October 4, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

It's snowing!!! The Geologist texted me from work, he's already breaking out the Christmas music. Crazy man. I try to hold off till November first. Yes, I'm one of those crazy Christmas people. For us, Thanksgiving is just part of the Christmas season. We like it that way. This snow won't stick, as soon as it warms up two degrees it will be gone, but it's still fun to watch. 

As thrilled as I am about this chilly morning (THIS is what October is supposed to be like in Colorado!) the mood was quite melancholy this morning. Stephen's fish has finally passed on. He kept it alive for almost a year, that's not bad for a seven-year-old. I think we ventured into pet territory a bit too soon for him though, and he is heartbroken, poor kid. One of those life lessons. 

Well, what else do you do on a chilly, emotional, weekend morning? Make fancy pancakes, of course! 
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (adapted slightly from Recipe Girl)
Printable Recipe

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, just melted (not boiling)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

First, the cinnamon swirl! In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a heavy ziplock bag and set it aside. It needs to cool and thicken to toothpaste consistency. If you're working quickly, stick it in the fridge for a few minutes.

Next, the glaze: In a small pan, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until it is almost smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the pan, whisk till smooth, then whisk in vanilla extract. Set the pan aside while you make the pancakes.

Pancake Batter: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk, egg and oil, just until the batter is moistened. Lumps are fine.

Time for pancakes! Heat a large, nonstick skillet (or griddle) over medium-heat (300 for electric griddle) and grease with butter or non-stick spray. Add pancake batter in 1/3 cup dollops. If necessary, spread the batter out a bit with the bottom of the cup/scoop to make the pancakes about 4 inches in diameter. Reduce the heat to medium low (250 for electric griddle). Snip the corner of your baggie of cinnamon filling and squeeze the filling into the open corner. (It should be nice and thick and hold its shape, not watery.) When your pancake begins to form bubbles, add the filling. Starting at the center of the pancake, squeeze the filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl, being careful to stay away from the edges of the pancake.
Cook the pancake 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake, the edges look wrinkly, and it's lightly golden on the cooked side. 
Slide a thin, wide spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Note: The cinnamon swirls will leak out a bit, leaving you with chewy-crispy cinnamon craters. Don't freak out if you see the cinnamon leaking out of the sides! Wipe the pan/griddle with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Re-warm the glaze briefly, to drizzle-able consistency. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of glaze.

*Tips: I've read a lot of comments with people having trouble with these. First, make sure your filling is thick and paste-y, it will stay in place better. Put the swirls on as soon as you see bubbles. Keep the heat low, and the cinnamon will only ooze out a little bit around the sides and won't burn and start smoking. Be very very patient, the low heat means a longer cooking time. We made two batches of these, the first were a mess, but the second turned out perfect by following these tips, and really wasn't that hard. You can do it!!*
Like me, you've probably seen these babies all over Pinterest. I did very little tweaking, mostly in method and none in recipe, Recipe Girl did a darn good job on her original post. In fact, she has a gingerbread and a pumpkin version too!! Not much to improve upon, these pancakes are fantastic!!
They're lighter than I expected, nice and fluffy with delicious chewy cinnamon pockets. To be honest, you don't pay much attention to the actual pancake when these swirls and that glaze is involved! I thought they would be super rich, and while they ARE rich to a point, they aren't overwhelming.
The boys and I were in raptures. In the interest of full disclosure, the Geologist wasn't impressed. I have no idea what he was expecting, we thought they were AWESOME.
Totally worth the time and little bit of extra effort. These are some winning pancakes!


  1. Woah....those look scrumptious and positively decadent! And it SNOWED? I'm so jealous! But I'm glad things are cooling off sooner for you, hopefully this year you'll have a much wetter winter. It's in the 80s here DX Bring the cool weather with you next week!

  2. Those look really yummy! Thanks for the additional tips and comments about how rich they are or are not.

    1. Don't get me wrong, they aren't healthy! But they aren't quite as rich and sweet as you would expect. I hope you give them a try! :)

  3. These look perfect for general conference weekend brunch.

  4. Have made these in the past and they were fabulous. I used my own recipe, but very similar. I added a cream cheese syrup I concocted. Delish! YOURS look deffo scrum! Love that it's snowing! Woo hoo! Enjoy your up and coming trip! xxoo


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