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Gingerbread Protein Pancakes 03

© David James Di Pardo – 2014

Every Sunday as I stumble out of bed, the first question I usually utter it “what do you want for breakfast?” Nine times out of ten, the response is pancakes. Sundays are usually out rest day from the gym which means I’m not jumping out of bed to grab a protein shake before rushing out the door.

Sundays are quite mornings where I can enjoy a cup of coffee while tiding up the kitchen and making a nice breakfast while the hubby sleeps in. Pancakes are a blank canvas, and when you think about it, the possibilities are nearly endless. With holidays right around the corner, everything coming out my kitchen seems to be gingerbread flavored, so it was no surprise that my early morning thoughts of pancakes when straight to gingerbread pancakes…

Gingerbread Protein Pancakes 01

© David James Di Pardo – 2014

I chose to add in protein powder to increase the amount of protein per pancake and slightly decrease the amount of carbs I would be consuming. With the amount of training we’ve been doing lately, I’m becoming more conscious of how I structure my meals and develop my recipes. Balancing the amount of protein and carbs per meal means I won’t throw off my macros and over indulge on carbs first thing in the morning. I’ve done this numerous times in the past, leaving me scratching my head the rest of the day trying to figure out what I can eat without hurting my numbers.

Gingerbread Protein Pancakes 02

© David James Di Pardo – 2014

Most protein powders can be substituted for flour cup for cup. No special ratios or formulas needed, however, I wouldn’t substitute more that 1/3 to 1/2 of the recipe’s flour content for protein powder. Anything higher and you risk altering the consistency  and texture of the final product. Once the batter rests you may find that you need to add more water to achieve the right consistency, not all protein powders are created equal, their varying fiber content will affect how much liquid the powder absorbs. So don’t be alarmed if you need to add up to half a cup of water/liquid to the final batter once it has rested for 10-15 minutes. If you wish to opt out of using protein powder, you can simply replace it with additional flour.


Gingerbread Protein Pancakes

Makes about 14 5-inch pancakes
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 scoops/52 grams vanilla protein powder (I used Plant Head)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water
  • Maple syrup for serving


In a large bowl whisk together almond milk, flax seeds, and cider vinegar until frothy, about 1 minute. Add in molasses, oil, vanilla, and brown sugar, whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk together all the remaining dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to almond milk mixture and whisk until almost completely smooth, a few lumps are fine. Let batter rest for 15 minutes.

After mixture has been resting for 5 minutes begin to heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium heat.

Once the mixture is done resting add enough water to thin; until it reaches the consistency of a loose yogurt.

Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter onto the griddle being careful not to over crowd the pan. Using an ice cream scoop to ladle the batter will ensure all your pancakes are the same size.

Cook the pancakes until the edges have begun to set/dry, and bubbles are visible and beginning to burst on the surface of the pancakes. The under side should be golden brown 3-5 minutes. Flip the pancakes and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown.

Repeat with remaining batter keeping the pancakes warm in an oven set to 190°F.

Serve with maple syrup.

Nutritional info: (per pancake) 130 calories, 3.1g fat, 19.2g carbs, 0.8g fiber, 4.3g protein, 1.4% vitamin A, 7.4% calcium, 3.4% iron.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.