Gramcake, 15p (GLUTEN-FREE) (VEGAN)


Some people say socca, some say farinata; I decided to christen my breakfast this morning ‘gramcake’ – a pancake made with gram flour and little else. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to crack into my bag of gram flour, seeing it ticks all of my culinary boxes – it’s high in protein, versatile, and I can bake with it! All of which make me very happy indeed. This simple recipe made for a very satisfying breakfast – you can amend the spices and flavours to whatever you like, as the base is slightly sweet and nutty, so will complement all manner of things. I opted for spice this morning, because chilli and cumin are great any time of day, and I’m more of a savoury than sweet girl myself.

Serves 1, easily doubled or tripled or multiplied by 87:
50g gram flour, 7p (KTC gram flour £1.30/1kg)

100ml water

a pinch of salt <1p (Basics Table salt 25p/750g)

a splash of oil 2p (Sunflower oil £4/3l)

¼ tsp ground cumin <1p (£1/42g)

a pinch of dried chilli flakes <1p £1/32g

a wedge of lemon, 3p (Basics lemons £1.10/5)
Beat the gram flour with a little of the water to form a thick paste, then loosen with the remaining water for a runny batter. Making the paste first stops the gram flour from forming into clumps and lumps, as it might when you add the water all in one go. For a richer pancake you can make it with milk instead of water, but water works just fine in this. I’m looking forward to a future version with coconut milk or almond milk, but I don’t feel that this version is a compromise in any way!

Add the cumin and chilli (or whatever spices you choose) to the batter and mix through, then stand the batter to one side to rest for 30 minutes – if you’re in a rush it’s not absolutely utterly essential to rest the batter but the results are better if you do.

Heat a little oil in a pan and pour the batter in. Cover the pan with a lid/plate/foil to trap the heat and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for around 5 minutes, until the edges are coming away from the side of the pan and the bottom is crisp. Covering the pan cooks the top of the pancake with the trapped heat, rather than the palaver of trying to flip it over. I am a rubbish pancake tosser (we all have our flaws) so worked out how to cheat them a while ago! Fold in half, squeeze some lemon over, and enjoy.

Jack Monroe. You can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @MsJackMonroe

If you like my blog you might be interested in one of my cookbooks, check them out at the tax-paying independent-bookshop-supporting Hive Stores (they also deliver to your home)


  1. You can make a great pancakey Indian thing called Besan Chilla/cheela with gram flour, it’s a bit like a spicy version of Socca, I used to do them on my stall in the market, they were topped with onion, fresh chillis & tomatoes, super tasty and cheap to make, they same mix is also great for using up leftover veg that are lurking in the fridge

  2. That sounds delicious.

    I would use it to wrap up some Bombay potatoes, coriander and raita.

  3. Hi Jack this looks a great breakfast, perhaps a few strawberries on top but yum …….. Jackiexxx

  4. I learned about socca from a friend with a son with coeliac syndrome. Tried it on my boys who were going through a pancakes for every meal phase and we were hooked. Great with curries, great for quesadillas, but we haven’t actually had them for breakfast yet, what was I thinking?

  5. I immediately made these for lunch as I too have a bag of gram flour glaring at me from a cupboard. They were successful, but I think they need something smeared on them as well as lemon juice. I used sweet chili sauce. Thanks for the suggestion – even my husband ate his (with cream cheese), and he is wary of surprises.

  6. I’m trying to eat low carbish wherever possible and I can’t eat wheat/gluten etc,I just wondered if this is high or low in carbs, I’m diabetic and carbs make my blood sugars rise unfortunately.

  7. Bit of honey along with the cinnamon in the batter. Top with fruit and cream? I guess anything you old do with pancakes could be done here.

  8. Panelle, in Sicily; the flour and water are cooked first, like a porridge, with some parsley. You can either put it in a cake tin, and then slice it thin when cold, or spread it on the counter (wood or stone) and then cut it in rectangles. Panelle are then fried in olive oil and eaten right away, usually with bread, like a sandwich. Sicilian street food. And they say, ‘pane e panelle fan le figlie belle’ (bread and panelle make women beautiful (literally daughters)).
    Thanks for the recipes, and your political work.

  9. Hooray! At last a way to make pancakes without using eggs! Thanks Jack. I’d probably top mine with peanut butter and/or chocolate spread, (both fairtrade for preference) – or is that going overboard on the calories slightly??

      • Great, thanks Jack, but this one works better for great big flat “English” type pancakes, the other one is more the “American” type, and works best for little thick ones. Thanks for both, anyway. You’re a great help with the pension!

