Easy, fluffy Turmeric Spice Pancakes you can whip up in the blender in no time for a vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, anti-inflammatory breakfast. And with 2 color options!
Turmeric Spice Pancakes…and a chemistry lesson.
Do you remember in school when they taught us about the color wheel? Do you remember the part about how it’s not possible to make primary colors with other colors? Well that is a lie and these pancakes prove it. Because it turns out yellow + yellow can = red. Whaaaaaaat??
Turmeric + lemon juice = red. Mind blown! At least my mind, maybe you already knew that. But you better believe I was completely confused when I poured yellow pancake batter into the pan, flipped it, and it was RED.
Chemistry–always surprising me when I least expect it.
UPDATE! I was wrong. A very smart reader explained it to me, read the real reason in the comments –> here
After I ate my pancakes, did some googling, discovered that turmeric and lemon can make red, and then recovered from my pancake color confusion, I remade them without the lemon so as to not confuse everyone. Gold and glowing, just as all things turmeric are supposed to be. But I have to admit I actually like the red ones better.
Without the lemon juice they are just not as super fluffy. Still fluffy, just not SUPER fluffy. And more importantly the red compliments the pumpkin butter yogurt swirls much better, don’t you think?
So if you want a super fluffy stack, go with the red version. Or if you wanted to fool someone into thinking you made them a tall stack of red velvet pancakes but secretly sneak them a dose of anti-inflammatory turmeric spice this would be the perfect way to carry out that deception. Or if you ever find yourself making red velvet cupcakes only to realize you are out of beets mid batter-mixing, having this trick in the back of your mind could save the color of your batch of cupcakes.
But the gold version is nice too.
I should note, there isn’t much info out there on google about this crazy color magic. Some sites said only lime + turmeric makes red, not lemon. Considering the batter was still very much yellow, and I know I’ve combined the two before in juices/smoothies, maybe it’s only with heat. Or maybe I possess a rare color-morphing bottle of turmeric. I don’t completely understand it, but I do find it fascinating. Edible, soft, fluffy, breakfast science is the best kind of science!
For the spice part of the Turmeric Spice Pancakes, I added in the typical golden milk latte spices: cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and (not a spice) vanilla.
And just in case all those warming spices weren’t autumn enough, I topped the entire breakfast stack with yogurt and Tiina, from My Berry Forrest’s, delicious Apple-Pumpkin Butter. I may be a little bit obsessed with this stuff right now. Make it…you’ll see why!
Turmeric Spice Pancakes
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 5 -7 pancakes 1x
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsps maple syrup
- 1 tbsp baking powder*
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- pinch of black pepper
- ¼ tsp ginger
- Coconut milk yogurt
- My Berry Forest’s Perfect Apple-Pumpkin Butter
- Chopped pecans
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend till combined. Don’t over blend.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Since it is quite thick, spread/smooth into a circle.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side. When you can easily slide a spatula under, flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan.
- Repeat until all the batter is gone.
- Top with yogurt, pumpkin-apple butter, and chopped nuts. Enjoy!
*If you want to make the fluffier but red version, use 1 tsp baking soda + 2 tsps baking powder + 1 tsp lemon juice.
>>> Click Below To Pin <<<
Leah M | love me, feed me says
Whoaaaaa! My mind is blown by this!! Kitchen sorcery for sure. Considering I’m in love with your pancakes already, I can’t wait to give these beautiful gold or red fluffy discs a try <3
It’s either chemistry or magic, and I’d like to think it’s magic. Maybe a mismatched stripe stack with some of both color?! 😉
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness says
Mmm, pancakes are my favorite! I make oat-based pancakes often. Both versions are pretty, but I love that red color!
Oat based pancakes are my favorite, oats can do just about everything it seems! The red is so deep and rich, I love it too 🙂
Whoaah! You are always teaching me something new, annnd you’re always making me hungry! How amazing, I never ever knew lemon juice + turmeric = red. But more importantly, you made turmeric pancakes! Yum!! I can’t wait to try these, they look delicious and perfectly fluffed up!
