These Vegan Traditional Scotch Pancakes, similar to American pancakes, are quick and easy to mix up and a tasty stack of soft, fluffy, thick, and light pancakes can be prepared fuss-free and with just everyday pantry staples so chances are you have everything to hand to create a pile of delicious pancakes especially for Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday.
Looking for a vegan chocolate chip pancake recipe? Our chocolate pancake recipe is another family favourite and is a great budget-friendly dessert, breakfast or snack.
💭 The Secret To Fluffy Egg- Free Pancakes
These dairy and egg-free pancakes taste just like ordinary pancakes so you won’t feel like you are missing out. The secret to fluffy pancakes is whisking the ingredients to a smooth batter before placing the pancake batter into the refrigerator in order to chill and settle for at least 20 minutes before cooking, as it really does make a huge difference.
Another secret to fluffy egg-pancakes is the scientific magic that occurs when baking powder is mixed with vinegar as the pancakes rise beautifully and develop a light and airy texture. It only takes about 5 minutes to whip up the batter so you can save even more time by preparing the batter the night before and storing it in the refrigerator for quick breakfasts, brunches, or snacks.
📜 History of pancakes
Pancakes are truly a traditional food with a long history as they were popular during medieval times with one of the first pancake recipes dating to a recipe book from 1439.
However there is evidence of pancakes going further back to the Neolithic era 5,300 years ago. Otzi the Iceman was unburied from the Italian alps in 1991 and researchers discovered remains of food within Otzi's stomach that suggested he had eaten something akin to a cooked pancake.
🏴 What is a Scotch Pancake?
A Scotch pancake, also known as a drop scone or a Scottish pancake, is a small or sometimes large, thick, and fluffy pancake, very popular in Scottish and UK bakeries, supermarkets, and cafes. They differ from American pancakes in being somewhat smaller and thicker, but are arguably very similar, and both are often served for breakfast or as a teatime treat.
The main ingredients of Scotch pancakes include flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and a leavening agent like baking powder, which helps provide their rise and fluffy texture. Unlike crepes or traditional British pancakes, which are thin and large, Scotch pancakes are cooked to be thick and spongy. They are generally cooked on a griddle or frying pan to a golden brown on both sides.
Scotch pancakes are traditionally served warm, often with butter or margarine and jam, honey, or golden syrup. They can also be enjoyed with fresh fruits, yogurt, or even a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar.
🥞 Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday, is a Christian day for feasting that occurs before the beginning of the 40 days of Lent that leads up to Easter. Lent is a time for giving things up and fasting so preparing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday ensured that eggs and fats were not wasted during the fasting of Lent.
Pancake day is said to have originated in 1445 when an English woman was preparing pancakes and forget about attending church until she heard the bells ringing. Scurrying to get to church in time but concerned about her pancakes over cooking, she grabbed the pan and flipped the pancake all the way to church!
This story may have inspired an old English custom of having a pancake race on Shrove Tuesday with the most popular race - the Olney woman pancake race still going strong today!
These pancakes were enjoyed drizzled with our daughter's homemade Dandelion honey [prepared with dandelions, lemon, sugar and water] along with fresh squeezed lemon and fresh grapes.
How to prepare
For these easy egg-free and dairy-free pancakes the ingredients you will need are - self-raising flour [self-rising flour], baking powder, granulated or caster sugar, optional few pinches of salt, plant-based milk, white distilled vinegar [or apple cider vinegar] and vanilla extract or essence.
We like to use an electric pancake/crepe maker to prepare our pancakes as no oil is required. The electric hotplate is non-stick and cooks the pancakes beautifully. However, if you use a fry pan or skillet then you may wish to use a little oil or vegan butter between each round of pancakes to avoid any sticking.
- Step 1: Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and salt if using, and mix.
- Step 2: Pour in the milk and vinegar and using a balloon whisk mix for a few minutes.
- Step 3: Place the bowl with the pancake batter into the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.
- Step 4: If using an electric pancake maker then heat it up to the high setting. Or if using a fry pan or skillet then heat a little oil.
- Step 5: Give the pancake batter a little whisk and then scoop a ¼ cup or about 60 millilitres of batter and pour it into the pan.
