You are going to love this easy recipe for protein pancakes, made with six simple ingredients, including protein powder and Greek yogurt.
A truly quick and tasty breakfast, they take just 20 minutes to make and each serving contains 32 grams of protein!
I created this recipe for my daughter, a talented and dedicated powerlifter. Her challenge? Make pancakes without flour (the only dry ingredient being whey protein powder), and make them high in protein, tasty, fluffy, and non-dry. Challenge accepted!
This is one of those recipes that required several attempts until we were both happy with the result. But once we perfected this recipe, we've been making it regularly. These pancakes are excellent!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty pancakes. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
- Vanilla extract: I use a full tablespoon - this is not a typo. Since I use plain unflavored protein powder, this gives them much-needed flavor.
- Sweetener: This is optional, especially if you plan to top the pancakes with sweet toppings. But I do add stevia to the batter, and again, this is especially important when using unsweetened powder. You can replace the stevia with a granulated or powdered sweetener of your choice.
- Plain Greek yogurt: Adds much-needed moisture to the pancakes. I use plain nonfat Greek yogurt because that's what my daughter prefers, but whole-milk Greek yogurt works too.
- Protein powder: I use Biochem 100% Whey Isolate Protein - Natural Flavor. I like that it doesn't have any sweeteners - many of these powders are sweetened with sucralose, which I'd rather avoid.
- Baking powder: Make sure it's not expired. It helps the pancakes rise, although these are not tall pancakes.
The best way to vary this recipe is to use different flavor extracts. So, for example, you could use coconut extract, orange extract, or almond extract. If you opt for these flavors, I suggest you use just one teaspoon rather than a whole tablespoon.
Another variation is to use whole-milk Greek yogurt instead of nonfat. I made both versions, and both were excellent, with the whole milk one actually tasting better. I stick with nonfat yogurt per my daughter's request, but you can certainly use whole-milk yogurt.
Making these protein pancakes is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- You start by whisking together the eggs, vanilla, stevia, and Greek yogurt.
- Now, whisk in the protein powder. Whisk patiently and thoroughly until completely smooth and free of lumps, then whisk in the baking powder.
- Heat a nonstick double-burner griddle over medium heat (not higher). Spray it with oil.
- Using a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop, pour six to eight mounds of the batter into the griddle (or use a large 14-inch nonstick skillet and cook three or four pancakes at a time).
- Cook the pancakes over medium heat until they bubble on top, 1 minute or even less. Flip and cook them for just a few more seconds, then remove them to a plate, add more fat to the skillet if needed, and cook the remaining pancakes.
It's important to make small pancakes (I use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop, not a 4-tablespoon ice cream scoop), since the batter is thin and spreads out, and to cook them VERY minimally - they need less than a minute on the first side and just a few seconds on the second side.
Frequently asked questions
The reason is that when cooked or baked, whey protein has a dramatic drying effect on baked goods.
One way to combat that is to use a mix of protein powder and another flour, such as almond flour (not coconut flour which is also drying). But my daughter specifically requested a recipe where the only dry ingredient is protein powder.
After a few experiments, I discovered that adding plain Greek yogurt to the batter does wonders in terms of adding much-needed moisture and preventing the pancakes from drying out.
No. Pea protein powder or other non-dairy protein powders will not work in this recipe.
If you use flavored protein powder they should be tasty. However, I use plain unflavored powder, so I add a generous amount of vanilla extract and I also lightly sweeten the pancakes.
Not exactly. They're very good - I made half a recipe this morning just for myself, because I wanted a video of the process, and I proceeded to gobble them all up! They don't even need butter or syrup to taste good, and I love their delicate, fluffy texture.
However, they are small and thin - crepe-like actually. If you're looking for thick, substantial pancakes that are similar in texture to the real thing, I highly recommend these almond flour pancakes.
My daughter and I love eating these pancakes plain, without any toppings, holding them in our hands. You can obviously top them with butter and syrup if you wish.
They're also good drizzled with warmed-up peanut butter or melted extra-dark chocolate.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, for just a few seconds.
You can also freeze these pancakes in freezer bags, separated with wax paper squares. Defrost them directly in the microwave.
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Easy Protein Pancakes
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon stevia glycerite (equals ⅓ cup sugar)
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (not regular yogurt)
- 2 scoops whey protein powder unsweetened , not packed (about 40 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder gluten-free if needed
- Cooking spray for the griddle
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, stevia, and yogurt.
- Add the protein powder, and whisk thoroughly, until completely smooth and blended. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Whisk in the baking powder. Then let the batter rest while you heat the griddle. It slightly thickens as it rests.
- Heat a nonstick griddle or a large 14-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat (not higher). Spray with oil.
- Using a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop, pour mounds of the batter into the griddle. A double-burner griddle will likely accommodate 8 pancakes, while a skillet will hold 3 or 4.
- Cook the pancakes until they bubble on top, one minute or less. It happens fast! Flip and cook them for just a few more (10-20) seconds on the second side. It's very important not to overcook them or they will turn out dry and rubbery.
- Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate, cover them with foil to keep them warm, and cook the remaining pancakes. Serve immediately.
- Pea protein powder or other non-dairy protein powders will not work in this recipe.
- I use nonfat Greek yogurt; whole milk yogurt is fine, but it has to be Greek yogurt and not regular yogurt.
- In the video above I made half a recipe. That's why I used just one egg.
- It's important to make small pancakes (I use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop, not a 4-tablespoon ice cream scoop), since the batter is thin and spreads out, and to cook them VERY minimally - they need less than a minute on the first side and just a few seconds on the second side.
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
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I think that as long as you don't expect these to have the texture of real pancakes, you will not be disappointed. Yes, they are a little spongy, and you can taste the protein powder. But they ARE high in protein, low in carbs, and the flavor is amazing. I make them every weekend for me and my boyfriend!
The texture was like eating foam but the flavour was good. I was unable to eat the ones I made due to the texture issue.
Amazing! So light and fluffy and the vanilla flavor is wonderful. They cook really fast, so pay attention while you cook them.
I really enjoyed these protein pancakes. They're thin and flimsy, so if you like thick, substantial pancakes these are very different. But the flavor is really good and the light, spongy texture grows on you as you eat them.