Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes, a tasty pancake recipe with lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppyseeds with a lemon glaze drizzle. Perfect for a plant-based brunch!

a stack of lemon poppyseed pancakes with a fork on a blue plate

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Love lemon with poppyseeds? Make lemon poppyseed pancakes! These light and fluffy pancakes are flavored with fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, poppyseeds, and a homemade lemon glaze drizzle. You’d never know they’re vegan!

👉 Ready to learn how to make plant-based lemon poppyseed pancakes? Let’s do it!


🥛 Ingredients + substitutions

  • Flour: the base of this pancake, I’m using all-purpose flour but you can substitute with whole wheat, gluten free, or other flour of your choice
  • Lemons: we’re using both lemon juice and lemon zest to flavor this recipe
  • Poppyseeds: very thin, small black seeds from the poppy flour that add a nice crunchy texture
  • Baking soda: helps pancake batter to “rise” and create a light and fluffy texture
  • Sugars: adds a touch of sweetness and also helps to create a softer and lighter textured pancakes by prohibiting too much gluten formation; we’re also using powdered sugar for the lemon glaze drizzle (optional)
  • Salt: adds a balance of flavor and helps the dough become more elastic, which helps it become fluffier
  • Vanilla extract: adds a touch of flavor and color to pancake batter
  • Milk: plant-based milk mixes all dry ingredients together and adds creaminess; I like oat milk or soy milk, but you can use just water as well
  • Spices: optional, but adding a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg deepens the flavor of pancakes
  • Toppings: maple syrup, fresh fruit, fruit jam, nuts or seeds, coconut flakes, etc.
  • Recommended tools: large mixing bowl, whisk, pancake pan, spatula
bowls of flour, sugar, lemons, poppyseeds, and other ingredients for pancakes on a white table

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Make the lemon glaze

Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside while you make the pancakes.

a bowl of lemon glaze sauce with a gold spoon on a white table with a fresh lemon
Make the lemon glaze

2️⃣ Step Two: Make lemon zest sugar mixture

Before you start making the pancakes, I highly recommend mixing the lemon zest and sugar together for a stronger lemon taste.

To do this, add sugar and lemon zest to a small bowl. Then using your hands, slowly mix and rub the zest into the sugar so that the lemon zest releases its natural oils and is soaked up into the sugar.

a bowl of white sugar with lemon zest inside on a table with a lemon
Mix sugar with lemon zest

3️⃣ Step Three: Make the pancake batter

The next step is to make the pancake batter! To do this, get out a large mixing bowl and add flour, baking soda, the lemon zest and sugar mixture, and salt and whisk to combine.

Then add vanilla extract and slowly whisk in plant-based milk, mixing it into the dry ingredients until it is well combined and has a smooth but slightly thick consistency.

Once you have the batter done, set the bowl aside while you heat the pan. The few minutes it takes for the pan to heat up will also give the batter time to firm up and make for fluffier pancakes.

👉 Pro pancake batter tip: If the batter is thin, add a bit more flour. If the batter is too thick, add a bit more plant-based milk.

a mixing bowl with lemon poppyseed pancake batter inside with a metal whisk
Make pancake batter

4️⃣ Step Four: Cook the pancakes

It’s important to let the pan become hot before cooking the pancakes! Trying to cook pancakes on a pan that isn’t hot means they won’t have a uniform color or consistency.

To warm the pan, simply heat a large pancake pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s warm enough when water sizzles when dropped onto the pan.

Once the pan is hot enough, add the vegan butter or oil and let it coat the pan. Then pour about 1/2 cup of the batter to the pan to form the pancakes (usually 3-4 can cook at one time, depending on the size of your pan).

Let cook about 2 minutes, or until the top of the pancake batter begins to bubble and take form. Lift the pancake with a spatula to make sure the pancakes are a medium brown color, and then flip them.

Cook the pancakes about 1 minute more and then remove them to a plate.

poppyseed pancakes cooking on a flat blue pan
Cook pancakes

5️⃣ Step Five: Serve pancakes

To serve, add your desired number of pancakes to a plate and top with a drizzle of the lemon glaze or maple syrup and a sprinkle of more lemon zest. Then enjoy!

a close up photo of the top of a lemon poppyseed pancake with a drizzle of lemon glaze and a sprinkle of lemon zest
Top with glaze and lemon zest

🔥 How to keep pancakes warm when cooking

If you’re making a bit batch and want to keep the pancakes warm before serving:

  1. Heat your oven to 200 degrees F (about 100 degrees C)
  2. Place a glass baking dish inside
  3. When the pancakes are done cooking on the stovetop, place them inside the glass dish until ready to serve.
a blue plate with a stack of vegan lemon poppyseed pancakes with a gold fork and a whole lemon

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

Do you need to use a flax egg or egg replacer in vegan pancakes?

