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The Best 8 Protein Pancake Recipes

Chances are, you’re familiar with the classic breakfast food, the pancake

 

A pancake is a flat, rounded cake often prepared from a starch-based batter that typically contains eggs, milk and butter. Pancakes are cooked on a hot surface such as a griddle or frying pan. 

 

There are many different ways to make pancakes, but unfortunately, not all recipes are nutritionally equal. Pancake batter can be very high in carbs and calories, and pancakes are frequently topped with sugary syrups, whipped creams, sprinkles and powdered sugars. 

 

If you are a fan of pancakes but are worried about fitting them into your healthy lifestyle, listen up: You can have your (pan)cake and eat it too. 

 

The key is to swap your classic pancake recipe for protein pancakes.

What are protein pancakes?

Protein pancakes take the standard pancake recipe and give it a healthier, more protein-packed twist. 

 

Pancakes and their toppings can be loaded with calories, carbs and sugar with very little protein, so they don’t fill you up for long and can lead to an inevitable sugar crash. Protein pancake recipes, on the other hand, use ingredients like protein powder and eggs to amp up the protein and attempt to cut back on the carbs and sugar. They’re often made with protein powder or almond flour instead of refined flour. One serving of protein pancakes can have 15+ grams of protein, while regular pancakes have only around 2 grams of protein. 

Why protein pancakes?

At Gainful, we believe you shouldn’t totally deny your cravings. It’s important to listen to your body: If you want pancakes, you should eat them. 

 

That said, there are ways to make pancakes that better align with your healthy lifestyle and dietary goals. That’s where protein pancakes come in. 

 

With more protein per serving, eating protein pancakes for breakfast will help you stay full longer. According to an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition, increased dietary protein at breakfast influences the feelings of fullness during energy balance and restriction — especially compared to other meal times. The initial and sustained feelings of fullness following protein consumption at breakfast suggests that the timing of protein intake differentially influences satiety. Getting protein in at breakfast by eating foods like protein pancakes sets you up for success and can help you make better food choices throughout the day. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics also notes a higher protein intake at breakfast and lunch is associated with a higher total daily protein intake. This is especially important for an older adult, whose proper protein consumption is imperative for the maintenance of muscle strength and health. 

 

Eating protein pancakes instead of regular pancakes can also help you avoid a sugar crash, as many protein pancake recipes are made with bananas or natural sweeteners instead of sugar for sweetness. By choosing protein pancakes over sugar-filled breakfast foods like doughnuts and sugary cereals, you can better avoid health problems that are linked to sugar. According to a 2016 study titled “Relationship between Added Sugars Consumption and Chronic Disease Risk Factors: Current Understanding” published in the journal Nutrients, consumption of added sugars leads to an increased risk of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Additionally, an article titled “The sweet danger of sugar” published by Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing references a study published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine that found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of heart disease. Choosing breakfast foods without added sugar will leave you feeling better and help you fight against sugar-related health risks like higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes and NAFLD. 

 

Protein pancakes are also a great breakfast option if you’re watching your cholesterol. Greasy breakfast foods are oftentimes high in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. Many protein pancakes, on the other hand, are made with protein powder that gives your body the protein it needs without the artery-clogging “bad” cholesterol. In fact, higher-protein diets that include a high protein breakfast are associated with higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and lower BMI and waist circumference in US adults, per a 2015 study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

What’s the best protein powder for protein pancakes?

Protein pancakes can be made with any type of plain whey protein powder or plant-based protein powder. Flavorless protein powders like Gainful protein powder are versatile, so you can use these powders to make both sweet and savory protein pancakes. 

 

Gainful protein powders contain all nine essential amino acids, which greatly benefit your body and help support muscle performance and recovery. Adding one scoop of Gainful protein powder to your protein pancake recipe will add 19 to 27 grams of protein to your breakfast. Better yet, there’s no gluten, soy, filler or artificial flavors, dyes or sweeteners in Gainful formulas, so you know exactly what’s in each scoop (and can feel good about each bite of protein pancake).

