Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
5 Dec

Almond Banana Pancakes

Try as we might, many of us find the temptation of pancakes too hard to resist. Maybe it’s the sweet, buttery aroma of the batter on the griddle or the soft doughy texture, or that eating something with the word “cake” in it for breakfast just feels so deliciously naughty. But it doesn’t have to be. There are decent Primal substitutes. Pancakes made with almond meal or coconut flour are a good option, but can be pretty heavy and, for some, overly filling. And then there’s this dish sent in by Jack Etherington for the Primal Cookbook Challenge. His Almond Banana Pancakes contain just three ingredients: banana, egg and almond butter. You can whip up a batch in five minutes flat and top the pancakes with a pat of butter, a scoop of nut butter, or fresh berries.

Almond Banana Pancakes are slightly delicate so you’ll want to keep the size fairly small and wait until the edges are nicely browned before flipping them. This shouldn’t deter you from trying the recipe – the delicate texture of Almond Banana Pancakes is the very thing that makes them so irresistible. If you’ve tried pancakes made from almond or coconut flour and find them slightly grainy, you’ll really love the silky, airy texture of these cakes. The flavor is sinfully close to banana bread; add a little vanilla and cinnamon to the batter if you really want to get decadent.

As is evident from the comment board of last week’s recipe, this (very similar) recipe may be too carb-centric for some of you. For those that are no-carbers or are restricting carbs for weight loss purposes this recipe might not fit into your personal Primal plans. For others it might be part of your 20%. And for others that are extra active or have already achieved your preferred body composition this recipe might be a perfect fit. In any case, remember that the Primal Blueprint is primarily about guiding principles. It’s up to each of us to adapt recipes and fitness choices within the context of the PB as it relates to our personal goals and circumstances. Enjoy!



Mash the bananas, add the egg and mix well.

Stir in the almond butter, adding more than a tablespoon if you want a more pancake-like texture.

Warm butter in a pan and pour batter into small cakes.

Brown on each side and serve warm.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’ve tried many of the suggestions here, but the perfect way to make these pancakes more cake like is simply to add some almond meal and a pinch of baking powder to make them rise. Simply better than any flour-based pancake and will not make your blood sugar crash. For an extra treat, add blueberries to the batter or raspberries on top!

    Susan wrote on August 26th, 2011
  2. Thank you for posting these. I was looking for grain free pancakes and found this… A new favorite!

    Amber wrote on August 28th, 2011
  3. I made these for the kids (2.5 & 7mo) with cocoa and buckwheat instead of almond flour (gotta be careful about allergies). Xanthan gum helps them to stick and b. powder helps them bubble – never had any probs with burning/sticking/falling apart! Chocolate pikelets with butter mmmmm!

    Heidi wrote on September 15th, 2011
  4. These are terrific! Like a banana nut muffin without the guilt. Added a smidge of vanilla and walnuts. Awesome!

    Melinda wrote on September 24th, 2011
  5. Delicious pumpkin pancakes. Great for the fall season.

    Alisa wrote on October 16th, 2011
  6. I tweaked this recipe too.
    1 x med over-ripe banana
    1 x large egg
    2 tsp x almond butter
    2 tsp x tiana coconut flour
    1 tsp x cinnamon…

    fried in very gently in butter and served with cooked frozen blueberries to create a sort of compote. That rejigs the carb:protein ratio for anyone concerned about it, and makes them a bit more stable although a bit tougher.

    Charlotte wrote on October 27th, 2011
  7. I’ve made a similar recipe, and added linseed to it for some extra fiber.
    This is the frst breakfast that has kept me hungerfree till lunchtime!

    Sabine wrote on October 27th, 2011
  8. Just wanted to add to the lessons learned pile for this recipe.

