Taking Your Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly Pancakes and Waffles to The Next Level

Spices, Fruits, Flavor Mix Ins for Pancakes and Waffles by The Allergy Chef

Today we’re going to be chatting about all things pancakes and waffles. More specifically, gluten free pancakes and waffles as well as allergy friendly and top 8 allergy free pancakes and waffles. No matter what combination of dietary restriction you may have, I’m sure you’re going to be able to take something from this article and apply it in your kitchen and up your pancake and waffle game. So, let’s get started.

What to Put in Pancakes to Make Them Taste Better?

This seems like a great place to start today. First, let’s talk about the basics. Have you added salt to your pancake recipe? If not, start with 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon. Salt can help bring out the natural flavours in food, so don’t skip over this unsung hero.

Now we have to ask: are you flavouring your pancakes? If you’re simply mixing together flour, egg, and milk and calling it day, you’re missing out. This will create a bland pancake. You need to tap into flavours/seasonings and extracts. This can be from ingredients such as orange juice, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and much more.

Next, HOW are you cooking your pancakes? The kids tell me that pancakes cooked in a fat (especially dairy free butter) taste MUCH BETTER than those cooked straight in the pan. To test this out, I’ve also tried a range of oils to get their opinion. They’ve stayed firm on their declaration: cooking pancakes in any kind of butter is best. Oils are secondary.

How to Make Your Waffles Next Level Delicious

Like pancakes, we’re going to need to look at the basics. Is there salt in your recipe and have you added some kind of flavouring agent?

We also have to look at this: if you’re gluten or wheat free, do you like your flour blend? For example, most people don’t like the taste of teff flour, especially in copious amounts. If that’s the number one ingredient in your flour blend, you’re going to create pancakes and waffles that you don’t like. Around here, the kids detest amaranth and bean flours, so I just don’t use them. Other people love them.

If you’d like to know more about blending gluten free flours so you can make the most of your pancakes and waffles, read this article: Gluten & Wheat Free Flour: Where to Start.

Gluten Free Flour by The Allergy Chef

What to Add to Pancake Mix to Make Them Fluffy

So, this is something a lot of gluten free and egg free people struggle with. There are several things you can do to create a fluffy gluten free pancake as well as a fluffy egg free pancake. Heck, you can have fluffy gluten AND egg free pancakes. In fact, I have an awesome pancake recipe here, free, on the website. Check it out.

Your base wheat and gluten free flour blend will need to contain a starch component. If you only use one flour, you’re cheating yourself (don’t forget to read that article I linked earlier). Single flours are going to come out dense, especially if you’re also egg free.

Next, did you use enough lifting agents? Things like baking powder, baking soda, and acid are going to help create the fluff you’re looking for.

Finally, HOW did you mix your pancakes? Fun fact, for THEE most fluffy gluten free and egg free pancakes, you should lightly mix with a fork and skip all electric mixing. The act of just combining, gently, allows the batter to retain all it’s fluff potential. Want to try it at home? Click here and I’ll email you that recipe.

What’s the Difference Between Pancake and Waffle Batter?

Generally, the biggest difference is oil. Most waffle batters call for oil in the recipe. This helps create a specific texture and can also help with moistness, especially in vegan and egg free waffle recipes.

Waffles also have a crispy option. Our double waffle maker for example has settings that determine the cook time. The longer they cook, the crispier they are. Beware though, when freezing a waffle that had some crisp, you’ll lose that crisp in the thawing process. Kid Four reports that the best way to avoid this is to use a toaster oven to reheat the waffle.

Here’s something fun you can do at home. Create a fluffy pancake batter then cook it normally as a pancake and also in your waffle maker. Same recipe, yet, you’ll have two different experiences. This is where the cooking technique comes into play (something I’m always talking about around here). Due to the nature of a waffle iron, the taste you perceive will be different from your pancake and some of that is due to the change in texture.

Spices to Add to Pancakes (and Other Things to Add to Pancake Mix)

Here’s what’s so cool about pancakes (and waffles) in my opinion: they’re super versatile. You can make savory pancakes and waffles, as well as sweet, and more neutral flavoured options. You’d go for neutral if you’re planning to create toppings that need to shine, or perhaps are delicate in nature.

The photo for today’s article shows you 9 easy things you can add to your gluten free and/or top 8 allergy free pancakes and waffles to take them to the next level. These are:

  • Warming Spices (think cinnamon and its friends)
  • Freeze Dried Fruits
  • Nut/Seed Butters
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Citrus Zest
  • Dried Fruit
  • Fruit compotes (jelly/jam/preserves work too)
  • Flavour Extracts such as Vanilla.

If you’re looking for a more savoury leaning pancake or waffle, ingredients such as spinach, liquid smoke, shredded cheese, and fresh herbs can all go a long way in creating delicious flavour profiles. Our gluten free cheesy waffle recipe is a perfect example of this.

Here are more examples of things you can add to your pancakes and waffles as seen in our recipes:

Gluten Free, Top 8 Free Chocolate Chip Pancakes by The Allergy Chef Gluten Free Maple Rose Pancakes by The Allergy Chef
Zucchini Maple Pancakes by The Allergy Chef Gluten Free Vegan Lemon Blueberry Pancakes by The Allergy Chef
Gluten Free Spinach Waffles by The Allergy Chef Gluten Free Maple Waffle by The Allergy Chef
Orange Buckwheat Waffles by The Allergy Chef Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Cake Waffles by The Allergy Chef

What can I top waffles with?

