Gluten-Free Cornmeal Pancakes with Maple-Orange Butter

If I had dreams about perfect gluten-free pancakes, these would be those pancakes. Crispy edges, fluffy interiors, and a gorgeous yellow hue – these are indeed the stuff of dreams.

Normally, I’m not a big pancake person. I prefer savory breakfasts, and a sticky-sweet start to my morning is just too much. Thankfully, these pancakes aren’t sticky-sweet. In fact, they would be just as comfortable in a savory setting (cornmeal pancake-sausage-egg breakfast sandwich, anyone?) as they were served with real maple syrup (none of that corn syrupy fake stuff for me, thank you!), blackberries (yes, I realize it’s not blackberry season – I fell victim to some not-so-local ones at the grocery!), and some maple-orange butter.  Hungry yet?

These will definitely become a regular for our weekend breakfasts. They’re the best gluten-free pancake I’ve ever encountered. Just so you know, the batter for these is thicker than most pancake batters. The best way to pour the batter is to use a measuring cup, and spread out the pancake slightly with the bottom of the measuring cup each time. I actually preferred these thick – they were fluffy inside with a lovely crust outside. Yum.

This recipe was designed to feed John and me this morning – so feel free to double or triple it to feed a larger crowd.

Gluten-Free Cornmeal Pancakes with Maple-Orange Butter (butter recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living)

2 eggs

3/4 c buttermilk

3/4 c cornmeal

1/4 c masa harina

2 T tapioca starch

1/2 t xanthan gum

1 T sugar

1/4 t kosher salt

2 T butter, melted

1-2 T butter for cooking the pancakes

Beat eggs in a large bowl until well-blended and frothy. Add buttermilk, cornmeal, masa harina, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, sugar, and salt and blend. Add melted butter and stir to blend.

Heat a nonstick skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Swirl to melt. Working in batches, pour ¼ cup of batter into skillet. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet and keep warm (I use the “warm” setting in my oven). Repeat this process, adding more butter to the pan as necessary.

Serve with blackberries, maple-orange butter, and additional maple syrup if desired. Serves 2-3.

For the maple-orange butter:

4 oz unsalted butter, softened

1 T fresh orange juice

1 T pure maple syrup

1 t orange zest

1/4 t kosher salt

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl. Can be refrigerated for up to a week.


  1. says

    I’m definitely going to give these a try. I would never have thought to use corn meal for a fluffy pancake. The maple orange butter sounds delicious too.

  2. says

    These look fabulous, Alta! I’ve made cornmeal pancakes before and we loved them. I’ll have to dig out the recipe and compare notes, although I know mine didn’t use masa harina (a great ingredient for gf folks!), and it certainly didn’t have maple-orange butter. Serious yum factor there.

    I think it’s time for pancakes again at our house. Mr. GFE will be happy. 😉


  3. says

    I am anxious to try these, but I plan to leave out the sugar and add more pure maple syrup for a topping if not sweet enough. ( better for you and a better taste )

  4. says

    Those pancakes look amazing!!! Corn is such a sweet lovely flour for pancakes too. You don’t even need the syrup! I wonder if they could get as fluffy without the gums. I have a fear of gums. It’s weird, I know. :)

  5. says

    Wow those pancakes look so fluffy and maple orange butter sounds amazing! I just recently made strawberry butter and was amazed at how wonderful it was so I am going to have to try this recipe — I actually have some maple syrup from Michigan that my mother in law gave me :) Delicious!

  6. says

    I could just eat the picture they look so good! I will definitely tell everyone I know who are gluten intolerant or not.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  7. says

    I’m one of those people that always orders too much when we eat out because I like to taste a little bit of a lot of different things. So mezze are the perfect way to eat in my opinion. So that the tasty eats at home is a delicious.

  8. richard Yates says

    Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix is excellent…I think the cakes are even more fluffy and delicious than regular….and I make lots of cakes for the FAM…..started cooking when I was a teenager in my dad’s cafe….Dick…….Gluten if not healthy to eat …especially on a regular basis. Check th Ultra-Mind Solution Book by Mark Hyman,M.D. He explains it all. He is connected to Dr. Oz.. or vise versa …They collaborated on the book. I will however try the above cakes too…Dick

  9. Lorie Maier Hackett says

    my question is my grandaughter who is 9 has severe allergies to gluten & casdein food allergies! What would I use in place of butter milk also can you recommend a butter & cheese substitutes & can’t have any dairy? We are new at this &appreciate act hep we can get…Thank you

    • altawrites says

      Hi Lorie – You can use almond, soy or coconut milk (whichever you prefer) with 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice in place of the buttermilk.
      Earth Balance makes a great nondairy buttery stick you can use in place of butter. They also make good spreads. Alternatively, in baking, coconut oil is great in place of butter.
      As for cheese substitutes, I personally like Daiya the best. It’s more “melty” than the others.
      Hope this helps! I actually have several articles written for people new to dairy-free living – if you go to my Living Gluten and Dairy Free page (look at the top of my blog) you can find them.
      Good luck!


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