Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the coconut flakes on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about two minutes, stir, then bake for another minute and a half. Once the flakes are a nice golden brown color, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a blender or food processor. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, and blend to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and the blended coconut-sugar mixture.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine melted butter, vanilla, egg yolk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and buttermilk. Beat gently with a whisk until combined.
In a small bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, being careful not to over-beat. You want it so that when the beaters are lifted, the peaks stand firmly up without curling at the tips.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir gently with a whisk, being careful not to over-mix. Lumpy batter is what we want! You only need to do about 5-7 big stirs, then stop. Now, gently fold in the whipped egg white until it is just combined with the batter; there should be little to no white streaks.
Let the batter rest for at least five minutes while you bring a pan to medium heat on the stovetop. If using a griddle, set the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the surface with non-stick spray.
Once the pan is hot enough, pour in a 1/3 cup of pancake batter. Once the edges look cooked through and small holes pop up and remain on the surface, flip the pancake and cook for about 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat until there is no leftover batter.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings and maple syrup, if desired.