  10. Sorry, I maybe a bit behind here, but what actually is gram flour? BTW love you Jack! Don’t you fear I’m a 61 year old male. You really are a beautiful person, inside & out. Take time, sometimes to look after yourself.

    • Hi Mick! It’s a flour made from ground chickpeas, some gram flour is made from dry chickpeas, and some is from roasted (a superior flavour in my opinion but more expensive, so I use the ordinary version). Hope that helps! It can be bought from most major supermarkets but they vary – some keep it in the ‘world food’ aisle near the naan breads, and some have it with the flour. 🙂

  11. I found some old gram flour I forgot about and I’m excited by all the crazy things you can do with it – it does so much more than just coating bhajis / pakoras! I will definitely be trying this savoury recipe. I’ve just made these biscuits Jack which came out really well, maybe you can have a go and give us your own gram flour biscuits version! XXXX Keep up the fab work!!!

  12. This looks interesting. Would you believe that I have a bag on gram flour in the cupboard? I have been intending to use for a while now.

    I’m on a “using up” binge at the moment as the contents of the freezer and larder need using up. What can I do with a butternut squash (not into soup at the moment)? I also succumbed to buying two packets of ground rice recently (reduced from 62p to 19p but stilll with a few months left on the best before date) so need somthing to do with those (otherwise once out of date they will go to my sister to bake simple biscuit mix for her dogs). I have aubergines, peppers and courgettes in the fridge to use up too. I usually end up chopping up and just roasting these but I could do with some other ideas. I obviously need your books, if there is enough money left at the end of the month to order. Thank you for writing your books and sharing your recipe ideas.


    • Hi Stephanie, if you want to extend the life of your bargain bags of ground rice, you can make ‘pasta’ from them – I’ve not done it myself yet but in my research have found many many many recipes for ‘rice pasta’ – if it were me I would make it, leave it to air dry, and store it in an airtight jar/bag/container – pasta lasts forever once dried, so you wouldn’t have the pressure of having to use two bags very quickly!

      Aubergines can be a base for a curry, then frozen, and if it were me I would roast those courgettes and peppers and blitz them into a pasta sauce, and freeze it in handy sized portions. Peppers can just be sliced and frozen for future use, or add some spice and a tin of tomatoes and knock up a jalfrezi sauce for a lazy day…

  13. On a roll with the gram flour now, thanks to your recipes Jack. The gram flour has gone from being an unloved sad looking bag at the back of the cupboard, to having pride of place at the front (having just made the socca frying pan pizza last night which came out really well) – and just made this it’s so yummy! I decided to use up the leftover leek and onion from the amazing looking kidney bean and peanut butter burger recipe I am making later, fried them gently and then added them to this batter. I fried the gramcake with some spring onions and chives that needed using up and some grated cheese sprinkled on top and a plate over to cover. Utterly delicious and this is definitely going to be a new favourite. To my mind, much more satisfying then regular pancakes. Hooray, thanks again, Jack!

  14. This looks great! I’m loving your gram flour recipes as I bought some a while ago for 1 recipe and the rest has been sat there waiting to be used ever since 🙂

  15. I made these for lunch today for my husband and I and served them with half an avocado. They went down a treat, thanks for the recipe! Definitely going to try them for breakfast with cinnamon and honey as suggested above.

    • I think you mean Graham Flour here (a specific method of milling wheat flour), which is not gluten free.

      However Jack is using Gram Flour, which is ground chickpeas and IS gluten free.

  16. Thank you Jack I tried this (did a sweet version) Will be trying your Pizza next. I love your recipes. Just the thing for a cash strapped pensioner. X

  17. This is really similar to the recipe on the packet of gram flour I bought some time ago. I modified it to add peas (blitzed all together with a blender), after I bought a tin of mushy peas by accident. Pea pancakes are actually really good, and I prefer them made with gram flour, though you could use any flour I would think.

  18. I’ve made these for lunch two days in a row. I put cumin, fried red onion and green chillies in mine and had it with lots of chopped coriander.

    Once I used up my old bag of KTC gram flour (which had been in the cupboard for ages) I went to Morrisons looking for the 2kg bags for a quid but unsurprisingly they had sold out. I got mine in Asda for £1.97 in the end.

    I’ve made Jack’s socca pizza and gramcakes with it along with wraps and focaccia.

    Thanks for the inspiration!.

  19. I follow a GF diet for Coeliac disease. These are amazing and so easy. I can make 6 from 100g gram flour. I make a batch to leave in fridge and have been using them for wraps.

