to react as soon as it’s mixed with the liquid ingredients, so if baking soda were the only source of leavener, I wouldn’t recommend this.

But since there’s a generous amount of baking powder (1 1/2 tablespoons) and since baking powder is double-acting (it reactivates when it makes contact with the hot pan), you’ll still get a decent amount of rise when you cook these.

Once you start cooking your first pancake, if it looks a bit too flat, you can try adding a bit of baking soda (1/4 teaspoon) to the batter before making the next pancakes. Thanks to the FoodsGuy for this tip!

How do you store and reheat these pancakes?

You can store leftover pancakes, wrapped or in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3 days. I like to reheat them in a skillet for a few minutes, or the oven (350ºF/175ºC for 10-15 minutes) so they don’t get soggy.

You can also freeze them in freezer bags or airtight containers, separated by a layer of parchment paper, for a couple months. Thaw in the microwave, wrapped in paper towels.

vegan pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup and raspberries on linen tablecloth

That’s all you need to know about these vegan pumpkin pancakes. If you love the recipe, please be sure to rate and review it below and tag me with your remakes on Instagram!

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

5 from 9 votes
Pumpkin pancakes so incredibly fluffy and tender, no one will know they're vegan (or made with whole wheat flour). They're packed with warming pumpkin spices and pumpkin puree and are guaranteed to become a fall favorite (but are tasty year round). 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: nut-free, pancakes, soy-free
Serving size: 8 large pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (480) mL full-fat oat milk*
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (250g) whole wheat pastry flour**
  • 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) canned pumpkin puree***
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter melted, plus more for serving****
  • Neutral-flavored oil of choice for cooking pancakes
  • Pure maple syrup for serving

Homemade Pumpkin Spice*****

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  • Combine the milk and vinegar in a medium bowl, stir, and set aside for 5-10 minutes to slightly curdle.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and whisk to combine.
  • To the buttermilk, add the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined. Drizzle in the melted vegan butter and stir until just combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and fold with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not overmix – lots of lumps are fine. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a nonstick frying pan over medium-low to medium heat for several minutes. To test if the pan is hot enough, throw a couple drops of water into the pan – if they sizzle as soon as they hit the pan, the pan is ready.
    Add a touch of cooking oil and distribute evenly with a paper towel so there’s just a thin film of oil.
  • Ladle ½ cup pancake batter into the pan. Cook until the bubbles become rather uniform in the center and the edges of the pancakes start to dry out and brown, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
  • Carefully flip and cook on the second side until golden brown, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Store cooked pancakes on a heatproof tray or plate, each pancake separated by a sheet of parchment paper. If desired, keep warm in the oven at 200ºF while you make the rest of the pancakes.
  • Repeat with the remaining batter, adding a touch more oil to the pan as needed to cook the pancakes.
  • Serve pancakes warm with a pat of vegan butter, if desired, and maple syrup.

Notes

*I like using full-fat Oatly, but these also work well with the original Oatly milk.  
** You can sub whole wheat pastry flour with all-purpose flour (same measurements). I haven’t tried these with regular whole wheat flour, but they should work – they will just be a bit more nutty and toothsome. You could also try half and half whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. And I believe spelt flour would also work well. 
*** Most canned pumpkin purees will work, but I had the best results with a non-organic variety (Libby’s). 
**** One of my favorite things about these pancakes is the buttery flavor, but if you don’t eat or have access to vegan butter, you can sub coconut oil. 
***** For the best pumpkin flavor, I really recommend making the homemade pumpkin spice instead of a store-bought pumpkin spice blend. 

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23 comments on Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

  1. Bob Carter

    5 stars
    Nisha,
    We made these on Sunday and they were amazing. Maybe best pancakes I have ever tasted!!!!! Delicioso!!!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      So glad you loved them, Bob! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Victoria

    5 stars
    Another amazing recipe! So delicious and fluffy! Thanks Nisha!