Apparently pancakes are always teaching me something new, and such delicious teachers they are 🙂
No way???? That’s insane! Are you sure you didn’t sneak some beets into that gorgeous red stack?! I find that so fascinating! Kitchen mysteries 😉 Either way, I’d love a tall stack of these – especially with the yogurt and that apple-pumpkin butter. I’m obsessed with those spices – so cozy and perfect for fall. That mini pancake on top (from the video) was super cute! I have everything on hand so I might have to whip up a batch for Willow tomorrow – I’ll let you know what she thinks! I also wanted to let you know that I’ve tried leaving a comment on your previous post a few times now, but it doesn’t seem to show up. That cookie is seriously amazing, my friend – like something you would find in a bakery this time of year! <3
I am going to give my spam filter a very VERY firm talking too because it has been stealing your comments from me and hiding them away? And your comments are my favorite, so that’s just plain rude! Anywho, thank you for letting me know in your adorable handwritten note, I always love them <3 Which means yes I did receive your body butter today!! Haven't used it yet, but I have smelled all of them (of course) and OMG are you sure you didn't shove an actual pie into the key lime pie and fill up the blueberries and cream with real life blueberry muffin batter?? Because it smells like you did 😀 Seriously amazing! And yes the pancake color thing--so strange. I did finally get cassava flour though, so I'm ready for your donuts whenever they are ready for me 🙂 Okay I have rambled for forever about anything and everything here (I should've just emailed you lol) but anyways, thank you and I will keep an eye out for your comments from now on <3
Demeter | Beaming Baker says
Not that we’re besties or anything… but I’m totally not surprised that you created these beautifully vibrant color-riffic pancakes. Yep, color-riffic. It’s not like I totally didn’t hear about how these came about. Ahem. 😉 Thank you for the chemistry lesson to help sharpen the noggin before the weekend arrives. I may not have (yeah, for sure wouldn’t have) predicted that a yellow pancakes would suddenly turn red, but I could predict that I’d love these. 🙂 See what I did there??? Oooh… I love the red ones more too! And this is making me SO hungry!!! –> “pumpkin butter yogurt swirls” Come on over and bring some of these? xo
I’ll just bottle up all the swirls and bee (that was an accidental spelling error, but since it happened ?) right there! Uh huh, yep we are just so in sync that you miraculously knew about the yellow turned red cakes 😉 Of course! Oh wow the weekend–that is soon isn’t it. Well I do hope yours is terrific and color-iffic and fun-iffic and all the -iffics! <3
Nisha / @rainbowplantlife says
I love that you made another batch of pancakes! In true food blogger form 🙂 They are both so beautiful! I make a hot beverage using turmeric and lemon juice, and while it turns vibrantly orange, it doesn’t turn red. Maybe that’s another chemistry experiment to investigate 🙂
Oh trust me, I thought for a long time about not redoing it and just embracing the red lol? I just couldn’t do it in the end, had to remake them in classic turmeric gold. Really!?! Well that’s good to know, it must be real science then!❤️
Audrey @ Unconventional Baker says
I’m on team yellow 🙂 They just look so glowing and happy. Red ones are nice too though — kind of Canada-ish ??
I had no idea about this mix leading up to red though. That’s kind of fascinating. Kind of like how baking soda + sunflower seeds = green in baked goods. Oh, for the love of baking… these nerdy discoveries never fail to make my day ? Thanks for sharing!
Whenever something goes unexpected with colors either lemon or baking soda is usually the culprit. It’s so interesting though! Ha if I had stacked them together it would be totally Canada-themed 😀
rachel @ athletic avocado says
So much fluffy goodness here! Can’t believe that you found another way to make food naturally red haha! No more using beets 🙂
They look so much like beet red velvet it’s crazy! But much easier and less staining the entire sink/kitchen/everything pink in the process lol 😀
Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog says
I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THIS TRICK!!! So many possibilities. You’ve created a monster, Nat!! 😉
I know right!?! I’m dreaming up other potential uses too 🙂
Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy says
I love the idea of turmeric pancakes Natalie! I use turmeric weekly…but first time seeing them in pancakes! And wow RED! Never would’ve figured…my kids would love seeing that happen! I agree…definitely red looks cool with the toppings, but either way they look nice and fluffy and amazing. Plus I always love blender pancakes!
I can’t even remember the last time I made non-blender pancakes. Mixing with an actual spoon–way too much work haha! Turmeric seems to be popping up everywhere and this just felt like another natural place to add it in 🙂
The Vegan 8 says
I had no idea that lemon and turmeric made red! Wow! Red is my favorite color too, so I will definitely have to try that out sometime! While I love red so much, the yellow pancakes definitely appeal to me more, they are just so bright and pretty. I love turmeric very much too but having a hard time imagining it in a pancake. Anything other than curry is foreign to me, lol! I have tried turmeric in a hot tea before and nearly gagged but I imagine it would work good with the maple syrup and cinnamon because cinnamon and turmeric are curry loves. I definitely need to try this for sure! Such a wonderful creation! And the red definitely would be awesome for Christmas time!!
