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.

For recipes and practical instructions for eating this way (dairy-free and grain-free), I highly recommend the PaleoGrubs Cookbook.

It’s the simplest way to get started, and it includes every kind of recipe you’ll ever need (more than 470 of them!).

(Click here to check out the PaleoGrubs Cookbook.)


(photo by swellkid)


    • KristenM says

      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. says

        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 says

          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).

  1. says

    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 says

      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.

  2. Kirsten Pallett Wood via Facebook says

    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

  3. Alice Sun via Facebook says

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

    • KristenM says

      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.

    • KristenM says

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

  4. Naomi says

    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 says

      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 says

        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 says

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

  5. Astrid says

    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.

  6. Corri says

    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.

    • KristenM says

      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.

  7. Lori Langone says

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

  8. says

    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!

  9. monica says

    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 says

      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.

  10. Misha says

    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 says

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

    • KristenM says

      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.

  11. Natalie says

    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!

  12. Gia says

    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 says

      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.

  13. Maricar says

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

    • KristenM says

      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.

  14. says

    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?!

  15. Parker says

    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.

  16. Shannon says

    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!

    • KristenM says

      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.

  17. Terri says

    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!

  18. alcibiades says

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

  19. Eileen says

    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?

  20. says

    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!

  21. Heather says

    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 :)

  22. gale says

    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.

  23. Stephanie says

    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 says

      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.

  24. Elizabeth says

    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.

  25. Jennifer says

    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!

  26. Val says

    OMG! 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!

  27. Chef Cheyenne says

    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.

  28. says

    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

  29. donna says

    I just made these this morning, I have a couple questions. I used melted coconut oil. When I added the milk and eggs, the oil started to harden instead of mix(did I do something wrong? ) so I put it in my blender (that helped). I also had trouble with the batter not sticking to the apples. Do you have any help or suggestions for me? I worked with them and they turned out ok ,but was a little bit more work than it sounds like it should be or is that normal?

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