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A flavorful protein pancake recipe made with pancake mix, protein powder, chopped apples, cinnamon, and buttermilk. These protein-packed pancakes are the perfect breakfast to start the day with 23 grams of protein per serving!
Protein pancakes are my jam. A few more protein pancake recipes that I love are these wild blueberry matcha protein pancakes, Greek yogurt protein pancakes, and heavenly chocolate protein pancakes dripping with melted peanut butter and chocolate chips. Those are only a few of the pancake recipes on this blog. Clearly, it's a breakfast favorite around here. Are we hungry yet?!! 😉
I like these apple cinnamon protein pancakes better than some of the recipes that I have made in the past with mashed bananas because...
- If you don't like bananas then you are out-of-luck because your pancakes will taste like bananas
- The texture is fluffy and cake-like, reminiscent of the beloved traditional pancake
- They are nutritious but taste delicious, so my kids don't know that they are healthy
- My banana-hating husband will eat them
Let's face it, protein pancakes can be too dense and/or too dry. These apple cinnamon protein pancakes are moist and tasty. Don't skip out on the coconut oil for cooking, it gives them the perfect outer texture while the inside remains fluffy and soft. Another reason to love coconut oil for making pancakes is that it has a high heat point and doesn't smoke or burn. Don't worry, the coconut flavor is not overpowering, but if you don't like a slight coconut flavor another high-heat oil will do. I like using grapeseed oil as a substitute.
These pancakes will have the best taste and texture when eaten right away immediately after cooking.
How To Make Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes
Serves 2: Makes 8-9 four-inch pancakes
Ingredients You'll Need:
- Apple- my favorite apples to use for this recipe are Gala apples, Fuji apples, Autumn Glory apples, and Honeycrisp apples
- Pancake mix- you'll need an all-purpose pancake mix for this recipe. Any brand will work for this recipe. King Arthur flour pancake mix is one of my favorites.
- Unflavored plain whey protein concentrate (a whey blend preferred-half casein/half isolate will work well, too)
- Olive oil- you can also use grapeseed oil
- Full-fat buttermilk- for a fluffy and delicious pancake texture
- Good quality vanilla extract
- Coconut oil- for frying
Place the chopped apples in a small microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Drain juice from apples and set aside. Whisk the first 3 dry ingredients together until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together (except coconut oil) until combined. Stir in apples. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until mixed. Heat a griddle or skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Using a ¼ cup measure cup, drop batter onto a hot griddle and cook until bubbles form and flip to cook the other side. You don't want the skillet too hot or the pancakes will brown before they are ready to flip. Add coconut oil for each batch of pancakes, so that they are golden and slightly crispy on the outside and tender in the middle.
How To Make These Pancakes Gluten-Free
You can easily make these pancakes gluten-free by using a gluten-free pancake mix. I have had great results with Pamela's baking mixes in my recipes.
What To Serve With Protein Pancakes?
I love serving these pancakes with a teaspoon of pastured butter and real maple syrup. If you want to go with sugar-free maple syrup, Walden-Farms zero-calorie maple pancake syrup is one of my favorites. A dusting of powdered sugar (regular or a sugar-free confectioner's sugar substitute) is always a nice finishing touch.
Tips For Making Protein Pancakes
For this recipe, I used Cabot unflavored whey protein. Quest Nutrition also makes a multi-purpose baking mix that I love. It's a blend of casein and whey isolate and that combo seems to do really well in baked and cooked recipes. Check your protein label and make sure that it's not pure whey isolate powder. I love drinking isolate for better digestion, but I find that it doesn't work so hot in baked goods and recipes that require cooking. I've had good results with some plant-based protein powders, as well. However, they are hit or miss as far as flavor goes and will alter the macros in this recipe. Also, I recommend not substituting the buttermilk in this recipe. It adds moisture and a nice flavor to the pancakes.
How To Reheat Protein Pancakes
Like I said before, these pancakes will be best when first cooked. You can't beat the texture of a freshly cooked pancake that's a little crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However, I do make these for meal prep and reheat them. For best results when reheating, wrap the pancakes tightly in aluminum foil and bake in a convection oven at 300 degrees F for 3-5 minutes, until warmed through. If you don't have a convection oven, the regular oven or a countertop toaster oven works well, too. Keeping them tightly wrapped in foil while reheating will prevent them from drying out.
*This post was updated on May 14, 2020 from the original recipe published on October 14, 2013.
Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes
- 1 small apple chopped into 1" pieces
- ¾ cup pancake baking mix *see notes
- 35 grams unflavored protein powder (for most protein powders, this is about 1 ½ scoops or a little less than ½ cup if you don't have a food scale) I recommend using a whey concentrate or whey blend. Whey isolate can make the pancakes too dry.
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil can also use grapeseed oil
- ⅓ cup full-fat buttermilk
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- coconut oil for frying
- Place the chopped apples in a small microwave-safe dish.
- Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.
- Drain juice from apples and set aside.
- Whisk first 3 dry ingredients together until blended.
- In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together (except coconut oil) until combined. Stir in apples.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until mixed.
- Heat a griddle or skillet on medium heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil.
- Using a ¼ cup measure cup, drop batter onto a hot griddle and cook until bubbles form and flip to cook the other side. You don't want the skillet too hot or the pancakes will brown before they are ready to flip.
- Add coconut oil for each batch of pancakes, so that they are golden and slightly crispy on the outside and tender in the middle.
- Serve with your favorite real maple syrup or no-sugar-added apple butter.