coconut flour pancakes

You guys are really something. Thank you so much for completing the survey yesterday—and for maxing out the limit of free responses within like 24 hours! The good news is we are all on the same page: I really love this place we have, as so many of you said you did. I love talking to you like old friends and dialoguing in the comment sections of posts, I love writing about my life here, I love getting to know so many of you while you get to know me. If anyone ever doubts the community of blogging, they need only read your survey responses, I mean it. Thank you.

And thank you, too, for giving me some great ideas with your constructive criticism—ideas which I think can make this site better. You hit on some of the very same flaws I see here, which is good because it means we both see them, and you also brought up some questions I didn’t know you had. I’d like to address as many of these issues as I can in this post, starting with a pretty big one: The new ingredients of 2010.

coconut flour pancakes on blue plate

At this point in our story, based on the title and the photos above, you’ve probably gathered that today’s recipe involves pancakes. Pancakes made with coconut flour. Coconut flour like we used in those cookies last month, coconut flour that doesn’t contain gluten and is high in protein and, I’m just going to guess for some 85% of you, coconut flour that is not sitting in your kitchen pantry at home.

While the survey said about 17% of you seem to be coming here actually looking for our new style of recipes focused on whole foods, the rest of you are either (a) feeling intimidated by new ingredients (it’s “a stretch” or a little “out there”) or (b) you don’t mind this new focus but you’re not that interested in it either.

coconut flour pancakes

Listen, I get it. I really, really get it. I’d never heard of coconut oil or spelt flour before the beginning of this year, and when I was first introduced to them, I saw mainly their price tags. Second, I sometimes take for granted that you can adapt a recipe to your own way of eating (from white spelt to all-purpose flour, for example, or from coconut oil to butter in a cookie recipe). I’ll try to explain that better in the future. Contrary to how it might seem, I’m not trying to convert anyone to my way of eating. I do think 2010 has improved my health drastically, both in more energy/less weight and better digestion (which has been a huge issue for me), so I’m pretty happy to tell people about it. But you don’t have to eat this way to come here, not at all; you just have to be willing to hear about it (and thank you, again).

silver dollar coconut flour pancakes

One of you suggested I make a sort of pantry list, with links to distributors, so it would be easy to know what kind of ingredients I’m using on a regular basis. (No, I don’t have five kinds of flour in my pantry, those of you who wonder.) I think that’s a great idea, and I’m going to work on that.

A few of you are interested in gluten-free recipes—well, today’s your day! You GF types are more familiar with this ingredient already, I suppose; but for anyone looking for a new take on a pancake, not to mention one that will be easier to digest because it has no gluten, just pure coconut, this is a good one. It’s an example of a recipe that you kind of have to use the “stretch” ingredient for, but it’s nice to have in your back pocket, whether for gluten-free friends or your own willing-to-experiment lifestyle. Very simple in method, it yields doughy pillows of pancake slightly eggy in flavor (most coconut flour recipes are, I’ve noticed), lightly kissed with coconut and, the way I make them, beautifully browned around the edges. For added flavor value, I like mine covered in butter and pure maple syrup. They’re not the same as classic buttermilk pancakes, but I think what I’ve been learning these last few months—and what I’ve been wanting to communicate here—is that these new ingredients have a beauty all their own, the way most new things do.

I’m glad to share it with you.

(Didn’t see your question answered? Scroll all the way to the bottom, below the recipe!)

Coconut Flour Pancakes
Adapted from Cheeseslave
Makes about six regular pancakes or 12 to 15 mini ones

I always make my pancakes small, like little silver dollars, and I use coconut oil in the pan (you could use a different oil for the same results) because it helps make the edges brown and crispy.

3 eggs
3 tablespoons butter or melted coconut oil (+ extra for greasing pan)
3 tablespoons coconut milk or whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons sweetener (I used honey; you could use some kind of sugar)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons coconut flour (I used Tropical Traditions thanks to a free bag I was sent)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix eggs, butter (or coconut oil), milk, sweetener and salt in a bowl with a wire whisk. Keep mixing while you add the baking powder and coconut flour.

Heat a skillet (I’m loving my cast-iron one lately) and add 1 tablespoon of butter (or coconut oil) over a medium or medium-low* flame.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter onto skillet for each pancake, flipping when the batter starts to bubble. Serve with lots of butter and pure maple syrup.

*this probably says more about my pancake-making style than the recipe, but I find I have better control over the cakes not burning when I keep the flame a little lower. your call.