    I’ve made this recipe about two dozen times (love them), and I find that there’s an optimal ratio of banana to egg that lets them cook and hold together. If you have extra large bananas and a smaller egg (sizes of these vary when you buy them as nature intended), they just won’t cook and they fall apart. A larger egg with medium size bananas (approx. 2X 9 inch tip to tip peeled) is perfect. I even did them with 3 “finger” bananas from Hawai’i last week (super yummy). Anything up to 2 super-heaping tbsp of almond butter seems to work fine.

    I use the butter to gauge the heat. If the butter browns on contact, it’s too hot. If you don’t get any “sizzle” when you pour the batter on the skillet, it’s too cool.

    I like the yam ideas!

    Happy “pancakes” everyone!

    Steve wrote on December 31st, 2011
  9. How can I make these completely without bananas? Can I just add more eggs or flax? Would that work?

    CilantroMutant wrote on January 14th, 2012
  10. I made this this morning for my kids breakfast and they loved them. Although my eldest said they were sickly. I whizzed them up with a hand blender to make a more them more ‘batter’ like. Also (I’m not primal, just stumbled across this!) had no almond butter, so used olive oil. I would imagine almond butter is nicer and better, but olive oil did work :)

    Stacey wrote on January 23rd, 2012
  11. My version:

    2 bananas
    4 eggs
    4 tablespoons cup nut butter
    4 teaspoons coconut flour
    pinch of salt
    pinch of cinnamon

    Whiz it up in the blender and fry over medium heat. The coconut flour helps the pancakes hold together. Plenty of protein :)

    Rebekah wrote on February 4th, 2012
    • haha… that should be just “4 tablespoons” not “4 tablespoons cup”

      Rebekah wrote on February 4th, 2012
  12. Oh my these are yummy! I definitely need to try to cook them “low and slow” next time… mine were a little crispy on the outside and undercooked on the inside (but still very good). Can’t wait to try some of the variations that have been posted!

    pinkash wrote on February 13th, 2012
    • Try putting the bananas in the fridge and not letting them get too ripe. that’s half the trick to it. that way they aren’t so delicate.

      I tried this 2 days ago and they came out perfect! it probably also helped that I have a new frypan which is very good. scanpan ctx. highly recommended so far (only had it for about 2 weeks).

      going to cook some more tomorrow as I still got 2 bananas left. I would also recommend sticking to the recipe. 2 bananas (not too ripe), 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1 egg.

      good luck.

      Michael wrote on February 15th, 2012
      • Thanks for that tip! I decided to try the recipe again this morning because the bananas we have still had some green to the peel (vs. being super ripe last time). I cooked them on a little lower heat as well. They turned out perfect!

        pinkash wrote on February 17th, 2012
  13. Does using only one banana make these lower on the GI scale?

    James wrote on February 17th, 2012
  14. Made the originally posted recipe post work out this morning. Lower temp is a good recommendation. Will try two eggs next time. Very good. Very sweet for my taste…but the three strips of bacon crumbled on top made them divine. Great accompany to my Americano. Even selectively hubby liked a lot.

    Nikki Burke wrote on February 18th, 2012
  15. WOW I just made these and they are TO DIE FOR.

    I only used one banana because I wanted to make a small batch, so maybe if I make a big batch next time I’d make it 2 bananas, 2 eggs, 2 heaping tbps almond butter.

    These are honestly better than normal pancakes, and they don’t need any syrup because they are already so sweet from the bananas… oh and moist and flaky… be still, my heart.

    Ali wrote on March 7th, 2012
  16. Used Coconut oil on medium heat and made a double batch. Our boys (6 and 9) chowed down! One covered them with apple sauce, and the other with warm blueberries. A welcome break to quiches, frittatas and the dreaded veggie scramble. Thanks for sharing!

    That's Just Leachy wrote on March 30th, 2012
  17. I am new to the Primal/paleo diet, so I’ve been looking for breakfast ideas to avoid grains (getting tired of omelettes). Just tried these and they are Good!! Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. I put a spoonful of applesauce on the side with a sprinkle of cinnamon, dipped each bite in the applesauce…really tasty! I might try adding some chopped pecans or walnuts next time. Thanks for the recipe.

