My favourite recipe for light and fluffy rice pancakes made from cooked rice. Easy recipe to make for the perfect breakfast or brunch and a great way to use up any leftover rice. This is a sweet version of rice pancakes, so serve it with a fresh fruit, yoghurt and a little bit of honey or your choice of pancake toppings.
Why make this recipe?
- Great way of using up leftover cooked rice
- Light & fluffy pancakes recipe
- Easy to make recipe
- Budget friendly recipe
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My top tips on making leftover rice pancakes recipe successfully first time round
Make sure that you use plain cooked rice and not salty, flavoured or savoury rice. Sticky, overcooked white rice is best for this recipe, but you can use any type of rice, providing it has no strong flavour.
Depending on how your rice was cooked (and what type it is), your pancake batter might need extra milk. Use the ingredients measurements in my recipe first and if the pancake batter feels a little too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
What makes this rice pancake recipe work
- Keeping the cooked rice ratio quite high and the flour quite low, means that this recipe is very budget friendly.
- Adding a cinnamon powder or vanilla essence makes these rice pancakes extra special.
- Adding a pinch of salt helps to sharpen the flavours and won’t make your pancakes taste bland
Any specialist equipment needed to make rice pancakes?
You don’t need specialist equipment to fry your pancakes, any large frying pan or a flat griddle will be fine to use.
Since I make pancakes quite often, I’ve treated myself to a special pancake frying pan which, I think makes a difference in how the pancakes rise.
The pancake pan has deeper cavities, which prevents the pancake batter from spreading out and makes them rise a bit higher. This also means that they are thicker and that makes the pancakes lighter.
I think having a specialist pancake pan is totally worth it, as it also helps me to portion the pancakes better into more even rounds. My pancake pan makes about 8,5 cm wide pancakes, which is about 3 inches. It also means that I know exactly how many calories each pancake is as they are more uniformed size than if I was making them on a regular frying pan.
If your rice is very dry ( or looks undercooked), mix the rice with the milk (quantities as per my recipe) first and cook for 1-2 minutes in the microwave (or on the hob in a small saucepan) first. The rice will soak up the milk and becomes a little overcooked which will be perfect for our pancake recipe. It will basically make the pancakes taste more like a nice sweet pancakes, rather than fried rice!
To make these leftover rice pancakes evenly cooked, make sure that you heat your frying pan only to low to medium heat.
Too much heat is going to burn the pancakes and they also might be undercooked in the middle.
Always use extra butter or vegetable oil to brush the frying pan to make sure that your rice pancakes won’t stick to the pan, especially the first batch.
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Ingredients & Possible Substitutions for leftover rice pancakes recipe
I happened to have white jasmine rice when I was making this recipe, but any kind of white rice will work in this recipe.
You can also use brown rice, but the pancake flavour will change and it might not taste as nice as think it should.
I probably wouldn’t use wild or strongly flavoured rice for this recipe (these might be better for a savoury version of these pancakes).
I would also not recommend to use cooked rice mixed with other flavours, ingredients, savoury flavours, herbs, meat or similar. Again, this type of rice will be more suitable for savoury dish.
Best cooked rice to use for this rice pancake recipe
- Jasmin rice
- White rice
- Pudding rice (it’s nice and soft)
- Porridge rice (very soft rice – you might need less milk in the recipe)
- Round rice or Short Grain Rice
- Arborio rice (you might need to cook it more to make the rice soft)
- Long Grain Rice
I’ve used all-purpose – plain flour (cake flour) in this recipe.
You could replace it with other types of flour, including gluten-free flours if you prefer. Just bear in mind that the flavour of the rice pancakes will change slightly based on the type of flour you use.
I’ve used regular baking powder for this pancake recipe.
This recipe will work with any white granulated or white caster of sugar. I’ve used regular caster sugar.
Darker sugars, such as light brown sugar, coconut sugar or similar types of sugar will add colour and flavour to your pancakes, but they will work with this recipe if you prefer to use unrefined sugars.
If you want to use liquid sugars, such as honey, agave syrup or possibly maple syrup and some of the maple syrup alternatives you are welcome to use these too. You might need to use a little less milk to compensate for the extra liquid sugar syrup if you decide to use it.
I always add a tiny pinch of salt to my pancake batter because it helps to bring all the flavours together. I use regular fine table or cooking salt.
I’ve used semi-skimmed dairy milk for these rice pancakes, but other types of milk both dairy or plant based are also suitable.
- full – fat milk (whole milk)
- skimmed milk
- dairy milk (lactose free)
- rice milk
- oat milk
- almond milk
- hazelnut milk
- soya milk
- 50% water & 50% white yoghurt milk
- 50% cream & 50% water or milk
Vanilla essence or Cinnamon
Don’t worry if you don’t have any vanilla essence or extract of a paste, but if you do have it, vanilla makes a lovely addition to the flavour of your pancakes. The better quality you have, the better taste.