Q: Why can’t we read the whole post in our RSS reader? It’s so annoying to click through!
A: I know, I know! I sincerely wish I could find a way around this, but some problems with content thievery made me switch to this system. Basically, when the whole post is available in a reader, it’s easier to be stolen. HUGE PAIN. I do think though that it might be helpful to make the excerpts longer. Sound like a good compromise? We’re starting with this post, and we’ll see how it goes.

Q: Why do you make such elaborate recipes? They take too long! I’m busy!
A: I think there are times when I want to spend four hours cooking and times when I want to slice up zucchini and fry it in a pan. I’m trying to find a balance, as we probably all are.

Q: Your photos seem dark and dreary lately. Blah!
A: This is one of those areas I’ll be quick to say amen to. You’re right, I’ve been thinking that too and I’m working on it.

Q: I wish you’d have less advertisements/giveaways/sponsors/promoting of your business!
A: Fair enough. I’m toying around with a new advertising model, one that should make things more beneficial for all of us—more to come on that. As far as promoting my writing business, oh, that’s awful. How did I become that person? Duly noted.

Q: I made a recipe of yours and it was all wrong. You forgot to ____________. I wish you’d proofread better!
A: Gosh, this one really kills me. Friends tell me about typos or missed directions all the time (and I always appreciate it!) but I am working on catching them better myself. Thanks for this feedback!

Q: Could you make more main dishes? More easy recipes for guys? More vegan things? More seasonal recipes?
A: I love feedback like this. Thanks for the inspiration!

Q: Could you make a week’s worth of recipes, like a recipe plan?
A: Oh, man. I love your ambition! At some point in the future, I might look into that idea.

Q: Less about local restaurants!
Q: More about local restaurants!

A: I’m tempted to say you cancel each other out and leave it at that, ha! One more thing though, to the respondent who said blogs shouldn’t review restaurants after one or two visits—there is some validity to that. I wouldn’t say that’s always true, but I do lean that way for this blog now (excepting travel posts). The recent interview with Honey for example, was done directly with the owner, after I’d been there 20+ times.

Q: Could you try to tell us how many people a recipe feeds?

A: Great idea. I will plan to do that!

Q: Your content isn’t good enough for a cookbook right now, maybe someday.
Q: Are you writing a cookbook?

A: The idea is in the works, but I’d agree we’re not there yet. If and when it does happen, I can tell you it will be very much like this blog in style, with stories and the same voice, but with perfected recipes that have been tested by a number of people. Anyone want to be a recipe tester? Let me know!

Oh and one more thing: thank you—for giving me feedback but more than that, for reading.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. Chandelle

    Thank you for this recipe. I bought a bag of coconut flour last week to make bread. Six pastured eggs, a stick of grass-fed butter, and 3/4 cup of coconut flour later, the bread didn’t rise and tasted terrible, so into the chicken run it went, which was very disappointing. I have a bunch of coconut flour left and I’m loathe to waste any more ingredients. This recipe looks very doable, though. So thank you. I haven’t had pancakes in almost a year!

    Also, I love everything about your blog. No complaints in any direction.

  2. kara

    Dear Shanna: My goodness! You handle feedback so gracefully. You should be really be a writer. Oh, wait… you are.

    I don’t know if others would be interested in this, but I’d be anxious to hear a full rundown (maybe list-style?) of the changes you’ve made in your diet that have been so helpful in weight loss and energy increase. As a fellow Crohn — and one who, at the moment, has been trying to get to healthy weight for 6! months! with no! success!, while still trying to respect my body’s needs — I’d be really appreciative of hearing what’s worked for you. I know everyone’s different, but following your success has been cheering and fascinating.

    Thanks again for all your wonderful stories and recipes here.

  3. Alicia

    Um, you aren’t annoying at all with ads or promoting your business. Just sayin. And you know that I love the whole, natural foods. I don’t know what I’d do without them anymore! And this goes without saying, but I would JUMP at the chance to be a recipe tester, considering I make 75% of them already anyway!

  4. Rebecca

    I’d love to be a recipe tester! And I love the alternative recipes-I’m considering doing the GAPS/SCD diet for a few issues my husband and I have, and it is so helpful to find more bloggers moving beyond AP flour.

  5. Jenny

    woo hoo! I haven’t made dinner yet for myself and I have all these ingredients! Yippee! BTW, I don’ t know what is involved with recipe testing, but I’d be willing to try! :-)

  6. rachel

    i like your blog…Im actually surprised by some of the comments and Im really glad you shared them with us!! OH me oh MY.

    love you shanna

    PS. where do you shop most? one store many stores? do you shop once a week? every day if you need to? etc? run to the store just for a specific recipe?

