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 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 40 mins
5 from 23 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 tofu scramble and a fresh fruit plate. And if it’s not pumpkin season, make my classic diner-style Vegan Pancakes!

In this post:
1. Why you’ll love this recipe
2. Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
3. Step-by-Step Instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently Asked Questions
6. Recipe Card

vegan pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup and raspberries on linen tablecloth

And for more delicious vegan breakfast ideas, check out my round-up of 40 fantastic vegan breakfast recipes!

Why you’ll love this recipe

Lots of pumpkin flavor. Much like in my vegan pumpkin bread and pumpkin ricotta stuffed shells, homemade pumpkin spice provides a real depth of pumpkin flavor alongside the pumpkin puree.

Wholesome but indulgent. 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 (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.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

ingredients for vegan pumpkin pancakes with ingredients labeled

Pumpkin Puree. Simply a must when it comes to making pumpkin pancakes. I prefer these pumpkin pancakes with non-organic canned pumpkin puree, like Libby’s, as the texture is slightly better than the organic versions.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Blend. Resist the urge to buy a pre-bought pumpkin spice blend! This recipe calls for freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg. It takes two seconds to to do this but it makes a massive difference in the final result.

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. Healthier than all purpose flour but soft enough for pancakes baked goods like cookies. All-purpose flour also works here. And see the FAQ section for even more options.

Oatmilk + Vinegar. Together, these form our vegan buttermilk, which gives the pancakes a fluffy but tender texture. 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; the batter might end up a tad thin.

Vegan Butter. Vegan butter enhances the pumpkin flavor in my experience. You can substitute with coconut oil but (1) the pumpkin flavor may be a bit muted and (2) the pancakes may spread out a bit more while cooking.  Still, a very good pancake, but my recommendation would be vegan butter.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

Tips for making this recipe

Follow these tips for the best possible vegan pumpkin 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

I don’t have whole wheat pastry flour. What else can I use?

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.

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. 

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 23 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
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. 

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2706IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 2mg

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63 comments on Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

  1. Tracy

    Agree with the other commenters…please repost the sheet pan version, it was a go-to of mine and so delicious and easy!

  2. Kelly

    Please repost the pumpkin sheet pan recipe! It’s a favorite of ours! I was planning to make it over Thanksgiving and this recipe seems to have replaced it. Thanks!

  3. Bryan

    Where did the sheet pan recipe go????

  4. Melissa

    Where did the Pumpkin Sheet Pan Pancake recipe go? This recipe has replaced it in the link I had for the other – which my family loves. Is it gone from your site?

    1. Dominica Galati

      Can I have the sheet pancake recipe too! I clicked it and it was not on here.

    2. Melissa

      Here it is

  5. Margaret Greene

    Can I use gluten free flour? I have Celiac disease

    1. Margaret Greene

      I just left a comment but There was a typo in my email address

      Can I use Gluten Free flour ? I have Celiac disease

    2. Hannah @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Margaret, thanks for reaching out. You can find this information under “Frequently Asked Questions”. I’ve attached the link below for reference to the photos if interested. 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).

      I hope this helps!

      https://rainbowplantlife.com/vegan-pumpkin-pancakes/#faq

  6. Dhuha

    5 stars
    Just made this pancake to my family, they were blown away by it that I made extra batter for tomorrow’s breakfast :D
    for a lower fat version you can add banana instead of the butter and it gave the same fluffiness
    Thank you so much

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Dhuha!

  7. Jess

    5 stars
    These were incredible! The flavor was spot-on. The only substitution I made was to use white whole wheat flour. Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Jess. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  8. Kp

    We dont have canned pumpkin puree in the UK. Home made butternut squash puree would be the only all year around option.
    Can you help out here as to how to judge the puree thickness and moisture level

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Kp, they should be about the same so we think an equal substitution should be okay. Butternut squash is sweeter, so you may want to cut back on the maple syrup for serving.

  9. Marianne

    Hi,
    These look wonderful. Just wondering: Is one large pancake considered one serving?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Marianne- thank you and yes!

  10. Belle

    5 stars
    These pancakes are absolutely delicious! They are fluffy, moist and packed with flavor.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      So glad you love them, Belle!

  11. Wendy Pedersen

    Do you have a suggestion for a substitution for those who are oil free? Thanks!

    1. Dhuha

      5 stars
      Hello,
      I just did them oil free, just have a non stick pan and make it very hot before pouring the pancake
      and I replaced the butter with a banana and it was really delicious and fluffy
      hope that helps

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Wendy, we’re afraid we haven’t tried it so don’t really know. You could try using a super nonstick pan and either vegan yogurt, applesauce or mashed banana but as we said we aren’t 100% sure how they’ll work out.

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