Eggless Pancakes

Being vegan and immersing myself in the 1940s Experiment (to live on wartime rations for 1 year, recreate 100 authentic recipes and lose 100 lbs) is not without it’s challenges. Tonight I will recreate a 1940s recipe with meat in for my youngest daughter (Em) but I won’t be able to taste it… instead I will smell it and closely observe my youngest Hobbits face as she takes the first mouthful. Hopefully there will be no wrinkled up noses or horrified expressions..

But the real challenge is finding or adapting recipes from the 1940s to suit my new vegan lifestyle. Luckily many of the authentic recipes I am finding were eggless or meatless..

For lunch today I made 4 very tasty eggless pancakes and both Em and I gobbled them down. I totally recommend you try these!

Eggless Pancakes

  • 4 tablespoons of flour (UK)- 5 tbls (US) – 60 ml (Europe)
  • pinch of sugar and salt
  • milk and water to bind (vegans use almond milk)
  • lard or dripping to fry (vegans use Earth Balance shortening)


  1. Mix the flour with the salt and sugar and add the water/milk to make a nice thick batter
  2. Heat the lard/dripping until smoking hot in the pan then lower the heat a little
  3. Pour in 1/4 of the mixture to make a medium sized pancake
  4. Cook until browned and then turn over and repeat
  5. Eat with jam, golden syrup or lemon juice (if being authentic)

Makes 4 pancakes


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22 thoughts on “Eggless Pancakes

  1. What a cool experiment.

    My Mum lived through the Depression and the second world war in Alberta. I remember her saying she would never eat cabbage again. They didn’t have lettuce or any summer vegetables so they ate mature cabbage, kale, chard, beets, carrots all year in place of lettuce, tomatoes, etc. They had relatives in the States, which didn’t join the war til ’41, who in ’39 and ’40 sent them a crate of citrus fruit. She thought it was the most wonderful thing. When she got paid for her first job, the first thing she bought was a banana, the most extravagant thing she could imagine, and something she could eat all by herself.

    When they went to England in ’48, when rationing was still in effect, she would trade her sugar/sweets rations for cigarette rations. They would buy one strawberry at a time. And if your one egg per person broke getting them home, too bad. That was it for the week.


    Good luck with the challenge!

  2. Dear Vickie- what a fascinating recollection! One just cannot really imagine just how terribly fed up people must have been with the same foods over and over again even though it was those very veggies that kept them healthy! I love cabbage but I know there will come a point when I may not want to look at another one for quite a while..

    Yes it is also hard to imagine how treasured food stuffs like bananas were… I know in the UK that during the war imported foods made up 2/3rds of the UK’s food supply prior to rationing but only 1/3rd of the UK’s food supply during the war years… I guess bananas and citrus fruits became luxuries as food stuffs that were easier to transport or have longer shelf lives would have taken priority?

    The one egg is quite unbelievable… of all the foods rationed, just one shelled egg per week per person had to be the hardest thing to cope with..

    Thanks for leaving such an interesting comment!

    C xxxxx

  3. I hope the Hobbit enjoyed the meal! and the pancakes sound rather tasty (might flag that to try this coming weekend).

  4. Carolyn I just clicked on the black and white photo of you holding the pancake because I couldn’t figure out if it was a current or very old one! You look so young in it – honestly about 20 years old and forgive me for what will sound like a very backhanded compliment, but I can’t believe how pretty your face is slimmed down! Keep going girl x

    • Ah the brightness of the photo is very forgiving on the wrinkles I have, as is black and white 🙂 Thank you!! What a lovely thing to say xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. I have been making eggless pancakes for yonks but with gram flour- lovely, but I don’t suppose you could get gram flour during the war. I will try ordinary flour next time and compare.

      • Gram flour is chickpea flour which gives the pancake a very eggy structure and taste(some make omlett out of pure(no grain flour added) fermented gram flour dough). You get gram flour in the ethnic section or asian supermarkets.

        Gramflour tastes beany if not baked thoroughly. One could use other legume flours which were available during the war to stretch the bread flour.
        It made for some very heavy loafes, but they filled you up and made for a better nutrition than just bread made out of grains.

    • Hi Melissa- yes they are. It’s all rather confusing! A tablespoon in the US is 14.79 ml whereas the size of an tablespoon from the UK is 15 ml

      Infact in the US they do not have dessertspoon measurement (10 ml in UK) and the tsp measurement is slightly less too (but just 0.07 of a difference so negligible)

      C xxxx

  6. I’m so happy to have found this blog. It combines two of my favorite things: my love of 1940s history and vegan cooking (I made those veggie turnovers last night – yum!).
    I do have a question though. When you say “milk and water to bind” – what exactly does that mean? Do you use equal parts of each? How is that added? A tablespoon at a time? Forgive me, I may be a bit of a cooking novice, especially when it comes to making batters.

    • Yes half and half although you could use all milk or all water. I use almond milk instead of cows milk as I am vegan…. I’d imagine they would have used half and half in the 1940s to make the ration stretch further 🙂 Oh and yes mix the milk and water together and add a bit at a time until you reach the desired consistency which should be a nice thick batter- just liquid enough to pour slowly 🙂

      Thanks for the kind comment!!

      C xxx

  7. Hello there, I was 18 and living in London during the Blitz when war was declared. I still have my gas mask in my shed. Here’s some bizzare things we ate.
    While my mother was making vinegar cake, our seasoning jar shelf fell into the pot along with all the seasonings. This made the jam,salt,pepper,vinegar and mustard cake. It wasn’t my favourite but oh well.
    Rationing sometimes meant our family of 6 didn’t have supper but we got around it by eating leaves of oak trees, birch trees and my favourite, fern leaves.
    My brother once ate some raw barley….It wasn’t pretty.
    This was my favourite bizzare food. Bread with dripping. It was basically a slice of bread with fat on it. I should have made a cook book article on how to make bread with dripping….. Thanks again!
    Dot Branning x

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  9. Makes a good vegan quiche, quite unlike the other, it really filling and nutritious, plain taste without a lot of veg or fruit, or spices, herbs, lovely done as little ones to travel with.

  10. Hi, how much water/milk do i need for this, i dont want to use too much to too little, any exact measurements?

    • Hi Steven, I would just add a little at a time until the mixture runs smoothly but is fairly thick. Because I find anything using flour is never 100 accurate when you measure things out the amount of liquid varies… Kind regards C xx

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