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21 Best Pancake Recipes You Gotta Try (All Types)

Pancake images

Pancakes have been fueling humanity since well before recorded history. Having a variety of pancake recipes in your back pocket will make you the star of every morning, so here is a collection of my favorite personal recipes and others from around the web. 

1. Fruit-Topped Pancakes

Fruit-Topped Pancakes

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Sugars that you can add right into the mix for sweet dough have not always been readily available. Traditional pancakes have a very light sweetness that is amplified by adding sweet ingredients on top. For most people, that means fruit.

Fresh fruit can be turned into a sweet syrup that moistens the pancake while adding flavor.

When your favorites are out of season, jams and preserves work just as well. From start to finish, you can have a filling breakfast ready in less than half an hour. Electric griddles make it much easier to control the heat and get foolproof timing for your flips, but stovetop cooking can pull off the same with a good non-stick pan.

2. German Apple Pancake

German Apple Pancake

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I like my pancakes thick and monstrous, and this recipe produces a beast of a Dutch baby that will have your eyes and stomach in a fierce competition to see who is bigger. As a plus, this type of pancake doesn’t have the same need for constant attention, although the baking time makes it take a bit longer than a small batch of fruit-topped pancakes would. The cast-iron pan is really essential here, since it allows you to get the right texture all around the pancake.

If you want to cut down on the total amount of carbs in the meal, you can reduce the amount of powdered sugar at the end and add a bit more lemon juice.

3. Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes

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Buckwheat flour is a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour. There is a noticeable flavor difference, and the pancake will likely be a little denser. I personally enjoy the extra notes it adds to the pancake, and the various health benefits make me feel better about eating it.

If you’re looking to cut down on your calories and your carbon footprint at the same time, you can plant your own buckwheat crop. Compared to wheat, growing buckwheat at home is much more viable. You can get a decent crop with just a 10-foot by 10-foot area, and buckwheat is a low-maintenance grower that refreshes the soil.

4. Sausage Pancake Breakfast Casserole

Sausage Pancake Breakfast Casserole

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Not everybody is a morning person, so being able to prepare breakfast ahead of time is a major game-changer. Convenience is a definite motivating factor when you’re considering the choice between a fantastic breakfast recipe or something you can toss into the toaster. With this recipe, you do the bulk of the preparation the previous night, so all you have to do in the morning is preheat the oven and toss the pan into it. 

For a lighter version, try the recommended blueberry substitution for the sausage. 

5. Make Your Own Buttermilk

Homemade Buttermilk

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While not absolutely necessary, buttermilk adds a slight tang to your pancakes. It doesn’t have the same variety of uses as normal milk, though, so you may not have any on hand. You can make your own in a snap by adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk.

This way you can make just the amount you need instead of buying a miniature carton of buttermilk that gets lost in the fridge after you use it once. You can also use apple cider vinegar to curdle the milk and add a hint of apple to it.

6. Baked Buttermilk Pancakes

Baked Buttermilk Pancakes

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This recipe will make use of that buttermilk you just learned how to make! When you don’t want to take time flipping and pouring while you manage the rest of a meal, you can bake your pancakes in the oven. This recipe gives both the instructions for a simple pancake mix and the settings for your oven.

The texture isn’t quite the same as pancakes made on a griddle, but you get a full flat of fluffy flapjacks with a fraction of the fuss. Ingredients that can benefit from more time in the heat to develop flavor are great here, like fresh blueberries or larger chocolate morsels.

7. Crepes: Tiny Little Pancakes

Crepes - Tiny Little Pancakes

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Playing with the size of the meal can have a drastic impact on the experience of eating it. The German Apple Pancake earlier is thick and filling with a very light fluffiness. On the other end, crepes are extremely thin and airy.

They fold over toppings with a tender embrace to create a layered bite. Getting the hang of the cooking process may take a few failed experiments, but the cooking time is faster than traditional pancakes once you do have it practiced.

8. Pancake Sausage Bites

Pancake Sausage Bites

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Pancake-wrapped sausage is now a classic way of delivering breakfast to speedy children, distracted teenagers, and busy adults. You can make them at home to save costs compared to purchasing the premade ones in the freezer section. This version works best with ground sausage, but slices of the whole sausage add a more meaty texture and usually have more zing.

9. Buttermilk Pancakes with Sausage Gravy

Buttermilk Pancakes with Sausage Gravy

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Buttermilk biscuits and creamy sausage gravy is a traditional breakfast in the American Midwest and South. The drop biscuits are heavier and coarser than pancakes, so they can hold up to more of the gravy than a pancake. The flavor combination still works, and you can use a smaller amount of the rich gravy for the same level of satisfaction.

10. Black Forest Pancakes

Black Forest Pancakes

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The decadence of chocolate, the soft tartness of cherries, and the smooth luxuriousness of whipped cream come together in Black Forest pancakes. The cake variety is one of my favorites, and the pancake option is just as delicious. Despite their appearance, the whipped cream and cherry juices replace all of the syrup you might use, so the overall indulgence is still reasonable.

11. Pancake Lasagna

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Every slice of this sweet and savory lasagna is bristling with carbs and proteins. The recipe suggests making the pancakes like normal, but the baked pancake method is perfect for preparing them. You can even bake the eggs and sausage into flat layers, which makes it easier to construct the lasagna and reduces the amount of work on the stovetop.

