Ever wonder what my process is for creating recipes? Here’s what I normally do when I develop a recipe before sending it out for feedback. In this benchmark, we’ll focus on the most recent recipe: Fluffy keto pancakes.
This recipe provides light, fluffy pancakes with flavours of regular flour or whole wheat pancakes. This is the perfect keto pancake recipe! Best part? No grittiness like many of the other keto pancake recipes! It has a slightly crispy golden brown exterior and a light and soft interior.
Ultimately, I wanted to create a great tasting keto pancake; a creative recipe that is simple to make, not dense, and allows flexibility and personal preferences for new creations. After experimenting for several weeks, I ended up with a decent basic keto pancake recipe that I was proud of.
I believe that honest feedback is most important. Before sharing the basic recipe to my group of recipe testers, I had requested to exchange emails privately. I didn’t want any of my testers to be influenced by one another. I wanted to receive honest, constructive criticism so I can further improve the recipe if needed.
The feedback for the first version was overall positive using my original keto buttermilk recipe. I gave my testers a few options and had a few questions for them. I had requested that we would go through the ingredients list and the step by step instructions to determine which ingredients and steps are necessary, and which are optional. The first few tests were done without sweetener, as this was what was voted on my Facebook page (we didn’t think that we would need it).
We also tested different pans and gadgets to see if there’s a difference.
Here are our top preferences:
1. Cast iron pan/Dash mini
2. Electric griddle
3. Non-stick pan (various sizes)
1. Separated & whipped
2. Separated & blended
3. Separated only
2. Melted (I showed this method in the video to keep it simple)
Almond flour, sifted
1. Yes – 100%
Laurie said, “Sifting the almond is paramount to getting a good mouthfeel”.
Whey protein isolate vs Egg white powder
1. Whey protein isolate
2. Egg white powder
Ida said, “Whey protein isolate mix seems softer than egg white powder”. A version her family prefers.
*My final version included egg white powder as an option. It helps to create height, but too much of it makes the texture “leathery”.
Almond flour vs Almond & lupin flour mix
1. Almond & lupin flour mix
3. Almond flour
If skipping lupin flour in this recipe, use a total of 75g of almond flour.
Sweetener vs No sweetener
1. Sweetener (100%)
Psyllium husk powder vs. Gums
1. Psyllium husk powder (100%)
Instead of psyllium husk powder, one of my recipe testers, Laurie, replaced it with coconut flour. I’m not a fan of coconut flour, but if you like, you can use 6g of coconut flour, an extra egg (total: 3 eggs), and 1 Tbsp sour cream. She did not separate the eggs.
Xanthan gum version “held their shape very well, but were dense and heavy. It was a cross between cake and a pancake”, Amy’s kids’ had said. I’ve also tested other gums, which did not help the recipe, so it was omitted.
Gelatin powder vs. No gelatin powder
1. Gelatin powder (100%)
Amy felt that the “recipe without gelatin powder lacks fluffiness”, and Laurie said, “gelatin is a great addition to adding structure and stability”.
Overnight batter vs. 20 minute rest
Ida was the only recipe tester who tested this for me. She found that the overnight batter made the pancakes rise higher, but the texture was more “chewy”. She believes the keto buttermilk fermentation and baking powder reaction had something to do with it.
Does the keto buttermilk really make a difference in this recipe?
All of my recipe testers have said that it does, and that there’s no difference between the two buttermilk varieties (keto buttermilk made with Greek yogurt or probiotic capsules).
If time does NOT permit, and keto buttermilk is not available, it is best to use diluted sour cream, Greek yogurt or crème fraîche to mix with some almond milk. Buttermilk substitution often includes vinegar or lemon juice with a dairy product WITHOUT fermentation. If such substitution is made, keep in mind that your results may vary.
In addition, cultures from keto Greek yogurt can also be used to make keto buttermilk. I personally find that probiotic capsules gives better results in taste. Plus, using probiotic capsules eliminates the time to further ferment in the fridge for 4-5 days before use.
In the earlier stages of testing, I sent out the basic recipe without sweetener. With unbiased opinions, all my recipe testers have said that the pancakes does have good texture and was not gritty, but had a slight eggy aftertaste. It did rise nicely and had good height, but then deflated a bit after plating. Two of my testers, Kimberly and Julie gave a rating of 6/10. So, I was really motivated to move that rating up.
For the next few recipe adjustments, I worked on deflation, eggy aftertaste, and overall taste and texture as well as reducing batter spread.
The final version is what my recipe testers are calling “amazing, tall, fluffy, flavourful” pancakes with “no grittiness, or eggy aftertaste”. Laurie writes, “These pancakes are probably the closest to a flour pancake that I have ever had. The consistency and mouthfeel were spot on”.
Without seeing each other’s notes and reviews, a few of my testers have said that the latest version tasted like “whole wheat” pancakes. To reduce the eggy aftertaste, I removed the chalazae. To increase height and avoid deflation, I added egg white powder to the whipped eggs as an optional ingredient. Anyone who prefers thin pancakes or does not have egg white powder available can omit it. However, the batter will spread thinner and might deflate a bit. On the positive note, it will taste better (more like regular flour pancakes).
A huge shout out and a big thank you to my awesome group of recipe testers: Ingrid, Dawn, Kimberly, Julie, Laurie, Ida, and Amy!
This recipe development started before April 4th 2023, and concluded on May 12th, 2023 (for now).
Photo credit: some photos provided by my recipe testers and myself.