  20. I just used this recipe to make an egg-free Spanish omelette – I sautéed some onions and cooked potato first, and then poured the soca mix around it. Lovely!

  21. I’ve made bread using half gram flour and half plain. You need 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast for every teaspoon you’d use for a wheat flour and it takes a heck of a lot longer to rise, but the kids loved it. I’ve never tried using all gram flour, but might have to experiment…

  22. Am moving house so on a mission to use up all our food before we go. I’m also dieting and trying to eat more protein so this recipe is perfect! Whipped up a batch for me and my small boy for breakfast and they went down a treat! I worked out the nutritional info based on KTC flour per 100g – 382kcal, 5.3g fat, 22.2g protein, 60.3g carbs

  23. In Africa, they do a recipe like this, but substitute soda water for water. It makes a thicker flat bread, and tastes great with curry.

  24. finally got round to trying this recipe! Its fab, i used a premixed spice mix we buy locally (infact i add that to almost everything haha) Im going to make them thinner next time and make a dosa type thing with them

    Ps. more vegan recipes please :p

  25. Just cooking this now, it smells amazing! Do you know if the batter can be frozen? Thank you for inspiring the ‘foodie’ in me Jack 😉

  26. If you add a small amount of black salt (which is actually pink) it gives a very eggy taste to gram/chickpea flour and makes very realistic omelettes.

  27. Hello! I am really pumped to try this recipe! Am wondering though, about how much gram flour is needed in terms of volume? We measure ingredients in deciliters, tablespoons etc here in Sweden and I don’t have any kitchen scales…

    Best regards,

  28. So I have to express my love for this recipe again! Since I started been making these in May, I’ve had them every week in one guise of another. This recipe is so flexible, healthy, quick and cheap, I love it! Last week I made oven roasted ratatouille and made a few gramcakes, stuffed them with the ratatouille and baked them. Today I am having the gramcake for lunch with coriander, walnut and cashew nut pesto dolloped on it. Next week I am going to make a chickpea curry, stuff the gramcakes with the curry and serve with yoghurt. They are also great stuffed with mixed fried veg (I especially favour onion, leek, garlic and grated carrot fried in coconut oil) and any beans (and cheese if you’re of the veggie rather than vegan persuasion). My husband has just had to give up wheat so the lovely gramcake is coming into its own even more! So glad you shared this recipe Jack, it’s a total and utter winner!

  29. You mention leaving it for 30 mins in the fridge. i just wondered, could you make the batter the night before and make a quick pancake for the road in the morning?
    I’m not really a morning person but trying to get better about eating breakfasts.

  30. Hi, you mention leaving the batter in the fridge for 30 mins but i just wondered if you could leave it over night. Then make a quick pancake for the road? im not really a morning person but im trying to get better about eating breakfasts.

  31. ooooh! I am so having this for breakfast. If I can find gram flower over here (canada). I will hunt! Thank you for including GF options!

  32. Take it this is the recipe you suggest with the beet burgers (the link isn’t working). tried it, had plenty of oil but my pancake welded itself to the (non stick) frying pan, not seen anything quite that bad before. Tasted nice though. Saved the rest of the mix in the fridge, going to try see if it makes indian yorkshire pudding tomorrow instead

  33. Hi all,

    I made this and it stuck to the pan, like it was a little calf sucking on mummy cow’s tits:( Any ideas why that might be? I’ve never worked with gram flour before. The measurements were ok (i used half a cup for both the flour and water, which is about the same amount as the ml’s and grams in the recipe), I have used a non-sticky pan with generous amount of oil. So I’m not sure where I went wrong. The only thing I can think of is that the batter might have been too high in the pan. Any suggestions are welcome, cause the scrapings were VERY tasty (i put some apricot jam on them and had cinnamon in the batter. yum!) so I’d like to actually get a pancake out of it the next time I’ll make it. 🙂

  34. Brilliant, thanks Jack! I’ve had most of a bag of gram flour sitting unused in my cupboard for ages, so that’s my breakfasts sorted for the next week or two. It was a bit heavy for me the first time round so I added 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda and a splash of lemon juice to make a nice fluffy pancake. It tasted fine with water but I’m planning to try it with orange juice instead (my standard milk replacement when baking, e.g. in muffin recipes).

  35. How long can a bag of gram flour last in cupboard once opened? Mine must be 2 years old now, at least. The plan was onion bhajis but this looks like a much better idea – and a simple vegan pancake recipe too, which is never to be sniffed at. I’ll be trying this one definitely.

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