5 Easy Ways to Jazz Up Pancakes

First of all, I want to be very clear about something. 

Pancakes don't necessarily NEED to be jazzed up. Pancakes are perfection. But even the most idyllic of relationships need to be spiced up every now and then. 

So, to help keep the flame between you and your pancakes alive, I've come up with five easy ways to take your short stack to the next level. 

Start with the basic pancake recipe below and keep scrolling to get instructions on how to modify it for each exciting take on pancakes.

Basic Pancakes Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons/56g butter, melted (plus more for frying)

Basic Pancakes Instructions

1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a big bowl

2. In a smaller bowl, mix together milk, eggs and vanilla

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently until just combined

4. Add the melted butter and mix until just incorporated

5. Melt a couple teaspoons butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat

6. Pour about a ¼ cup of pancake batter into the pan for each pancake

7. Cook until you see little bubbles forming in the batter then flip them and cook for 3-4 minutes

Go classic or jazz them up in one of the five ways below!

Cookie Monster Pancakes

Chuck a cup of chopped of cookies in the batter. I did chocolate chip cookies but it could be anything! Serve with butter, more chunks of cookies and chocolate sauce or syrup and, if you’re feeling wild, whipped cream.

Pineapple Upside-Down Pancakes

When you pour the batter into the pan, place a pineapple ring into each circle of batter. Be careful when you flip them and when they’re done, the pineapple ring will have cooked right into the pancake, peeking out ever-so-prettily. Serve with syrup and, if you got ‘em, pitted cherries!

Rocky Road Pancakes

When you’re making the batter, substitute ½ cup of flour for cocoa powder. So you’ll do 2.5 cups of flour and ½ cup of cocoa powder. And add an extra 2 tablespoons of sugar to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa! Garnish with marshmallows and chocolate chips plus your choice from chocolate sauce, cream or syrup.

Crazy Butters

Make the regular pancakes and serve them with one of these three exciting butters. Be sure to use butter at room temperature or you won’t be able to stir the extra-special additions in! These recipes make enough butter for two people, so multiply if you’re serving more people.

Fun Butter: 30g room temperature butter + 1 or 2 teaspoons sprinkles

Maple Cinnamon Butter: 30g room temperature butter + 1 teaspoon maple + ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (note: if you stir REALLY hard, these will incorporate, but you can also put all ingredients in a little microwave-safe bowl, microwave for 10 seconds, stir well and put in the freezer to set for 5-10 minutes; when it’s set, stir it up until nice and fluffy)

Lemon Vanilla Butter: 30g room temperature butter + 1 teaspoon lemon zest + vanilla bean scraped from half a vanilla bean pod (or 1/8 teaspoon real vanilla extract)

French Toast Pancakes (Prench Koast?)

Make the pancakes above, cooking them and everything. Set them aside to cool and mix together in a shallow baking dish the following:

4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
¼ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Place the pancakes in the milk mixture, let them soak for a few minutes then turn them over and let the other side soak for a few minutes. Then put a bit more butter in your hot pan, spread it evenly then return the pancakes to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes on each side. While they cook, put your next lot of pancakes in the milk mixture. Serve with butter and syrup – classic!

Bonus: Secret Message Pancakes

If you have alphabet cookie cutters on hand, press them into a pancake to make a secret message. Place a message pancake on top of each person’s stack; could be their name or nickname or just HELLO. You can kind of see the message when there’s nothing on the pancake, but it becomes much clearer after syrup’s poured over it.

Be sure to share your absolutely-freaking-bananas pancake pics with me on Instagram! I'm @thingsbybean and you can chuck a #thingsbybean on there for good measure.

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