Crazy right!? But the strange thing is, curries with turmeric and heat don’t turn red. I really do not understand this phenomenon, it’s very inconsistent. Anywho, maybe it’s only in pancake form or something lol, I need to experiment with it more. I know what you mean, the turmeric can be really strong. I don’t usually sweeten my pancakes tbh, but in this case maple syrup is definitely necessary. Oh I agree, I am very much looking forward to using this again come December 🙂
Wow, what a great recipe – apple sauce was a real discovery for me as an ingredient for baking, but never thought of using it in pancakes. Especially, in combination with tumeric! Thank you for sharing, will definitely be trying this soon.
Applesauce and I have a love hate relationship in baking–for some things it is magic and for others it turns into a gummy mess. But pancakes definitely fall into the magic category! So much better than the typical banana kind. Enjoy Anastasia 🙂
I made these pancakes this morning (well, kind of, I had to made up some things because I was missing some ingredients haha) and I have to say they were very good, in fact I’ve made many of your recipes and I enjoy them very much 🙂
But I have to say (I’m a chemical engineering student) that your chemistry lesson is not actually quite right. Turmeric is a natural indicator that turns red in basic solutions, not acidic. That means a couple of things:
– Baking soda is basic, so that’s what makes your pancakes red when combined to turmeric (baking powder is also basic, but less, because it contains baking soda but also acidic ingredients, and the mixture of both is what makes the leavening effect). Also, baking soda is soluble at room temperature, but turmeric not much. So if to a cup of water you add, say, 1/2 tsp of both species and you bring them to a boil (so the solubility increases) you’ll see that the mixture turns red.
– The pancakes are fluffier because the combination of baking soda and an acid (in this case citric acid) creates carbon dioxide as a byproduct (you can easily test that by mixing lemon juice and baking soda in a cup of water, no heat required).
I hope this makes everything clearer!
Thank you for your hard work and for sharing your fantastic recipes 🙂
Wow THANK YOU so much for explaining this!! I needed you when I wrote this post, yes that makes perfect sense! I thought since they were so gold without even a hint of red the second time around that it must be the acid since there was still baking powder in there, but yes it is definitely a much weaker base than baking soda. And the solubility piece explains why the batter is still gold. Yes the fluffiness difference made perfect sense to me, that’s why I had the lemon juice in there to begin with. Thank you, I will add a note to the post now 🙂
Rosie Melvin says
Made the red version twice in 3 days, These are awesome! Thanks for sharing such an easy GFV pancake recipe that isnt gummy or pasty!!
I’m so happy to hear that you like them Rosie! Pancakes with gummy centers are so gross? Whenever I find myself craving a recipe again within a day or two I know it’s a keeper 🙂
Gina Umstatter says
Can I swap the oat flour for buckwheat? Thanks so much 🙂
I haven’t tried it personally but I know readers who have successfully, so should be fine 🙂 Enjoy!
I’m confused. which reciped is for the red ones? i only see one recipes and 2 pics – one for red one for gold. help.
It’s all one recipe, the red color just comes from the chemical reaction of baking soda, lemon juice, and turmeric. So if you want them red follow the instructions in the notes section of the recipe (lemon juice + baking soda), but if you want them yellow stick with the recipe as is (no lemon juice and baking powder only). Hope that makes sense, they taste the same either way!
These are so fluffy I’m gonna die! I’m planning to make them for my little sister tomorrow. Can I substitute the applesauce for eggs or flax eggs? Thanks! 🙂
Ahhhh I can’t wait for you to taste them🤗 Hmm I wouldn’t do flax eggs instead of applesauce since the applesauce is really there for moisture as well as binding and flax eggs won’t add moisture, but a couple of real eggs should work!
Oh okay! Maybe 2 eggs? I’ve read online that 1/4 cup applesauce = 1 egg ☺️ I’m excited too!
Yep, that’s what I would suggest. Hope they turn out perfect😊
Loved the recipe. Didn’t have applesauce so used one banana instead , it still turned out amazing and fluffy.
YAY!! Yes banana works great here too, and a little extra sweet😋 So happy you liked them!
Japhet Obi says
All your comments are so funny and I could not stop laughing – so creative !!!!!
Madeline Armstrong says
Sooo good! I used spelt instead of oat flour since I was out of it, and only used 1 tbsp maple syrup. Awesome texture and flavor. I’ll definitely make these again!
I bet they were super yummy and fluffy with spelt too! Appreciate the feedback Madeline😊