You do not need to use a flax egg or egg replacer in vegan pancakes. I have made this pancake recipe over 100 times over the past few years, and I have tried to make them with flax seeds (or a “flax egg”) and I found that this recipe without a flax egg is actually a fluffier and softer pancake than when I try it with a flax egg. When I use flax seeds in pancakes they always have a very “wet” consistency, so I recommend omitting flax when making plant-based pancakes.

What can you use in place of milk in vegan pancakes?

Plant-based milk or water can be used in place of milk in vegan pancakes. A thick vegan milk like creamy oat milk or soy milk gives the best results. You can also use water as well, but I’ve found the taste is better with a creamy unsweetened plant-based milk.

What can you use in place of butter in vegan pancakes?

Vegan butter, plant-based oils like avocado oil, or simply water can be used in place of real butter in vegan pancakes. If you want an oil-free option, simply add a bit of water to a pan or use a ceramic non-stick pan to omit oils completely.


🧊 How to store

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  2. Freezer storage: Pancakes are great for freezing! Store leftover pancakes in a freezer-friendly bag or container in the freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw, simply pop them in the toaster to reheat or remove them to the refrigerator 24 hours before reheating.
  3. Reheating instructions: My favorite way to reheat pancakes is to cook them in the toaster, but you can also reheat in a pan or put them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
a stack of lemon poppyseed pancakes with a fork cutting pancake pieces

🥞 More plant-based pancake recipes

Want more plant-based pancake recipes? Try these Fluffy Vegan Whole Wheat Pancakes or Pluot Pancakes.

a screenshot of Fork in the Road's 4-day plant-based meal plan
NOT SURE WHERE TO START WITH PLANT-BASED EATING?

Get my 4-Day Plant-Based Meal Plan to start your journey on the plant path.

a blue plate with a stack of vegan lemon poppyseed pancakes with a gold fork and a whole lemon

Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

Kristina Todini, RDN
Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes, a tasty pancake recipe with lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppyseeds with a lemon glaze drizzle. Perfect for a plant-based brunch!
5 stars (2 ratings)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast + Brunch
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 8 pancakes
Calories 199 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large pan
  • 1 citrus juicer
  • 1 microblade zester

Ingredients
  

Lemon Glaze Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Lemon Poppyseed Pancake Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups plant-based milk oat, soy, almond, etc.
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup optional, if not making the lemon glaze drizzle

Instructions
 

  • Make the lemon glaze: Add the 6 tablespoons powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Prepare lemon sugar: To a small plate or bowl, add 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon zest. Then using your hands, slowly mix and rub the zest into the sugar so that the lemon zest releases its natural oils and is soaked up into the sugar.
  • Mix pancake batter: To a large mixing bowl add 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, lemon zest and sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons poppyseeds, and ⅛ teaspoon salt and whisk to combine. Then add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and slowly whisk in 1 ¼ cups plant-based milk, mixing it into the dry ingredients until it is well combined and has a smooth but slightly thick consistency. If the batter is thin, add a bit more flour. If the batter is too thick, add a bit more plant-based milk. Once you have the batter done, set the bowl aside while you heat the pan.
  • Cook pancakes: Warm a large pancake pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, it’s important to let the pan become hot before cooking the pancakes. When water sizzles when dropped onto the pan, add the 1-2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil and let it coat the pan. Then pour about 1/2 cup of the batter to the pan to form the pancakes (usually 3-4 can cook at one time, depending on the size of your pan). Let cook about 2 minutes, or until the top of the pancake batter begins to bubble and take form. Lift the pancake with a spatula to make sure the pancakes are a medium brown color, and then flip them. Cook the pancakes about 1 minute more and then remove them to a plate.
  • To keep pancakes warm when cooking: If you’re making a bit batch and want to keep the pancakes warm before serving, heat your oven to 200 degrees F (about 100 degrees C) and place a glass baking dish inside. When the pancakes are done cooking on the stovetop, place them inside the glass dish until ready to serve.
  • Serve pancakes: To serve, add your desired number of pancakes to a plate and top with a drizzle of the lemon glaze (or optional ¼ cup maple syrup), fresh fruit, or other toppings.

Notes

Prep ahead: This recipe is a great meal prep recipe because you can make a big batch of pancakes and then refrigerate or freeze them for later.
Leftover and storage: Store leftover lemon poppyseed pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. To freeze, store leftover pancakes in a freezer-friendly bag or container in the freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw, simply pop them in the toaster or in the microwave for 30 seconds to reheat or remove them to the refrigerator 24 hours before reheating.
Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is calculated for pancake ingredients and lemon glaze drizzle, not optional maple syrup. This recipe uses all plant-based ingredients so it is suitable for vegan diets. This recipe uses gluten-containing flour, so it is not gluten free.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pancakeCalories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 204mgPotassium: 92mgFiber: 2gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 145IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 2mg
Keyword vegan lemon poppyseed pancakes
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