Coconut Milk Flap Jacks: CakeLove in the Morning

April 18, 2012

I appreciate a big breakfast. 
I didn’t realize exactly how much until a few months into our time living abroad. I knew that not every country celebrated the morning meal the way we do in the U.S., or in countries such as Ireland or the U.K.  But I was taken aback by the confused looks I got when describing pancakes, omelets, bacon, biscuits, and grits to our new friends. 
Brazil is a bread or pastry and coffee culture when it comes to breakfast. In many ways, I guess we are around here too, except for the weekends. Oh the weekends! Or rather, the weekend breakfast!
So when I get a cookbook that highlights this meal you can imagine my excitement. This time it was CakeLove in the Morning by Warren Brown.
Cake? In the morning? I’m in!
I’ll admit when I first looked through this cookbook, I thought it might be best for a beginner in the kitchen. With recipes such asApple-Cranberry Oatmeal and Zucchini Bread, it provides excellent instruction for the basics.
But then I took a closer look. 
I’ve reviewed one of Warren Brown’s cookbooks before and I used to watch his show on the Food Network. While I remembered that he is a lawyer turned baker, it had escaped me that he has a degree in public health and practiced health care law. 
My point? Upon my closer look at the book, his background in health is evident. 
His recipes have a delightful combination of healthy, whole ingredients from buckwheat flour to yams, and I was even introduced to a new oil that I have yet to explore, rice bran oil. This book would be perfect for health-minded beginners, but it has plenty to keep those of us who cook a bit more interested as well.
Aside from baked goods such as White Chocolate Waffles and Chocolate Chip Bacon Pancakes, there are several savory breakfast recipes, and condiments to go with it all – Dairy-free Butternut Squash Frittata, Breakfast Lasagna (I know! Isn’t that a great idea?), Jalapeno Honey Butter. And you can’t forget cake in the title; there are a few of those too. 
I went with a traditional favorite that had an interesting twist – Coconut Milk Flap Jacks. This whole grain recipe uses whole wheat and buckwheat flours, oats, honey and, of course, coconut milk. 
I am no expert pancake maker, and these turned out beautifully. They were light and fluffy despite the hearty grains. I agree with the recipe description that the pancakes bring the flavor of the Caribbean. That’s why I added a little mango on the side!
This one is perfect for Mother’s Day brunch, and you can serve them with the cookbook on the side because it would make a great gift.

Coconut Milk Flap Jacks

From Cake Love in the Morning by Warren Brown, reprinted with permission for Abrams Books
Serves: 4
1 cup (about 6 ounces) banana, mashed
1 cup coconut milk (or milk)
1 egg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup whole rolled oats
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
Cinnamon and Allspice to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F to keep the finished pancakes warm.
Combine the banana in a medium bowl with the coconut milk, egg, lemon juice, honey, and vanilla extract. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk to combine the whole-wheat flour, oats, buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Gently fold the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture, but don’t fully combine. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes to soften the oats.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. When the surface is hot, add the butter or vegetable oil and spread it out.
Using a ¼-cup measure, drop 4 to 6 pancakes into the pan. Flip when bubbles appear, after about 3 to 4 minutes. 
Cook for another minute, then remove the pancakes to a heat-resistant plate in the warmed oven.
Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon and allspice and serve with warmed maple syrup. 

Disclosure:  A review copy of this book was sent to me by Abrams Books. I was not required to post about it and received no compensation for doing so. I only review books and products that I enjoy enough to have in my own kitchen.  

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  • Joanne April 19, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Apparently I need that cookbook…breakfast lasagna AND these flap jacks?!?!? Swoon. I love the sound of these. Adding some whole grains to your morning in pancake form is always a good thing!

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance April 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Cool cookbook. You know I’ve been looking at a bag of buckwheat flour in my pantry for months now. I’m thinking it wants to become pancakes and looking for the perfect recipe. But now I’m wondering if maybe it really needs to be combined with wheat to work?

  • Lori April 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Joanne – I’m trying that next! These taste so great and I agree with the whole grains for sure.

    Michelle – I’m trying to think if I’ve used buckwheat alone before. I’m not sure I have. Of course, it doesn’t have the gluten, but with all the leavening agents in pancakes, that might keep them from being too dense or flat. I’d give it a try. Sometimes the flavor alone can be overpowering if I use too much, but that’s just me.

  • Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover April 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Coconut milk in pancake, sound so great! And I like your breakfast serving tray at the last photo, very beautiful!

  • Beth April 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I love the touch of mango you added. And this sounds like a great cookbook. The different flours can add so much interest to a simple dish.

  • Katerina April 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    In Greece breakfast is spurned too. Usually is very poor and for some is non existent. These flap jacks look delicious and I would love to have them for breakfast or if not for breakfast for a mid morning break!

  • My Little Space April 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Your pancake looks so inviting. Drooling! I haven’t make it for ages and my boy just asked if I can make some. I promised him this weekend. haha…
    Enjoy your day.

  • Deb in Hawaii April 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Ooh, you have me intrigued with the rice bran oil–I’ll have to look for that one. These pancakes are drool-worthy–perfectly browned. 😉