Gluten-free strawberry shortcake pancakes
Although she may not know it, my stepmother Lisa is the most responsible for my love of cooking and baking and, ultimately, my endless appreciation for the culinary craft. Growing up, she taught me that food is not just nourishment; it is about celebration, community and love, and it enables us to feed our bodies as well as our spirits.
My mother Catherine, on the other hand, inspired me to pick up a camera when I was 14 and start shooting—anything—and to see the beauty in the little things around me and capture them within the frame. She gave me the courage to pursue this passion way back in high school and it created a whole new confidence in me.
The combination of influences has made me who I am today, and I’m incredibly grateful to have both of them in my life.
Mother’s Day was meant for people like Lisa and Catherine—people who give themselves willingly and selflessly to help those around them. Mothers come in all shapes and forms, but when it comes down to it, it is the nurturing, compassion, love and caring that makes someone a mother.
Since I won’t be able to see either of my mothers this Sunday, I decided to bring them a virtual Mother’s Day brunch right here on ADC. Because brunch is the quintessential Mother’s Day tradition, right? And as you can see, I opted to make pancakes.
Although pancakes are a rare treasure in my household, after discovering a recipe using buckwheat flour and dates, I think I might proclaim every Sunday morning Pancake Day.
These pancakes are just like the thick, fluffy kind you’d be served in a restaurant. I’ve never been to a restaurant that takes it to this level though—with four layers of thick, gluten-free and vegan pancakes, coconut whipped cream and sliced strawberries. It’s like eating dessert for breakfast, but in a healthy way! I’d serve these with maple syrup for an extra sweet treat.
Three tips for making the perfect pancake:
1. These pancakes require you to blend the dates with the other liquid ingredients before mixing in the flour. Try to get the dates fully blended and smooth. If you don’t own a high-speed blender, try soaking your dates so they are super soft before blending.
2. Be sure to use a well-oiled skillet so the pancakes don’t stick to the pan, especially if you’re using a cast iron skillet. I found re-applying oil after each batch helped too.
3. Preheating your skillet is essential to a successful pancake. After your batter is ready, allow it to sit while you preheat the skillet. You know the skillet is hot enough when you drop a tiny bit of water on it and it sizzles.
Before you know it, you’ll have incredibly delicious pancakes that you can feel good about eating…or serving to your mom on Mother’s Day. Enjoy!
Gluten-free strawberry shortcake pancakes
Yield: 8 pancakes
- 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Coconut whipped cream:
- 1 can (13.5oz) full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 2-3 tsp agave nectar or other sweetener
- Seeds of one vanilla bean
Layers and garnish:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- Scoop the cream from the top of the can, reserving the coconut water at the bottom of the can for other uses, like smoothies.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the coconut cream until smooth and fluffy, about one minute. Add sweetener and vanilla seeds and whip until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the pancakes, whisk together the buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- In a high-speed blender, blend the almond milk, dates and lemon juice until well combined and smooth. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until a thick batter is formed.
- Preheat an oiled skillet over medium heat. Scoop 1/3 cup of batter onto the skillet and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Cook until the bottom is lightly browned, then carefully flip over to cook the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.
- To assemble, place a pancake on a clean plate, place a layer of sliced strawberries and then spread or pipe the coconut whipped cream on top. Repeat with as many layers as you want (one or two per person is probably enough). Serve immediately.