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Grain-Free Apple Pancake Rings

Have you seen Apple Pancake Rings before? They’re genius! Who wouldn’t love thinly sliced apples dipped in pancake batter and pan fried? Serve them up like pancakes, but with a kick. Any pancake batter will do the trick, but I’m going to share how I make mine using coconut flour.

The combination of mildly tart apple, nutty cinnamon, and sweet pancake batter make for a delightful breakfast and a fun presentation. In my home, we serve them like sandwich bread with a slice of raw cheddar cheese or Gouda between two apple pancake rings. The kids wolf it down. No one misses the syrup.

That said, we also break out the maple or sorghum syrups when we want a sweet breakfast treat.


Grain-Free Apple Pancake Rings

The Players

The How-To

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, milk, honey, cinnamon, and salt. Once evenly mixed, whisk in coconut flour. Stir until evenly mixed, then let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Melt a dab of coconut oil on your cooking surface. While that’s heating and your batter is resting (an essential step when working with coconut flour), this is a good time to peel, slice, and core your apples if you haven’t already.

Before coating your apples, double check that the batter is at pancake consistency. Coconut flour is VERY absorbent, so it’s possible that if it sits too long it will get too thick to easily coat the apples. If your batter is a bit thicker than normal pancake batter, just add more liquid (water, milk, coconut milk, or even eggs) until it is the right consistency.

Using a toothpick, pick up an apple ring and dunk it in the pancake batter. Then, put it on the griddle. Repeat for as many apple pancake rings as you’ve got room to cook. Once the batter has cooked firm around the edges and turned golden brown, flip once to cook the other side to golden brown.

When finished, serve apple pancake rings warm. We love serving it up with slices of cheese or with sorghum syrup.

(photo by swellkid)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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83 Responses to Grain-Free Apple Pancake Rings
  1. Valerie
    June 4, 2012 | 11:57 am

    Could I substitute regular flour in place of the coconut flour 1 for 1? Or would some adjustment be needed?

    • KristenM
      June 4, 2012 | 12:29 pm

      NOOOO. Coconut flour doesn’t behave like normal flour at all. It’s too fibrous and absorbent. That’s why a mere 3 tbs of the stuff can make a half dozen pancakes.

      If I were you, and didn’t want to use coconut flour, I’d just use my favorite pancake batter mix instead.

      • Sierra M.
        June 4, 2012 | 6:17 pm

        Do you think the coconut flour gives a better taste for things like pancakes? I was wondering the same about replacing, but I am curious to try it with the coconut flour.

        • KristenM
          June 4, 2012 | 8:10 pm

          Better than what? Wheat pancakes? Or better in pancakes than other uses for coconut flour that you’ve tried?

          The advantages of coconut flour are these: it’s not a grain, it’s full of fat & protein and very few carbs, it can be used to mimic *some* bread-like textures (my favorites being pancakes, pizza crusts, and cornbread), and it usually needs a TON of eggs to get the right consistency (and that makes the resulting food far more nutrient-dense).

          • Lucy
            June 14, 2012 | 5:59 pm

            does coconut flour act the same as corn flour? (could you use almond flour or quinoa flour?)

  2. Robert Parise via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 12:31 pm

    Love it!

  3. Shelly Grimm Bourdo via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 12:37 pm

    This sounds awesome! I can’t wait to try this!

  4. leah
    June 4, 2012 | 12:41 pm

    Genius! We are making the switch to more of a paleo/grain free diet in order to hopefully heal some health issues in our family and my kids aren’t crazy about coconut flour pancakes. However, as battered apples, I think they might just go for them.

    • KristenM
      June 4, 2012 | 12:44 pm

      Have you tried banana pancakes? Just mashed bananas and an egg. My kids liked those. They’re tasty, but have an altogether different un-bread-like texture. Then when we transitioned to coconut flour and almond flour pancakes, they appreciated the bread like texture more than when they were just comparing it to wheat pancakes.

  5. Debbi Cornell via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 12:42 pm

    Great idea – so excited about making this

  6. Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 1:04 pm

    Now THAT sounds vvvvvvverrrrry goood!!!!!

  7. Sarah Sturgis via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 1:06 pm

    Very excited to make this.

  8. Teresa Barr-Jones via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 1:19 pm

    This sounds fantastic! Any chance you will be adding the ability to pin things via Pinterest directly from your site?

  9. Kirsten Pallett Wood via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 1:52 pm

    thank you for this post. I’ve made them for lunch and eating them right now!!! omg…yummmm. I’m going to make some for the kids for their after school snack

  10. Alice Sun via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 2:08 pm

    ahh! why did you have to post this after I did the weekly grocery shopping? must remember apples for next week.

  11. Made these just now and they are excellent!

  12. Food Renegade via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 5:15 pm

    Meredith & Kirsten So glad you enjoyed them!

