You guys, get ready to party. Sopapilla style.
All of the sudden I had this idea to make mini cinnamon pancakes, and decided to execute last weekend. Pancakes + cinnamon = happiness, I was convinced.
I wanted to make them vegan, of course, and although I was half-tempted to make them gluten free, I was really really in the mood for something familiar, and fluffy. So out the window that idea went. I can only do so much accommodating in the pancake department. Breakfast is serious business, after all.
These cakes are dreamy. The batter is thick and light and they cook up all soft and fluffy, golden brown, and bursting with cinnamon aroma.
I was keeping my stack warm in the oven while the rest finished cooking and each time I opened the door I got hit with an intense cinnamon donut scent – just like a sopapilla! That’s when it dawned on me: These are no ordinary cinnamon pancakes, they are fluffy and sweet and doughy just like a sopapilla, begging to be doused in honey (or maple syrup!).
What is a Sopapilla?
Never tried a sopapilla? You’re missing out! The version we’re most familiar with is a buttery, cinnamon-infused pastry dough that’s fried and gets puffy and hollow inside. And then it’s topped with powdered sugar and honey. Swoon! This version is believed to have originated in New Mexico over 200 years ago, influenced by Native American frybread and Spanish language and culture.
Sopapillas are also popular in many regions of Latin America, including Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. And both sweet and savory versions exist.
These pancakes aren’t traditional sopapillas, but remind us of the flavors. You can find a more traditional sopapilla recipe here.
These pancakes are PHENOMENAL. I know I could say this every time I make pancakes, but these are seriously some of my favorite to date!
They’d be great for entertaining or brunch as they’re easy for guests to snag one or two of and pair with something more substantial. They’d also be fun for kids because they’re minis + totally ideal for eating with your hands. Not that I tried or anything…
But really, if it’s just you and you’re dying for a sopapilla but don’t want to fry anything, this will satisfy that craving. There’s practically no Mexican dessert desire that these little super fluffy cinnamon pancakes doused with butter + honey (or maple syrup) can’t fulfill.
What you need to know about these pancakes is they:
Aresuper easy to make.
Take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
Require 1 bowl, 1 measuring cup + a whisk.
Have 8 ingredients.
Taste just like a sopapilla.
Are light, fluffy, and bursting with cinnamon flavor.
Pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee.
What more do you need to know? Get to pancaking!
Note: These cakes are vegan friendly if you top with maple syrup instead of honey.
Mini Sopapilla Pancakes
- 1 cup flour (i.e. whole-wheat pastry or all-purpose)
- 1 heaping Tbsp sugar
- 1 scant Tbsp (yes Tablespoon) baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or sub soy or coconut)
- 2 Tbsp melted non-dairy butter (such as Earth Balance // plus more for topping)
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Measure out milk in a large liquid measuring cup. Then add vanilla and melted butter and whisk.
- Add wet to dry and gently, slowly whisk until just combined. Small lumps are fine – don’t overmix.
- Let set for 5 minutes while you preheat your griddle to medium-low heat. You want it warm but not screaming hot – definitely on the low-side of medium.
- Once hot scoop scant 1/4 cup measurements onto a griddle or pan lightly greased with non-stick spray. Should make ~10 pancakes (as original recipe is written). Flip when bubbles appear on top – 2-3 minutes. Cook for another 2 more minutes on the other side.
- Place on a large plate and keep warm in a 200-degree F (93 C) oven until ready for serving.
- Top with vegan butter, cinnamon sugar, and a drizzle of warm maple syrup or honey. I went with honey because it's what I had on hand + it made it feel like a true sopapilla experience. However, to keep these vegan, serve with agave or maple syrup.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container or bag in the fridge to keep fresh, or the freezer for longterm storage. However, these are best when fresh.
*This recipe is vegan besides the honey, which I highly recommend using to get the true sopapilla effect. However, if vegan simply sub agave or maple syrup instead.
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