pancakes stacked with bananas on top being drizzled with syrup

Credit: Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Pancakes are a weekend tradition in my household. Typically we make classic buttermilk, but lately, we can’t get enough of these ultra-hearty oatmeal pancakes. They’re sweetened with banana, kissed with cinnamon, and also happen to be gluten-free.

Did I mention they’re also easy to make? The batter comes together in minutes in a blender or food processor, and you might have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen right now. In fact, these pancakes are so quick, simple, and wholesome, they could easily become part of your weekday morning routine, too. Here’s how to make them.

The Best Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Credit: Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

How to Use Oats to Make Gluten-Free Pancakes

Whole-grain oats are used two ways here: most are ground into a flour to form the base of the dry ingredients, and the rest are folded in whole to lend texture and extra heartiness. Because the oat flour is used in place of all-purpose flour, these pancakes are naturally gluten-free (as long as you use gluten-free oats) and rich in both protein and fiber.

Credit: Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Using Bananas as a Natural Sweetener

Other than an optional drizzle of maple syrup on top, you don’t need any additional sweetener in this recipe. The key ingredient is overripe bananas, which provide sweetness, moisture, and flavor. For the richest, sweetest pancakes with the strongest banana flavor, use super-ripe bananas: The peels should be brown and the fruit should fall apart when you peel it.

Credit: Food Styling: Amelia Rampe

Blending the Batter

Another great thing about this recipe? You don’t need to dirty multiple bowls. Since you use a blender or food processor to grind the oats into a flour, it makes sense to also use the appliance to mix up the batter. Toss the bananas right in to purée them, then blend in the milk, egg, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, along with another handful of rolled oats for texture. You can either pour the batter straight from the blender into the skillet, or transfer the batter to a measuring cup first.

How to Serve Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Although these pancakes are very tasty with maple syrup, they’re sweet enough that they don’t really need it. I often serve them with sliced bananas, toasted chopped pecans, or fresh berries, and I hardly miss the syrup.

How to Make the Best Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

YieldServes 4, Makes 12 (3-inch) pancakes

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 24 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups

    old-fashioned rolled oats, divided

  • 2

    very ripe large bananas

  • 1 cup

    milk, regular or non-dairy

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 4 teaspoons

    unsalted butter or vegetable oil, divided

  • For topping: maple syrup, chopped pecans, sliced banana, or fresh berries

Equipment

Instructions

  1. Grind the oats into flour. Place 1 cup of the old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process or blend until well-ground and flour-like, about 1 minute.

  2. Add the bananas and purée. Break 2 large bananas in half and add to ground oats. Process until mostly smooth, 15 to 30 seconds.

  3. Blend in the remaining ingredients. Add the remaining 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Blend until just combined, 15 to 30 seconds. If desired, transfer batter to a bowl or liquid measuring cup to make it easier to portion and fry.

  4. Let the batter rest while the pan heats. Let the batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

  5. Cook the first side. Add 1 teaspoon of the unsalted butter or vegetable oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Drop the batter into the pan in 1/4-cup portions, cooking 3 at a time. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until bubbles appear on the surface, the edges begin to look dry, and the bottoms are golden-brown, about 3 minutes.

  6. Flip and finish cooking. Flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a warm oven or plate.

  7. Cook the remaining batter and serve. Repeat cooking the remaining batter, wiping out the skillet between batches as needed and adding 1 teaspoon butter or oil between each batch. Serve with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The pancakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Gluten-Free Variation: To make these pancakes gluten-free, use gluten-free oats.

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