  13. Jen Nystrom via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 6:02 pm

    Coconut flour?? never heard of it!

  14. Cathy Johnson (Kate)
    June 4, 2012 | 6:18 pm

    Loving your blog, just found it…thank you! I’m grain free and this sounds wonderful…I even have coconut flour already.

  15. Tina Malone via Facebook
    June 4, 2012 | 6:45 pm

    I know what hubby and I are having for our breakfast this weekend! I can’t wait to try these!

  16. Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry
    June 4, 2012 | 7:06 pm

    I am making these babies this week for a healthy, hearty breakfast-yum!

  17. lisa
    June 4, 2012 | 7:09 pm

    Would almond flour work instead of coconut flour?

    • KristenM
      June 4, 2012 | 8:02 pm

      No. There are no substitutions when it comes to coconut flour. It’s just sooo different.

      BUT, you could use your favorite almond flour pancake batter for the same effect. If you don’t have a go-to recipe for that, you can always use mine. I link to it this Grain Free Pancakes post.

  18. Jackie @ Crest Cottage
    June 4, 2012 | 7:58 pm

    Wow. My jaw actually dropped reading this. I can’t wait for apple season!! With cheese too? MMM!!!

    • KristenM
      June 4, 2012 | 8:03 pm

      Yes! I’ve been sitting on this recipe since last November. Sorry that it’s out of apple season right now. :(

  19. Naomi
    June 4, 2012 | 8:42 pm

    Can you please divulge information about how many pancakes this recipe will make, even roughly? I’m surprised that most of the bloggers I read omit this information and no one wants to test the recipe in order to know. We don’t test the recipe, we make it for breakfast, and there needs to be enough to feed everyone, or we need to know that perhaps we should make half the recipe. You are not the only one, I guess I just happen to be sounding off on your site :) but nearly every recipe that I think I might like to try requires me to go to comments and ask this question first. Which I don’t usually do. Today I’m doing it because I REALLY want to try these pancakes.

    • KristenM
      June 4, 2012 | 8:54 pm

      Well, if a recipe makes a specific amount, then I list it. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t. That’s because it depends on the size of your apples, as well as how many slices you render from it.

      • Naomi
        June 5, 2012 | 8:00 am

        Okay, I’ll buy that. Then maybe I should ask the question in a different way: How much batter will this make? I usually can get an idea of the yield by the amount of flour and liquid, but coconut flour and eggs is another ballgame! Thank you so much for your patience.

        • KristenM
          June 5, 2012 | 2:16 pm

          Well, if there were no apples involved, this is enough batter to make about 6, 5 or 6 inch diameter pancakes.

  20. Astrid
    June 4, 2012 | 8:53 pm

    Oh, this brings back memories! My mom, who grew up in the northeastern part of Germany, used to make these with wheat flour and lightly sprinkled w/sugar. They were called “Plinsen”. Haven’t made them in a very long time. Maybe I’ll try using coconut flour. Thanks.

  21. Corri
    June 4, 2012 | 9:34 pm

    I’ve never used coconut flour before does it have a coconut taste to it? Not a big fan of coconut flavor but willing to give it a try either way.

  22. Debbie
    June 5, 2012 | 12:22 am

    What a wonderful idea for the fall. I like new ideas for fruit in season. Thanks

  23. Dawn @ Small Footprint Family
    June 5, 2012 | 1:32 am

    These look soooo yummy! My 4 year old GAPS kid is just going to die for them! Thank you!

    • KristenM
      June 5, 2012 | 2:19 pm

      Good! I hope you enjoy, too.

  24. Kim
    June 5, 2012 | 8:26 am

    Just made these and they were great! Needed one more tbl. Of milk

    • KristenM
      June 5, 2012 | 2:18 pm

      Yes, sometimes this happens. It’s because of how absorbent coconut flour is. The longer it sits, the more of the liquid it absorbs. So, it gets thicker and thicker as it rests.

  25. Nui Soonthornhut via Facebook
    June 5, 2012 | 10:26 am

    Will try this tomorrow!

  26. Alice Thornton Wright via Facebook
    June 5, 2012 | 10:54 am

    Looks fantastic. I bet my son will love these.

  27. Lori Langone
    June 5, 2012 | 2:14 pm

    These sound amazing, and I’ve got all of the ingredients at home ready to go. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  28. Amy
    June 5, 2012 | 11:01 pm

    WOW. This is going on my list!! …The list is very long, though. Maybe I’ll bump ‘em up to the top ;)

    I’m thinking Granny Smiths might be fantastic for these!

  29. Natalie Lemieszek via Facebook
    June 5, 2012 | 11:23 pm

    can’t wait to try these out!