  7. rachel

    oh and how is guy food and girl food different??? im confused…

  8. Caitlin

    Thanks for writing :) It’s been such fun to see the transformation, especially when we talked about it when you visited Madison (PS – you should visit NC again!). As a peek into your life, it’s inspirational. So even if I won’t buy coconut oil (yes, I already have more than 5 types of flour – I have 19, just counted) it’s fun to see the journey. I’ll keep following along, have no worry about that!

  9. Shannalee

    Chandelle, I think I made we made the same bread! That was my first experience with coconut flour, but thank goodness it’s been uphill from there. I find it has a very different consistency in things, making it hard to swap one-to-one, and its recipes always needs loads of eggs (as you know), but I feel like there’s something you have to love about no gluten, lots of fiber, lots of protein and potential for baked goods. Good luck in your coconut flour journey!

    Kara, Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through. Crohn’s is a crazy and frustrating disease and one that seems to be very different for everyone. Maybe I’ll write more later, but right now I can give you the very basic list of changes, none of which I was doing directly for my digestion but all of which benefited it: 1) cut out refined foods, including white sugar and all-purpose flour 2) started reading ingredients lists looking for whole foods 3) looked into probiotics by implementing things like kombucha, kefir and eventually the Garden of Life Daily Defense pill I now take 4) Read the Maker’s Diet, which I highly recommend. The author had Crohn’s!

    Alicia, You’re sweet. As for recipe testing – well I think I will take you up on that! Stay tuned!

    Jenny, I’m so glad you did and even more glad you ended up liking it – thanks for messaging me! And thanks for offering to recipe test – I’ll be in touch!

    Rae, You’re a sweetheart! To answer your questions: probably Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s most. I usually end up going once a week but might run out again if I forgot something. And lately, I DON’T go to the store for a specific recipe, but that’s a new change, one prompted by frugality. : ) And ahahaha about guy vs. girl food. I think he just meant easy stuff!

    Caitlin, I saw your Tweet about the flours and inwardly cheered. I think that is awesome. You are the definition of a baker, and I love it.

  10. kara

    Thanks, Shanna. Rad. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  11. Randi

    Thanks for writing. I love reading your blog. And I definitely want to try this recipe! :) Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Jenn

    Gorgeous pancakes! Ha and I do own well more than 5 kinds of flours in my pantry, though I have to say coconut flour is not one of them! If I ever see it though, I will pick it up and try these!

  13. MaryAnn

    I agree; you take feedback very graciously. That shows me that you truly have a heart to put out the type of content that your readers are looking for. Your blog inspires me in many ways. I love that you use healthier, unusual ingredients. My hangup is that we don’t have any kind of grocery other than a super Walmart & a Kroger. I haven’t looked for coconut flour b/c I’m doubtful I will find it. However, I keep reading & making notes of the recipes I want to try if I can work out a way to get the ingredients!
    Keep up the good work!

  14. Maddie

    While I don’t currently bake with spelt flour, I do like reading about how you think about food. In the news, I hear so many warring perspectives on health that are either/or — this is the “right” thing to do! no, that’s the right thing to do! — that it’s refreshing to see different food bloggers eating the very different things that work for them.

  15. heather @ chiknpastry

    I have to agree with the others – way impressed with your receiving feedback skillz! Hey – at least people are honest, right?!

    I only started reading your blog a few months ago, so I can’t comment on the “change”, but I really enjoy the recipes and ingredients you choose. Really though, I tend to enjoy the blogs that have the well-written stories with recipes tied in, and that’s why I keep coming back :).

  16. Beba Schlottmann

    I had never heard of coconut flour before I read your blog, but your pancakes look so good, I had to try this. I just purchased a bag of coconut flour (I clicked on the Tropical Traditions link on your site – 35% off for a 2.2 pound bag-what a bargain!). Can’t wait!

  17. Jen

    I’m scratching my head about some of the feedback you received. I mean, this site is about YOU and your food experience, not necessarily what others want from you. I appreciate reading someone’s blog that varies greatly from mine. And I like learning things, too, even if it’s about food in another city.

  18. Lisa

    From your experience with various flours, what would be your recommendation for a gluten-free shortbread?

  19. Shannalee

    Kara, Oh, good! I hope you will!

    Randi, Thank YOU for the encouraging comment!