- [After the batter has set a little and beginning to form bubbles if you are adding add-ins such as chocolate drops or blueberries these can be placed onto the pancakes now.]
- Step 6: Once the pancakes have formed lots of bubbles you can flip them over and cook the second side for a few minutes until they are golden brown.
📋 Recipe Notes
Leftover pancakes can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to 3-4 days. A piece of parchment or baking paper, placed between each pancake can be used to prevent the pancakes sticking to each other.
Or freeze cooked pancakes for up to 3-4 months. Wrap up with food-safe wrap, and place a piece of parchment between each pancake to prevent freezing together and also to make it easier to pull out one or two pancakes at a time.
1. Before you start making the pancakes, preheat your oven to a low temperature, around about 100 Fan, 120 C, or 250 Farnheit or ½ Gas mark. This temperature is warm enough to keep the pancakes warm without continuing to cook them too much.
2. Place the cooked pancakes in a single layer on an oven-safe dish or baking sheet. If you need to stack them, place a sheet of parchment paper between each pancake to prevent sticking - however this may not be required if you're only warming the pancakes for a few minutes.
3. To retain moisture and heat, you can lightly cover the pancakes with aluminum foil. However, be careful not to seal them too tightly, as this can cause them to become soggy. Place the pancakes in the oven as you cook them.
4. The longer they stay in the oven, the more their texture can change so aim to have your sides and toppings ready before you begin to cook the pancakes so that you can serve the pancakes as soon as possible after the last batch is cooked.
Yes, pancake batter can be prepped in advance such as the evening before breakfast, or one or two days in advance.
Place the batter in a jug or bowl, covered, and before use give it a good whisk with a cutlery fork or a balloon hand whisk. If the batter has become very thick an extra tablespoon of plant-based milk can be stirred through.
Preparing the pancake batter in advance is a good idea as you may not want the entire batch of pancakes cooked at once - so a few pancakes can be cooked at a time.
Yes you can add various different ingredients to create different flavours to the pancakes. Such as adding a handful of vegan chocolate drops or buttons; you can either mix them into the batter or sprinkle them over the pancakes after the pancake batter is ladled into the pan.
For a fruity flavour, consider adding finely diced apple pieces or fresh blueberries or raspberries. The fruit can be popped over the ladled pancake batter directly in the pan, so as to prevent the juices from running into the batter.
If you're looking to change the essence, try substituting vanilla with lemon or orange essence. Another tasty addition is mixing through some grated zest from lemons, oranges, grapefruits, or limes.
For those who like warm spices, sprinkling cinnamon, mixed spice, pumpkin spice, ginger, allspice, or nutmeg into the mix can create delicious autumn, fall, and festive flavours.
And for a special occasion like a birthday, vegan cake sprinkles such as hundreds and thousands can be sprinkled over each pancake either once ladled into the pan or stirred through the batter.
We usually use white distilled vinegar but apple cider vinegar works fine too.
Yes, you can but do add an extra teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe along with a few pinches of salt.
In Scotland it is traditional to enjoy pancakes at room temperature or warm along with a pat of butter - we like vegan butter - and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or some fruit jam. A drizzle of golden syrup is also a popular topping but maple syrup or a similar syrup is just as nice.
Pancakes are perfect for breakfast and pair well with fresh berries such as strawberries or blueberries, berry coulis or sauce, fruit jams, marmalade, preserves, fresh fruit such as sliced bananas or orange slices, stewed fruits, apple sauce, granola or muesli, vegan yogurt, vegan cream cheese, avocado, peanut butter or a seed butter, marmite, smoothies or a nice glass of chilled oat milk.
Pancakes are also delicious served with a cooked breakfast, or for brunch, or along with lunch. Such one or two pancakes along with - veggie sausages, vegan bacon, scrambled chickpeas or tofu, roast tomatoes or mushrooms, fresh salad, refried beans, hummus, salsa, guacamole, vegan soft cheese or slices of vegan cheese, etc. If you’re serving the pancakes along with a savoury meal you can half the amount of sugar required for the recipe, and omit the vanilla, although those changes are personal preference. A few pinches of salt or some dried herbs could be added instead.
