Plantain pancakes are the perfect tropical alternative for serving your everyday breakfast or brunch! They are just as easy to make as regular or banana pancakes but arguably a lot more flavorful!
This recipe is also quite quick and can be served with fresh fruit, whipped cream, ice cream, chocolate, butter, and a variety of chopped nuts, seeds, and fruit.
Plantains Versus Bananas – What’s The Difference?
Comparing plantains and bananas side by side, you will immediately notice many differences.
For one, plantains are much larger than bananas. They are also cooking bananas that are rarely eaten raw or uncooked. That’s because they are much tougher, more fibrous, and starchier than regular bananas.
You can buy plantains ripe or unripe. Each of these is used in drastically different ways. Unripe plantains are bright green and extremely hard. Plantain, especially ripe often turn black before their flesh (inside) turns soft enough to mash and eat.
Plantains are much less sweet than regular bananas. But, the riper the plantains get, the sweeter their flavor becomes.
You can read up about more differences in this article. But the information I mentioned above pretty much sums up the main characteristics that make plantains unique.
What You Need To Make These Plantain Pancakes
I love plantains for their versatility. You can fry them, mash them, or bake with them!
Now, this recipe is just like any other recipe for banana pancake. The difference, of course, is that we will be using plantains instead of pancakes.
For today’s plantain pancake recipe, you have to use ripe plantain. This is the only way you can mash them. Not to mention, they will add a much sweeter than unripe plantains.
Then, you need a delicious pancake batter recipe. It includes white sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, eggs, and fine salt. I’ve also added some vanilla extract and ground cinnamon for more flavor.
And instead of regular milk or water, I used coconut milk to the batter. It adds a much creamier flavor and a dense texture to the pancakes. The coconut milk also pairs incredibly well with the tropical plantain flavor.
If you don’t have a non-stick pan or skillet, be sure to generously grease the pan or skillet with coconut oil. I like using coconut oil because it has a high smoke point and the oil adds an extra layer of coconut flavor to the pancakes.
And don’t forget the toppings and sauces. The possibilities for this recipe are endless, but I like to sprinkle a bit of freshly ground cinnamon on top and add some sliced bananas to my pancake for extra sweetness. My other favorites are adding chocolate sauce, maple syrup, or honey.
How To Pick Ripe Plantains For Plantain Pancakes
It’s very easy to spot a riped plantain. First, the skin will be brown or black. The blacker it is, the riper it is. But just make sure it isn’t rotting.
I personally like to choose plantains that are brown over the entire skin with black areas starting to form.
Make sure the peel isn’t broken in any areas. This could introduce bacteria and insects which you obviously shouldn’t consume.
Then, you can also feel the firmness of the plantain. They should be completely soft. There shouldn’t be any hard areas.
How To Ripen A Plantain Quickly
Now, it isn’t always possible to buy plantains ripe. More often than not, they are sold unripe. And, because plantains aren’t as easy to find as bananas, you won’t always have the option (or time) to look for ripe ones.
So, that means you will need to ripen them before using to cook them. And for these plantain pancakes, you have to use ripe ones.
The first method (and the one I recommend using) will take a couple of days. But it depends on the ripeness of the plantains and the temperature and humidity of your area.
Wrap the plantains in paper bags or newspapers. Then, leave them in a warm area until they are ripe. Don’t leave them in direct sunlight.
A quicker method is to place the whole unpeeled plantains in the oven for 20 minutes at 300ºF (150ºC). Just monitor the progress to avoid cooking the plantain. Once ripened, mash it immediately and leave it to cool before using it for breakfast in my plantain pancakes recipe.
Plaintain Pancake Tips And Tricks
- The texture of the plantain pancakes is adjustable. You can play around with the texture of the mashed plantains. Just avoid leaving them extremely chunky. They still need to add moisture.
- Do not overfill the frying pan when you cook the pancakes. This will make them cook unevenly because the pans’ temperature is too low. Only add as much as the pan can handle without the pancakes touching.
- To make them easier to flip, you can use a large spatula or spoon to help you. Be gentle but firm when you flip, so they don’t break apart.
- To keep the cooked pancakes warm, place them in a heated oven at 100ºF (40ºC) or lower. Make sure they are covered in a baking dish with a lid or sheet of foil to not dry out.
Plantain Pancake Recipe Variations
- If you want to give your pancake recipe a twist, consider adding some savory ingredients such as shredded cheese, chopped scallions, or sun-dried tomatoes.
- For sweet versions, mix in cinnamon sugar or cinnamon with honey for extra sweetness.
- For a crunchy texture and taste, add nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts.
- Top with your favorite berries or fruits for a more vibrant-looking dish.
This is not a vegan pancakes recipe because it contains eggs and for some vegans, sugar as well. But both of these ingredients are easily replaceable. You can substitute the egg with flax eggs. The sugar can be replaced with agave nectar.
Any topping or ingredients you would use for regular pancakes can be used for this recipe. For something a little more extravagant, you can serve this recipe with Chantilly cream, chocolate shavings, butter, and dried toasted coconut flakes.
Fruits such as mango, banana, blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry make the perfect accompaniment to this recipe. If you’d like something a bit more exotic, try adding slices of passion fruit or papaya.
More Breakfast Recipes
Plantain Pancakes – An Easy Tropical Twist To Regular Pancakes
- 2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced
- 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup coconut milk, room temperature
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- Optional: butter or coconut oil, as lubricant
Make the batter
- Place the peeled and slice plantains inside a large mixing bowl. Mash them using a fork or potato masher.
- Add the white sugar and mix it well. Make sure it is evenly distributed throughout the mashed plantains.
- Next, in a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon powder. Mix them well and set them aside.
- In another separate bowl, whisk the eggs well.
- Add the coconut milk and salt to the beaten eggs. Mix them well.
- Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet egg mixture. Slowly whisk until a uniform batter comes together.
- Finally, add the mashed plantain and sugar mixture. Mix the ingredients together well so you have a uniform plantain pancake batter.
Cook the plantain pancakes
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. If you want to, add a dollop of butter or coconut oil to the pan to act as a lubricant.
- Once the pan is heated, pour the batter onto the pan about 1/2 cup. Don't add too many dollops. Leave enough space between them so they don't merge. Usually, that's about 3-4 pancakes.
- Depending on the size, leave the pancakes to cook for 30 – 60 seconds. Once bubbles start forming, flip it over. Leave it to cook on the other side for another minute.
- The pancakes should be beautifully browned and completely cooked through before you remove them from the heat.
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
- Once your pancakes are cooked, serve them immediately with some maple syrup, honey, and other garnishes of your choice.