Dairy Free Coconut Milk Crepes
Coconut milk crepes are an easy option for a dairy free breakfast or dessert. With just 5 ingredients and no resting time needed, they’re quick and simple to make. They’re light and soft, with crisp edges, and are delicious filled with naturally sweet fruit.
Dairy free crepes for Pancake Day
With Pancake Day coming up, I’ve been working on perfecting my favourite coconut milk crepe recipe. We will often cook up a batch of baked pancakes or healthy banana pancakes (American style) or at the weekend, but crepes are saved for special occasions and Pancake Day!
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, falls 47 days before Easter Sunday. It is a day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, pancakes were made as a way to use up eggs and fats before fasting began for Lent.
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, this recipe is perfect for a delicious weekend breakfast. The coconut milk crepes are healthy enough to be enjoyed with fruit as breakfast or brunch, but also make a great dessert with more indulgent toppings.
They pair well with any filling, but for this breakfast recipe I have gone with a mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries with creamy, dairy-free Greek yoghurt. There’s a delicious variety of texture between the delicate vegan crepes and the sweet fruit.
These are super quick to make, as the batter doesn’t need to rest before cooking like in many other crepe recipes. It’s a perfect, easy and delicious brunch option.
Why I love coconut milk crepes
- The delicious sweet and nutty flavour of coconut comes through from the coconut milk and desiccated coconut.
- They’re soft and light, with slightly crisp edges.
- This recipe is easy and fool proof, with no magic touch or special equipment needed.
- You might be wondering how to make crepes without milk, but no eggs or dairy are required for this recipe. With only 4 ingredients required, you likely already have everything needed to hand.
- It makes enough batter for two to enjoy, but is easily increased for a family, or even more for a brunch party!
Ingredients needed for vegan crepes
Flour– I’ve opted for all purpose flour in my coconut milk crepes, as it works out well every time. I’ve given some information on substitutes you could make in the ingredient substitutes section towards the end of this post.
Sugar– I’ve added a little sugar to make these pancakes slightly sweet. If you’re looking for a healthier option, choose something like coconut sugar, or even a granulated sweetener. Otherwise, light brown sugar does the trick.
Coconut milk– I have made these pancakes using canned light coconut milk. This is more thick and creamy than plant milk from a carton, but not as heavy as full fat canned coconut milk. It’s naturally slightly sweet, which lends well to these dairy free crepes.
Coconut oil– This keeps the pancakes moist, and helps to prevent the pancakes from sticking to the pan. Make sure that it is fully melted before you add it to the batter.
Vanilla (optional)– A hint of vanilla is all these pancakes need to finish off their perfectly delicious flavour. Feel free to leave this out or use a different extract such as almond.
Dessicated Coconut (optional)– Although not essential to the batter, this just adds another element of coconutty flavour to the coconut milk pancakes. You can use normal dessicated or toasted coconut.
You really need to be using a non stick pan to make milk free crepes, so cast iron or enamel won’t do the job. It’s important that the heat is distributed evenly across the pan, so the heavier the bottom the better.
You could use a crepe pan if you have one of these, but I find it isn’t worth the investment unless you’re making a lot of vegan crepes! Crepe pans cook very evenly and have low edges which make the crepes easier to flip.
How to make crepes without milk
This recipe is as simple as mixing together the ingredients, then cooking the coconut milk crepes!
For the fastest results, combine the ingredients in a blender. This is quicker, and also helps the flour to absorb the liquid. Make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature, then combine them in a blender at a medium speed until the batter is smooth. At the end, pulse or stir through the desiccated coconut.
If you’re mixing the batter in a bowl, first whisk the flour, sugar and desiccated coconut (if using) together to remove any lumps from the flour. Pour in the coconut milk, melted oil and vanilla (if using), then whisk vigorously until the batter is very smooth and combined.
The batter should not be thick like American pancake batter, but a little looser; similar to the consistency of heavy cream.
If you have time, and for even better results, rest the batter in the fridge for half an hour. This helps the coconut milk crepes to hold together more easily when cooking, but isn’t essential.
How to cook vegan crepes
To cook, heat your pan over medium heat and brush it with a small amount of coconut oil. You can use either a brush or a piece of kitchen paper to do this, and it’s important that it’s just a very thin layer.
Keep the pan over a medium heat, so that the coconut crepes cook at the perfect pace, not sticking but not burning either. It might take one crepe to get the temperature just right.
Measure out ½ cup of batter at a time, and pour it into the hot pan. Immediately begin to rotate the pan, so you get an even covering of batter all over.
Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side. When ready to flip, the top will be mostly cooked, and won’t rip when you try to flip it. If it begins to rip, give it a little longer.
The pancakes may need a little encouragement to come loose, if they have stuck slightly on the bottom (this might happen if your pan is a bit older). Use a wooden or silicone fish slice to do this.
Flip the crepe and give it another 1-2 minutes on the second side. Keep the coconut milk crepes covered on a warm plate until ready to eat. You could also keep them warm in the oven at a very low temperature.