The bechamel sauce really helps to bind the entire meal together, but you can swap that out with 

12. Belgian Waffles

Belgian Waffles

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You shouldn’t overstuff your kitchen with gadgets, but some pieces of equipment are ones that I consider essential. If you don’t have a waffle iron in your kitchen, then you need to put one on your shortlist. The inexpensive models work just fine for making waffles, and it’s less fussy than learning the art of the pancake flip.

The preparation process is close to the same, so you can tweak the mixture ingredients or devise new toppings to customize your waffles. When you cook the batter in the waffle iron at high heat, it quickly crisps the outside while steaming the inside. The batter fluffs into the crevices of the iron, forming square pockets that collect melting butter and dripping syrup.

The mix of crisp and fluffy is just as good as a deep-fried donut hole.

13. Funfetti Pancakes

Funfetti Pancakes

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Real birthday cakes are not my favorite dessert, but these funfetti pancakes inspire child-like joy with their variety of colors and textures. Making them from any pancake recipe just requires adding rainbow sprinkles into the mixture, but you can take it further by adding fruit of different colors or adding food dye to the mixture. In a pinch, a box of funfetti cake mix can serve as the dry ingredients.

14. Pancake Donut Holes

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It’s hard to say no when you can pop a delectable sphere of sweet dough into your face before your brain has time to think. When you’re trying to force food into your fleeing family, that’s a beneficial feature. Set out a tray of donut holes with a few dipping sauces, and everyone can grab quick bites while they get ready for the day ahead.

I like to dip mine in my coffee while I try to become a real person again.

15. Elvis Pancakes: When You Really Want to Indulge

Banana bacon pancakes

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Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are one of my go-to quick snacks, and these Elvis pancakes take that same glorious conglomeration of smooth flavors to the next level. The crumbles of bacon and sticky maple syrup enhance both the salty and the sweet elements. The fluffiness of the pancakes and moisture from the syrup makes it easier to scarf down the whole pile before taking a drink, but you’ll still want something to wash down the heaviness.

Be prepared to need a few minutes before engaging in rigorous activity after eating these.

16. Congyoubing: Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

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Pancakes, even dainty ones like crepes, spark a picture of a heavy and filling breakfast. With the right touch, they can be a light, fresh, and savory start to the day. Congyoubing is a recipe that originates from China, and you can find different takes on it from around the area.

This version is thin like a crepe, but it has a bit more firmness. Scallions, or green onions, can grow throughout most of the year. Just snip a few from a planter in the window to get a sprinkling of vibrant flavor.

Even if you have a black thumb, you can regrow scallions from the store by putting the roots in a small glass of water by a window. When you add them to the mix and dip the finished pancakes in the suggested dipping sauce, the punch of flavor will kick you awake.

17. Lousiana Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

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While I agree that sweet potato fries are not equal to potato fries no matter how you season them, sweet potatoes do make an excellent substitute for pancake batter. The finished pancake is much less firm than a flour pancake, but you can slice through the soft layers easily with a fork. I probably wouldn’t go through all the effort of making the sweet potatoes first thing in the morning, but I look forward to making these pancakes when I have sweet potato leftovers in the fridge.

This recipe leaves you free to come up with your own toppings, but a bit of marshmallow fluff creates a breakfast version of holiday sweet potatoes.

18. Make Colorful Pancake Art

Colorful Pancake Art

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Using colored ingredients or food-safe dyes, you can turn each pancake into a unique work of art. Batter dispensing bottles give much better control over the picture than ladling the batter onto the griddle, but a plastic bag with a corner hole can serve as a makeshift dispenser if you don’t have one. Adding different flavors to each color lets the tongue enjoy the artwork as much as the eyes can.

Take a picture as soon as they’re done, because they won’t last long at the table.

19. Instant Pot Pancake Bites

Pancake Bites

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We already saw how to make pancake donut holes, but this recipe makes use of an instant pot to steam the bites. The exterior crisp isn’t quite as sharp as deep-frying them, but the bites themselves won’t be quite as heavy on the stomach because of it. Otherwise, the bites are great for dipping into sweet sauces or dusting with a light cover of powdered sugar and sprinkles.

If you use a buckwheat flour mixture and stick to lower sugar toppings, it can hit the same satisfaction spot as pancakes in smaller portion size with fewer empty calories.

20. Peanut and Pickle Pancakes. No, Really.

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Freedom of expression leads to innovation. Sometimes, that innovation can feel a bit scary. Peanut butter and pickles themselves are an eclectic but not unheard-of food combination, but this goes further by blending them into a whole dish.

The pickle juice goes into the pancake mixture, so there’s no avoiding the flavor by picking out the pickles. I won’t pretend that getting people to try these will be easy. Even when you do, there is a chance that the flavor combination’s uniqueness puts people’s tastebuds off when they expect a traditionally sweet breakfast.

For adventurous eaters, it can lead to a new perspective on how flavors can blend together.

21. Scallion Pancake Burritos

Scallion Pancake Burritos

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Building on the congyoubing, this recipe adds a filling and uses the scallion pancake as a wrap. The mixture of rice and pancake will fill any belly in a few bites, and the slaw of carrots and radishes adds crunch and salt. You can use kimchi as a garnish as the recipe suggests, or you can use a dipping sauce like the one you made for the earlier scallion pancake dish.

They have a tendency to fall apart, so supply a fork with the burrito so eaters can shovel up the remnants.