How to Replace the Milk in a Pancake

A breakfast staple, pancakes can be made dairy-free, without any milk.
Image Credit: Anna Pustynnikova/iStock/GettyImages

A breakfast staple, pancakes can be made dairy-free with no milk. What can you substitute for milk in pancakes? There are a number of alternatives you can use, such as almond milk or coconut milk. Or you can just use water.


Pancake Recipe Without Milk

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Good news for those with lactose intolerance: You can make pancakes without milk. This recipe for 4-Ingredient Banana Pancakes, for example, requires only one ripe banana, two large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 cup of quick-cooking rolled oats:

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  1. Heat a medium-sized pan on the stove.
  2. Coat the pan with nonstick cooking spray or a small amount of butter or oil.
  3. Blend the banana, eggs, oats and baking powder until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into small pancake rings in the heated pan.
  5. When the batter starts to bubble, flip the pancakes.
  6. When the pancakes are done, serve them with your choice of toppings, including powdered sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup or berries.

Note that in addition to being lactose free, this recipe can also be made completely gluten free if you use gluten-free rolled oats.

Read more: These Banana Pancakes Are Just 40 Calories Each

Milk Alternatives in Pancake Recipes

If you experience bloating, gas and diarrhea when you consume lactose, you may be lactose intolerant. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, you can manage your lactose-intolerance symptoms by avoiding foods that contain dairy or lactose.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using nondairy alternatives to milk, such as vitamin D fortified coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk and rice milk. Our Vegan Cocoa Pancakes with Raspberry Smash are a healthy dairy-free alternative to regular pancakes:

You'll need these ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray


Follow these directions:

  1. Combine coconut milk, chia seeds and vanilla extract. Set aside for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  2. In a small bowl, mash together the raspberries, vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon of coconut nectar. Set aside.
  3. In another larger bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, baking powder, flour, salt and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut nectar sweetener. Add the chia seed mixture and stir or whisk to combine.
  4. Spray a nonstick or cast-iron skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium.
  5. Ladle 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake and flip when the batter begins to bubble, cooking until lightly browned.
  6. Serve with the smashed raspberry topping.


Read more: 10 Easy Pancake Recipes That Your Waistline Will Love

Substitute for Buttermilk in Pancakes

Yes, there's a dairy-free substitute for buttermilk too! According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of nondairy milk, such as soy or coconut milk, and let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes or until it begins to curdle.


To use this as a buttermilk substitute in any buttermilk pancake recipe, all you have to do is mix the ingredients together as directed and then cook your pancakes in a lightly oiled skillet. When bubbles begin to form, simply flip the pancakes.



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