A family favorite, these gluten-free apple puff pancakes are like a gluten-free Dutch baby or German pancake. They puff up in the oven, then collapse, and you’re left with this yummy pancake with raised edges that’s unlike regular pancakes. We love this apple cinnamon version best!
If you have never had a puff pancake before, you are in for a treat. A pancake-like batter is poured into a pie plate of sizzling butter (and in this case, cinnamon apples too), then baked in a hot oven. It will puff up on the edges and be bumpy in the middle too. A few minutes after you take it out of the oven, it collapses. I’ve also heard people call a puff pancake a German pancake or Dutch Baby. Some people enjoy puff pancakes with powdered sugar, but we love a drizzle of pure maple syrup on these gluten-free puff pancakes.
When apples are plentiful in the early fall, we enjoy these gluten-free apple puff pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup once a week. We usually head out to some apple orchards about 30 minutes away, and I buy several cases of our favorites, McIntosh and Pink Lady apples. With our bounty of apples, I also peel, slice, and freeze some apples in 1 1/2 cup amounts in freezer bags so that I can thaw and use them to make this yummy meal year-round.
We have “breakfast for dinner” at least once a week around here. Truth be told, we never actually eat pancakes or the like at breakfast time, since I’m not a morning person. I’ll never forget this conversation when my boys were younger. On a weekend day, I made gluten-free pancakes for lunch, and my son exclaimed, “Silly Mom, pancakes aren’t for lunch, they’re for dinner!”
Notes in ingredients and substitutions for these gluten-free puff pancakes:
- Butter: I have not tried these with anything except real butter. Feel free to try with a butter alternative that melts well and let me know in the comments how it works!
- Apples: I recommend a tart apple variety like Pink Lady, Braeburn, McIntosh, or Granny Smith, etc. You can use a pear instead if you want.
- Gluten-free Flour: I’ve only tested this with 3 flour blends so far, and they have all worked very well. The three are King Arthur Measure for Measure, Gluten-free Mama’s Almond Blend, and Gluten-free Mama’s Coconut Blend.
- If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.
How to make gluten-free puff pancakes:
Puff pancakes are super easy to make, but take a bit of time. While butter melts in the pie plates, you’ll have time to peel and slice your apples. I use my favorite paring knife for this.
Then while the apples cook in the pie plates, you’ll have time to mix up the batter. The batter is made entirely in your blender. I love using my Blendtec blender for this. I use the batter setting and need only do one cycle. If you don’t want/can’t use your blender for this recipe, you can mix it all with a whisk instead, making sure you whisk until all the flour is dissolved.
As written, this recipe makes 2 gluten-free German pancakes. This easily serves 4-6 people, served with sides of bacon or sausage, and fresh fruit.
I often cook up sausage patties or bacon to have alongside this. You could cook the bacon in the oven at the same time as these gluten-free Dutch babies bake. Follow the directions here for How to Cook Bacon in Oven. It uses the same oven temperature so it’s easy! I would put the bacon on the top rack and the pancakes baking below on the bottom rack when doing this, ensuring that you have plenty of space between racks.
Gluten-free Apple Puff Pancake Recipe:
- 4 Tbsp. butter in each pie pan
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, sliced thin in each pan
- 3/4 tsp. brown sugar in each pan
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in each pan
Batter (make in blender):
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups good gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Place 4 Tbsp. butter in each glass pie pan. Place in oven and turn oven on to 400°. Butter will melt, sizzle and just start to brown while oven warms up and you prepare apples.
- Peel, core, and slice apples into thin slices.
- When butter is melted, remove pans from oven. Place apple slices in a single layer in each pie pan. (You might have some apple slices left over to munch on.)
- Sprinkle apple slices with brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Place pie pans back in oven and allow apples to cook for 7-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a blender, blend milk, eggs, flour, xanthan gum, sugar, vanilla extract and sugar until well blended. Use batter setting if your blender has one.
- If you don’t want/can’t use your blender for this recipe, you can mix it all with a whisk instead, making sure you whisk until all the flour is dissolved.
- You should have 4 cups of batter when you are done mixing together.
- Remove pie pans from oven after apples have cooked 7-8 minutes. Pour batter evenly over the apples in each pan (2 cups batter per pan).
- Bake at 400° for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven. Pancakes will collapse after removing from oven.
- Serve hot, with powdered sugar sprinkled over the top or maple syrup drizzled over.
I recommend a tart apple variety like Pink Lady, Braeburn, McIntosh, or Granny Smith, etc. You can use a pear instead if you want. If you're not an apple fan, feel free to omit the apples! I would still add the brown sugar and cinnamon though!
Gluten-free Flour: I've only tested this with 3 flour blends so far, and they have all worked very well. The three are King Arthur Measure for Measure, Gluten-free Mama's Almond Blend, and Gluten-free Mama's Coconut Blend.
If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.