I had a bit of a debacle as to what to post Christmas week since everyone is so busy running around, wrapping gifts, traveling to see family and likely already have their holiday menus all planned out. But, I figured everybody surely has room for one more breakfast recipe in their back pocket with a week of lazy mornings surely on the horizon. Am I right?
For me, it was clearly between pancakes or cinnamon rolls. So, I put it to vote with a question on Instagram and got a TON of responses. You guys are seriously awesome. One, because you care about what we post. And two, because you inspired me to dream up an entirely new recipe I hadn’t even thought of yet.
About half way through the comments somebody suggested cinnamon roll pancakes and it’s like they read my mind! I was thinking the exact same thing in that very moment. The perfect marriage of two perfect breakfast foods. It was on.
(P.S. for those who voted cinnamon rolls, don’t worry! I’m already plotting two recipes that I think you’ll be quite pleased with so sit tight and eat pancakes in the meantime.)
I have never attempted cinnamon roll pancakes but I know they’ve been done before by a lot of bloggers, so I wanted to do something different and if possible, vegan. Turns out, both were entirely possible.
To get that quintessential cinnamon roll flavor I started with a yeasted, whole grain batter since nearly all cinnamon rolls have that amazing earthy, bakers-essential yeast flavor. I was so stoked to see that it rose to double in size just like I was hoping with all of its bubbly, yeasty goodness. Then, I scooped out a bit of the batter, added in brown sugar, cinnamon and a little melted butter and I had my cinnamon swirl in hand.
So easy and so delicious! Look how fluffy and decadent they look cooking up.
These cinnamon roll pancakes are legit and only require 8 ingredients!
Whole-wheat pastry flour
Sugar & brown sugar
That’s it! You likely already have all those things on hand. Plus, they produce a surprisingly small mess of dishes and come together start to finish in under 2 hours. Not bad for pancakes that cram all of the flavor of homemade, slow-prepared cinnamon rolls into every fluffy bite.
While I don’t think a glaze is necessary, I couldn’t bare trying them without one. I went with my favorite easy glaze that always yields plenty of leftovers: Powdered sugar, almond milk and melted vegan butter (recipe below). So good once it hits your lips.
These pancakes really do taste like cinnamon rolls!
Not too sweet
Packed with cinnamon, brown sugar flavor
& Surprisingly healthy
Plus, they feed a crowd and can be easily doubled and tripled, with one batch making at least 8 large pancakes. (Two should be plenty for one person.)
Make these for your family and friends this week! I think they’ll love them. Plus, I have a feeling they’ll make your holiday gatherings a little bit sweeter and more memorable. Enjoy!
Vegan Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
For the Batter
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 package rapid-rise or active dry yeast* (1 package yields ~2 1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry OR unbleached all-purpose flour
For the Cinnamon Swirl
- 2 1/2 Tbsp pancake batter
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter (softened/melted)
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Batter: In a large mixing bowl in the microwave heat the almond milk and vegan butter in 30 second increments, until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Alternatively, heat the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Let mixture cool to 110 degrees F (43 C), or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
- Sprinkle on yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes. Then add sugar and the salt and stir.
- Next add in flour 1/4 cup at a time, stirring as you go. If there’s a lot of lumps, use a whisk but so do gently and not vigorously. The batter will become sticky but it shouldn’t be like a dough. 1 1/2 cups should be the ideal amount (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), but add more if it appears too runny. It will resemble normal pancake batter. Thick but pourable.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for at least 1 hour if not 2, or until doubled in size. The batter will proof more quickly if you use rapid rise, but active dry works well too. It just takes a bit longer.
- Cinnamon Swirl: Once risen, gently scoop out 2 1/2 Tbsp of your batter and add 1 Tbsp melted vegan butter, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 3 Tbsp brown sugar (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Thin it with almond milk if it’s too thick to pour. Whisk until well combined and add to a sandwich bag (which you’ll snip the corner off of) or a plastic squeeze bottle.
- Preheat a griddle or large skillet to medium heat and lightly grease surface. Scoop on 1/4 cup measurements of batter and then swirl on the cinnamon sugar filling in a circle starting at the center and traveling out. It doesn’t have to be perfect – you could even make other shapes/designs.
- Flip when bubbles form on top and the edges appear dry. Cook for 1-2 minutes more and transfer to a large plate or serving dish. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven until serving.
- Optional but recommended: Frost with dairy-free cream cheese frosting or a mixture of 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp melted vegan butter and 1-2 Tbsp almond milk (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). I prefer a thicker glaze but make it as thin as you prefer. Or just top with maple syrup.
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a few days. Move to the freezer in a freezer safe bag or container for longer term storage. These should reheat well in the microwave or toaster.
*Recipe loosely adapted from Martha Stewart.
*Yields 8 large pancakes (as recipe is written).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without glaze.