20 Ways to Make Your Pancakes Less Boring
Get ready to flip for flapjacks again.
Are you tired of making the same old pancakes over and over? I've got the cure for your flapjack fatigue with recipes and tips to make pancakes fluffier, tastier, and more inventive than ever.
1. Fluff 'em Up
Face it: Flat-as-a-pancake doesn't sound as good as fluffy pancakes do. To give your pancakes more lightness and lift, substitute buttermilk for regular milk in your recipe. Cook's tip: To form natural bubbles in the batter, buttermilk needs to react with baking soda, so add at least 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for every 6 ounces of buttermilk.
2. Fill 'em With Fruit
Small bits of fruit such as berries, bananas, and finely chopped apples or pears add moisture, flavor, and texture to plain pancakes. Cook's tip: Blueberries and other smooth-skinned berries tend to sink to the bottom of the batter, resulting in an uneven distribution of fruit. You can solve this two ways: 1. Sprinkle blueberries onto each pancake before flipping it. 2. Dust blueberries with flour before gently folding them into the batter.
3. Get Spicy
Add pumpkin purée and fragrant spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to get pancakes that taste like pumpkin pie. Cook's tip: Don't waste your money on pre-ground nutmeg; you're not getting the flavor you think you're paying for. Instead, keep a couple of whole nutmegs in a small airtight jar and grate just enough for your recipe. You'll taste and smell a world of difference.
4. Chuck in Some Chocolate
Dessert for breakfast? Trust me, no one's going to complain. You can stir cocoa powder into pancake batter, add chocolate chips, or drizzle chocolate syrup over regular pancakes. Cook's tip: If you use sweetened cocoa powder, you might want to cut back the amount of sugar you use in your batter.
5. Go Full-On Elvis
Elvis Presley immortalized the peanut butter, banana, and bacon grilled sandwich -- and if it's good enough for the King, it's certainly good enough for your breakfast. Cook's tip: Add cooked crumbled bacon to this recipe for Elvis Pancakes to get the full Elvis experience.
6. Everything's Better With Bacon
Instead of crumbling bacon into the batter, why not pour the batter over the bacon? Cook's tip: Bake your bacon instead of frying it to reduce shrinking and curling. Be sure to blot off extra grease before pouring on the batter.
Watch the video and try this recipe for Bacon Pancake Strips with Maple-Peanut Butter Sauce.
7. Everything's Better With Bacon, Part 2
Everyone's going to come running to the table when they get a whiff of these hearty pancakes loaded with spiced apples, bourbon, and bacon. Cook's tip: You can cook the apples and bacon the day before to speed up pancake production in the morning.
8. Get Wholesome
Add fiber, nutrition, and extra flavor with whole grains and seeds in the mix, such as oatmeal, whole wheat, spelt, and flax. Cook's tip: Whole grains and seeds should be kept in the fridge or freezer to preserve freshness.
9. Go Dutch
You can't beat a baked Dutch Baby pancake for big time pancake drama. Also knows as German Baby or Puff Pancakes, they puff up like popovers as they bake. You can make them in a cast iron skillet, muffin pan, pie pan, or baking dish, and fill them with fruit or savory ingredients. Cook's tip: To get maximum puffage, have the milk and eggs at room temperature before making the batter.
Watch the video and try this recipe for Chef John's Dutch Babies.
10. Go Bananas
Bananas + pancakes are a thing and they don't care who knows it. Cook's tip: If your recipe calls for mashed bananas, be sure to use bananas that are very soft with skins that range from heavily speckled to completely dark brown. The same overripe bananas that make the best banana bread work best for mashed-banana pancakes.
Watch the video and try this recipe for Coconut Banana Pancakes.
11. Taters, Precious
Sweet potatoes, that is. (What a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers!) Cook's tip: If you don't have time to bake sweet potatoes, you can substitute canned.
12. Love 'em With Lemon
Add a bright zing of flavor with lemon zest and/or lemon juice right in the batter. Cook's tip: It's easier to zest a lemon before you slice it in half to juice it. To capture all the tasty zest and lemon oil that comes with it, zest your lemon right over the batter bowl. Be sure to stop as soon as you reach the white layer of pith underneath the thin yellow skin because that part is bitter.
Watch the video and try this recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
13. Alternative Flour Power
Try different textures and flavors that gluten-free almond flour, cornmeal, rice flour, quinoa, and buckwheat bring to the pancake party. Cook's tip: Alternative flours lack the gluten contained in conventional wheat flour and may not have the rise, chew, and fluffiness of wheat flour pancakes. Learn more about gluten-free flours and how to use them.
14. Savor the Savory
Pancakes don't have to be all sweetness and light. You can have potato pancakes, zucchini pancakes, scallion pancakes, and kimchi pancakes. Add some salt and smoke to the mix with savories like meats and cheeses and enjoy the happy contrast in every bite of all-in-one savory pancakes like these hefty Mancakes. Cook's tip: Be sure any meats like bacon and sausage are fully cooked and drained before adding them to pancake batter.
15. Think Thin
Crepes, blintzes, and blini may look like pancakes' thinner cousins, but don't let that fool you: What they lack in heft they often make up for in sweet or savory fillings. Cook's tip: Use a small nonstick pan to make individual crepes, blintzes,and blini. Stack them up and keep them warm with a clean kitchen towel.
16. Put the Cake in Pancake
17. Cue up the Cookies
Yes, Monster Cookie Pancakes are over-the-top. But they're meant to be. Delight the kid in you (and everyone else) with Brookie Pancakes, Snickerdoodle Pancakes, and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pancakes, too.
18. Get Sweet on Sourdough
Using a fermented sourdough starter in these pancakes makes them pleasingly fluffy, tangy, and chewy. Cook's note: You can use the same sourdough starter you'd use for sourdough bread, or try this recipe for sourdough starter. If you're making your own sourdough starter, you'll need a week or so to let it develop, so plan ahead.
19. Do Like the Danes
You'll need a special pan to make these tiny Danish aebleskiver pancakes (think of them as a cross between pancakes and doughnuts) filled with jam, nut butter, fruit, honey, chocolate, etc. But the wow-factor is worth it. Complete your Scandinavian tour with Swedish pancakes, and Norwegian pancakes as well.
20. Bring 'em on Down to Veganville
Don't make the mistake of thinking egg-free and milk-free means flavor-free. Cook's tip: Did you know conventional granulated sugar isn't vegan? Nor is honey. You can look for certified vegan sugar (it's all in how it's processed) or substitute maple sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, agave nectar, sugar made from evaporated cane juice or sugar beets, or stevia.
Watch the video and try this recipe for Vegan Pancakes.