Healthy Red Velvet Pancakes
Yields: 16 silver dollar pancakes
These are a fun twist on traditional buttermilk pancakes! They’re light and fluffy, with the same iconic chocolaty vanilla flavor as classic red velvet cake, and they’re perfect for regular weekend brunches or holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas breakfast. Leftovers will keep for at least one week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (They freeze well, too!)
  1. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg white, and vanilla. Stir in the vinegar and food coloring. Stir in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain. Stir in the buttermilk and maple syrup. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the water, beginning and ending with the flour, stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.)
  2. Lightly coat a large nonstick pan or griddle with nonstick cooking spray, and briefly preheat over low heat.
  3. Using a scant 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake, dollop the batter onto the hot pan, and spread into a circular shape using a spatula or back of a spoon (if desired). Let the pancakes cook for 2-3 minutes, or until a slight skin starts to form around the edges and the top turns a deeper shade of red. Slide a spatula underneath, and flip. Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. Re-coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and repeat with the remaining batter.
Notes: For the gluten-free flour, I recommend the following blend: ½ cup (60g) millet flour, 2 tbsp (15g) tapioca flour, 2 tbsp (15g) brown rice flour, and ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum. Many store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) will work as well, if measured like this.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted in place of the whole wheat flour.

I recommend using regular unsweetened cocoa powder, like this. Dutched or special dark cocoa powder (a) have a more subtle flavor, (b) are darker in color, and (c) aren’t as acidic as regular unsweetened cocoa powder.

I prefer my red velvet cake (and therefore pancakes!) to have a stronger “chocolaty vanilla” taste. If you like your red velvet cake on the less chocolaty side, decrease the cocoa powder by 2 to 4 tablespoons (10-20g), and increase the flour by the same amount (15-30g).

Remember to measure the flour and cocoa powder correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much of either will dry out your pancake batter, and too much cocoa powder may make your pancakes taste bitter.

Regular red food coloring will give the brightest color. Liquid natural red food coloring may also be used, but the color will be more of a mahogany shade. I have not tried anything else (i.e. gel food coloring or beets) and don’t know how other options will turn out.

To make “homemade” buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup. Add enough milk to total ½ cup. Let that mixture set for at least 5 minutes.

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

Because my family usually covers their plates of pancakes in more maple syrup, I found that adding more to the batter was unnecessary (especially when I topped these with this vanilla drizzle recipe or this cream cheese drizzle recipe!). However, if you prefer sweeter pancakes, increase the maple syrup by 2-3 tablespoons, and reduce the water by the same amount.

This batter is on the thick side because I prefer my pancakes on the thicker and fluffier side! Thick batter = thick pancakes. Thin batter = thin pancakes. However, when you add thick batter to your pan, it doesn’t spread, so you’ll need to spread it a bit yourself using a spatula, the back of a spoon, or the bottom of a measuring cup to get that nice, circular pancake shape.

For even thicker pancakes, decrease the water by 2 tablespoons, or omit it altogether.

For thinner pancake batter, add more water or buttermilk until you achieve your desired pancake batter consistency.

For more cooking tips, see the text and pictures in this blog post of mine.

This recipe is easily doubled to make more. If you have any leftovers, they freeze really well too!

{gluten-free, low fat, low sugar, higher protein}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at