For a dessert or pudding, the pancakes can be enjoyed with vegan ice-cream, vegan whipped cream or pouring cream, vegan chocolate spread, Biscoff spread, vegan chocolate sauce, golden syrup, butterscotch sauce, toffee sauce, fresh fruits, stewed fruits, stewed dried fruits, nuts such as flaked almonds, seeds, dairy-free chocolate drops or shavings, coconut shards, ground spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cake sprinkle's, or lemon wedges.
More traditional favourite recipes made vegan
These recipes are perfect for dairy and egg free breakfasts brunches, snacks, or tea-time or supper time treats. They are all prepared with everyday ingredients and fill hungry tummies in a tasty budget-friendly manner!
If you love our pancake recipe you will also love our Chocolate Chip Pancake variation. And for a pancake alternative you can't go wrong with these Traditional Welsh Bake-stone Cakes. For the best teatime treat our British Rock Cakes are always a hit.
Finally, this classic Cinnamon Toast, can be prepared the traditional way or more conveniently you can use an air-fryer, and is a great French toast alternative.
***please note: for US measurements click the 'US customary button' within the recipe and the measurements will switch to tablespoons, cups, and ounces.***
Vegan Traditional Scotch Pancakes
- non-stick frying pan/skillet/pancake or crepe maker
- Mixing bowl
- balloon whisk
- scoop or ladle or measuring cup
- 230 grams self-raising flour [sieved, or plain/all-purpose flour with an extra teaspoon of baking powder and a few pinches of salt]
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar [or caster sugar or your usual sweetener]
- 375 millilitres plant-based milk [such as oat, soya or almond]
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar [or apple cider vinegar]
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-2 pinches salt, optional
- vegetable oil optional. If using a pancake maker/non-stick hotplate oil is likely not necessary.
- Place all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir.230 grams self-raising flour, 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1-2 pinches salt, optional
- Add the wet ingredients and whisk well with a balloon whisk- at least a few minutes.If your batter is too thick add an extra 1-2 tablespoon of plant milk. Although this recipe does create a thick batter so don't make your batter too runny. A thick batter creates thicker pancakes.375 millilitres plant-based milk, 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Leave in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes - can leave overnight until breakfast but do whisk again before use.
- Heat your non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.Use oil if necessary. If using a pancake maker set the hotplate to a medium-high temperature - we usually heat to high setting then switch it down a notch or two if the pancakes brown too quickly.
- Pour 60ml (¼ cup) of batter per pancake. Flip the pancakes when lots of bubbles have appeared over the surface.
- Cook on the other side for a minute or two until golden and risen.
- Depending on your pan a little more oil may be necessary to prevent sticking.
- If you want to keep the pancakes warm lay each cooked pancake between parchment paper and keep in a warm oven while the rest of the pancakes are cooked.Or cool to enjoy at room temperature - spread with vegan butter they are very tasty.
- Please note that the provided nutritional information is intended for guidance only and may not be entirely accurate, as ingredient types and quantities can vary. Additionally, the calculation does not include vegetable oil.
- Leftover pancakes can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Ensure they are covered with food-safe wrap to maintain freshness. For longer storage, pancakes can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. We recommend placing a small piece of kitchen parchment between each pancake before freezing. This prevents them from sticking together, making it easier to separate and thaw individual pancakes as needed.
- If you have leftover pancake batter, it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Before using, stir the batter well. If it appears overly thick, add a tablespoon of plant milk to adjust the consistency.
- When serving your pancakes, pair them with a variety of fresh or frozen fruits such as berries, grapes, bananas, pineapple chunks, orange segments, or kiwi slices. Adding a scoop of plain or vanilla vegan yogurt can also be a delicious complement to your pancakes
- Alternatively, pancakes can be enjoyed spread with vegan butter or margarine, or perhaps with peanut butter or fruit jam.
- For more useful information, including pancake variations and add-ins, have a look at our recipe notes and FAQ section above this recipe.
Prepared our vegan Traditional Scotch Pancake recipe? Do let us know how you get on as we love receiving your feedback - drop us a comment below and click the star ratings. That way we know which recipes are valued by our lovely visitors and can tailor our recipes to your preferences. Thanks so much, Jacq x