These vegan apple pancakes are inspired by Russian Oladyi. Made with aquafaba, grated apples and plant based yoghurt, they are delightfully fluffy and soft, with the most incredible unique flavor. Serve them for a breakfast or brunch, and no one will believe that they’re entirely dairy-free and eggless!

Vegan apple pancakes (Oladyi)

I think all of us have a number of nostalgic breakfasts that we love to make on slow weekend mornings. For me, that’s Oladyi, or Russian pancakes made with grated apples. My grandma used to make these for me all the time, serving them with sour cream and powdered sugar. Thankfully, going vegan didn’t mean having to let go of this childhood favorite!

If you’re looking for a way to switch up pancake Sunday, these vegan apple pancakes may be a great idea for you! Added bonus if you’re putting together a brunch and want to impress non-vegans: no one will be able to tell that they have no dairy or eggs.

What are Oladyi?

Oladyi are Russian buttermilk pancakes that are traditionally made with the addition of kefir or yoghurt. Oftentimes, grated apples are added to the batter for a more distinctive flavor. They are a very popular weekend breakfast due to their ease of preparation, fluffiness and nostalgic value.

Fluffy vegan pancakes on a plate

I have plenty of pancake recipes here on the blog, such as vegan chocolate pancakes, and pancakes made from sweet potato. So, I thought it was time to veganise an all-time favourite. My babushka’s recipe never disappointed, and I tried to get my vegan version to be as authentic as possible!

Ingredients for vegan apple pancakes

  • Plain flour. Buckwheat flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend also work.
  • Sugar. You can use any sugar variety of your choice. I typically use ordinary caster sugar.
  • Pinch of salt. Don’t skip this, as it does help to add overall balance to the flavor profile.
  • Baking powder and baking soda.
  • Cooking apples. For vegan apple pancakes, you can use any apple variety that isn’t overly sweet. These will be grated and folded into the batter.
  • Aquafaba. This is the liquid in which chickpeas are cooked, and which you can easily get by draining a can of chickpeas and reserving the liquid. It works really well as an egg/egg white replacement.
  • Plant based milk. Any plant based milk variety of your choice will work for this recipe.
  • Soy yoghurt. I wouldn’t recommend using coconut yoghurt because the flavor of unsweetened soy yoghurt is more neutral and therefore achieves a more authentic result, similar to what would be possible with kefir.
  • Olive oil for frying. You can also use coconut oil, but I’d avoid if you don’t like the taste of coconut.

How to make dairy-free oladyi with apples

Prepare the dry ingredients by whisking together the plain flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Also grate the apples using the large side of the grater.

Next, whisk the aquafaba for around 3-5 minutes, until you get semi-stiff peaks. Then, add the plant based milk and vegan yoghurt, whisking for around a minute more until well-combined.

Now continue whisking and gradually adding in the dry ingredients around 1/2 cup at a time. When all of the dry ingredients have been added to the aquafaba mixture, add the grated apples and fold for a few seconds using a spatula – make sure not to overdo this!

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over a medium high heat. Using around 3 tbsp of the batter per pancake, pour the batter into the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until crispy and golden around the edges. Flip and cook for a minute more.

Serve with toppings of your choice and enjoy!

Tips for best results

  • Choose an apple variety that isn’t overly sweet: they are meant to add fluffiness to the texture, without interfering with the flavor of the pancakes too much.
  • Be patient when whisking the aquafaba! It may take up to 5 minutes to get stiff peaks, but this is crucial for achieving a fluffy texture and the same effect as egg whites.
  • Prepare the dry ingredients and grate the apples before whisking the aquafaba: you don’t want it to stand for too long because it’s going to lose some of this volume.
  • At the same time, don’t dump in the dry ingredients all at once. Add them in gradually and whisk after each 1/2 cup to make sure that the batter retains a fluffy texture.

What can I serve vegan apple pancakes with?

Just like other pancakes, these are super versatile: you can serve them with any toppings of your choice! Traditionally, Oladyi are served with sour cream, so you can replace that with either my homemade vegan sour cream recipe, or vegan yoghurt of your choice.

Berries, fruit and jams also make an amazing serving option. For an extra touch of deliciousness, drizzle with peanut butter or vegan chocolate spread!

How to store and freeze vegan apple pancakes

I would recommend either serving these vegan apple pancakes straight away, or freezing them if you don’t plan on eating immediately. Store them in freezer-friendly bags with a sheet of parchment between each pancake to prevent sticking, and reheat from frozen in the toaster. They last in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Vegan apple pancakes (Oladyi)

Other vegan breakfast recipes

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Let me know in the comments: what’s your favorite way to make pancakes? If you give these vegan apple pancakes a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating!

Vegan apple pancakes (Oladyi)

Get the Recipe: Vegan Apple Pancakes (Oladyi)

These vegan apple pancakes are inspired by Russian Oladyi. Made with grated apple and aquafaba, they're incredibly fluffy, soft and perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large cooking apples
  • 3/4 cup plant based milk
  • 1/2 cup soy yoghurt

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl x 2
  • Grater
  • Electric mixer
  • Frying pan or skillet

Instructions 

  • Whisk together the plain flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Grate the apples using the large side of the grater.
  • Whisk the aquafaba for around 3-5 minutes, until you get semi-stiff peaks. Then, add the plant based milk and vegan yoghurt, whisking for around a minute more until well-combined.
  • Continue whisking and gradually adding in the dry ingredients around 1/2 cup at a time. When all of the dry ingredients have been added to the aquafaba mixture, add the grated apples and fold for a few seconds using a spatula – make sure not to overdo this!
  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over a medium high heat. Using around 3 tbsp of the batter per pancake, pour the batter into the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until crispy and golden around the edges. Flip and cook for a minute more.
  • Serve with toppings of your choice and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Tips for success
  • Choose an apple variety that isn’t overly sweet.
  • Be patient when whisking the aquafaba: it may take up to 5 minutes to get stiff peaks.
  • Prepare the dry ingredients and grate the apples before whisking the aquafaba: you don’t want it to stand for too long because it’s going to lose some of this volume.
  • Add in the dry ingredients gradually and whisk after each 1/2 cup to make sure that the batter retains a fluffy texture.
Storage instructions
Store these apple pancakes in freezer-friendly bags with a sheet of parchment between each pancake to prevent sticking, and reheat from frozen in the toaster. They last in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Calories: 110kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 86mg, Potassium: 114mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 49IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 1mg