Grain-free Apple Walnut Pancakes

This post is a part of the #BrunchWeek blogger event celebrating recipes that any mom would love for Mother’s Day.  If your mom (or grandmother, or person who loves you like a mom…) is trying to avoid gluten and/or grains, this is a great way to add pancakes to your brunch menu.  The batter uses finely ground California walnuts and some coconut flour, all mixed up with tart apple and warm spices.  I like to top them with a few slices of apple, some toasted walnut pieces, and a drizzle of honey.

Grain-free Apple Walnut Pancakes

A few notes on this recipe: to ensure that the cakes stay together, make sure they are fully set up before flipping (this will take several minutes) and don’t make the cakes too large.  Cooking time varies with altitude.  If you want a batter that is easier to work with you can add in a quarter cup of arrowroot powder to the recipe, adjusting liquid amounts as needed.

Grain-free Apple Walnut Pancakes
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup grated apple (one medium apple)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  1. Place the walnuts in a food processor (or grind in a food mill) and pulse until they are the texture of sand. A few larger chunks are fine.
  2. Stir together the ground walnuts, coconut flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Whisk in the vanilla, honey, walnut oil, eggs, and grated apple, plus 1/4 cup of the water. Let the batter rest for about five minutes, to let the coconut flour expand. At this point, stir in more water if the batter is too thick. You want this about the thickness of regular pancake batter.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat and add the batter about a scant third of a cup at a time. If the batter is thick, use your ladle to smooth it out into a thinner circle on the skillet. Cook the first side until the edges start to look dry and there are steam bubbles in the center of the cake. Flip carefully, and cook for a minute or two on the opposite side. Repeat with remaining batter. This makes about eight cakes.

Grain-free Apple Walnut Pancakes

Be sure to check out these other great #BrunchWeek recipes:
Blood Orange Mimosas

Apple Cinnamon Crepes

Hot Maple Walnut Coffee Float

Breakfast Won Ton Cups

Shrimp-Grapefruit Orchid Stirfry

Margarita for Mama

Bob’s Scottish Oat n’ Walnut Sticky Scones

Strawberry Mimosa

Chorizo and Garlic Frittata

Meat Lover’s Quiche

Hollandaise Sauce

Candied Bacon Bloody Mary

Tomato Basil Macarons

Cherry Tomato and Chorizo Omelette

Candied Bacon

Biscoff Coffee Cake Muffins

Thanks for reading,


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44 Responses to Grain-free Apple Walnut Pancakes

  1. Terri/LoveandConfections May 5, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Love this grain-free option – a great idea for Brunch. Happy Brunching!

  2. Denise in Michigan May 5, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    This is just the kind of recipe I’m looking for for when my granddaughter Sammi comes to visit in a few months!

    • Angela May 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

      Glad you will get to see her soon! She is a cutie.

  3. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) May 5, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    These look delicious! I am bookmarking this as the perfect use for some Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour that I won in a giveaway but haven’t gotten around to baking with yet. 🙂

    • Angela May 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      I used Bob’s for this! It takes a while to get used to how much liquid it absorbs, but it works well.

  4. Suzanne May 5, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Cool way to make pancakes not only gluten-free, but with no grains. And very nice job incorporating walnuts into one of your recipes.

  5. Kristin @ Dizzy Busy and Hungry May 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    Brunch is the best, and these pancakes look awesome! I am so intrigued by the use of the coconut flour, which I have never tried before.

    • Angela May 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

      Kristen, I am still playing around with coconut flour–it varies from brand to brand. It does work really well for pancakes.

  6. Kim Beaulieu May 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Great pancake recipe. I love apples with walnuts.

  7. katie May 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Love this recipe. Sharing with all my gluten free readers! I know they will love it, too!

    • Angela May 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks, Katie!

  8. Margot C May 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    This looks pretty marvelous. I’ve been so fascinated by coconut flour lately, but I haven’t produced anything that looks as nice as that. Coconut oil too, great stuff.

  9. Lanie Smith May 6, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    Those are the kind of pancakes to start the day without any guilt! I bet the walnut oil really makes them delicious. Nice recipe!

  10. Eric May 6, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    This is an awesome recipe! I am going to use this as part of my gluten free routine!

  11. Christine (Cook the Story) May 6, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I can’t believe these are made of ground walnuts. Such an amazing idea!

  12. Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite May 7, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Wow these sound incredible. I don’t need to eat grain free but I want to give these a try. I have a lovely bag of California Walnuts as well so I want to give this a try.

  13. Carrie @ poet in the pantry May 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Oooh! I bet I could make these for my friend who’s (sort of) following a Paleo diet! Love this idea–I’ve heard of almond flour and coconut flour, but never thought to grind the walnuts and use them in a similar fashion. They look delicious!

    • Angela May 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

      Yes, great for Paleo! I really like using walnuts for “flour” and the coconut flour helps bind it together.

  14. Carolina Chirichella Brody May 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    My favorite brunch recipe are fluffy ricotta pancakes!!

  15. Andrea May 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m very curious about coconut flour and this seems like a great recipe to try it 🙂

    • Angela May 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      It works well for pancakes if you don’t do grains–they are a little more fragile, so flip carefully!

  16. Maggie Wallace May 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    Looks so tasty! Will have to give them a try!

  17. Penny O October 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Great idea, but they really fall apart. I’ve had good results with almond meal pancakes. Very similar.

    • Angela October 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

      Penny, you need to cook them until they are really well set on the first side, and flip them carefully–they are definitely delicate until they are cooked through. I am cooking at high altitude so things cook faster here, so add time accordingly.

  18. Patrick November 5, 2018 at 1:13 am #

    I couldn’t get these pancakes to stick together for the life of me. The addition of a little xanthum gum helped, but I messed up the flavor and it wasn’t nearly as sweet – my fault though. I’ll add more eggs next time, and maybe that’ll help them stick together better. I just made scrambled pancakes. They tasted great regardless.

    • Angela December 24, 2018 at 12:05 am #

      Patrick, they are definitely delicate, but any easy way to make them easier to work with is to add a tablespoon or two of arrowroot (or tapioca flour) to the batter. Give that a try if you make them again, and I’m sorry it didn’t work well for you!

  19. b October 13, 2019 at 8:12 am #

    Loved these pancakes. Served with homemade apple butter I had made this week.
    I only got 6 pancakes using 1/4 c. to measure. Is that about right or should I have added more water?

    • Angela November 27, 2019 at 7:37 pm #

      If they turned out well I would not adjust the liquid–altitude influences liquid ratios, so that might be a factor.


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