You can also use cinnamon powder to add a little hint of flavour to your rice pancakes.
How to make leftover rice pancakes recipe (sweet version)
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the leftover rice, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt using a mixing spoon or a whisk.
Add the rest of the ingredients – egg, milk and vanilla extract (or cinnamon powder or any other flavouring if using) and use a hand whisk to combine the pancake batter until smooth.
Heat your frying pan (or pancake pan) on low to medium heat and lightly grease it with oil to make sure your rice pancakes won’t stick.
Spoon or pour your pancake batter on the frying pan either using a large spoon or ladle to measure your batter depending on how large you wan’t your pancakes to be. If using a regular frying pan, leave a space between the pancakes so that they can cook properly.
Make the pancakes slightly on a thinner side to make sure that the rice cooks through.
Cook your pancakes for about 1 minute or until you see bubbles form on the pancake surface and the pancake batter starts to look dry. Gently lift the bottom of one pancake – it should be very lightly brown. If it is, flip or turn the pancake using a non-stick spatula and cook on the other side for another minute or so. Be careful when turning the pancakes as they can be sometimes a little delicate because of all the rice.
How else can you make this rice pancake recipe? Allergies, dietary requirements
This light and fluffy rice pancake recipe (as it is) is not suitable for a gluten or dairy-free diet. It’s also not suitable for vegan diet, although it’s fine for a vegetarian diet. Here is how you can make a few tweaks to this cooked rice pancake recipe to make it suit your diet:
Swap the plain flour for gluten-free plain flour mix and either add 1/4 teaspoon of xantham gum or use it as it is if your gluten-free flour already has a xantham gum mixed in. Rice is naturally gluten-free, but if you are not sure how your rice was cooked (if you for example are using a leftover takeaway rice) there might be still traces of gluten in from possible crosscontamination.
Dairy Free Version
Swap the regular milk for your favourite plant based milk, bearing in mind that something like coconut milk will affect the flavour of the pancakes. I usually use rice or oat milk to keep the flavour the same.
Use vegetable oil instead of butter to grease the frying pan.
Use vegetable oil instead of butter to grease the frying pan. Swap the dairy milk for dairy free – plant based milk, such as rice or oat milk.
To replace the egg, use extra baking powder, vegetable oil and water (1-1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil mixed with 1-1/2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of baking powder to replace one egg.).
You can also use 1/4 cup of apple sauce or 1/2 banana to replace one egg in the recipe.
GLUTEN FREE PANCAKES RECIPES
This recipe makes approximately 8 medium sized pancakes (about 8 cm/3 inch wide), and the quantity is suitable for 2 people.
Can I scale up or down this recipe?
Yes, absolutely – you are welcome to half the recipe by halving all the ingredients. This would make it a perfect portion (4 pancakes) for one person.
In this case I would either use 1/2 egg if I had any leftovers (or I was planning to make my mini courgette omelettes later) or use the easy egg replacement with vegetable oil, water and extra baking powder (see above), because they are easier to measure and I don’t need to waste one egg.
This recipe is also perfect to make in large quantities – double or triple depending on how much leftover rice you have.
Again double or triple all the recipe ingredients as required. You can just toggle the measurements of the ingredients on the recipe below and it will show you exactly what quantities you need.
How to serve rice pancakes
These rice pancakes are great hot or warm straight from the frying pan served with your choice of toppings.
These pancakes are also perfectly fine cold (I often take them – with no topping – with me as a snack for day trips out or countryside hikes and they save me from eating sweets!).
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Toppings & Sauces Ideas for rice pancakes
These leftover rice pancakes are really good flavour base for any kind of pancake toppings. I’ve made mine topped with plain yoghurt and freeze dried raspberries, but practically any flavours will go with them, including any fresh fruit, fruit compote or stewed fruit.
You can also top rice pancakes with yoghurt, greek yoghurt, cream cheese, drizzle with honey or homemade brown sugar syrup, peanut butter, chocolate spread, homemade mango curd or other pancake toppings.
HOMEMADE TOPPINGS RECIPES
Can these rice pancakes be made in advance?
Yes, you can make your rice pancakes recipe in advance and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container (stored with baking parchment in between each pancake, so that they don’t stick to each other) for 1-2 days maximum.
However you do need to bear in mind, that if you are using leftover rice, the rice has already been cooked and than sat somewhere in your kitchen and then probably was refrigerated for some time. You need to count this time into the shelf live of your pancakes, otherwise if you keep them for too long, the rice might go off (even if it was cooked again).
How to store rice pancakes if you have any leftovers
If you do have some leftovers, cover your pancakes with another plate (or place them into an airtight container) and keep them in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Can you freeze leftover rice pancakes?
