Look at you, you fluffy cornmeal pancakes topped with crispy bacon with a sexy drizzle of maple syrup down the side.
Welcome to my second ever pancake recipe, both of which are more on the savory side. First I shared my Irish boxty potato pancakes with brussels sprouts and bacon for St. Paddy’s day and now I introduce to you my gluten free cornmeal pancakes with bacon. Yes, there is clearly maple syrup involved but for the most part these pancakes are savory with a hint of sweetness from that maple syrup. Trust me, with the salty bacon it’s pretty much heaven on a plate.
Truth time: I don’t do pancakes. And by that I mean that I always covet them and anyone eating them but I avoid them like the plague when they are served at restaurants, brunches or buffets for breakfast. You also won’t find me making pancakes on a Saturday morning, until now that is. The reason pancakes that are piled high with fruit and whipped cream and chocolate chips are not my thing is because it’s too much sugar for me in the morning, I tend to feel unbalanced and get hangry about 20 minutes later. Ugh, you guys I hate this because I so want to eat pancakes for breakfast!
This concept of savory pancakes works for me! I mean I still want some eggs with it but the fact that these cornmeal pancakes are all savory except for a little bit of maple syrup drizzled on top makes me feel satisfied and balanced instead of riding a sugar high and sugar low all day long. CELEBRATE!
Because I haven’t really made pancakes very often in my life I had to practice getting the consistency of the batter just right and flipping those bad boys so they don’t fall apart or fold over on themselves. Pretty sure we had these pancakes for lunch once a week for a month ha!
What’s even more challenging is getting them to hold together well when they’re gluten free. I finally found the secret, xanthan gum, which is a thickener and binder used in gluten free baking. Man, does it ever do its job well. Don’t skip it. I promise, these will be the most fluffy and delicious cornmeal pancakes ever!
So now you know that fluffy cornmeal pancakes with a hint of crispiness from that cornmeal are available to you. Let’s discuss the toppings, because they are very very important!
The bacon, I mean who doesn’t love bacon as part of their weekend breakfast/brunch?! The salty, crunchy smokiness pairs so nicely with the hearty cornmeal pancakes and is the perfect salty balance to the sweet maple syrup. The best part is we cook that bacon in the oven on a baking sheet lined with foil so that you barely have to worry about it while you’re making the pancakes. Also, that foil makes for the easiest grease cleanup ever, plus no grease splatters on the stove top! This, my friends is my new fave way to cook bacon.
Moving on to the sweet corn. It’s that time of year when sweet corn is in abundance in Iowa, it’s the best when eaten raw cut straight off the cob. Nice and crunchy and sweet, perfect on a cornmeal pancake, who knew?! That avocado adds a nice creamy texture to the pancakes that is surprisingly tasty. Plus the avocado offers healthy fats that helps us stay fuller longer and stabilize our blood sugar levels. And of course chives for a hint of color and slight onion flavor.
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the maple syrup. Honestly, I didn’t think I would want the maple syrup but it lends that perfect salty sweet balance and adds moisture to the cornmeal pancakes. Plus it makes the pancakes feel pancake-y, if you know what I mean. Promise me one thing, my friends. Promise me that you will use real maple syrup and not the fake stuff – just gross.
Oh and a nice schmear of creamy butter melting on those hot cornmeal pancakes is also a very good idea.
Guess what! Today is Friday, (in case you didn’t know ;)). You know what that means?! Tomorrow you can make yourself some of these cornmeal pancakes and enjoy one of the best Saturday morning breakfasts you’ve ever had! Yes, I am that in love with these cornmeal pancakes, and I know you will be too!
May all of your Saturday breakfasts be filled with fluffy, hearty cornmeal pancakes that are piled high and topped with all the goods.
- 6 to 8 slices bacon
- Butter (sub vegan butter for Dairy free)
- 2 to 3 ears of corn, kernals sliced off (or sub canned corn that has been drained)
- 1 to 2 avocados slices or cubed
- chives, chopped
- Real maple syrup, grade A or B
- ⅔ cup fine yellow corn meal
- ⅓ cup gluten free oat flour ( Make by processing rolled oats in food processor until a flour forms, measure after making)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum*
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened, plain almond milk (or sub any kind of unflavored, unsweetened milk you prefer)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (sub vegan butter for dairy free)
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons butter (for cooking)
- Cook the bacon: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, Line a rimed baking sheet with foil. Lay out the bacon strips onto the prepared baking sheet. Cook the bacon for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping the bacon halfway through, or until the fat has cooked off and the bacon is crispy. Be sure to keep an eye on it during the last few minutes of cooking, it can burn easily. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Once cooled crumble with fingers.
- Mix up the pancake batter: While the bacon is cooking mix the cornmeal, oat flour, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium mixing bowl until well incorporated. Measure out your milk in a liquid measuring cup. Add the egg into the milk and whisk together, stir in the melted butter and maple syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir until well combined. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes. The batter should be pretty thick, yet still fall off the spoon.
- Finish preparing toppings: While the batter is resting prepare your corn and avocados as directed above.
- Cook pancakes: Heat a flat griddle or nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Measure out scant ¼ cup of the batter, use a spatula to kind of help the batter spread out a little. Fit 2 or 3 pancakes in a pan at the same time. Cook one side for about 4 minutes, flip once the pancake has risen a little and is looking dry around the edges. cook on the other side for another minute or two. Repeat until you have made all the pancakes, should make 6 to 7 pancakes. To keep the cooked pancakes warm place them on a baking sheet in your oven set at 200 degrees.
- Serve: Top the pancakes with a pat of butter, crumbled bacon, corn kernals, avocado slices, chives and a drizzle of maple syrup. Serve immeditaly. Pancakes left undressed make good leftovers, heat in microwave gently.
Recipe heavily adapted from Minimalist Baker