You wake up in the morning and find yourself with a strong craving for pancakes. No wonder, because with their fluffy softness, these round beauties are the breakfast food extraordinaire: they’re easy to make, delicious, and flexible. You can vary the recipes according to your liking: blueberries one day, chocolate chips the next, and banana after that.
But you’ve tried them all and you’re looking to change things up. Also, you can’t stop thinking about pumpkin, even as you’re tired of the pumpkin spice wars because as you know, wherever pumpkin goes, it’s followed by its entourage of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice.
Pumpkin and pancakes, you think. Could it work? Will it work?
Turns out, it can.
Pumpkin is a vegetable that is ever-present in American cuisine, especially during the fall and winter. It has a beautiful orange color and looks simply stunning in soups, curries, and stews. But it’s also used in sweets such as pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake, and yes, pumpkin pancakes.
But pumpkin is not just extremely beautiful, it’s also surprisingly powerful. It's full of fiber, so it’s good for your gut health. The brilliant orange color comes from the gourd’s high beta carotene content which your body can then turn into vitamin A. This, in turn, can help improve your vision, lower your cancer risk, and is also great for your skin.
But adding pumpkin to your pancake mix won't just color your breakfast a beautiful orange color and make you healthier—it will also make your pancakes taste amazing. Don't believe us? Give these pumpkin pancakes recipe a try.
How to add pumpkin to your pancake batter
1. To make the pumpkin spice for the pancakes, combine 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg and 1/3 tsp. ground ginger with 1/2 cup canned or pureed pumpkin in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly, until the spices are evenly blended into the pumpkin puree.
2. In a separate bowl, prepare 2 1/2 cups pancake batter, made according to your favorite pancake recipe. Your pumpkin pancakes could come from a mix, such as Bisquick, or be made from scratch.
3. Add the spiced pumpkin puree to the batter and mix lightly, using a whisk. This will prevent you from beating out the air from the batter, and keep your pancakes nice and fluffy.
4. Once the batter and puree are mixed, butter a griddle or a pan and put it on medium heat. Quickly pour 3 Tbsp. of batter onto the pan and cook until the pancakes are fluffy and brown on both sides. This should take around two minutes.
More tips for the perfect pancakes
Pancakes are very forgiving. Some pancake recipes include buttermilk, which is especially important if using baking soda, while others call for milk. If you prefer, use nut milk, gluten-free flour, or egg substitute. For additional fluffiness, you can also try separating the yolks, and beating the whites until soft peaks form, then carefully adding them to the batter.
Make sure you get the right consistency: the batter should be runny enough to spread easily on the pan or griddle but not as thin as crepe batter.
As for pumpkin puree, you can use store-bought, but if you have a nice, ripe pumpkin on your hands, you can make it yourself. Before you cut the pumpkin, put it in the microwave first. This will soften the pumpkin and prevent you from cutting yourself.
It’s also a good idea to prepare the pumpkin puree well in advance and freeze it or store in the fridge. That way, you’ll be able to have this beautiful, scrumptious and delicious-looking dessert (sorry, we meant breakfast) ready in no time.
Mixing it up
Your pumpkin pancakes will look and taste incredible, but you can always take them to the next level. Chocolate chips are a great addition to both pancakes and pumpkin dishes, so they will be perfect here. If you like raisins, you can add them as well—but remember, not everyone likes them. Almost everyone loves maple syrup (a classic!), caramel or honey, though.
So, next time you’re craving both pancakes and pumpkin, know that these two things don’t just make a beautiful alliteration but actually conspire with each other to make your day as fabulous as possible.
Olga Mecking is a writer and translator living in the Netherlands. She writes about food, wellness, lifestyle, travel, and other topics.