    Sandy wrote on March 30th, 2012
  18. With 4 eggs to 2 bananas and a big glob of almond butter, these did great in a waffle iron.

    Kat wrote on April 15th, 2012
  19. Mark, Thanks for the recipe, I made a few modifications to jazz it up a little bit.

    Tyler wrote on April 21st, 2012
  20. These are DELICIOUS! Served with a handful of fresh raspberries! Mark Sisson you are my hero this morning!!!

    Christine wrote on April 22nd, 2012
  21. Yum. Thanks for this. A couple tablespoons of chickpea flour make them easier to flip and more solid.

    shabnam wrote on May 20th, 2012
  22. I just attempted these and they were amazing! I only used 1 banana though. I think if I used 2 I’d double the almond butter and add another egg or egg white. Check out my attempt on :-)

    Elise wrote on July 21st, 2012
  23. You should include Stumble Upon on your share buttons. :)

    @PamelaMKramer - A Renaissance Woman wrote on September 16th, 2012
  24. I just made these this morning and would like to know what I did wrong…?! They tasted amazing but looked like regurgitated pancakes rather than then freshly cooked beauties above. I cooked them on low-med heat and as some others have noted, they took a very long time to cook… again, tasted amazing but looked kinda ugly ^_^

    MegWeez wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  25. I made a double batch and used my waffle griddle. Not as delicate to handle that way:)

    Sher1luvsaz wrote on November 7th, 2012
  26. I just made a version of these, and they turned out just as I wanted.Light, fluffy, sweet and nutty. Delicious 😉

    3 eggs, separated
    1 large banana, chopped
    1 heaped tablespoon Hazelnut butter.
    unsalted grass-fed butter

    Whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy.
    In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, chopped banana and hazelnut butter for about 1 minute until combined and slightly creamy.
    Gently fold in the egg whites to the banana mixture.
    Heat some butter in a frying pan. Once sizzling, drop in dessertspoonfuls of the batter and then turn the heat down slightly. Leave them alone for a minute or 2 – then shake the pan, and if the pancakes start to slide around, you can peek underneath to see if they are browned. start to flip them, be delicate when turning over, and don’t squish the top of the pancake or you will knock out all the air.
    Fry on the other side for another minute or 2, and they are ready to serve. No need for syrup or any additions, as the banana makes them nice and sweet.

    This recipe yielded about 15 blini-sized pancakes.

    Hope some of you enjoy this recipe :)

    Ciara wrote on January 6th, 2013
    • comment

      t wrote on January 16th, 2013
  27. For all those looking to try a lower carb option and are or would consider pumpkin – you should try this with butternut squash. So much tastier! Plus it doesn’t come from a can so no preservatives. What I do is take 1 butternut squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, wash it then put it cut side down on a baking sheet, prick it and roast at 400F for 45-65 mins (depends on size – until it’s soft). Discard the skin, mash or blend in a food processor and voila! It freezes super well so you’ll have squash for quite a few pancakes.

    Maria wrote on February 5th, 2013
  28. I make these every morning but use a different ratio that I highly reccomend…

    4 eggs
    2 bananas (ripe)
    2 tablespoons almond butter (justins is the best)
    1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    1 tablespoon of vanilla

    use a handmixer and beat the eggs
    Add the rest of the ingredients and beat well

    Turn your heat on your stove just below medium.

    grease the pan.

    Heat and flip in about 1.5 minutes.

    they should be perfecto. The trick is cooking on low as heat as possible.