 

Many protein pancakes call for specific flavors of protein powder, such as vanilla protein powder or chocolate whey protein powder. Instead of buying flavored protein powder in bulk, Gainful sends subscribers single-serving Flavor Boost packs so you can easily switch up the taste of your protein without having to commit to a single flavor. Gainful offers seven flavors, including Strawberry Cream, Madagascar Vanilla, Rich Chocolate, Caffè Mocha, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Matcha Green Tea. Like Gainful protein powder blends, the Flavor Boosts are made with natural ingredients. Each packet contains organic stevia leaf extract and organic monk fruit extract — the only sweeteners used in Gainful products. Both are all-natural, plant-based sources of sweetness that have been used in Asia and South America for thousands of years. 

 

If carbs are a concern, Gainful can even make your blend with 1 gram or less of carbohydrates. Your blend will be mostly all whey protein isolate, instead of the blend of different proteins.

Can you eat protein pancakes on a low carb diet?

You can absolutely eat protein pancakes on a low carb diet; you just need to be mindful of what ingredients you use to make your protein cakes. If low carb is the goal, avoid protein pancake recipes that call for ingredients like wheat flour and banana. While those ingredients taste great, there are many ways to make flavorful protein pancakes without them. 

 

If you’re counting macros, you can rest assured that most protein pancakes have the “good” type of carbs that your body needs. According to a 2017 study titled “Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrate Dietary Patterns and the Global Overweight and Obesity Pandemic” published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, complex carbohydrates are foods that contain the fiber found naturally in the food and have low glycaemic indexes. The glycaemic index (GI) is a way of ranking carbohydrate-containing foods based on how slowly or quickly they are digested by the body and how they increase blood glucose levels over a period of time. Carbohydrates that break down slowly release glucose gradually into the bloodstream have low glycaemic indexes. The blood glucose response is slower and flatter. Low GI foods may help with feeling full, due to prolonged digestion. Protein pancakes are made with ingredients that include low GI, complex carbs. Some protein powders have carbs like organic tapioca maltodextrin or organic oat powder in their blends — the kind of carbs that properly fuel your body. As mentioned above, some brands like Gainful can even create a protein powder blend with 1 gram or less of carbohydrates that you can use for a low carb, keto-friendly protein pancake recipe. 

How do you make protein pancakes?

There are many different protein pancake recipes out there. Some recipes are simple with just a few ingredients, while others are more complex and call for a dozen different ingredients. Some recipes use potassium-filled bananas to achieve a pancake-like sweetness and texture, while others nix the fruit to stay as low carb as possible. 

 

Below, we’ve rounded up 8 different (but equally delicious and yummy) protein pancake recipes. Find one to satisfy your pancake cravings and serve them up for a protein-packed breakfast. 

 

(And don’t forget the toppings! These protein pancakes can be served with healthier syrup substitutes, such as 100% pure maple syrup, almond butter syrup or honey.)

8 protein powder pancake recipe ideas

1. 5-Ingredient Protein Pancakes (Serves 4)

 

Ingredients:


 

Directions:

 

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix until batter is smooth.

 

Lightly spray a skillet with cooking spray, or use coconut oil on a non-stick pan. Put skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. 

 

Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used. For added sweetness, top with sugar-free syrup or fresh fruit of your choice. 


2. Extra Chocolatey Protein Pancakes (Serves 4-6)

 

Ingredients:


 

Directions:

 

Place all ingredients (except chocolate chips and coconut oil) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Lightly stir the chocolate chips into the batter.


Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet, then pour about ¼ cup batter into your skillet.

 

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used.


3. Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes (Serves 4-6)

 

Ingredients:


 

Directions:

 

In a large bowl, mix almond milk and egg whites. Add protein powder, almond flour and peanut butter to bowl. Empty the Flavor Boost packet into the bowl, and mix well with whisk.

 

Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet, then pour about ¼ cup batter into your skillet.

 

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used. Before serving, top pancakes with an extra drizzle of peanut butter or nut butter of your choice. 


4. Strawberry Banana Protein Pancakes (Serves 4)

 

Ingredients:


 

Directions: 

 

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing them in different bowls.