  30. Natalie Lemieszek via Facebook
    June 5, 2012 | 11:23 pm

    can’t wait to try these out!

  31. monica
    June 6, 2012 | 11:50 am

    When it asks for coconut milk in a recipe is that referring to the milk in a can with the full fat? Or coconut milk in a box that you can get fromthe fridge section of a grocery store? Thank you

    • KristenM
      June 6, 2012 | 11:56 am

      The coconut milk you get in the box at the fridge section of the grocery store is usually NOT coconut milk. It’s a coconut milk based drink.

      Take a look at the ingredients, and you’ll see.

      So, yes, I’m referring to real coconut milk. You can buy it in a can (although BPA may be of some concern if you’re already exposed to it elsewhere). Or you can buy it in BPA-free tetra packs (like the vendors on my Resources page). Or, you can make it yourself.

  32. Organic Gardens Network
    June 6, 2012 | 10:22 pm

    Love all the coconut ingredients. I could live on coconut! This is a nice change from the standard pancakes and will make a nice addition to a Sunday brunch. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  33. Misha
    June 7, 2012 | 11:07 am

    I made these this morning. The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed them and they were very easy to make. I have some leftovers that I will be packing with cheese for their daycare snack. Hopefully they hold up nicely cold.

    A note on these – I did have to add a lot more milk (I used whole milk instead of coconut). That may be because I used local pastured eggs that are not graded (and I didn’t feel like weighing them) so maybe they were a little shy of 3 regular eggs. Either way, just wanted to mention this in case anyone else felt the batter was too thick for them. I just added splashes of milk but it was probably equal to another 3 tbsp. They turned out great, so don’t be afraid to add more liquid if you feel you need it for the proper consistency. :)

    Thanks again for a great recipe!

    • KristenM
      June 9, 2012 | 3:55 pm

      Yep. Your goal ought to be to get normal pancake batter consistency. So, if you have to add more liquid, so be it.

  34. Kelly Planko
    June 9, 2012 | 3:51 pm

    Can this be used for any pancake recipe?

    • KristenM
      June 9, 2012 | 3:54 pm

      Do you mean can you use any pancake batter to dip apples in?

      If that’s your question, then YES! That’s what I meant in that first paragraph when I wrote,”Any pancake batter will do the trick, but I’m going to share how I make mine using coconut flour.”

      Or, did you mean to ask if the coconut flour batter can be used for just pancakes instead of these apple pancake rings?

      If that’s your question, then YES! The batter makes pretty good pancakes all by itself, too.

  35. Natalie
    June 11, 2012 | 1:19 am

    These are amazing! I’m not a fan of coconut flour b/c the texture gets me every time. But, these did the trick. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  36. Gia
    June 11, 2012 | 2:46 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they were SO good!! I did have some issues with the batter sticking to the apples though – I think it may have been because the batter was too thick?
    But wondered if this ever happened to you when making? Do I need to blot the apples dry?

    • KristenM
      July 26, 2012 | 8:10 pm

      Sounds like your batter was a tad too thick. That can happen with coconut flour because it’s soooo absorbent. Just keep adding little splashes of milk (or even water) until you get a proper pancake batter consistency. Then it will coat the apple rings just fine.

  37. Maricar
    June 14, 2012 | 8:30 pm

    Yes, I’m echoing the question of Gia. Do we need to blot the apples dry? Also, what apple do you recommend? Thanks!

    • KristenM
      July 26, 2012 | 8:11 pm

      I never have. If your batter is right the right consistency, it’ll stick just fine. As for apples, that’s entirely up to you! We like both sweet and tart apples, and usually just end up using whatever’s available.

  38. Maranda
    June 30, 2012 | 10:53 am

    This are delicious! Coconut flour pancakes are my favourite anyways, and this is a genius idea. I’ll need to make them again to try with sharp cheddar (we didn’t have any)… And am I the only one who thinks these would be amazing with bacon between them?!

    • KristenM
      July 26, 2012 | 8:12 pm

      Everything’s better with bacon!

  39. Parker
    August 30, 2012 | 5:12 pm

    Made this recently and it was great. Didn’t finish all of them so I refrigerated the left overs and reheated in the pan, still yummy.

  40. Shannon
    September 16, 2012 | 11:54 am

    These were fantastic! I know I need to go grain free but I’ve been dragging my heels because I don’t want to give up things like pancakes… stupid, I know. I didn’t feel like I was giving anything up with this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  41. Monique
    September 26, 2012 | 5:16 pm

    Just made these for a late lunch. So good! Thank you!!!

  42. Julie
    September 27, 2012 | 6:24 pm

    Sounds great! Today we had the grain free waffles (yummy) maybe tomorrow we will try this. Thank You!

  43. Stephanie
    October 6, 2012 | 8:23 am

    Do you have an apple corer? Do you have any tips for coring an apple without one? Thank you!

