Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast . . . or dinner . . . or lunch. They’re quick, easy, delicious, and super easy to switch it up whenever you want to have something a little different. If you’re like me, you get tired of the same-old-same-old boxed mix that tastes the same and doesn’t offer any variety. When my family got tired of plain old pancakes, it was time to switch up my game and get creative.
The possibilities are endless! Pancakes are a great way to get kids involved and teach them how to cook. Have them look around the kitchen for ingredients they might like to add to their pancakes. And just have fun!
If you want to add extra deliciousness to any of these recipes, melt butter on the griddle before you pour the batter and let the pancakes cook in it. So yummy you almost don’t need syrup!
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If you don’t have special syrups, but you have baking chips, you can use those instead. Every pancake idea listed in this article is made from items already living in my pantry.
Here are five of my family’s favorites!
1. Boxed Plus Some
The quickest and easiest way to spruce up plain old pancakes is to add a little ground cinnamon and some vanilla extract. I can’t give you exact measurements because I don’t use them! I just sprinkle and pour until my soul sings.
2. Mixed Berries and Syrup
When I do not want to use maple syrup, I make a fruit compote. It’s super easy and delicious — and you get a serving of fruit for the day!
To begin you’ll need:
- mixed berries (I typically use strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries or blackberries)
- Cut strawberries into pieces. (I usually cut them into slices or quarters.)
- Put all fruit into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Cover berries in a generous serving of sugar (usually 2 cups of sugar per 1 cup of berries).
- Mix and let simmer until syrupy, usually about 10 minutes. If there isn’t enough syrup, add half a cup of water and a couple tablespoons of sugar until you reach desired consistency or amount.
- Pour over pancakes and enjoy! For added yum, put a dollop of whip cream on top or sprinkle some fresh mint.
3. Helen’s Pancakes
I call these Helen’s pancakes because my Grandma was making these for my dad and uncles when they were little and then for my sister, cousin, and me when we were little. She was making these long before it became a trend!
You will need:
- peanut butter
- chocolate syrup
This is super simple. Just add desired amount of peanut butter on each pancake in your stack then cover in chocolate syrup. Super delicious, super easy, and a good way to get a kid to eat extra calories if he or she needs it.
4. Apple Pie Pancakes
This one requires a little more work, but is so worth it!
You will need:
- 2-3 large apples. (I prefer using red because they’re sweeter, but you can use whichever you like best)
- sugar (I prefer brown sugar but use what you have)
- vanilla extract
- nutmeg (only if you have it; don’t make a special trip to the store for it)
- Cut apples into bit size pieces.
- Melt about a quarter cup of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add sugar until you almost have a caramel sauce but not quite. Be sure to stir continuously so there are no clumps.
- Add apples and stir until covered.
- Add cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg.
- Stir until blended.
- Let simmer about 10 minutes then turn heat to low until ready to serve.
5. Bananas for Pancakes
Bananas can add nice flavor and are a good combo with pancakes. There are many ways you can incorporate them on the plate:
- Cook pancakes as you normally would, and then spread peanut butter over pancakes and add sliced banana.
- Add sliced strawberry and banana to plain pancakes then drizzle with syrup.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and sliced banana.
- Spread with Nutella then add sliced banana.