Turn the Uh-Oh Moment Into a Win With This Milk-Free Pancake Recipe

Homemade pancakes with fresh berries and maple syrup

Pancakes are a fun breakfast or a quick dinner. But if you're out of milk or there's an allergy in the house, you might think pancakes are a no-go. But you're in luck. You can make delicious, fluffy pancakes without milk. In fact, the primary purpose of milk in your pancake recipe is to dissolve the flour and sugar and add structure, which means almost any liquid will do the trick.

If your cupboards are bare, no need to worry, this pancake recipe uses water as the liquid base.

Total Time: 30 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 4


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 beaten egg


  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, beat oil or butter, water and egg.
  3. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix until batter is formed.
  4. Heat skillet over medium heat and add butter or oil. Pour half a ladle of batter into pan and cook until bubbly, flip and cook until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Place pancake on a plate and repeat.

The key to fluffy pancakes is to not over mix your batter. You actually want those lumps. Mixing too much causes you to lose carbon dioxide, which is responsible for the light airiness, and creates more gluten, which leads to a tough, dense pancake.


If you're out of eggs, because that sometimes happens too, replace with 1/4 cup of oil. If there's no baking soda, carbonated water may work.

This simple pancake recipe serves as a good base to get your creative cookery going. Blueberries and chocolate chips make the kids happy, but set a little batter aside to mix up your own tasty creations. Chopped walnuts and slivered almonds add both texture and flavor. For flavor without calories try cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or pumpkin spice. For something really special, mix in peanut butter and top with jelly instead of syrup.


While water works fine for making pancakes without milk, other liquids work well too. Beer, for example, adds carbonation and yeast for extra fluffiness and creates a malty-flavored pancake. Although, you might want to save your beer pancakes for when the kids are away on a play date.

For a more kid-friendly pancake, try apple or grape juice. Cut out the sugar so the pancakes aren't too sweet. The juice may also help you reduce the need for syrup.

Plant milk, such as almond, rice or soy milk, works good for those with an allergy. Use the chocolate milk version of these drinks to create a special chocolatey pancake for the kids.