It’s never fun to get up – much less get going – on a cold morning. Whether you need to be alert for Zoom school or Zoomba, warm, hearty Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes will power you right through until lunch. Packed with “good carbs” and fiber from whole oats, protein from eggs, and antioxidants from pumpkin, these gluten-free, dairy-free pancakes beat energy bars any day of the week. Plus, no one will look at you funny when you drench ’em in maple syrup.
I know I make fun of the PSL crowd often enough, but to be fair, pumpkin spice is an absurdly tasty flavor combination. I mean, it’s quite literally the “greatest hits” of baking spices all in one. What’s not to love? But we don’t talk enough about the “pumpkin” part.
No one’s flavoring their coffee with actual pumpkin or pumpkin flavor. That’s all the spice blend. (Pro tip: if you’re into that sort of thing, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of pumpkin spice over your coffee grounds before brewing and beat flavored-coffee purveyors at their own game.) But pumpkin is kind of a superstar all on its own:
- It’s ridiculously chock full of nutrients, boasting healthy doses of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and iron.
- Clocking in at a low 9 net grams of carbohydrates per cup, it’s a staple in ketogenic diets – especially for those missing sweet treats.
- Like applesauce, pumpkin makes a tasty, healthy low-fat baking substitute for oil or eggs.
- Though technically a fruit, we tend to lump all squash in the veggie category. But regardless of what team you’re on, of all the squashes our friend the pumpkin is so versatile it feels perfectly at home in both sweet and savory dishes.
- Pumpkins literally have a built-in snack.
- And last, but not least, it is the best multi-purpose, long-lasting piece of fall decor you can get your hands on. An uncarved pumpkin will last you from the beginning of school through Thanksgiving if you treat it with enough care. You cannot say that about a head of lettuce.
This all being said, I am not here to tell you to carve and gut a pumpkin to get to its magical insides just so you can make pumpkin pancakes. God, no. I’m not here to put the good people at Libby’s out of work. But I am here to suggest that while everyone else is busy figuring out what they can cram pumpkin spice flavor into (coffee, cereal, lip balm, dog treats, butter, room spray, moonshine, etc. etc. etc.), you should think about how you can cram more pumpkin in you.
I’m sorry. Wait. To be clear, not a whole pumpkin. Just like, puree. Wow. Boy that came out wrong.
So, anyway, about these pancakes…
Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancake Ingredients
- Old Fashioned Oats: use whole oats for a fuller texture, do not sub for quick or steel cut.
- Oat milk: pairs best with oats for flavor, but see more dairy-free substitutions in notes below.
- Pumpkin Puree: not pumpkin pie filling!
- Eggs: large only, for the right amount of moisture.
- All Purpose Flour: bleached or unbleached is fine; avoid self-rising or bread flour. Substitute gluten free flour (with xanthan gum) as needed.
- Baking Powder: never skip – helps the pancakes rise against the density of the oats.
- Pumpkin Spice: if you don’t have pre-made pumpkin spice, make your own! See notes below.
- Salt: sea or kosher salt.
How to Make Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
The best of both cozy worlds, Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes are easy to make and easy to eat. Be sure to check the recipe card for thorough step-by-step instructions with photos.
- Soak the oats in milk or nut milk until soft (about 10 minutes).
- Whisk the eggs and pumpkin puree until very smooth.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients to the soaked oats and mix until combined – flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice blend, and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then mix until just barely combined and no dry spots remain.
- Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Cook quarter-cup portions of batter for 3-4 minutes per side.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- Old-fashioned oats are the “Goldilocks” ingredient for oatmeal pancakes. Quick cooking oats will be too soft, while steel cut will be too firm. Substitutions are not recommended.
- Flip once you see bubbles and the edges are firm.
- Lightly mist a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or griddle with cooking spray, or use a non-stick skillet.
- Heat your skillet to the proper temperature. It’s hot enough when a few droplets of water skid across the surface then evaporate.
I Don’t Have Pumpkin Spice!
Pumpkin spice seasoning blend is really easy to make. Combine 4 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp cloves and 1 tbsp nutmeg in a lidded glass jar. Shake until well-combined. Store in your spice rack for up to 1 year.
Make It Your Way
- As written this recipe is dairy-free (we used oat milk). Substitute your favorite plant-based milk, but know that not every dairy-free milk is created equally. Almond milk is thinner than oat milk or cashew milk, for example, so start with 3/4 cup and add more as needed to reach the right consistency.
- To make it gluten free, use certified gluten-free oats and one-for-one gluten-free flour with xanthan gum. We test with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free baking flour and like the results.
- Make it refined sugar free by substituting 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey for the brown sugar. To better emulate brown sugar, you can also add a 1/2 tsp molasses.
How to Keep Pancakes Warm
Set your oven to the lowest setting (in the ballpark of 200°F) and place a baking sheet on a rack positioned in the center of the oven. Transfer the pancakes to the baking sheet as you make them, then transfer to a platter or plates when you’re ready to serve.
More Sweet and Wholesome Breakfast Recipes
Did you make these Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Non-stick Skillet
- 1.5 c old fashioned oats
- 1 c oat milk, or milk of your choosing
- ½ c pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 large eggs
- ½ c all purpose or gluten free flour
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice, see notes
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Combine oats and milk in a bowl; mix until combined. Soak 10 minutes until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid and are softened.
- Combine pumpkin puree and eggs in a second bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt to the oats; mix until well combined.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture into the oat mixture and mix until just barely combined; be mindful of overmixing.
- Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet (or non-stick skillet) over medium high heat. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Drop quarter-cup portions of the batter into the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until bubbles appear and the edges look firm, then flip and heat until cooked through, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate or a warm oven and repeat with the remaining batter. Makes 12 three-inch pancakes. Serve warm with fresh berries and real maple syrup.
- Make your own pumpkin spice blend: combine 4 tbsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp cloves and 1 tbsp nutmeg in a lidded glass jar. Shake until well-combined. Store in your spice rack for up to 1 year.
- A standard-sized ice cream scooper is the perfect measurement for pancake batter – and way less messy!
- This recipe was written for old fashioned oats, not quick cooking or steel cut oats. Substitutions will change the texture drastically and are not recommended.