Whether or not you wake up to fluffy snow on Christmas morning, you can always wake up to fluffy pancakes. Gingerbread Pancakes are a lovely, light breakfast version of this classic holiday treat. Save time and make ahead to warm up after opening presents!
Holiday breakfast is always tricky. No, no, I don’t mean having your family over for brunch. (That’s a whole planned meal with a full menu. Pfft. That’s nothing! We got that!) I’m talking about what you have for breakfast when it’s a special occasion, but not a special event. Somehow, Cheerios don’t seem to cut it…
But more than that, on two of our big three family gathering holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter), we’ve got a problem with candy. Rather, candy for breakfast. Rather, that we engage in any sort of “traditional activities” where we willingly give our children access to candy before noon. (Like, which genius came up with that? And which genius in this house perpetuated it?)
Thankfully, this hearty gingerbread pancake recipe yields the Christmas breakfast of champions. Warm and subtly sweet, with notes of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and molasses, these festive flapjacks are a perfect bridge between (a) too much candy, (b) lame old cereal, and (c) a full brunch buffet. Plus, with no added sugar, they’re certainly better for you than the standby of my youth: Entenmann’s Raspberry Crumb Danish. (Oh yeah, you know you had that – or the Cheese danish – at least once.)
Give them a slightly-sweet kick with REAL Maple Syrup, but not too much -They’re already flavorful! Even adding fresh whipped cream to your Christmas morning gingerbread pancakes won’t weigh you down for the rest of the day’s festivities.
But the best serving suggestion I can give you is to add some fresh, seasonal fruit on top of your gingerbread pancakes. Pears and pomegranate seeds, FTW. Coincidentally, mommy likes to also put pears and pomegranate in her Prosecco on Christmas morning. How convenient that they were already around for the gingerbread pancakes! It’s a Christmas miracle!!
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How to Make Gingerbread Pancakes
Christmas morning Gingerbread Pancakes are a festive breakfast treat for the whole family. Perfectly spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and molasses, easy gingerbread pancakes are a fast and filling way to kick off a happy holiday – but if you’re already a bit frantic, fear not! You can absolutely prep in advance.
- Whisk wet ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and smooth.
- In a separate, larger bowl combine the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently mix until just barely combined; be careful not to overmix.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Portion ¼ c scoops into heated skillet and cook. Flip when you see bubbles, and cook on the other side 2-3 minutes more.
- Always cook pancakes using a non-stick skillet, a well seasoned cast iron skillet, or a griddle. Lightly mist the surface with cooking spray or a small amount of butter.
- Heat the pan to just the right temperature. The pan or griddle is hot enough when a few droplets of water skid across the surface and then evaporate.
- Adjust the heat as you go if the pan gets too hot – it should take 2-3 minutes for bubbles to form on the first side.
- Do seek out buttermilk to make these special Christmas pancakes – regular milk certainly works in a pinch, but buttermilk will make your gingerbread pancakes extra tasty and fluffy.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, it’s easy to make your own! Pour 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (must be fresh) or white vinegar into a 1-cup measuring cup. Then, fill to the 1-cup line with milk. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until curdled. Viola! Homemade buttermilk.
- The batter is going to be slightly thinner and runnier than traditional pancake batter because of the molasses. THAT’S OKAY. Don’t add a bunch of extra flour to make up for it or you’ll end up with pancakes that are dense and chewy, not soft and fluffy. They’ll puff up when they cook.
- Heat your oven to the lowest setting (max 200°F) and place a baking sheet on a rack. Transfer cooked gingerbread pancakes to the baking sheet to keep warm while the remaining pancakes are cooking.
Toppings for Gingerbread Pancakes
You can’t go wrong with whipped cream and cinnamon, but we really love fresh cut fruit on these Christmas morning gingerbread pancakes! Diced pears and pomegranate seeds are a festive, seasonal topping.
And of course, real 100% maple syrup is a must!
Storing and Freezing
We eat a LOT of pancakes in this house – it’s one of the only foods my kids will devour without complaint. Leftover gingerbread pancakes keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Gingerbread pancakes also freeze beautifully. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes or so until firm. Take the firm pancakes, place them into a ziplock bag, press out the air, and freeze for up to 3 months. We like to defrost them in the toaster.
Can I Make Gingerbread Pancakes Gluten Free?
Yup!! Use one-for-one gluten free flour in place of the all-purpose flour.
More Christmas Breakfast Recipes
- Healthy-ish Eggs Benedict Casserole
- French Toast Casserole
- Apple Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
- Baked Eggs with Winter Vegetables
- Spinach and Onion Quiche
Did you make these gingerbread pancakes? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 c buttermilk
- 1 egg
- ½ c molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 c flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- Whisk the wet ingredients – combine the melted butter, buttermilk, egg, molasses, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk until well combined and smooth.
- In a separate, larger bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a whisk or rubber spatula until just barely combined and the flour is evenly moistened; do not overmix.
- Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. The skillet is fully heated once a few drops of water skid across the surface before evaporating. Lightly mist the surface with cooking spray or a small amount of butter.
- Ladle the batter into the skillet in ¼ c portions. (An ice cream scooper is the perfect portion size!) Cook undisturbed until bubbles form on the surface and the edges are set, 3-4 minutes. Use a spatula to gently flip the pancakes and continue cooking 2-3 minutes more, or until the pancakes lightly spring back when pressed in the center.
- Remove the pancakes from the skillet and keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve. Makes 18 4" pancakes.
- Serve warm with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and/or real maple syrup.