Here’s another great thing about pancakes and waffles: in addition to being versatile, you can top them with anything. The key is to choose a topping that’s not going to clash with the flavour of your pancake or waffle base. For example, if you had a chocolate pancake, I wouldn’t top it with a peach compote as there’s a little clash there. You’re better off with a strawberry or raspberry compote, as these pair better with chocolate.

Some of our favourite waffle (and pancake) toppings include:

Elevated Pancakes & Next Level Waffles

If you’re looking for an easy way to make pancakes and waffles fancy, start with folding in cooked fruit compotes or freeze dried fruits. Our Gluten Free, Top 9 Free Apple Pie Waffles are a great example of this method. There is extra work involved since you have to create the apple pie filling, however, the end results are bomb dot com. The Papa and the Kids say it’s one of their top favourite flavours of all time.

Another easy way to take your gluten free breakfast goods to the next level: melt down chocolate or white chocolate and drizzle on top. Our Gluten Free, Top 9 Free Pumpkin Waffles are a great example of this. Having the chocolate all over makes them look stunning.

Pumpkin Waffles by The Allergy Chef

Your Top Pancake and Waffle Questions Answered:

Why do my pancakes taste bland?

Without the addition of salt and flavour enhancements, by definition, pancakes are a bland food. There’s not even yeast in the mix to add flavour (think sourdough). Your pancakes taste bland because they need some additional ingredients to add flavour.

1/2 – 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract can go a long way. From here, add different ingredients to create a flavour profile (see the image for today for examples).

What can I add to pancakes for flavor?

You can add a range of ingredients to add flavour to your pancakes. For example, Navitas makes a range of superfood powders that all have intense flavours. You can add this powder to your batter for a whole new experience.

Cook’s Vanilla sells a range of extracts that are simply amazing. You could use any of these in your pancakes to improve the flavour and thus, your overall experience.

Other common ingredients you can add include citrus juice and/or zest, warming spices such as cinnamon, and chocolate chips. If you add chocolate chips, be sure to eat your pancakes warm, as I’m told the melty effect is next level delicious.

What goes well with pancakes?

Just about anything goes well with pancakes. Since pancakes can be made in a range of flavours, they can then be paired with other things. Heck, you can even make a pancake with brown sugar and call it a dessert pancake that’s served alongside ice cream.

You can pair traditional items such as bacon, sausage, and other proteins alongside your pancakes. Fruit and even steamed vegetables are great as side dishes with your pancakes.

Think of pancakes as a vessel, ready to be filled with whatever you’d like. Honestly, there aren’t any real limits to what a pancake can do.

What is the most popular pancake topping?

The most popular pancake toppings are syrup (usually maple), whipped cream, fruit (fresh, compote, jam), and chocolate chips. Now, some like to mix the chocolate chips into the batter and others like serving it on top.

You’ll notice that these toppings are all sweet-leaning. It’s not uncommon for people to pair pancakes with something sweet, as the pancake itself usually lacks sweetness.

Whilst we do use some granulated sweetener in our pancake recipes, it’s done to offset the natural bitterness found in some gluten free flours, not to add a punch of sweetness to the recipe. I know the kids are going to be dipping in maple syrup.

Is waffle batter and pancake batter the same?

No, yes, and maybe. By default, no. Most recipe developers use different ingredients in a waffle recipe compared to a pancake recipe. Some ingredients will overlap such as flour, egg, and milk. Waffle batter usually includes oil, and sometimes additional ingredients to change the texture.

Yes, they can be the same, and this isn’t a crime. You can cook pancake batter in your waffle maker and still have a waffle-like experience because of the cooking tool. Additionally, some brands sell a dry mix and say it’s for waffles AND pancakes. Sometimes they call for different wet ingredients on the waffle and pancake, but the base is identical.

Maybe the batter is the same. Honestly, depends on who’s doing the cooking. When I’m in charge, they’re different, but I also know they don’t have to be. I will say this, personally, I’d use a pancake batter as a waffle but not a waffle batter as a pancake.

What else can you put on waffles or pancakes besides syrup?

Besides maple syrup, you can top your pancake with a wide range of toppings. Here are some of my favourite ideas:

  • Melted Chocolate
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Dusting of Powdered Sugar
  • Homemade Fruit Compote
  • Sprinkles
  • Nut/Seed Butter
  • Whipped Cream

To keep things interesting, you can also pair these toppings. Think nut/seed butter + chocolate chips.

How do you doctor up waffle mix?

To doctor up a homemade waffle mix, I’d start with your flour blend. For example, buckwheat flour will bring a deep earthy flavour to the table. Alternatively, I’d use sourdough starter if I had some in the fridge. GASP! I know. It’s a really cool way to doctor up your homemade waffles.

Folding in a fruit compote or purée is another way to bring a new life to your waffle batter.

How can I spice up my waffles?

Let’s talk literal spices here. You can spice up your waffles with any of the following (and more):

  • Allspice
  • Cacao
  • Cayenne Pepper (great with the cacao)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coffee
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla Bean

Now, these are just dry spices. There’s also a range of liquids you can add in the form of juice, sweeteners, and extracts.

Need More Ideas & Recipes?

RAISE is here to help! We have a recipe collection full of waffles and pancakes. Better than that, we have the powerful Advanced Recipe Search. With more than 85 filters, you can mix and match your dietary restrictions, special diets, and more. If you need pancakes and waffles free from specific ingredients, the Advanced Recipe Search is a MUST.


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