When it’s time to eat, spread the crepe with your favourite toppings, and fold. I love this great tutorial on how to fold a crepe 5 different ways!
How to serve coconut milk crepes
These coconut crepes are so versatile and lend themselves to a huge variety of fillings. Although I’ve used berries to fill my crepes, here are some more suggestions:
- Your favourite fruit, be it bananas, pears or pineapple! Chop it up and enjoy it inside or on top of your crepes.
- Dairy free yoghurt is delicious dolloped on top of these non dairy crepes. Opt for a nice thick Greek-style variety.
- A drizzle of maple syrup is a classic pancake topping, or you could use agave nectar or date syrup.
- Sugar and lemon. This is a classic British pancake filling. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the pancakes, then squeeze over lemon juice according to your taste.
- Peanut butter and jelly (or jam). I also love thinly sliced banana with this combo.
- Other nut butters such as almond or hazelnut butter are delicious spread inside the coconut crepes.
- For an indulgent coconut milk crepe filling, try vegan whipped cream or ice cream (vanilla goes perfectly with coconut!).
- And for a little bit of extra indulgence, grate or chop some dark chocolate. Sprinkle it on the crepe whilst it’s still warm, and it will melt a little.
My top tips for the best crepes
For perfect pancakes every time, make sure the ingredients are at room temperature when you make the batter. This will help to avoid getting any flour lumps and means that the flour will absorb the liquid better.
On to cooking- As soon as the batter goes into the pan, you must start swirling it around. Pick up the pan, and tilt and swirl it around so that the batter evenly coats the whole base. If you leave it too long after putting the batter in the pan, it will start to cook into a small pancake before you have a chance to spread it thinly.
You must make sure that the coconut milk pancakes have cooked for long enough before you flip them. If there is shiny, wet batter remaining on top, then it’s too soon to flip! If you flip them too soon they will tear, or you will have to flip them back over to brown the other side again.
Ingredient substitutes or additions
Flour– I love spelt flour, and you can easily substitute the all purpose flour with this. You can also use whole wheat flour, but this can make them a bit dry, so use half and half. If you need them to be gluten free, use gluten free all purpose flour, or even sub in half coconut flour for even more coconut flavour!
Sugar– If you would rather savoury vegan crepes, simply leave out the sugar, and fill the crepes with your favourite savoury foods.
Coconut milk– If you aren’t keen on coconut, you can still make crepes without milk. Almond and oat milk are both great options. As these milks tend to be a little runnier than coconut milk, add a couple of tablespoons more flour to thicken up the batter. Obviously these will be almond or oat milk crepes, rather than coconut milk crepes, but still delicious!
Oil– You can swap the coconut oil for any light flavoured oil such as vegetable or avocado oil.
Flavours– You can add extracts or natural flavourings for an extra pop of flavour. Try a drop of coconut, almond, or even orange extract.
If you are planning on making coconut crepes for breakfast, you can make the batter the night before and store it, covered, in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature then give it another quick whisk before use.
Once cooked, the crepes will refrigerate for a couple of days if tightly wrapped. You can eat them cold or reheat them in a pan, or you can give them a blast of heat in the microwave.
You can actually freeze cooked crepes for up to 3 months. I would recommend putting sheets of baking paper between the crepes to stop them from sticking, then wrap them tightly before freezing. Thaw in the fridge overnight and warm as above.
For more dairy free and egg free recipes
Why not try…
- Vegan tofu shakshuka
- Baked pancakes with spelt and almond
- Healthy vegan savoury muffins
- Creamy egg-free tomato carbonara
- Vegan butternut squash ravioli
Dairy Free Coconut Milk Crepes
- 11-inch non stick frying pan or crepe pan
- 140 g all purpose flour
- 1-2 tbsp sugar to taste
- 1 400g can light coconut milk at room temp *
- 1 ½ tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla optional
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut optional
- For the fastest results, combine the ingredients in a blender. Make sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature, then combine them in a blender at a medium speed until the batter is smooth. At the end, pulse or stir through the desiccated coconut (if using).
- If you’re mixing the batter in a bowl, first whisk the flour, sugar and desiccated coconut (if using) together to remove any lumps, then pour in the coconut milk, melted oil and vanilla (if using), then whisk vigorously until the batter is very smooth and combined.
- Heat your pan over medium heat and brush it with a small amount of coconut oil. You can use either a brush or a piece of kitchen paper to do this, and it’s important that it’s just a very thin layer.
- Measure out ½ cup/120ml of batter at a time, and pour it into the hot pan. Immediately begin to rotate the pan, so you get an even covering of batter all over.
- Allow the pancake to cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side. When ready to flip, the top will be mostly cooked, and won’t rip when you try to flip it. If it begins to rip, give it a little longer.
- Flip the crepe and give it another 1-2 minutes on the second side. Keep the crepes covered on a warm plate until ready to eat. You could also keep them warm in the oven at a very low temperature.
- Add your fillings of choice and enjoy!
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