It took me several batches to make this beetroot pancake recipe work, but in the end, they turned out nicely pink, fluffy, with a delicious flavor. The naturally pink color is a big selling point for my five-year-old, who isn’t always into pancakes.
I’ve tested this recipe using oven-baked beet and raw beet. A raw beet is a good option when you don’t have any cooked beets on hand, but the taste of beetroot was a bit more noticeable. My five-year-old still enjoyed pancakes made with raw beet, drenched in maple syrup. I prefer the oven-baked version, and to make this a quick recipe, I bake several beets at once and keep them in the freezer. You can also use cooked beets from the store for convenience, but the color won’t be as saturated as home-baked beetroots.
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How to bake beetroots
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Trim the green parts of beets, leaving about an inch attached. If trimmed too close to the beetroot, you’ll lose a lot of juice while baking. Wash with running water to remove any dirt.
- I like to bake my beetroots in my dutch oven. I place them in the dutch oven and cover with the lid. They’re ready to bake.
- If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can wrap beetroots all together with aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. You don’t have to wrap them individually.
- Bake for about 1 hour until fork tender.
- To freeze, peel the skin using a paring knife. It will be effortless to peel. However, the juice will stain your fingertips, so I wear disposable kitchen gloves while doing this. Then individually wrap the beetroots with parchment paper to prevent the beetroots from sticking to each other. Place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Don’t forget the lemon
Blend oven-baked beet, yogurt, eggs, honey, butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and milk in a high-speed blender until smooth. I use a small beet weighing about 2 oz after baking and peeling. If you’re using a large beet, I recommend using half of it. That way, the flavor of beet won’t dominate. When using a frozen beet, defrost it first by microwaving it before mixing with other ingredients. I love the lemon flavor in this recipe, so don’t forget the lemon! It goes really well with beet, yogurt, and honey while toning down the earthiness from the beet.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In all honesty, I’m not sure if making a well in the dry mixture before pouring the wet mix actually makes a difference, but it takes 5 seconds to do it, so why not. Pour the wet mix into the dry mixture. Stir until just combined. Try not to overmix.
Use a pancake griddle or a pancake maker if you have one
Usually, I like to cook pancakes using medium-high heat to get that quick rise. However, since the bright pink color of these beetroot pancakes is the highlight of this recipe, I cook them gently, trying not to brown them. Use a pancake griddle or a pancake maker, set to medium heat if you have one. I have a Cuisinart waffle maker that came with pancake plates, and I get the best uniform color using this machine. Did you get that? Plates are removable(!), meaning you can thoroughly wash the waffle and pancake plates. This was the biggest selling point for me. When using this machine, I flip the pancakes and cook a little longer once the batter is set to get both sides evenly cooked.
I also tried cooking these pancakes in a cast-iron skillet and a non-stick pan. The non-stick pan worked well, while I don’t recommend cast-iron skillet since it quickly burned the pancakes.
Naturally Pink Beetroot Pancakes
(Makes about 16 small pancakes)
- 1 small (about 2 oz) oven-roasted beetroot peeled
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups milk I used whole milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- oil for coating the pan
Blend beet, yogurt, eggs, honey, butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and milk in a high-speed blender until smooth.
In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Pour the wet mix into the dry mix. Stir until just combined. Try not to overmix.
Coat a pankcake machine, griddle, or a non-stick pan with butter or oil. Cook pancakes over medium heat. If the heat is too high, pancakes will burn, and the color won't be nicely pink.
For bright pink color, use over-roasted beets. Precooked storebought beets are not as saturated.
You can use raw beetroot (peeled) in a pinch, but the beet flavor was more noticeable.
I tried cooking them in a cast-iron skillet, non-stick pan, and waffle maker with pancake plates. The waffle maker made the fluffiest pancakes with uniform color. I don’t recommend cast-iron skillet since it quickly burned the pancakes.