Pumpkin & Coconut Pancakes

After eating at some incredible places in Cape Town on our most recent family holiday, we were faced with so many nutritious and creative breakfast choices along our travels that inspired me to get creative in the kitchen back at home. A healthy pancake recipe is something I knew would go down well in my house, provided I could get them tasting as good as ‘regular’ pancakes.

After three attempts, I finally found a recipe that worked and was accepted with open arms by my two, very own food critics: my son (who even got our dogs to sample his breakfast!) and my husband (who has a sweet tooth unrivalled by many and cannot be fooled by ‘imposters’ claiming to taste as good as the ‘real thing’).

By the time I got onto my third batch of batter, I had worked out 5 key ‘tricks of the trade’ to master the perfect pancake:

  1. Do not over-beat your mixture. Your pancakes will be anything but fluffy!
  2. Do not over-heat your pan. Work on a low-medium heat.
  3. Have patience. Rush through this and you’ll just have a sticky mess and broken bits of pancake to serve up.
  4. The smaller, the easier to handle. The larger you go, the greater the chance of them breaking.
  5. Keep your pan greased at all times. If not, you’ll have burnt bits of pancake batter lining the bottom of your pan.

Pumpkin is a smart way to sneak in additional nutrients and it adds a natural sweetness to the batter. I recommend purèeing the pumpkin to avoid a granular consistency to your mixture, but if you don’t mind the little bits in every bite then mashing the pumpkin works too.

If you would like to keep this recipe strictly vegan, then replace each egg with 1 Tbs chia seeds soaked in 3 parts water. The coconut milk adds a delicious flavour to this recipe but you really could use any milk of your choosing. By using wholewheat/bran flour, you are adding in a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals that are missing from the white ‘nutritionally empty’ variety. If your child has a gluten intolerance, then simply substitute the flour for another flour of your choice (remember, however, that almond and coconut flour can sometimes be a little tricky to work with).

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup pumpkin, steamed and pureed/finely mashed
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup bran/wholewheat flour
  • 1 Tbs baking soda
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil for frying


  • Beat the eggs in a small bowl, set aside
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients using a mixing spoon, followed by a whisk to mix through thoroughly
  • Once combined, add in your eggs and gently mix together
  • Heat a small amount of coconut oil on a skillet on a low-medium heat
  • Once the pan is hot, pour in small amount of mixture at a time
  • Once the pancake begins bubbling all over, use a spatula to turn and cook on the other side
  • Continue the process until all the mixture has been used up, adding a small amount of coconut oil to the pan each time
  • Serve with your choice of toppings: crushed nuts, sliced strawberries, blueberries, sliced banana or a drizzle of honey
*The above will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned
* Never leave your child unsupervised while eating

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