Rice flour and kefir pancakes

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

Is there a person on this planet that doesn't love pancakes? I didn't think so. Even if you have zero cooking expertise, you can confidently flip (and eat) a stack of pancakes. 

Do any of us really need yet another recipe for pancakes? Even though there's a million and one recipes already (154 000 000 on Google to be precise, a decent feat for something that's ultimately just the same 5 or 6 ingredients), I set out to formulate a recipe to meet the criteria for my ideal stack.

This recipe is ...

Designed to mimic foods that I already eat. The traditional recipe features all purpose or self-raising flour, milk and sugar, all foods that I don't eat regularly. That's not to say that I can't or don't eat them. Your body should be resilient enough to eat foods that you don't usually eat sometimes. But if your priority is to optimise your daily function, whether that's in training or sport performance or mental processing, you might just like to stick to your body's preferred foods most of the time because you can predict your body's response. This recipe might be one to try because it doesn't introduce so many unpredictable variables, particularly if you already eat rice, kefir and honey.

Easier to digest. This recipe is gluten free and 'lactose friendly'. It uses kefir, a fermented milk that contains bacteria to help your body to digest the lactose, so you don't need to rely on your body's production of the enzyme lactase to process the milk based sugar (Keen to try kefir? Here's my recipe for a refreshing banana berry kefir smoothie). In the quantities listed, the tangy quality of kefir isn't detectable and doesn't alter the taste. I've trialled this on family members that don't eat kefir and might not like it alone, but in this recipe they couldn't tell at all. Gluten and lactose tend to be difficult to digest for many people, but not all people and often it's dose dependent. Still, this recipe is a useful one if you'd like to err on the side of caution and keep your belly happy.

Sugar free. I've used honey instead of refined sugar.

Easy to eat to boost calories. If you're looking to gain muscle, put on size, replenish glycogen in a limited time frame or meet high energy demands, this recipe is your friend. Just 2 small pancakes contain the equivalent amount of carbohydrate to 1 metric cup of rice, and that's before adding your chosen toppings. You're not going to have any trouble adding calories at this meal.

Just as delicious as a regular pancake. In case you're sceptical about the substituted ingredients, fear not. I've carefully tested this recipe on unsuspecting family members and they didn't realise that I'd changed any ingredients. These pancakes just taste like, well, pancakes.

This recipe is not ...  

Low carbohydrate. For most people, this recipe is a treat. It's ok to enjoy a treat and not try to 'healthify' it. If you'd like to limit the influx of calories, moderate your portion and chosen toppings.

'Better than' regular pancakes. It's just adapted for easier digestion and variety for people that prefer not to eat gluten, milk or sugar. If that's you, this is an excellent variation. If not, stick to your chosen recipe.

Rice flour and kefir pancakes

Deliciously light, simple to prepare and easy to digest

Prep time:  10 minutes + standing time (5 to 7 minutes)

Cook time: 20 minutes

Difficulty:   Easy

Portion options. This recipe makes:

  • Around 14 moderate pancakes (about 13 cm diameter, size in photo including toppings) @ est. 30 g C | 4 g P | 5 g F

  • Or 18 small pancakes (about 10 cm diameter, size in photo of pan) @ est. 24 g C | 3 g P | 4 g F each.


  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tbsps honey

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

  • 2 cups kefir, plain

  • 50 g butter, melted 

  • 3 cups rice flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsps baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Butter, for cooking

The main ingredients and my chosen toppings


  1. In a large bowl, combine eggs, honey and vanilla extract. Whisk using a fork until the honey has dissolved into the mixture.

  2. Add kefir and melted butter and mix until smooth.

  3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine, but avoid over mixing. If there are some lumps remaining, they will disappear while cooking. The batter should be thick and resemble the consistency of full fat sour cream.

  4. Leave batter to rest on the bench for 5 to 7 minutes. 

  5. Heat large fry pan on a medium heat. Melt butter in the pan to lightly coat the base.

  6. Use a ladle or large spoon to scoop batter and place into pan.

  7. Fry on one side until small bubbles start to form. Use spatula to check if ready. Flip. Fry on the other side until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  8. Enjoy! My plate combines 1 tbsp authentic Canadian maple syrup, 1 tbsp of St Dalfour wild blueberry 100 % fruit spread, a generous dash of Simply Organic pumpkin spice and about a cup of fresh strawberries and blueberries. Just to emphasise that the calories add up quickly, this equates to around 775 calories, 127.5 g of carbohydrates, 20 g of fat and 13 g of protein. It's also high in vitamins C and K (thank you berries) and calcium (that's the kefir), in addition to 6 g of fibre and an array of other nutrients contained in the ingredients in the pancakes. It's far too easy to eat this amount of carbohydrate in a short amount of time, so remember to put your knife and fork on the table after each bite! On the plus side, I honestly felt great after eating this plate - I didn't feel full or tired like I sometimes do from pancakes, they didn't sit in my stomach and I didn't experience an energy slump an hour later.

This recipe makes around 18 pancakes about this size @ est. 24 g C | 3 g P | 4 g F each