These easy gingerbread pancakes are denser and intenser than your everyday buttermilk pancakes and imbued with just the right amount of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Oh, and bacon and maple syrup, anyone?
These easy gingerbread pancakes aren’t your usual light and fluffy pancakes. These are denser and intenser and imbued with just the right amount of sugar and spice and, yes, everything nice.
By “everything nice” we mean not just what’s in the pancakes but what’s on the pancakes, namely the familiar lilt of maple syrup, the salty smokiness of bacon, and the shameless richness of a generous dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. You’re going to want to try these. Trust us.–David Leite
☞ Table of Contents
How to make extra-spicy gingerbread pancakes
Though most definitely reminiscent of gingerbread, the gingerbread pancakes recipe below is sorta subtle in terms of its spicing. And that’s exactly how we like it. If you’re craving a more intense gingerbread experience, simply stir the below spices into the batter in place of those listed in the recipe.
2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons(4 grams) ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (.25 gram) ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon (.25 gram) freshly grated nutmeg
Easy Gingerbread Pancakes
- 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour*
- 3 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest preferably organic
- 1/2 vanilla bean (or a couple drops vanilla extract), optional
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole or low-fat milk
- 1 large egg
- Mild vegetable or olive oil
- 8 slices bacon or more, if desired
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraîche (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 225°F (107°C).
- Dump the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Give them a quick stir to combine everything and make a well in the center. Add the lemon zest and, if using, split the vanilla bean open and scrape the seeds into the bowl or just sprinkle in a few drops vanilla extract. Then gradually pour the milk in, bit by bit, stirring all the time until you have a fairly smooth mixture. Beat the egg and stir it into the batter. The batter will be really quite thick. If you wish, you can add more milk to thin the batter somewhat.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until nice and crisp, about 10 minutes. Grab your tongs and place the slices on paper towels or a brown paper bag to drain. If desired, transfer the drained bacon to a baking sheet and slide it in the oven to keep warm.
- Pour out any excess bacon grease from the skillet and reduce the heat to low or, if desired, wipe out the skillet and add about a tablespoon oil. Spoon 4 dollops of batter into the skillet, using a scant 1/4 cup batter for each and gently spreading each dollop to 4 inches in diameter with the back of the spoon or the measuring cup. Cook until the underside is golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, and then flip and cook for another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Slide the finished pancakes onto a baking sheet and slide it in the oven to keep warm. (You really don’t want to let these pancakes cool or they’ll turn tough.) Repeat with the remaining batter. You should have 8 to 12 pancakes.
- Once you've made the last of the pancakes, divvy them up among 4 plates. Pile the bacon high on the pancakes, drizzle everything with maple syrup, and plop a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche on top.
*How To Make Self-Rising FlourDon’t want to run to the store for self-rising flour? Keep this handy little equation in mind.
1 cup self-rising flour = 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 cup all-purpose flour.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These were absolutely delicious. Total “mix to table” time was under 35 minutes. Two thumbs up from our family, and a definite new addition to our breakfast menu!
This is a great recipe to bring the children into the kitchen to “help.” The measurements are simple and stirring is a breeze. The total amount of lemon zest I used was right under 1 teaspoon. I also used about 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste instead of the bean or extract. I heated my nonstick skillet and used only 1 drop sunflower oil. I plopped 2 heaping tablespoons batter into the skillet, and it spread to well over 4 inches in diameter. 2 minutes per side is all you need for these delicious treats.
The pancakes aren’t overly full of the gingerbread flavor, but that doesn’t stop these from being perfectly wonderful on a beautiful fall Sunday morning. Heating the maple syrup just a tad before serving over the pancakes is a special touch.
These were a lovely change from regular pancakes. You could taste the gingerbread, but it wasn’t overpowering. Overall, a great pancake recipe. It served the 4 of us (2 adults and 2 kids) but probably wouldn’t feed 4 hungry adults.
I cooked the bacon in the pan while preparing the pancake ingredients. The bacon finished cooking just as I finished making the batter, which took about 10 minutes. Cooking the pancakes took another 15 minutes. I used 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and my lemon zest measured a scant tablespoon. The lemon zest seemed a bit strange to me, though in the end, I couldn’t taste it at all. Maybe in the future I’ll just use buttermilk and skip the lemon zest and regular milk.
