Zucchini breakfast pancakes taste like your favorite zucchini bread in pancake form. Thick, fluffy pancakes are filled with nutritious shredded zucchini and a pinch of cinnamon.
Love zucchini bread, but looking for something new to make with all that garden zucchini? These zucchini breakfast pancakes are a must try!
Make a batch of fluffy pancakes with finely shredded zucchini and a few simple pantry ingredients. Zucchini adds moisture and structure to your pancakes, as well as vitamin A and fiber. A hint of cinnamon gives these pancakes a warm, cozy flavor that reminds you of your favorite zucchini bread recipe.
Serve zucchini pancakes for breakfast or brunch alongside your favorite protein. These pancakes are lightly sweetened and pair perfectly with sweeter toppings like maple syrup or fruit compote.
Ingredients and substitutions
- All-purpose flour - I haven't tested this recipe with other types of flour, so I can't say how the recipe would turn out with substitutions. Baking is an exact science, and substituting ingredients can chance the texture of your finished pancakes.
- Egg - Adds structure to your pancakes.
- Zucchini - You'll need 1 cup, or 135 grams, of finely shredded zucchini for this recipe. After measuring, squeeze as much liquid as possible from your zucchini before adding it to the batter. Otherwise, that excess liquid will make your pancakes turn out gummy.
- Milk - Thins your pancake batter. I used whole milk, but your favorite milk, like 2% or almond milk, will work as a substitute.
- Granulated sugar - A small amount of sugar is added to lightly sweeten your pancakes. They're not very sweet on their own and are meant to be paired with a sweet topping like maple syrup.
- Leavening - You'll need baking powder, not baking soda, for this recipe. The two are not interchangeable.
- Cinnamon, salt, and vanilla - Enhance the flavor of your pancakes.
Do I need to peel my zucchini?
No, there's no need to peel your zucchini before shredding it for zucchini pancakes. The peel of small and medium zucchini is very soft and melts right into the pancakes as they cook, only leaving tiny flecks of green (no texture).
If you're using a very large zucchini with thick skin, or trying to hide the zucchini from picky eaters, peel it before grating.
Why are my pancakes gummy?
Pancakes can become gummy for several reasons, including overworking the gluten or adding too much moisture. Here are a few tips to help prevent gummy pancakes.
- Squeeze as much excess liquid as possible from your zucchini. Excess liquid added to your pancakes can give them a dense, gummy texture and prevent them from rising properly.
- Check the expiration date of your baking powder. Expired or old leavening can prevent your pancakes from rising properly, causing them to turn out dense instead of fluffy.
- Don't overmix your pancake batter. Once liquid is added to the flour, excess stirring overworks the gluten, creating a gummy, elastic texture. Stir your pancake batter just long enough to incorporate the ingredients. Don't mix pancake batter with a mixer - a spoon is all you need.
- Substituting ingredients can change the texture and moisture of your pancakes. If it isn't recommended in the 'ingredients and substitutions' section above, don't use it. Instead, do a quick google search and find a recipe that's been tested using those ingredients.
Pancake tips and tricks
- Don't overmix your pancake batter - this overworks the gluten and makes your pancakes gummy.
- Thick pancakes are best cooked low and slow on the stovetop. If the centers of your pancakes aren't cooking all the way through, your heat is too high. Turn the heat down to medium low. This allows the center of your pancakes to cook completely without burning the outsides.
- Use a nonstick pan, or plenty of butter in a stainless steel skillet.
- Wait until you see air bubbles and the edges begin to look dry. These are signs that your pancake is ready to be flipped.
What to serve with zucchini pancakes
These pancakes are very lightly sweetened, making them ideal paired with a sweet topping. Here are a few ideas:
- Maple syrup
- Whipped cream and fresh fruit
- Peanut butter
- Caramel sauce
- Strawberry topping
- Chopped nuts
Zucchini Breakfast Pancakes
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (135 g) finely shredded zucchini, measured before squeezing liquid out
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup (180 g) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine and remove clumps.
- Wrap shredded zucchini in a paper towel or tea towel and gently squeeze over the sink to remove as much excess moisture as possible. (Do not skip this step, pancakes will turn out gummy).
- Add zucchini, egg, milk, and vanilla to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Heat up a nonstick skillet or griddle of medium to medium-low heat and melt butter in pan.
- Measure about ⅓ cup of batter for each pancake into hot skillet. Once you see bubbles across your pancake and the sides start to look dry, flip the pancake over (this will take around 2 minutes depending on the heat of your skillet). Cook the second side until lightly browned and cooked through in the middle. Repeat with remaining batter.
- If the outside of your pancakes are browning too quickly and centers are not cooked through, turn the heat down slightly.
- Thick pancakes are best cooked over medium-low heat. This allows the centers to cook through without burning the outside.
- For thinner pancakes, add more milk to thin your batter.
- These pancakes are lightly sweetened and best served with a sweet topping like maple syrup, fruit compote, or fresh fruit and whipped cream.
- Leftover pancakes will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Leftover pancakes can also be frozen for 1-2 months in a tightly sealed container.