Ending the the year with a unicorn from my last day in New York City: gingerbread pancakes. Perfect for cold winter mornings, these gingerbread pancakes are loaded with flavor, and while they may look quite dense, they’re pretty much the perfect fluffy pancake.
I don’t share a lot of breakfast recipes with you guys, and the reason is pretty simple: most mornings I pop a couple of frozen protein waffles into the toaster oven and move on with my morning. Since the husband and I have opposite schedules (he’s usually already at work by the time I am making my cup of coffee), I don’t have many reasons or excuses to get creative when it comes to tinkering with breakfast recipes. If I do make breakfast, it’s usually this German Apple Pancake because I know it’s something the husband will eat without complaints.
Back when I was working on what ultimately became my family’s Thanksgiving dessert, I decided I wanted to concoct a gingerbread pancake recipe that would be the perfect remedy to a crisp winter morning. It sounded so much easier than it eventually wound up being.
I went back and forth about whether to share this recipe before or after Christmas. While these fluffy gingerbread pancakes would be a fantastic Christmas morning treat, I didn’t want these badboys to get lost in all of the holiday madness. Now that Christmas and Hanukkah are in the rearview mirror most of us can get back to cooking simple recipes that loved ones can look forward to enjoying more than once a year.
These fluffy gingerbread pancakes might just be the best pancakes I’ve ever made. I know, that’s quite a substantial claim, but I stand by that statement. They’re light and fluffy, and pack such a comforting flavor with each and every bite that maple syrup isn’t even necessary. But let’s be honest here, pancakes and maple syrup are basically a marriec couple who are rarely apart from one another. And I’m okay with that.
The trick to achieving light and fluffy gingerbread pancakes is allowing the batter to sit and let the baking powder and baking soda do what they gotta do. If you immediately combine the batter and pour it onto a hot griddle, the pancakes become incredibly dense—that’s not what we want. I have found that the batter needs to rest for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, 30 minutes would be better.
As much as it pains me to say, these pancakes aren’t going to be a great fit for those mornings where you have a table of hungry bears waiting impatiently around the breakfast nook. I promise in 2019 I’ll be sharing a fast fluffy pancake recipe. Next year, I’ll be bumping my posting schedule up to twice a week, which hopefully means I’ll have a great mix of recipes.
Unlike your average pancake, the telltale signs of the pancakes being done aren’t so obvious. With normal pancakes, they’re ready to be flipped when the top of the pancake is bubbly. With these fluffy gingerbread pancakes, you need to flip them when the outer edges of the pancakes begin to bubble. I’m talking if you see two or three bubbles suddenly appear you need to whip your spatula out and flip them over, otherwise you’re going to risk overcooking them. Nobody likes overcooked, tough, dense pancakes… amirite?
If you make these pancakes, I’d love to hear what you and your family thought of them in the comments below or on Instagram.
Comforting Gingerbread Pancakes
A winter favorite on crisp winter morning, gingerbread pancakes are loaded with spices and freshly grated ginger.
Prep time: 5
Cook time: 3
Total time: 40
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 cup golden brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided in half
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, finely grated and peeled
- Preheat an oven to 250°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, molasses, half of the melted butter and the water. Add the brown sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. There will be some small lumps. Gently stir in the freshly grated ginger. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
- Place a large griddle or fry pan with low sloping sides over medium heat until hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle and then immediately evaporate. Brush with some of the remaining melted butter.
- For each pancake, ladle about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until small bubbles appear and the edges start to look dry, about 4 minutes. After 3 minutes, lift a pancake to check if the underside is done; do not let the pancakes darken too much. Carefully turn the pancakes over and cook until lightly browned on the other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer to an ovenproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm; do not cover the pancakes or they will get soggy. Repeat with the remaining batter and butter to make about 8 pancakes, each about 4 inches in diameter. Serve the pancakes immediately, accompanied by the syrup. Serves 4.