I woke up early the morning after Thanksgiving. Since everyone was home and I was still in ‘cooking mode’, I decided to surprise the kids with my VERY popular applesauce pancakes. I headed into the kitchen and started pulling together the ingredients and unfortunately, I quickly realized that we were missing the key ingredient — the applesauce!
Being the day after Thanksgiving, the first substitute that came to mind was pumpkin. Though the applesauce was gone, there were a couple of cans of pumpkin in the cupboard, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to create! I’ll spoil the surprise and say that these pumpkin pancakes were a hit! The kids were certainly a little apprehensive even though they like pumpkin, but they can’t resist pancakes, so they didn’t require much coaxing.
I started with a buttermilk pancake mix, but this recipe can easily be adapted for your own scratch pancakes. With 4 hungry kids on hand and having lost time planning the new recipe, I wanted to get breakfast on the table as quickly as possible. Hence, the shortcut with the mix. I’ve had some ideas along the way for variations and you can find those at the bottom of the post.
Assuming that the reader has experience making pancakes, here are the ingredients. This is for a large family, equivalent to a double batch, so you may need to scale it back a bit for what you need. The advantage of this size batch is that you will use the entire can of pumpkin. Otherwise, you’ll need to have another use for the half can of pumpkin or it will go to waste.
I have always found that pancakes freeze well, so I never worry about left overs. I just cook a ton and freeze what’s left. I layer them between pieces of wax paper and then wrap the stack in aluminum foil, label and pop them in the freezer. The frozen pancakes thaw fast and with the wax paper in between, it’s easy to take out just what you need and put the rest back in the freezer. Just microwave for a quick and yummy breakfast. You can even toast them in the toaster if you thaw them first.
Pumpkin Pancake Ingredients
4 c. dry buttermilk pancake mix
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. white sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground allspice
dash of mace (optional)
2½ c. milk
NOTE: You will most likely need to adjust the milk component to get the consistency that you prefer. The reason is that the other ingredients may add more or less liquid. Larger eggs will add more. Some pumpkin puree is thicker, some thinner. The fat % of your milk may also affect the thickness of your batter. So, the amount of milk listed is most likely the minimum that you will need – add as much milk as you need to achieve the thickness you desire.
Cook them just as you would any other standard pancake recipe. These pancakes have such fantastic flavor that syrup is unnecessary. In fact, it can take away from the flavor of the pancakes themselves. Serve hot with butter and enjoy! Pair them with fresh fruit on the side and some eggs (or your favorite egg substitute) for a balanced breakfast.
Next time I think I will use honey instead of the white sugar and add some pecans. We love nuts and they go so well with pumpkin! I might even hide some wheat germ in there too If you make a scratch pancake base, you can use whole wheat flour.
We welcome your comments and suggestions!