cinnamon roll pancakes
I dedicate this post to the fabulous young lady who occupies the additional bedroom in the apartment that I reside in. My wonderful roommate and I were chatting over GTalk one day at work when I received the message “ummmmmm…can we make these for my birthday?” with a link to this FANTASTIC and decadent recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes. My roomie is frequently used as a tester for my recipes so I wanted to honor her request as a way to thank her for her honest feedback of the things I make and also as a way to celebrate the day of her birth some 28 years ago. While there is a little bit of prep for this recipe, once it’s all ready, it is relatively easy to make and just takes one or two pancakes before you get the hang of the technique. I’ll share a few of my lessons learned as well so hopefully you can avoid making the mistakes I made.
The recipe claims to make 4 servings (which is 4 pancakes). Normally I wouldn’t say that one pancake is sufficient for one person so I felt that it was appropriate to double the recipe when making it for 3 people. In the end, doubling it gave me about 7 large pancakes and enough cinnamon swirl probably for at least 10-12 pancakes if not more. So here are my tips if you decide to make these awesome special occasion/spoil someone you really love breakfast treats:
- If you double the recipe for the pancake batter, do not double the recipe for the cinnamon swirl topping. Depending on how much cream cheese frosting you use, you may or may not need to double that. I did and had some left over but not an obscene amount.
- My servings were 2 large pancakes each. None of us cleaned our plates. The pancakes are rich, especially if you make them big. I would suggest making one (or two if someone is REALLY hungry) per person and then having some eggs or breakfast meat on the side or making smaller pancakes with two or three per person. Probably best to pair them with something though so you don’t feel SO gluttonous at the end of your meal.
- The cinnamon topping works better and is easier to swirl when it is thicker so after making it, put it in the zip lock bag and throw it in the freezer to let it cool off for a few minutes.
- Ignore the quantity of butter you are using.
So you will want to make all these ahead of time, before you start cooking. I suggest starting with the cinnamon swirl so you can let it cool while you make the batter. Thus I will begin there. Mix the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until melted and well combined. I did microwave the mixture a bit to make sure the sugar was melted in. Pour mixture into a zip lock baggie and place in freezer/fridge for a few minutes. I thought the swirling worked best when the mixture was the consistency (as my recipe source said) of toothpaste. She said if it gets too thick to microwave it for a few seconds – I never even came close to having that issue.
For the batter, feel free to use bisquick but the batter should be a bit thicker than a standard recipe so cut back a bit on the liquid. If you want to do scratch, use the above recipe. Mix the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, and salt) until combine in a large bowl. Whisk in the oil, egg, and milk until the batter is moist. Yes a few small lumps are cool.
Finally the glaze. This is the replacement to maple syrup and believe me you will NOT need syrup on these bad boys. Melt the butter and cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and whisk together until smooth. Stirring with a spoon will not work, you will need a whisk. Then whisk in the sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set aside until the pancakes are ready. Reheat in the microwave before serving if needed.
Now that everything is prepped, you can get to work. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and spray with some nonstick spray. For large pancakes, scoop about 3/4 cup of batter and pour onto the skillet. Snip the tiniest corner of your cinnamon swirl baggie (smaller = more control). After 1-2 minutes, squeeze a swirl of the cinnamon into the pancake. Waiting will allow the batter to set a bit and will prevent the cinnamon from running out. Once bubbles are forming on the pancake, flip it over using a large spatula. This is tricky and takes some practice. Have confidence in yourself and just flip it. Continue cooking for a few more minutes until fully cooked and then place the pancake on a baking sheet or platter and keep warm on a very low oven or serve immediately. Continue this process with the remainder of the pancake batter. If you have enough room and are daring, make a few at a time.
When you are ready to serve, spoon the warmed glaze over the pancakes and enjoy! The caramelized cinnamon sugar gives a sweet, crunchy twist to the traditional pancake and the glaze adds an extra layer of yum that truly gives you that cinnamon bun flavor.