Monday, June 14, 2010

Cutting Corners: Simple Pancakes

The Topic: Sneaky Substitutions

The Dish: Right after I used up all of my corn meal and it seemed like hot water cornbread would have to take a vacation (since I had sworn off the store for as long as possible), I was left with nothing to eat on a leisurely Saturday morning. Well, not nothing. There was an old box of matzoh ball soup, a pound of dried beans, some quinoa, and tomato paste. Certainly not breakfast foods. And then—kablam! I remembered the secret stash of expired pancake mix.

I came into quite a bit of slightly out-of-date buckwheat pancake mixes last December and stuck them in a sad cabinet to be forgotten—until now, that is. I started getting super pumped that I could eat a proper weekend breakfast, when I realized I had no almond milk, and my roommate's applesauce I thought I'd use for egg replacer had a nice layer of mold growing on it. Did I give up? Um, no. There were pancakes at stake.

I learned something miraculous that morning: Water works just fine instead of non-dairy milk. I was really skeptical, but substituting water instead of throwing down $3 took care of that hurdle, and I miraculously discovered a canister of ground flax hidden in the back of the fridge and realized I could whip up an "egg" with that. In no time, my buckwheat flapjacks were hot off the skillet, and I was chowing down. I was fortunate to have just a teeny bit of maple syrup left from my cornbread streak!

I know having the ground flax was a lucky shot though, so I did what I do when I have a problem to solve: I ran it by Mom. In case you're ever out of the obvious choices and need to whip up a baking binder, stat, she passed along her favorite, easy, egg-replacer recipe to share with you. Thanks, Mom!

Mom's Radical Egg Replacer

Replaces 1 egg

What You Need:
1-1/2 teaspoons oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flour

What You Do:
In a small bowl, add oil and water and whisk thoroughly. Sift in baking powder and flour, and whisk for 2 minutes, until light and frothy.

The Final Word: The next time you're dying to have a dish but are missing a few of the ingredients, just try substituting what you have on hand, and see what happens! Sure, it could be a total mess (in which case, just cover it in ketchup and have at it), but you could also pick up some savvy new cooking skills of your own. You better believe that the rest of the pancake mix isn't going to last long at my apartment. Do you have a favorite sneaky substitution? Don't keep it a secret any longer!


  1. bananas can also be used as an egg replacer, so you might have been able to make banana pancakes!

  2. LOVE these ideas....keep them coming! Thanks

  3. For cookies, cakes, and quick breads, I use 1/2 raisin/date/prune puree to substitute for 1 of oil (1:2 ratio) so if it calls for 1 cup of oil, I use 1/2 cup of the puree, which you make by soaking the dried fruit in boiling water, just covering it, and pureeing it in the blender.

  4. I've used lentil puree in the past too :)

  5. I just made delicious pancakes with no egg replacer whatsoever. Just wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, a pinch of salt, a little sugar, part non-dairy milk, part water, and vanilla. That's it. I've never used any kind of egg replacer in my pancakes and they hold together quite nicely, just like the pancakes I remember from my childhood. :-)

  6. AWESOME egg sub! I'm always a bit hesitant about things like Ener-G Egg Replacer cause I'm not sure what all of the ingredients are; and I don't always have applesauce or bananas lying around... but your four ingredients are things that I ALWAYS have.

  7. today I took 1 cup baking mix (a la bisquick), a pack of sweet potato/cannelini baby food that my kiddo refused to eat, almost a tsp of baking power, and a cup on non dairy milk. delicious pancakes. all things I had! yay!

  8. I've been (very) happily using the pancake recipe in Joy of Vegan Baking for ages and it doesn't require any egg replacer. The pancakes are fab and my bf (the ultimate pancake eater) is addicted. Flour, baking powder, salt, milk, canola, sweetener (maple syrup/agave/oj) are all that's required!

  9. I use this recipe ever time I made Banana Nut Pancakes - They are so yummy. It takes a banana, almond butter, milk substitute, vanilla extract, oat flour, cane juice, baking powder and salt.

  10. You can leave the flour out of the egg replacer. Baking soda and powder were leaveners of choice for pioneer women.