How to Make Tapioca Flour Pancakes August 17, 2016

by Eat

Best way to get through those Olympic TV marathons? Whipping up these sweet or savory tapioca flour pancakes.

tapioca flour-pancakes-crepes-recipe-HelloFresh

Tapioca, also known as manioc, is a starchy substance extracted from the root of the yuca plant. When ground into a flour, it can be used in place of cornstarch as a thickening agent for soups and glazes. You’ve likely also come across the ingredient in the form of chewy, small pearls in puddings or bubble tea. Today, however, we’re turning our attention (and our stomachs) to a traditional Brazilian street food: tapioca flour pancakes.

And by pancakes, we mean SUPER simple, gluten-free, sweet or savory masterpieces.

Super Simple

Thanks to the hefty amount of moisture in tapioca, it can cook into a thin pancake with only one added ingredient: water! Doesn’t get much easier than that.

tapioca flour-pancakes-crepes-sweet-recipe-HelloFresh


Since tapioca is not a grain, it is naturally gluten-free. (However, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should be aware of the risks of cross-contamination and opt only for store-bought brands that are certified gluten-free.)

Speaking of nutrition, tapioca also aids digestion, enhances energy levels, and improves circulation.

Sweet or Savory

These crepe-style pancakes can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or anytime in-between. To satisfy your sweet tooth, fill them with fruit and either chocolate or honey. For savory cravings, try a hearty shredded beef filling, the classic cheese curds and coconut combo, or a ham, cheese, and arugula trifecta.

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We’ll let the recipe speak for itself, here. Trust us, if you’ve never had tapioca flour pancakes, you’re in for a treat.

Brazilian Tapioca Flour Pancakes


  • 1/3 Cup Small Tapioca Pearls
  • Sliced Bananas
  • Honey
  • Oranges
  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Arugula
  • Tomatoes


  1. Prepare the pancake mixture: Place the tapioca pearls in a sift and dip into water before draining. Be sure they are as dry as possible.
  2. Cook the pancake: Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add a thin layer of tapioca to the warm pan.
  3. Add the fillings: For savory pancakes, use ham, cheese, arugula, and tomatoes. For sweet ones, add honey, oranges, and bananas.
  4. Fold the tapioca pancake in two and serve!

Wash down your sweet or savory tapioca flour pancakes with a refreshingly fruity caipirinha cocktail (or two).

While you’re at it, show off your Brazilian cooking skills by snapping a photo and tagging #HelloFreshPics.

Looking for more gluten-free recipes? We’ve got three words for you: banana bread muffins.

Happy Cooking!

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Guest says:

Can Jacqueline better explain step 1 of the tapioca pancakes in the blog? Never having worked with pearls before, I don’t understand the concept of putting them in a sifter and dipping in water? And drying them?

Jacqueline says:

Junette – Because pearls come as hard white balls, they need to be hydrated before being used. That’s why we recommend placing the pearls in water before draining and drying out on a paper towel. That way, they’ll become soft, slightly translucent, and stick together into a pancake when heated. But if you want, you can also make these pancakes with tapioca flour!

Rose says:

Can you use ground tapioca flour instead if pearls?

Jacqueline says:

Rose – Absolutely! You’ll need approximately 1/2 cup water for every cup of tapioca flour. Simply place the flour in a bowl and add the water gradually, stirring as you go. The mixture will be clumpy, but you can break it up with your fingers or a fork. Keep stirring and adding water until there are only small clumps. Put the moistened flour through a strainer, using a spoon to help it pass through. Then, sprinkle the sifted flour evenly over a preheated skillet, let cook about 30-45 seconds, flip, and add your toppings!

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