I’ve been working on making pancakes using protein powder for some time now, with mixed results. There are a lot of protein-powder-pancake recipes online, and many of them ignore two key things: 1) protein powder isn’t flour, and you shouldn’t use it as if it’s a direct substitute, and 2) pancakes require bubbles to be fluffy.
For the first, that means you really, really need to add at least a little flour. I’d been using about two tablespoons of plain bleached flour, because that was all I could find in Ukraine (and we didn’t have a blender for oats). Now that we’re back in the States and have a blender, we’re set! The other bonus is that using oats means that, depending on what oats you use and how gluten-intolerant you may be, this is gluten-free. Hooray!
For the second, the easy way to get fluffy pancakes is to use a bubble-making agent such as baking powder. For the low-down on how this works, and whether you should use baking powder or baking soda (or both!) for pancakes, see this awesome Food Lab article.
In our wandering aimlessly about the internet searching for pancake recipes, my hubs Alex stumbled on a great recipe at this website (thanks, Kristi!). The biggest plus is that it actually features baking powder, huzzah! (Only… spinach? No, thanks.) I also took out the extra cinnamon and vanilla–sounds yummy, but we’re in the midst of a move and I don’t want to constantly re-buy spices that are in a box somewhere. (Sigh.)
- 1 scoop Dymatize casein cinnamon bun
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup oat flour*
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk*
- 1 tsp baking powder
*Bonus: if you’re in the midst of a move and have no measuring cups or spoons (AUGH!), the Dymatize casein scoop has graduated measurements! It works out to nearly two scoops of the oats (4 oz.), and a scoop and 1/4 of the almond milk (2.6 oz.).
To make the oat flour, blend some plain old-fashioned oats in a blender or food processor. If you’re using a blender, try blending 1-2 cups at a time to be sure it blends well.
Combine everything EXCEPT the baking powder (so your bubbles don’t start to dissolve), and heat your pan or griddle (I heat ours to just about medium on our gas cooktop). Alton Brown has a great tip for knowing when the griddle’s the right heat: put a few drops of water on the surface–if they skip and dance across the surface, it’s the right temp. I put a little olive oil on a paper towel and wipe the pan down with it. Now stir in that baking powder, and drop your cakes in the pan!
This batter stirs up pretty thick and textured, due to all the oat flour and protein. Thus, it will drop onto the pan looking more like cookies. Don’t worry about it not spreading, just cook the first side for maybe a minute, then flip. Once you’ve flipped it, gently press your spatula on the cooked part to encourage the uncooked batter to spread out a little more. Don’t push too hard–you don’t want to pop your bubbles and wreck fluffy-pancake-nirvana! Let them cook on this side until you see the edges begin to bubble and/or firm up slightly (the edges will get a duller sheen compared to the other uncooked bits). Then flip again–but NO PRESSING now! It won’t take long to brown the last uncooked bits, so get your plate ready.
We like to have these with a little honey drizzled on top, but they’re moist and fluffy enough to eat as they are.
If you’re looking for more protein-powder baking ideas, try these:
I’m pretty jazzed to re-try both of these recipes now that I can use OAT FLOUR! I’m sure that will help counteract the dryness in the cupcakes–I make them twice, and once was great, but the second time was a fail.