Okay, so I’m kind of on an apple kick here lately, but I think I’m moving on to something else after this one! Apples are just so versatile and definitely one of my favorite fruits, so I just always have some on hand.
If you’re looking for something a little different and wonderfully delicious for breakfast this weekend, look no farther. These pancakes are absolutely divine and way better than the traditional, boring ones you’d make with (horror of horrors) the pre-made just-add-water-and/or-eggs-and-milk mixes.
That’s right, these are made totally from scratch. No mystery white flour-like substance full of who knows what in these. More than likely, you have everything you need right in your house already. If not, it’s all just a quick trip to the grocery store away. This recipe makes about 6 pancakes, but it’s very easy to double or triple if you’re serving more people!
Pancakes sit in this wonderful hybrid area between “baking” and “cooking,” but they start off like most other baking recipes: mix the dry ingredients first, and then add the wet.
So, in a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.
To this, add your first wet ingredients: a scant 1/2 cup of milk and 1 egg. Whisk to combine.
MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Don’t over-whisk! The key to light, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes is to not beat the mix to death. Whisk it until your ingredients are just combined, and then STOP!
Now comes the flavor ingredients: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup apple butter (or apple sauce, but I prefer the denser, sweeter flavor of apple butter; if you’re using apple sauce, you may need to add more of it to give a comparable flavor), 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Again, whisk until just combined.
** For those who are unfamiliar with apple butter, it’s sort of like a very fine, sweet apple jelly. It’s called apple “butter” because there’s no chunks of fruit in it like there is in jelly. Imagine a really finely processed apple sauce, with more flavor and sweetness. It’s dark brown, unlike the golden color of apple sauce.
Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and melt about a tablespoon of butter on it. Not only does the butter help the pancakes not to stick, it also adds a flavor element.
Use a spatula to ensure the entire cooking surface is covered in butter, and then pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the skillet. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan – you don’t want the pancakes touching each other.
MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Wait until the pancakes are bubbling and there is a darker edge around the pancakes before attempting to flip them. Trust me, they aren’t ready to be flipped until there’s bubbles. I promise.
It’s usually a couple of minutes for the first side and only about a minute or so for the other side. You should never have to flip them more than once! They will be a little darker than what you’re probably used to seeing, simply because the batter is darker due to the apple butter.
Once they’re done, stack them up on a plate and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sugar! Top with your favorite pancake syrup.
I also tried these topped with banana slices and powdered sugar – hoo boy was that delicious, too! But the apple slices complement it best, I think. The crispness and tartness of the apples gives a nice balance to the sweet pancakes.
I also have a great banana pancake variation – perhaps I’ll tweak that a little and post it someday soon. 😉
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
Yield: About 6 Pancakes
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Scant 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
Apple slices and cinnamon sugar, for garnish.
1) Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium size bowl.
2) Whisk in milk and 1 egg until just combined.
3) Whisk in sugar, apple butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until just combined.
4) Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter on it, ensuring entire skillet is covered.
5) Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes or until pancakes are bubbling and the edges are darkening, then flip. Cook 1 additional minute after flipping, or until pancakes are cooked through.
6) Remove from heat, garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sugar, and serve!