  3. Sonia M

    5 stars
    These were delicious!!! So fluffy and dense. Will be our go to recipe from now on!

  4. Andrea Ujvari

    5 stars
    These are the best vegan pancakes I tried so far. I will definitely make these again.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Andrea!

  5. Jane Hallett

    Is there an alternative milk I can use? I’ve discovered that oatmilk is full of added sugar. It’s a shame as it was my fave.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Jane, you can choose an oat milk that has no added sugar. But feel free to try it with soy milk, as it has a creamy consistency as well.

  6. Melissa

    5 stars
    For all those who asked if they could substitute a gluten free flour….I halved the recipe, and used 1/2 c. buckwheat flour and 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking mix, and it worked out really well. For me, it worked better using a coconut oil cooking spray vs. plant based butter to cook them with….less sticking for whatever reason. But I really loved this recipe and will definitely make it again!

    1. Melissa

      And I used soy milk instead of oat milk.

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing your tips, Melissa! Glad to hear you had some luck with gluten-free flour.

  7. Emma

    Hi Nisha
    We are also gluten free. Please can you let us know what the options are to accommodate this? So many people are waking up to the fact now that gluten is not well tolerated even if it is not an actual ‘intolerance’.
    Many thanks.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Emma, Nisha just tested these with oat flour and they make a decent substitute. The texture is flat and not at all fluffy, but the flavors are still nice. We recommend making the recipe as written, but of course, feel free to make it with oat flour if it better suits your dietary needs. The FAQ section has been updated to reflect that as well!

  8. Summer Nickels

    Can buckwheat flour work in this recipe instead of the whole-wheat pastry flour? Can organic applesauce be substituted for the vegan butter in the recipe. Thank you.

    1. Janeece

      I’m allergic to apple cider vinegar. Any substitutes?Also, am out of pumpkin puree. Will carrot puree, (we have this for my baby boy) work. And I’m trying to get in more potassium. Can I add a banana? Or avocado? Thanks, love!

      1. Nisha

        Hi Janeece, you can use lemon juice instead of the vinegar and yes carrot puree should work pretty well! I don’t typically use avocados in applications like this, so I don’t think so. For the bananas, I might just serve them on top of the pancakes as a topping (the sweetness means you’ll need less maple syrup on top). :)

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Summer, Nisha just tested these with oat flour and they make a decent substitute. The texture is flat and not at all fluffy, but the flavors are still nice. We recommend making the recipe as written, but of course, feel free to make it with oat flour if it better suits your dietary needs. The FAQ section has been updated to reflect that as well! & Unfortunately applesauce cannot be substituted for the butter.

  9. Sharon Wegner

    5 stars
    Gluten free options for the flour would be helpful. It appears the recipe uses all of the pumpkin spice. Am I correct?

    1. Nisha

      Hi Sharon, I haven’t been able to test this out with GF flour myself, though I will try to fit it into my schedule soon. I don’t like offering gluten-free alternatives unless I’ve been able to personally test them myself (I’ve seen many blogs offer standard GF alternatives without clearly testing them, and it often doesn’t work, especially in vegan baking or baking-type recipes). Yes, you are correct, the recipe uses all the pumpkin spice listed.

  10. Karen

    What type of flour can I use if white and wheat irritate my stomach.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Karen, Nisha just tested these with oat flour and they make a decent substitute. The texture is flat and not at all fluffy, but the flavors are still nice. We recommend making the recipe as written, but of course, feel free to make it with oat flour if it better suits your dietary needs. The FAQ section has been updated to reflect that as well!

  11. Ace

    Will oat flour work (to make it gf?)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Ace, Nisha just tested these with oat flour and they make a decent substitute. The texture is flat and not at all fluffy, but the flavors are still nice. We recommend making the recipe as written, but of course, feel free to make it with oat flour if it better suits your dietary needs. The FAQ section has been updated to reflect that as well!

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