Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Secret to Perfect Oatmeal Pancakes with #DairyFree Version by author Cleo Coyle

We're hunkered down here in New York City, along with millions more of you along the east coast, as the "Snowmaggedon" blizzard blows. How does it look outside your window? 

Here in Queens, the storm's intensity has been on and off, and last evening we had a whiteout rush hour. I snapped the photo below at a busy intersection about a block from our home.

(Photo by Cleo Coyle)

A fun, little FYI...
A local New York television station featured my
news-weather photo above. (An OMG moment.)
To see the video clip, click here and visit my
facebook page (please feel free to friend me).

With a day of snow-shoveling ahead of us, Marc and I are happy to start the morning with a stack of warm, fluffy oatmeal pancakes. As a whole grain, oatmeal brings great nutrition and fiber to this lovely stack of cakes, along with a hearty, slightly nutty, and absolutely delicious flavor. But beware...

Not all oatmeal pancake recipes are created equal, and I've tried enough of them to know. The one below is my own recipe, and it has a few tricks to give you great results (that is, tender and fluffy flapjacks instead of rubbery disks). 

I've also included a dairy-free variation for my friends out there who aren't able to consume dairy products. And I promise you, the dairy-free version is every bit as good as the standard, dairy version.

Now let's get cookin'...

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo Coyle’s
Oatmeal Pancakes 

A diner near my home in Queens serves fantastic oatmeal pancakes. While they didn't give me their recipe, they did mention soaking their oats in milk, and (after some experimenting), I knew this was the secret to getting great results. 

True, other recipes out there instruct you to simply mix the batter and cook (or even use a food processor, which will grind the oats and over-work the batter), but I knew what I wanted in an oatmeal pancake, and those recipes didn't produce it for me. 

Since I knew what was possible, given the diner's delicious cakes, I set to work playing with my own version of the recipe until I created something very close. Follow the steps and you should have the same results. I sincerely hope so, then we can all...eat with joy!

~ Cleo, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here

Click here for free
recipe PDF.

Makes about 6 pancakes 
(4- to 5-inches in diameter)


1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
3/4 cup whole or 2% cow's milk
      (*or dairy-free milk) mixed with…
1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey (I love using local raw honey)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 tsp. table salt)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (*see dairy-free note below)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons flour (all-purpose white,
               or white whole wheat, or spelt flour)

Directions: Soak the oats in the milk (that you have already mixed with the lemon or vinegar) for about 15 minutes, no longer. You’re watching for the oats to plump up and the mixture to thicken (see my photo below). Whisk in all the other ingredients except the flour. Be sure the mixture is well blended. Now stir in the flour until it is completely incorporated, but do not over-mix. Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes. It will thicken up into a nice batter. Grease a non-stick pan or griddle with butter, oil, or coat with non-stick spray. Ladle on the batter, forming cakes of 4 to 5 inches in diameter. See cooking tip below.

*Dairy-free variation: Replace cow’s milk with almond milk (or another nut milk) or soy milk and because these milks are lower in fat than cow’s milk, increase the vegetable oil by 1 teaspoon.

After 15 minutes, the oats will plump up and
the mixture will thicken. Don't skip this step
because it's one secret to getting great results.

Local, raw honey is delicious in this batter.
You can also substitute white or brown sugar
in the same amount.

After the flour goes in, allow the batter
to sit for just five more minutes before cooking,
another secret to getting the best results.

Cooking tip: Oatmeal pancake batter cooks a little differently than standard pancake batter. Watch for the edges to appear cooked and crinkles to form across the cake surface with a few bubbles (you will not see as many bubbles as you would in a standard pancake). When you flip the cake should be golden brown. Cook until golden brown on the other side and serve warm.

Click here for free
recipe PDF, and...

Stay cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

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Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

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A Mystery Guild Selection

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"This book is amazing to the last word!"
A Best Read of the Year! 
~ Dollycas

Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

* * * 

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works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

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  1. I'm not so much of a pancake fan but these look really good! Thanks!

    1. Elaine - aw, that's very sweet of you! I often enjoy oatmeal in a bowl with a bit of milk, maple syrup, and walnuts, but every so often I like to dress it up as a pancake breakfast. I appreciate your taking the time to comment this morning, have a great day!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. Yum and dairy free! Nice, Cleo. Thanks!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Daryl/Avery - I'm glad to report that the dairy-free version is just as good as the dairy version. I make both, depending on what I have on hand in the fridge. Thanks for dropping in, D/A, and I'll see you here tomorrow!

      ~ Cleo

  3. What a great recipe, Cleo! I love all the variations so we can all enjoy them. Stay safe and warm in the storm.



    1. MJ/VA - Thanks for dropping by and Marc and I send our warmest wishes to you and your daughter on this very cold day!

  4. Cleo, these luscious-looking pancakes would be a perfect treat on a snowy, wintry day like today. Thank you for the recipe ~

    1. Linda - You are very welcome. I hope you enjoy the recipe, and I thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Everyone is so busy these days, and I appreciate your taking a moment to say hello. Cheers!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. Yum...perfect for a winter's day!

    1. Patricia T - It is indeed a winter's day: snow and frigid temperatures. It looks pretty from a warm house, but (alas) the walkway won't shovel itself, and we are most definitely in need of yum. :) Thanks for dropping by today, and may your week be deliciously cozy...

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. It just started snowing here (Schenectady) and we are only expecting about 2 inches (thank goodness.) But I am thinking pancakes for dinner (after clearing the snow!) Although my favorites are chocolate chip pancakes, the oatmeal pancakes look pretty tempting. Hum, maybe oatmeal chocolate chips pancakes? Thanks for the recipe, looks like breakfast for dinner today.

  7. Thank you for the recipe. The pancakes look yummy.
    Please take care and stay warm during the snow (blizzard).