Pumpkin Pancakes

When autumn arrives in Rochester the nights get cooler, the leaves start changing colors, and pumpkin products show up EVERYWHERE. There are pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts, all kinds of pumpkin beer, and lots of pumpkin coffee-related items (I’m currently enjoying this stuff, even though I usually like my coffee black). It’s a marketing gimmick for sure, but I like it anyway. The arrival of the pumpkin products makes me feel cozy and ready for sweaters.

All of this pumpkin-y stuff must sound really odd to non-Americans. A pumpkin is a type of squash after all, and doesn’t a squash flavored coffee sound a bit weird? But it’s really the spices and creaminess associated with pumpkin pie that we want in our coffees, beers, etc.

My family really enjoyed these pancakes. I added chocolate chips to some of them to give them a “jack-o-lantern” appearance. When I first added the chips I was a little dubious–they looked more like smiley faces than carved pumpkins (see above photo at right). But, after flipping the pancakes and letting the chips melt a bit the chocolate sunk in and definitely had more of the look I was going for (see photo below). My husband & I preferred the non-chocolate version, but as you can imagine the pumpkin faces were a big hit with our kids. Whether you have kids at home, or you’re a kid at heart, or you just have a soft spot for pumpkin-y stuff like me, these pancakes are a fun addition to your fall menu.

Pumpkin Pancakes (adapted from a traditional buttermilk pancake recipe found in this book)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • vegetable oil (for greasing the pan)
  • chocolate chips (optional)
  1. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients (except for the vegetable oil & chocolate chips). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until they are just combined (be careful not to overmix).
  2. Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with a small amount of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot add the pancake batter in scant 1/4 cup scoops. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly into circles (or ovals if you want them to look more pumpkin-shaped). If you want to add chocolate chips, sprinkle them in now. When large bubbles appear flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

Notes: If you want you can keep the pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven while you prepare the rest of the batch. Put them on a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet–this keeps them from getting soggy.

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