 

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites for about 2 minutes. Add the ripe bananas, protein powder, Flavor Boost and baking powder to the egg yolks. Beat with mixer until smooth.

 

Gently fold half of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until combined. Repeat with the remaining egg whites.

 

Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet, then pour about ¼ cup batter into your skillet.

 

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used. Before serving, top pancakes with fresh strawberry and banana slices. 


5. Blueberry Protein Pancakes (Serves 4)

 

Ingredients:


 

Directions:

 

Place all ingredients (except blueberries) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Let batter sit for 2-3 minutes.

 

Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet, then pour about ¼ cup batter into your skillet. Gently place a few blueberries onto the pancake. 

 

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used. Before serving, top pancakes with fresh blueberries. 

 

6. Birthday Cake Protein Pancakes (Serves 4)

 

Ingredients:


 

Directions:

 

Combine all dry ingredients (except sprinkles) in a bowl. Whisk until combined well.  Add hot water, egg whites, and extracts and whisk until smooth. 

 

Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet, then pour about ¼ cup batter into your skillet.  Gently place a few sprinkles onto the pancake.

 

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used. Before serving, top pancakes with a handful of sprinkles and sugar-free whipped cream.


7. Matcha Protein Pancakes (Serves 4)

 

Ingredients:


 

Directions: 

 

Mash the bananas in a small bowl.

 

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites, placing the eggs whites in a separate bowl and adding the yolk to the bananas. Add the matcha green tea powder, protein powder and Flavor Boost to the bananas-yolk mixture. 

 

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites for about 2 minutes. Gently fold half of the egg whites into the batter until combined. Repeat with the remaining egg whites.

 

Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet, then pour about ¼ cup batter into your skillet.

 

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used. 

 

8. Banana-Free, Gluten-Free Protein Pancakes (Serves 4)

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

 

Mix the eggs, protein powder and baking powder in a large bowl. Add almond milk slowly until the batter is a pancake batter-like consistency. 

 

Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet, then pour about ¼ cup batter into your skillet.  

 

Cook about 3 minutes, or until pancakes begin to bubble. Carefully flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once cooked, remove pancake from the pan and repeat the process until all the batter has been used.

How do you make protein pancakes not dry?

If you run into texture or consistency issues while you’re whipping up your pancakes, try adding a half cup of water or more almond milk to your mixture. Applesauce or Greek yogurt can also help thicken the batter. 

 

If a recipe calls for baking powder, don’t neglect it. Baking powder will help give your pancakes some fluffiness.

A protein powder for all of your breakfast recipes

With Gainful, you’ll always have a custom protein powder on-hand to mix into your protein pancake recipes. Because Gainful is flavorless, you can also add Gainful protein powder to your other go-to breakfasts. Mix it with smoothies, in batter for protein waffles, in oatmeal, in a yogurt parfait or in cottage cheese with fruit, granola or flaxseed for an easy way to give your healthy breakfast an extra boost of protein.

 

Head here to take our quiz so you can get your shipment of flavorless protein powder as soon as possible. We’ll take your lifestyle and dietary preferences into account when creating your blend, whether you’re someone who’s plant-based and looking for a vegan protein, someone who is dairy-free, someone who started keto or just someone who prefers certain types of protein over others. Then we’ll send you everything you need in the perfect amount to start incorporating protein powder into your diet. 

 

Also make sure you check out the different Flavor Boost flavors that you can include with your order. With seven flavors to choose from, our Flavor Boosts allow you to personalize the taste of your protein powder (and your pancake recipes!). You won’t have to buy a separate bag or tub of protein powder to get a specific flavor for your recipe. For example, if you want a chocolate protein powder for a chocolate pancake, simply add a Rich Cocoa Flavor Boost to the mix; if you want a vanilla protein powder to sweeten up your birthday cake pancake, empty a Madagascar Vanilla Flavor Boost packet into your batter. Our new Matcha Green Tea Flavor Boost is a perfect addition to any matcha pancake recipe. 

 

If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration, Gainful also offers a ton of recipe ideas. Visit our website or Instagram for more meals and snacks that you can create with your Gainful protein powder.

 

Gainful is here to help you satisfy your cravings, healthfully.