10 Ways to Turn Pancakes into a Unique Breakfast


Pancakes are a favorite breakfast food, but even the most popular dish can be boring if eaten the same way over and over again. Instead of eating buttermilk pancakes with butter and maple syrup, try one of these interesting and unique ways to enjoy a classic morning favorite. Most of these are easy to do, and will take your weekend breakfast from delicious to amazing.

Before serving these for a gathering or brunch, you should try them yourself. The only things worse than having something turn out poorly is having it turn out bad when serving for guests.

1. Make a Homemade Fruit Sauce

Perhaps the easiest way to liven up your pancakes is to make a homemade fruit sauce. It doesn’t take long, and will definitely perk up plain old pancakes.

Take about 2 cups of fresh chopped fruit (frozen works well too) and put it in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and let it cook down until thickened. Squeeze a lemon or orange into the fruit to brighten up the flavor and serve it warm with your pancakes.

Good fruits to try are berries (any type, or a mixture of several), peaches, plums, or cherries.  Watery fruits like melons may not turn out so well, so it’s best to serve these fresh. Once cooked, the fruit can be served instead of or in addition to syrup or alongside some vanilla yogurt for a creamy treat.

2. Infuse Your Syrup

Of course, regular maple syrup is delicious on pancakes, but for something extra special, you can infuse it with almost any flavor you can think of.  Dried or whole spices, fresh ingredients like ginger, or even espresso, can turn maple syrup into something amazing.

To do it, take a cup of maple syrup and put it in a saucepan. Add a tablespoon of whatever you’d like to infuse (for dried spices, about 1/2 a teaspoon is enough), and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover; allow to sit for about 20 minutes. Remove any large pieces (cinnamon sticks or other whole spices) and serve the syrup warm. You can use any combination of ingredients that sounds good to you. For best results, only infuse pure maple syrup instead of “pancake” varieties.

3. Add Fruit and Vegetables

Pureed fruits and vegetables can add sweetness and lightness to your pancake recipe, add flavor, and reduce fat. You can add almost anything you can think of. Applesauce, pureed sweet potatoes or squash, or peaches work well.

Simply replace half the fat in your recipe with the pureed fruit or vegetable of your choice and proceed as usual. You may need a little extra fat for cooking to help keep your pancakes from sticking.  Using healthy ingredients from your pantry can turn breakfast into a nutritious meal.

4. Use a Different Type of Flour

Almost any grain can be made into flour. Using different flours for your pancake recipe will not only change the flavor of your pancakes, but it may make them heartier. Whole-wheat flour, rye flour, or buckwheat flour will give your pancakes a heartier texture and a nuttier flavor. You can use cake flour for lighter pancakes or even gluten free flours for grain free options.

You can buy most of these flours in the baking aisle of your supermarket, or grind whole grains in a food processor for freshly milled flour.

5. Get Out Your Zester

The zest of lemons, limes, oranges, or even grapefruit can liven up your pancake recipe. While the juice will add a tart flavor, the zest of the fruit will add a bright, almost sweet citrus flavor to your favorite pancake recipe. Experiment with different flavor combinations. Lemon zest is a great addition to blueberry pancakes, lime works well with raspberries, and orange pairs deliciously with chocolate chips. The zest of one fruit should be enough for a standard recipe.

Make sure your fruit is clean, and preferably organic, since you are using the skin of the fruit as a flavoring agent.

6. Booze it Up

There are a number of ways you can add a boozy kick to this classic breakfast dish. You can add it directly to the batter (simply substitute a tablespoon or two of liquid for the liquid of your choice), or you can make a boozy addition by soaking fruit or nuts that you will then make into a sauce or add to the batter.

Bourbon, Grand Marnier, and Amaretto make delicious additions to pancakes, but feel free to experiment with whatever your favorite is or what you have on hand.

7. Add Bacon

Instead of eating your bacon on the side, why not add it directly to the batter? This makes for a delicious sweet and salty breakfast, especially when paired with real maple syrup. Just make sure your bacon is cooked and crumbled before adding it to the batter. You can even try crumbled up breakfast sausage or ham for something different.

Whatever meat you add should be fully cooked before adding it to your batter since it won’t have time to cook inside your pancakes.

8. Turn Them Into Dessert

You can make pancakes reminiscent of your favorite carrot cake, zucchini bread, or banana bread. Chocolate chips, coated candies, or even sprinkles can be added to pancake batter for a pretty, delicious, and sweet breakfast treat. Even something as simple as a swirl of cinnamon added to your batter can turn basic pancakes into something special, especially for a birthday breakfast or other special occasion treat.

9. Make Them Savory

Pancakes don’t have to be sweet; you can turn them into something savory by adding an array of herbs and spices, or other ingredients like cheese or vegetables.

Try to think of flavor combinations you love and what would work well in a pancake. Chili powder works well with corn and cheddar, while a good quality Parmesan cheese would pair nicely with fresh or dried herbs. Experiment with your favorites until you find something that you like; just make sure you write down what you added and the amounts so that you can replicate your successes or tweak those that didn’t turn out like you’d hoped.

10. Make Them Seasonal

Just like every other type of food, seasonal ingredients work well for your favorite breakfast foods. Pumpkin pancakes are perfect in the fall, while an orange cranberry pancake may be a nice addition to a holiday brunch. Fresh, flavorful peaches will make a spectacular summer pancake, and of course strawberries in the spring. Try a variety of different flavors and combinations all year long, and don’t be afraid to make different sauces, syrups, and batter additions with unexpected ingredients.

Instead of serving the same pancakes every weekend, try new and interesting flavor combinations. Pancakes are a pretty versatile choice and adapt well to a variety of sauces, additions, and flavorings. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of fresh ingredients to make a new favorite breakfast dish. Once cooked, almost any type of pancake can be wrapped and frozen. Simply thaw in the microwave for a hot breakfast any day of the week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *