Thick, fluffy and full of warm spices, these pumpkin pancakes are a real taste of the fall and delicious for breakfast, or any meal for that matter!
Pumpkin Pancakes, the Best Kind of Fall Comfort Food
Each year, when the beautiful golden-orange autumn season comes around, I enjoy getting into my cozy little kitchen to play and come up with at least a couple of new recipes I can turn to that deliciously incorporate the spicy flavors of fall.
We are all big-time lovers of pancakes in our household—pancakes for breakfast and even pancakes for dinner for our beloved Saturday evening “Pancake Nights”.
So I wanted to create my own sweet and delicious recipe for buttery, spicy pumpkin pancakes, one that would become my fall go-to for this tasty staple in our home.
And because I already have a truly scrumptious recipe for these Granny Smith's Apple Flapjacks on the site (one of my absolute favorite pancakes recipes), I thought I'd keep it simple and use the base, tweaking it just a bit to create my pumpkin pancake recipe.
Homemade pumpkin pancakes are the best kind of fall comfort food there is, if you ask me. They're a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, a little bit colorful, and totally warm and cozy for any meal!
Tasty Ingredients for Tasty Pumpkin Pancakes
I've always felt that pancakes do best when prepared with a little extra TLC, with love and patience, and the right ingredients; and that way, they turn out fluffy, light, and just... right!
One of the ingredients that I like to reach for when making my pancake batter—pumpkin or any other kind—is buttermilk, because it's thick and creamy, and tenderizing.
I also love adding in melted butter, because butter gives pancakes a wonderful aroma and flavor, not to mention adds in some much needed richness.
And when we're talking autumn-inspired pancakes here, spices are an important part of the recipe; so I like to go the simple route of using a hefty sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice (a wonderful blend of spices) in my pancake recipe, along with an extra little pinch of cinnamon!
And, of course, we can't leave out the most important ingredient in these pumpkin pancakes, the pumpkin!
My choice is to use organic, pure pumpkin out of a can to make it easy; it provides moisture, flavor, and that lovely orange hue that speaks so much of autumn!
How to Make Pumpkin Pancakes
Making the batter and preparing these pumpkin pancakes is easy. You just need to remember to not over-mix the batter (to avoid making the pancakes “rubbery” or tough due to the glutens in the flour), and to cook them over moderate heat allowing them to cook through gently.
I keep my dry ingredients separate from my wet ingredients until I finally mix things together, which helps prevent over-mixing.
When you prepare this pancake batter you will see that it is on the thicker side, and this is completely normal for a buttermilk pancake batter.
This will yield nice fluffy pancakes, which are slightly thicker and have a soft, tender and melt-in-your-mouth quality.
Here's an overview of my pumpkin pancake recipe:
- In one bowl, I whisk together all of my dry ingredients; in another bowl, I whisk together all of my wet ingredients, including the pumpkin.
- I add the wet ingredients into the dry, and gently fold everything together just until combined (it's OK if there are a few streaks of flour—they will dissipate).
- I prepare a pan (or two) by lightly coating with cooking spray, and once nice and hot (but not overly hot); then, I add in my scoops of batter.
- After a couple of minutes, I flip the pancake(s) when slightly golden, and keep them in a “warm” oven (roughly 200°) while I prepare the rest of the batch.
- I serve with warm maple syrup and softened butter!
Tips & Tidbits for Pumpkin Pancakes Perfection:
- Pure pumpkin: Make sure to use pure pumpkin (preferably organic) for this recipe, and not pumpkin pie filling, as this has other ingredients added to it.
- Buttermilk, for rich and tender pancakes: Buttermilk actually tenderizes, and adds a hint of tang and richness. But if you do not have buttermilk, or prefer not to use that, you can substitute regular milk.
- Don't over-mix: When combining the wet ingredients with the dry, take care to not over-mix or overwork the batter, as this will yield rubbery and tough pancakes. Instead, use a spatula to fold things together until they are mostly combined. If you see a bit of the dry ingredients still there, don't worry, they'll dissolve into the batter.
- A thicker batter: The batter for these pumpkin pancakes will seem a bit thick, but this is as it should be—especially when it comes to buttermilk pancake batter. Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop out the batter, and you can gently “nudge” it a bit once in the pan to spread it out. You will see that it puffs up nicely, and makes for fluffy pancakes!
- Moderate heat: While you do want a nice amount of heat under the pan(s), take care not to go too high as to not burn the pancakes before they're cooked through. Medium heat is what I typically use, and give the pancakes a couple of minutes per side.
- Hold warm: While pancakes fresh out of the pan taste the best, that's not always ideal when you want to sit down to a meal with others and enjoy the pancakes together. You can prepare them a little ahead of time and keep them on a wire rack in a warm oven, around 200°. This way, you can all eat at the same time!
- Freeze 'em: Whenever I have any leftover (cooked) pancakes, I simply allow them to completely cool at room temp, and then wrap each individually in plastic wrap. Then, I store them in a large ziplock bag in the freezer, and reheat in the toaster oven! (You can make a entire batch this way to have on hand for homemade weekday breakfasts for the kids, or for whenever the craving strikes!)
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 12 pancakes (using a 1/3 cup measurement)
Nutrition Info: 303 calories (per two pancakes)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes (using just 1 pan)
Total time: 40 minutes
• 2 cups flour
• 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar
• 3/4 cup organic pumpkin puree (only pumpkin, not pie filling)
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 eggs, room temp
• 2 cups buttermilk, room temp
• 1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter, room temp
• Maple syrup, for serving
• Softened butter, for serving
• Chopped pecans, as optional garnish
-Preheat your oven to “warm” setting, or to 200°; place a wire rack over a baking sheet and place into the warm oven, as you will use this to place the finished pancakes onto to keep warm while you prepare the rest.
-Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon in a large bowl, and set aside these dry ingredients for a moment.
-To a separate bowl add the brown sugar, the pumpkin puree, the vanilla, the eggs, the buttermilk and the melted room temp butter, and using a hand mixer (or even a whisk), mix these wet ingredients until very well-blended.
-Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and switching now to a spatula, fold everything together gently until just combined, taking care not to over-mix (it's OK if there are a few little flour streaks). Batter will be slightly thick, and that is as it should be.
-Heat your pan (or pans) over medium heat, and lightly mist with cooking spray; using 1/3 cup measurements, scoop batter and add to hot pan, and allow the first side to cook for a couple minutes (check and adjust heat to make sure it's not cooking too hot or too cool) until that first side is golden-brown when you lift the edge; then flip and cook on the other side for another couple of minutes.
-Place cooked pancake onto the wire rack in oven to keep warm (or place onto plates immediately), and repeat with remaining batter.
-Serve with softened butter and warm maple syrup on the side, with pecans as optional toppers.