    Jenn, I love hearing that and wish I could peek in your pantry for a look! So far I like spelt and buckwheat, get really frustrated with whole wheat, don’t mind whole wheat pastry and am learning to like coconut flour. Can’t wait to try more!

    MaryAnn, What nice things you wrote. And you know, you make a great point about what stores are available by you. I know Kroger (or some Krogers) have a healthy section of the store that carries certain flours, for example, but it’s true the regular groceries by me don’t. I rather hope that will change soon.

    Maddie, Love your open mind and great perspective!

    Heather, Exactly. I appreciated the honesty very much! And thanks for the sweet comment!

    Beba, Well that’s great! I already heard from one person that these pancakes were a hit, so I hope you’ll enjoy them too!

    Jen, Ha! You’re sweet to want to defend me. : ) Really, I like this place to be a community that we’re all part of, so I welcome opinions and feedback. Still though – readers like you are some of the best parts of blogging. Thanks!

    Lisa, Great question and since I’ve never made a gluten-free shortbread, I can’t say for sure. How ’bout we ask my Facebook fan page and see if anyone else has an idea? Here’s the link:

  20. Vicki

    I agree, you really handle dealing with feedback well. I’m glad we’ve been able to stay in touch through your blog. Add me to the list of potential recipe testers.

  21. Kim

    I would love to be a recipe tester! What can I say? I like assignments! :)

  22. molly

    I, for one, think it’s looking pretty grand around here. Keep it up, Shannalee.

  23. Shannalee

    Vicki & Kim, Adding you to the list! Thanks, guys!

    Molly, You’re so sweet. Thank you!

  24. redmenace

    You’re right. I don’t have coconut flour in my pantry at this moment. I do love, however, any new recipe for pancakes. Love. Love. Love. I’m off the carbs for a bit here (under the doctor’s orders) during my pregnancy, but I’m marking this for my triumphant return! xo

  25. Chandelle

    redmenace, coconut flour is low-carb – high in protein, fat, and fiber. So cook away. :)

  26. Shannalee

    Redmenace and Chandelle – Love the conversation going on in the comments, guys. Yay for low carbs in coconut flour! : )

  27. Lisa

    Thank you for your help! Posted the recipe yesterday and included the link from her Facebook comment. What a great resource!

  28. Shannalee

    Awesome, Lisa! Glad she could help!

  29. Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker

    I enjoyed taking your survey. One problem I have on my blog is forgetting steps/ingredients. Blogs are such hard work! Ack! Anyway, thanks for answering all the questions you received. The survey was such a great idea — I may consider doing one for our site! Thank you <3

  30. Shannalee

    Ashley, Well, apparently you are not alone! We’ll work on it together. : )

  31. Jenn Sutherland

    Thanks for including the occasional gluten-free recipe – this celiac appreciates the inclusiveness! And those pancakes look amazing. And for the record, I probably have a dozen different flours in my pantry – an overflowing box of little half-filled bags, often more than one of the same variety open at the same time because I lose track of that whole mess. My new favorite flour – gluten-free oat flour – adds a lovely texture to baked goods.

    And thanks so much for sharing the evolution of your blog and business – as a fellow blogger, it’s great to hear others thinking about how to evolve their online space.

  32. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer

    Thank you for this recipe! I love coconut flour too and cannot wait to make these!

  33. Shannalee

    Jenn, I’m so glad! And I love hearing about all the flours people have. I feel like anyone who’s gluten-free learns so much about all the variety available, you know? Oat flour sounds very interesting!

    Natasha, Great! I hope you enjoy!

  34. Jarrelle

    i love coconut flour! this past spring i used it for the first time and i can’t wait to make something else with it. . . VOILA. . . i think i will have to whip up these coconut flour pancakes one of these weekends!

  35. Shannalee

    Jarrelle, Well I’d love to know what you used it in!

  36. Brandee

    I bought a Breville Juice Fountain – no advertising intended – and I use it solely for my coconut needs. I shell out fresh coconuts – cut them into small enough pieces to drop into my juicer. I use the juice in various ways and the resulting pulp as coconut flour. It is not real fine but has worked great to make coconut bread and pancakes and I found lots of wonderful recipes at tropical traditions website. I have used the coconut juice as coconut oil along with olive oil in the mayo recipe from tropical traditions.
    I mixed some of the coconut juice with raw unsweetened cocoa powder, liquid stevia and a touch of vanilla. It makes awesome frosting. Needs chilled of course.

    1. Shannalee

      Ha, Brandee, we relate. We just got a Breville citrus press a few months ago and LOVE it. Fun to hear how the juice fountain works for you–very cool.

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