This is slightly more complex question, then it looks, because it depends…
If you are using leftover rice that’s been previously cooked (such as with a takeaway), left out in your kitchen or on the table as you were eating your main meal and then put in the fridge overnight, then I would strongly suggest to make your rice pancakes and eat it on the same day.
This is because when rice is kept out of the fridge for too long, bacteria might start to grow inside and the rice might start to go off soon after that. Plus you never know when was the rice originally cooked, under what conditions and if it was previously cooled down and then warmed up again. I wouldn’t risk freezing rice pancakes that were made from leftover rice for those particular reasons, I would just make them and eat them as soon as possible.
If you are cooking your own rice at home you know exactly when it was cooked, how quickly it cooled down and how old the rice actually is. And in this case, it’s O.K to freeze rice pancakes, providing you follow these steps.
Cook your rice and make sure that any leftovers are cooled down quickly in the room temperature, transferred to a suitable container and placed in the fridge straightaway.
If you are thinking of freezing your rice pancakes, I would make them as soon as you can – even the same day when you know that you will have any rice left from your dinner.
You can always make them and keep some in the fridge to eat in the morning (follow my directions on heat it up the pancakes – see below) and freeze the rest.
Basically, the quicker you can use up the rice and freeze your pancakes the better (and you will avoid any potential problems with rice getting spoiled later).
Rice pancakes are suitable for freezing as the texture will stay the same when they are defrosted (and warmed up again).
Providing that you’ve frozen your pancakes correctly (and keep your freezer at good condition), your pancakes should last up to 3 months in the freezer. They will probably be fine for much longer, but I’ve always eaten them before that time.
Freeze the rice pancakes straight away after they have cooled down, leaving them on a flat tray (placed in the freezer) and then stack them up with baking or greaseproof paper in between each pancake. That way, you can easily take one or two rice pancakes out on its own and have them for breakfast any time you want.
To defrost your leftover rice pancakes, just take them out the night before you want to use them and defrost them overnight in the fridge.
You can also defrost pancakes over a saucepan of simmering water or using a microwave or oven (see my notes about heating up your pancakes).
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How to re-heat leftover rice pancakes
I would always heat my rice pancakes in the microwave or oven (180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit for 5 minutes – depending on the quantity) and serve them warm, but they are also quite nice cold.
Simply microwave the rice pancakes for 10-20 seconds, depending on the quantity. Check after 10 sec and add more time if needed. You can keep them stacked in a 3-4 to prevent them from overheating or burning.
You can also use the oven to re-heat your pancakes by heating the oven to about 180C (350F) for 5 minutes – depending on the quantity and leaving the rice pancakes to warm through.
If you don’t have access to microwave or oven, you can also warm up rice pancakes over a saucepan of hot water.
To warm up pancakes over hot water, first add some water (1 inch – 3 cm) to a medium size saucepan and place it on a medium heat and let the water simmer.
Add the rice pancakes – ideally spaced out to a bowl or plate and place them on top of the saucepan. If you have something suitable, like a large lid or another light plastic bowl, cover the pancakes to make them warm up quicker.
Let the water simmer for 3-5 minutes, by which time the pancakes should be nice and hot. This method will keep the pancakes nice and soft (and not dried out like if you heat them up in the oven).
Rice pancakes (Sweet version from leftover rice)
- mixing bowl
- pancake pan or any suitable frying pan
- 1 cup leftover cooked rice white rice, pudding rice, jasmin rice or brown rice (not flavoured, savoury or salty)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour plain (cake) flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar any kind
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder optional (or vanilla extract or other flavouring of your choice)
- 1/4 cup milk dairy or plant based milk
- 1 egg
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the leftover rice, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt using a mixing spoon or a whisk.
- Add the rest of the ingredients – egg, milk and vanilla extract (or cinnamon powder or any other flavouring if using) and use a hand whisk to combine the pancake batter until smooth.
- Heat your frying pan (or pancake pan) on low to medium heat and lightly grease it with oil to make sure your rice pancakes won't stick.
- Spoon or pour your pancake batter on the frying pan either using a large spoon or ladle to measure your batter depending on how large you wan't your pancakes to be. If using a regular frying pan, leave a space between the pancakes so that they can cook properly.
- Make the pancakes slightly on a thinner side to make sure that the rice cooks through.
- Cook your pancakes for about 1 minute or until you see bubbles form on the pancake surface and the pancake batter starts to look dry. Gently lift the bottom of one pancake – it should be very lightly brown. If it is, flip or turn the pancake using a non-stick spatula and cook on the other side for another minute or so. Be careful when turning the pancakes as they can be sometimes a little delicate because of all the rice.
- Serve the pancakes with fresh fruit, drizzling of maple syrup or honey or your other favourite pancake toppings.
This blog post was originally written on 22 March 2023 and last updated on 23 March 2023