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Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes {Paleo, Gluten + Nut Free}

Say hello to your new favorite breakfast. A dish that is all the best fall things wrapped into adorable, tasty, fluffy pillows. You will want to snuggle up next to these pillows of goodness and forget all your worries. Basically, Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes are your best friend this season.

Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes with Maple Syrup in a White plate

Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes are more dessert than breakfast, and more cake-like than many of their pancake cousins. Not only that, they’re also free of all gluten, grain, processed sugar, and there’s a dairy free option. Which means, they’re guilt free too.

The batter also happens to be the most forgiving I have ever encountered. Basically, they are idiot proof pancakes. How is this you ask? The super thick batter does not spread, so there is no chance the cakes will leak out, mold into one another, or turn into anything but a well-formed circle. Everyone can make these pancakes look and taste glorious.

Let’s backtrack for a second, and discuss how these pancakes began. As a child, pancakes were a treat in our house. Dad would wake us on a Saturday, having prepared a huge batch and surprise my brother and I. And these were not just any pancakes, but ones filled with chocolate chips. Oh yeah, you know the type. We would hope and pray for that wake up call, devouring the fluffy rounds in minutes.

Going even further back, my earliest memories of pancakes include my Papaw frying up classic buttermilk hot cakes in his Midwestern kitchen. He used a well aged cast iron pan, loads of grease, and huge portions of batter. Always served alongside bacon, the cakes were impossibly crispy, somewhat dense, with a soft center. They were everything you wanted in a pancake. Years later, I found out grandpa used bacon grease to fry his cakes, hence the source of their deliciousness.

Cooking of Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes
Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes Topped with Butter

Now jumping ahead to 2016, where I happily set out to marry the key pancake elements from my childhood — rich fat mixed with a healthy dose of sweetness, a fluffy interior both airy and dense, and a crispy crunchy exterior — all in Paleo form.

Most assume Paleo pancakes won’t resemble the real thing, and that can be true of some recipes. However, this mix of equal parts coconut and tapioca flour, and baking soda and powder, will make your Paleo pancake dreams come true. This is the real deal friends.

Next up was avoiding added sugars. Recalling a recipe I read in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, where Deb cooked sliced peaches into her pancakes, I instantly knew this was our answer. Fresh fruit is a natural sweetener, and such a perfect complement to warm fall spices.

Lastly, we all know browned butter makes everything better.

Sliced Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes in a Plate with Fork

Pancakes may not be completely Paleo, especially to the purists. But as with most things in life, I find acceptance and balance in moderation.

Should you make these weekly? Maybe not. But then again…

Best yet, do as my father and his father before him did, make them for a family gathering. Or roll like we do, and enjoy them for a random weekend indulgence.

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Apple Pie Brown Butter Pancakes {Paleo, Gluten & Nut Free}

A thick fluffy spiced cake, a soft caramelized apple round, and maple syrup to top, make this decadent breakfast more like a welcome dessert.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Servings 12 -15 cakes


  • 6 large pasture-raised eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup + 4 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut flour measured by fluffing flour with a fork then scooping into a measuring cup with a spoon
  • 1 cup tapioca flour measured by fluffing flour with a fork, then scooping into a measuring cup with a spoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons grass fed butter separated (Ghee can be used for dairy-free)
  • 1-2 medium apples we like Pink Lady, Gala or Fuji
  • Pure maple syrup for topping
  • Extra cinnamon for topping


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, milk, honey and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients and set aside.
  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Let butter warm and begin to brown while you prep other ingredients. Keep an eye on the butter, you want to add your pancake batter as soon as brown bits begin to form in the pan. This will take about 6-8 minutes.
  • While butter browns, gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Your batter will be thick, much like a dense cake batter.
  • Next, slice your apples. Cut off both ends then slice very thinly into full rounds. Pop or cut out the tough core from the center pieces, and set aside.
  • Using a 1/4 cup scoop, drop rounded batter into skillet. Nestle an Apple slice on top of the batter, and use your spatula to smash the batter down into a thin round. The batter does not run, so you don't need to worry about spacing out the cakes. After 3-5 minutes, and once the bottom is firm and browned, flip using a large spatula. Cook another 3-5 minutes until the underside is firm and browned.
  • Keep pancakes warm on a plate covered with foil, until all your batter is used. About halfway through cooking, or when your pan dries out, add another 3 tablespoons butter to your hot pan, and let brown for a few of minutes before continuing with remainder batter.
  • Serve hot, with maple syrup and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.


*We love these cakes for leftovers or to serve to brunch guests. You can cut the recipe in half for a single serving, but we think you'll regret it.
**Cakes can easily be made ahead and reheated in the oven. Place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, and warm in a 350 degree oven. Or in a real pinch, heat in the microwave.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe inspired by: PaleOMG Lemon Raspberry Pancakes

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