Squash Morning Hunger with a Stack of Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Yummy, festive pumpkin spice flavors aren’t just for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or lattes: These scrumptious pumpkin spice pancakes give your tummy a cozy-sweater-by-the-fireplace experience any time of year. (They’re also a great use for all that post Turkey Day pumpkin purée that will be on super-sale in a few short weeks!) Your little turkey will love the way these fluffy flapjacks taste and you’ll love what a cinch they are to make (full recipe below).
It may come as a surprise that a breakfast dish this delicious is actually pretty healthy, too. In addition to being a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and iron, pumpkin purée is packed with fiber (which helps with digestion) and vitamin A (essential for eye, bone, and teeth health). Not only that, using it allows you to nix the butter that from-scratch pancake recipes typically call for.
Substituting whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour ups the nutritional value and adds great flavor, but will yield a denser, less fluffy pancake. You’ll also need more liquid (add water by the ¼ cup until the batter feels thin enough) and you will likely need to increase the cooking time to ensure the pancakes are cooked through. If you’d like to use whole wheat flour, consider going half and half with all-purpose.
We’ve got three steps to achieving perfectly lofty pancakes:
1. Separate the egg yolks and whites.
2. To avoid overmixing, combine all the liquid ingredients except the egg whites in a blender before adding them to the dry ingredients.
3. Whisk the egg whites until they start to bubble and just barely thicken, and then gently fold them into your pancake mixture.
Serve pumpkin pancakes with a tall glass of milk, turkey sausage, and your favorite toppings, like maple syrup, honey, butter, yogurt, fresh fruit, toasted nuts, granola, powdered sugar, or whipped cream.
In our centers, we embrace family-style eating—encouraging children to serve themselves teaches them important social skills (like passing items, sharing, being patient, and saying “please” and “thank you”) and how to listen to their own hunger cues. Allowing them to get in on the serving action can also inspire them to try new flavors, like pumpkin! Sure, there will likely be some spills when children take the lead, but also lots of smiles.
PUMPKIN SPICE PANCAKES
*Recipe slightly adapted from the Kitchn.
Yields: Approximately 10 pancakes
Total time: Approximately 40 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, measured correctly
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, separated
- Vegetable oil (for greasing your skillet or griddle)
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and the four spices, and use a whisk to thoroughly mix all together. Set aside.
- In a blender, combine the buttermilk, pumpkin purée, and vanilla. Add the egg yolks, separating the whites and reserving them in a small bowl. Process the ingredients in the blender until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Fold the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients until almost combined—there should be a few lumps of flour remaining.
- Whisk the reserved egg whites until they start to bubble and just barely thicken, and then gently fold them into the pancake batter and mix until just combined. Don’t try to work out all the lumps. Allow the batter to sit for about 10 minutes while you preheat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle on medium-low heat.
- Add about a tablespoon of oil to the skillet. When the oil is shimmery, measure 1/4 cup portions of batter into/onto the pan—use the bottom of the measuring cup to spread the batter out a bit.
- Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are golden brown and the tops look like they are beginning to solidify, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until done, about 2 minutes or more. Test your first pancake by cutting into the middle to see if it has completely cooked through—if it’s not, you may need to increase the skillet’s temperature or adjust the cooking time.
- Continue making pancakes until all the batter is gone. Serve with the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!