This is the easiest, fluffiest whey protein pancake recipe! These protein pancakes are so good it’s hard to believe they are good for you – and they are keto, low-carb and gluten-free too!
Pancakes are a sweet breakfast tradition that you don’t have to leave behind just because they are not keto/low-carb. We can make it so!
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Words cannot describe the happiness of having pancakes for breakfast again! You see, I’m not a difficult to please person. I find joy in the simple things.
Take pancakes, for example. My husband Daniel and I would enjoy tons of warm and fluffy pancakes drenched in maple syrup while watching cartoons on lazy weekend mornings. Happy memories of a time when we didn’t care the least bit about eating healthy.
Now, with these sugar-free, gluten-free and high protein pancakes, it’s happy times again! And it feels so much better than back then: we didn’t know we were both sensitive to gluten until we started the keto diet. So, you can imagine how we felt like a few hours after having all those pancakes…
The easiest protein pancake recipe
This keto protein pancakes are super simple to make and take very few, simple ingredients (5 base ingredients plus 3 optional ingredients) – that you’ll sure already have if you eat keto or low-carb.
You don’t need any special equipment: you can just mix the pancake batter with a large whisk by hand. Although, it’s easier and quicker to make them with a hand mixer or blender.
They also cook REALLY QUICK – each pancake needs only 90 seconds per side to get beautifully golden and fluffy!
IHOP protein pancakes vs homemade protein pancakes
Have you seen the new IHOP protein pancakes? They may sound great, but don’t be fooled! Their protein “power” pancakes is not that powerful… as per their website, one serving has 590 calories, with 37 grams of protein – great – but also 70 grams of total carbs, from which 19 grams are sugar!
In comparison, one serving of my keto protein pancakes (that you can easily make in the comfort of your own home) has 310 calories, with 32.5 grams of protein and 2.6 total carbs (1.8 net carbs). What’s the better deal?
If you still think that IHOP has a healthy protein pancake now (compared to their other menu options, at least) I urge you to take a look at their ingredient list: (from IHOP’s nutrition website)
They do have some good stuff in there, like whey protein isolate, flax and chia seeds. It’s good to see a junk food chain trying to move along with the times. But I think they could’ve done better.
Why does a restaurant that serves freshly made pancakes (or so I was inclined to believe) needs such a lengthy ingredient list full of highly processed foods and preservatives? We can only guess.
Anyway, check out my better than IHOP protein pancakes ingredients list:
Ingredients & notes
Whey protein: I use unflavored whey protein isolate, which has more protein and less net carbs than concentrate. The difference is not super significant, though, so you can use whichever you prefer.
Coconut flour: A very small amount (just one tablespoon) to give some structure and texture to the pancakes. Pure whey isn’t great by itself in baked goods, unfortunately.
Eggs and whipping cream: Whisking these together will give some extra lift to the pancake batter in the form of air bubbles, and the cream and egg yolks help counteract the drying properties of the whey protein.
Xanthan gum: This ingredient is important in gluten-free baking and it serves to improve the texture of the protein pancakes, making them fluffier. They are still really good if you make them without it, although a bit less moist and soft.
Sweetener & vanilla: These are optional, but if using, any keto friendly sweetener, like erythritol, allulose, xylitol, or blends with monk fruit or stevia will work. And a high quality vanilla extract makes everything better!
Sweet or plain pancakes
I add a small amount of sweetener and vanilla to my pancakes, but you can omit it if you prefer them plain or change the amount. You want them sweeter? No problem, just double up the amount of sweetener.
I like sweetener and vanilla in my pancakes because I don’t usually slather them in syrup (I know, what a wasted opportunity haha). I use keto maple syrup sometimes.
But more often I like pancakes with sugar-free jam and whipped cream, or a creamy mix of whey and peanut butter, or plain naked pancakes… I just eat them by hand like giant soft cookies. Or small flat cakes. Well… pan cakes.
How to make protein pancakes
You can whisk this keto pancake batter manually with a large whisk, but if you have the equipment, I recommend using a hand mixer or even a simple electric whisk. You could also use a blender or immersion blender.
Any of these will incorporate more air into the batter than just mixing by hand (or, at least, they will do it quicker), which will result in lighter, fluffier protein pancakes.
So start by whisking together the whole eggs and heavy whipping cream until they are pale and really foamy.
The, add the dry ingredients. If you are making it by hand, you can mix them together in a smaller bowl first, to ensure they are fluffed up and without lumps.
Otherwise, just add all the dry ingredients: whey protein powder, coconut flout, xanthan gum and baking powder directly onto the whipping cream and egg mix. Also, if using, the sweetener and the vanilla extract.
Mix everything together for a couple of minutes until the protein pancake batter is completely smooth and creamy, with air bubbles popping up. I call them the little farts. I’m happy when I see them because I start imagining how fluffy the pancakes will be!
This recipe as written will make 14 pancakes, with about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter, using one and a half tablespoon of batter per pancake.
So let’s start frying these pancakes!
Set a large skillet or griddle on medium heat, and grease it with a tiny bit of butter. Just enough to for a thin film on the surface of the pan, to prevent the pancakes from sticking. You can also use ghee, coconut oil, or avocado oil. I really the taste of butter 🙂
Once the pan is hot and butter (or you choice of fat) is fully melted, bring down the heat to low before starting pouring the protein pancake batter.
The high whey protein content in the batter is what makes these keto pancakes cook really quickly. Unfortunately, it also makes them quicker to get burned if the temperature is too high.
Once you set the whey pancake batter on the pan, it will spread quite a lot so you can just pour the batter in the middle and the pancake will slide outwards.
When you notice that the sides of the pancake are getting done, which takes about about one and a half minute on low heat, you can start poking under the sides of the pancake with a spatula to try and flip.
If the edge of the pancake released from the pan, flip it up. If it’s still liquid, give it a few more seconds.
As the pancakes get done, transfer the fried keto pancakes into a cookie rack or a plate with a paper towel. Some might get lost in your mouth along this path, it is known to happen and absolutely normal. Nothing to worry about.
Storage and freezing
You might’ve been lucky enough to have left overs, or maybe you were provident to double batch in order to ensure continued enjoyment. In any case, here’s how to keep your extra protein pancakes:
If just keeping until your next breakfast, put them in a closed container, or cover them with plastic film so that they don’t get dry. You can just leave them on the countertop until the next morning.
You can also freeze these whey protein pancakes, individually wrapped or with a piece of parchment paper in between them so that they won’t stick.
They thaw quickly, and you can pop them in a toaster or in the microwave to warm them up.
More keto breakfast recipes with whey protein
Are you also eating high protein keto / low-carb and trying to find delicious and totally worth it ways to get more protein in? Here’s some of my favorite whey protein recipes that make a super filling breakfast:
Chia pudding from whey protein shake
Vanilla whey crispy Belgium waffles
Whey protein and egg white bread
Peanut butter & whey Greek yogurt bowl
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