I added the milk and then egg as described but found that the batter was still way too thick. I added an additional 1/4 cup milk to the batter, which made it a more pourable consistency, though still quite thick. I think I could’ve added more milk to make a thinner, more spreadable pancake. I left about 1 tablespoon bacon fat in the pan and cooked the pancakes in that, which worked well. My “dollops” were about 1/3 cup batter, which yielded 8 pancakes about 5 inches in diameter. They took 3 minutes to cook on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side, resulting in nicely browned, fluffy pancakes. Overall, an excellent flavor that was enjoyed by all.
These gingerbread pancakes are perfect for cold snowy mornings when you want something comforting to start your day. The pancakes are delicately spiced, and the grated lemon peel adds a warm touch of citrus.
The recipe makes a really thick batter, almost too thick. I didn’t use any oil to start the bacon, but I had almost 1/2 cup bacon grease when I’d cooked it all. I removed most of the bacon fat to cook the pancakes. I added the fat back by the tablespoon as needed to keep the pan well-greased and used a 1/4-cup scoop to place the batter in the pan.
Our result was 10 pancakes for the 4 of us that were light and more cake-like than pancake-like and truly heavenly in taste. When I make these again (possibly around the 25th), I will probably thin the batter to make them more pancake-like. The spicing I wouldn’t change one bit.
If you have the time to whip up a special holiday breakfast, give these a try. The flavor is a lemony gingerbread and pairs well with maple syrup and, for a special treat, don’t forget the crème fraîche or whipped cream. The flavor may be more suited to adults than children, but it was yummy nonetheless. I served these with maple syrup and whipped cream rather than the crème fraîche or sour cream.
Never fear! Despite a few extra ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, and lemon zest, these gingerbread pancakes come together easily. Yes, tuck this recipe away for special holiday weekends with your family, but I bet you’ll be reaching for it more often than you think. These pancakes are that delicious and, I daresay, traceable.
Make sure you use the back of a fork to break up and distribute the brown sugar into the rest of the dry ingredients. I added a few drops of real vanilla extract. I used a few passes of a good-quality, non-additive spray canola oil to slick the skillet before adding the bacon. Once the bacon was cooked, I removed the slices and gave the griddle a gentle wipe with paper towels to distribute the drippings and soak up the excess grease. For a 4-inch pancake, add 1/4 cup batter. The batter is thick, but it does tend to spread when heated. The cakes were ready to flip in 2 1/2 minutes. Total yield using 1/4 cup was 9 perfect pancakes. It’s very important to keep the pancakes warm in a low oven. If they cool, they become tough. And absolutely don’t forget a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. I just love how the zest, spices, maple, and sour cream play so well together.
I liked these gingerbread pancakes a lot!
The batter was easy to put together and done in about 10 minutes. I measured 1 teaspoon lemon zest from a very small lemon. I didn’t make the bacon, so I used about 1/2 tablespoon canola oil to cook the pancakes. The 12-inch nonstick skillet had room for 3 cakes at a time. The pancakes were about 4 inches wide. The heat was on medium, not low, so they cooked rather quickly, less than 1 minute on each side. They had a nice blend of ginger and cinnamon and were just slightly sweet. I used a few drops vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean. The lemon zest added a nice, subtle taste.
The texture was on the cakey side with a firm exterior, especially on the second side that was cooked. I consider this a Testers Choice recipe. It’s a nice change from the typical old pancake.
These pancakes are a wonderful way to start the day. We enjoyed them on a lazy holiday morning, but they would be just as doable on a busier morning since they’re so quick and easy to make. The warmth of the spices comes through, as you would expect, but it’s the lemon zest that really pulls the flavors together into something special. I accidentally let a few of the pancakes go a little too long in the pan. Even though they appeared to be blackened, they still tasted like a gingerbread treat. I didn’t have self-rising flour on hand, so I used a homemade version. I used a pinch of ground vanilla beans in place of scraping the seeds out of 1/2 a vanilla bean. I didn’t make the meat for this breakfast, but I used 1 tablespoon bacon fat from a prior occasion to cook the pancakes. After the first couple batches were out of the pan, I added 2 additional teaspoons bacon grease before continuing with the pancakes. I used 1 1/2 tablespoons batter for each of my pancakes, and this gave me the exact yield mentioned in the recipe.
This is the first pancake recipe in a while that my husband immediately deemed a “10 out of 10.” The flavors were subtle and light. The pancakes puffed up like pretty griddle cakes and looked lovely topped with crème fraîche. The batter is thick. I thought it was going to be too thick to function until I added the egg at the end. I used 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. I had to smoosh the batter into the 4-inch rounds once I dolloped it into the pan. This yielded 8 pancakes—4 servings if you go with 2 per person.
Originally published June 19, 2020