    • KristenM
      December 2, 2012 | 2:49 pm

      No, I don’t have one. (Although I wouldn’t mind one!) I just cut the apple into slices using a chef’s knife and use a paring knife to quickly cut out the core/seeds in each slice.

  44. Terri
    October 14, 2012 | 9:24 am

    I finally made these this morning for a Sunday breakfast treat. I followed the recipe exactly as it was and they tasted fabulous. No syrup was needed, I just added some organic butter. Next time I will have them like your son does with cheddar cheese. Thank you for sharing!

    • KristenM
      December 2, 2012 | 2:48 pm

      You’re welcome!

  45. alcibiades
    October 26, 2012 | 9:28 am

    These were fantastic. Had some for a late snack last night and the rest for breakfast treat this AM. Thanks for this. Very creative.

  46. Eileen
    December 2, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    I made these today & they were delicious, but like Misha, I needed to add a lot more liquid to make the batter dippable. I simply used water at that point to thin it out. It made me wonder if less coconut flour would improve the recipe, or if the rings should be cut & ready to go before making the batter & skip the “letting batter” rest step?

  47. Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents
    March 20, 2013 | 3:52 pm

    These are SO GOOD! I made them this morning and didn’t need any additional liquid. :-) The batter stuck to the apples great and fried up perfectly. I used palm shortening instead of coconut oil for frying. Yummy!

  48. jan
    April 9, 2013 | 9:32 am

    These were great!

  49. Heather
    May 6, 2013 | 12:34 pm

    I didn’t read through ALL the comments, so I don’t know if anyone mentioned using Garbanzo bean flour. I’ll be trying this recipe sans eggs (allergy) and with the bean flour, which is high in protein :)

  50. gale
    May 6, 2013 | 3:46 pm

    Darn. My chickens are penned up-if they free range the dog or wild critters would have them for lunch. So I guess I can’t use their eggs for this.

  51. Stephanie
    May 10, 2013 | 10:51 pm

    I tried making these and did not have success.I ended up just baking them in the oven. I melted my coconut oil but when I mixed it back in the batter the oil hardened and was chunky. I am new to coconut oil any tips????

    • Kelly
      August 29, 2013 | 9:59 am

      Same thing happened to me Stephanie- i think we should’ve let our milk n eggs come to room temp before combining. I place my batter bowl in another bowl of HOT water and stored until the coco oil melted.

  52. Dana
    June 10, 2013 | 9:39 am

    I didn’t have apples. I had pears. I used those and they were wonderful. Thanks!

  53. Pedro Carlos Alves
    June 15, 2013 | 1:27 pm

    Great idea!
    An amazing and effective way to replace sugar and flour so called «foods»!

  54. Elizabeth
    August 1, 2013 | 3:53 pm

    My husband and I have been eating these once a week for the past two months, we love them. We like to top them with some yogurt and fresh lemon zest, yummy! Thank you for the recipe.

  55. Health & Organic Wellbeing (H.O.W )
    August 23, 2013 | 9:13 am

    Thanks for sharing!

  56. Jennifer
    September 15, 2013 | 9:43 am

    I just made these this morning. We ate each one with a thin slice of Gouda on top. Soooo delicious! My toddler loved them, too, but without the cheese. Towards the end I chopped the last few slices of apple to blend with the last bit of mix because the batter became too thick. I think I might do this with the whole thing next time. Loved it! Thanks for the great idea!

  57. Val
    September 15, 2013 | 1:21 pm

    OMG!..so good…who needs apple pie when you have these?..had all of the ingredients on hand…used raw milk half and half, coconut flour, melted butter….quick and easy!

  58. Chef Cheyenne
    September 26, 2013 | 6:08 pm

    I’m surprised no one has asked… how long do these keep and can I freeze them? I live alone and making recipes sometimes ends with copious amounts of leftovers (and usually most of it gets thrown away :( ), however, if I can seal them in an airtight container and/or freeze them this saves that agony.

  59. Roberta
    October 9, 2013 | 12:21 pm

    Same question. Will these freeze well? An important consideration when only one family member is GF!

  60. Jess Wallenmeyer via Facebook
    April 12, 2014 | 11:20 am

    Something tells me that this would help my boy transition a little more happily into his grain free diet

  61. Lacey Maloney via Facebook
    April 12, 2014 | 4:03 pm

    I just made these! I finally found a great recipe to try out my new bag of coconut flour. Wow these are so delicious and so filling! My husband and I couldn’t even finish them! Love the recipe and I’ll definitely make again

  62. Melanie Goodleaf via Facebook
    April 13, 2014 | 10:34 am

    These are fantastic! Thanks for the reminder, I haven’t made them in a while!

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My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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