    Aeomac wrote on May 13th, 2013
  29. If any of you live in the NW you can get fresh ground almond butter in the nutrition center at Fred Meyer (Kroger) it’s about $3.50 a pound

    Lucylu wrote on May 27th, 2013
  30. These are scrumptious! Simply divine tasting.. yes a bit of a mess to make.. I think mine were a bit big, but I didn’t care too much how they looked. I added vanilla, a pinch of salt and baking powder to mine. I’m assuming baking powder isn’t off the paleo, but I’m not sure about that. I was just trying to mimic my regular pancake recipe and I think it worked… they came out pretty fluffy.


    Kimberly Suta wrote on June 9th, 2013
  31. Would this recipe work if I substituted almond butter for coconut oil instead?

    Dan wrote on June 18th, 2013
  32. unfortunately these were a big fat fail for us. It seemed like it took ages for them to brown enough to where you could flip them, and when you did, even when careful, it just ended up a big pile of mush. tasty mush, but mush. i might try again if i ever were to buy some coconut or almond flour.

    Cassie wrote on September 26th, 2013
  33. New to the primal thing we found these hard to stomach i wouldn’t recomend them sorry. We resorted to a handful of berries for breakfast instead.

    steve wrote on September 30th, 2013
  34. I’ve got a Paleo woody over these!

    JIngo wrote on October 3rd, 2013
  35. I use 2 eggs, 1 banana (not too ripe), 1 tbs coconut flour, coconut oil, bacon , cinnamon to top

    Mash banana with fork
    Add eggs and mix
    Add coconut flour and mix further
    Melt coconut oil
    Fry bacon slices (1 usually use three)
    Lower heat
    Add egg/banana mixture
    Turn when ready under neath
    Bake other side
    Sprinkle some cinnamon on top

    The heartiness of the bacon and sweetness of the banana I find delicious.

    Also with this recipe I can make a large pancake (20-25 cm diam.) instead of smaller ones. To turn I use a plate which I put on top of the pancake in the pan, turn the pan up side down and then slide the pancake back into the pan..

    I eat it with my coffee with coconut oil, some honey and unsweetened whipping cream. Great start of the day.

    Since going Primal I lost 6 kg and I am now back to my wedding weight (25 years…) The thing I find is that I have more energy (especially in the morning which is a great advantage), but as I am not so hungry anymore I have to take care not to under eat. Anyone familiar with this feeling?

    DuBriGer wrote on October 21st, 2013
  36. I went through the comments and I hope mine doesn’t get lost, but these are way better as waffles!

    Nothing delicate about them. Cooked perfectly, no flipping and awesome flavor.

    So, next time you whip these up get out the old waffle iron and have at it. My kids prefer them to regular pancakes and waffles.

    Thank you for the great recipe, Mark!

    Josh wrote on October 30th, 2013
  37. These sound delicious and as I have one banana left that is going to go bad soon, I am now having brinner tonight.

    Erica wrote on November 12th, 2013
  38. I have tried a similar version using shredded coconut but without any coconut flour. They are very delicate indeed. I use a griddle with plenty of grass fed butter and the heat on the stove is set to “3”. I measure out a tablespoon of batter and can make 4 at a time. They don’t always bubble so I cook them about 2 minutes, tilt the griddle to check them. If they slide they are ready to turn, use a very thin spatula with a swift motion and they will remain in one piece and come out picture perfect.

    Nikko wrote on November 20th, 2013
  39. Newbie to paleo and am already sick of bacon of eggs every morning so I found these while searching for a decent and quick alternative. Wow! So delicious! I subbed the butter in the pan for a tsp of coconut oil. Amazing! Tastes like banana bread and filled me up very quickly. Thank you for this – saved me from a boring breakfast!

    Sarah wrote on January 11th, 2014
  40. Mark, I absolutely love these. I have these most mornings for breakfast. Hope that’s not a bad thing. I really enjoy a sweet type of breakfast and I can’t just eat eggs every day. I am a Zumba instructor an do an hour class 4 mornings a week and I find these are great to fuel my energy needs for the class. Other than these, I am pretty ,much sugar & grain free.

    Ngaire wrote on February 16th, 2014

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