Light and fluffy pumpkin pancakes mixed with a warm blend spices. Using pumpkin puree keeps each cake tender and adds a festive orange hue. A delightful seasonal breakfast topped with maple syrup and pecans.
For this fall delight, I use my popular homemade pancakes recipe as the base and spice it up with seasonal ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Pumpkin puree provides the fun orange color and adds a very mild sweetness.
To create tender cakes that cook up nice and tall, a combination of leavening agents help with the lift. Baking powder, baking soda, and eggs ensure that each cake rises and sets with ease. This breakfast also freezes and reheats really well so you can enjoy a fluffy stack anytime the craving hits!
How to make pumpkin pancakes
- In a large bowl whisk together sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs, and melted butter.
- Gently combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients.
- Rest batter for 10 minutes.
- Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat.
- Add oil, evenly spread with a paper towel.
- Then add ¼ cup pancake batter, cook until edges are set.
- Flip and cook until golden brown.
Using pumpkin puree
Libby’s canned pumpkin puree, not the pumpkin pie mix, is my gold standard to use. It’s pretty smooth in texture and is a convenient way to add pumpkin flavor and color to the batter. Although if you’re a DIY person, it’s easy to make your own homemade pumpkin puree!
Selecting the right leavening agents
To make sure the pancakes rise soon after it hits the hot pan, I use three types of leavening agents. Baking soda, baking powder, and eggs work together to create just enough bubbles for incredible lift.
In this recipe, I add a little more baking powder than I do for my classic pancakes because the pulp in the pumpkin puree adds density to the batter. The proteins in the eggs set, just like scrambled eggs to help trap the bubbles for a nice height. This keeps things light and fluffy.
Pumpkin pie spice
Adding in a hearty amount of warm spices in this recipe is essential. Pumpkin has a very mild flavor, so pairing it with robust and zippy seasonings makes these pancakes more flavorful.
That’s where my homemade pumpkin pie spice blend comes in handy. I use a higher amount of ground cinnamon to enhance the sweet taste. Then stir in ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
Properly cooking the pancakes
This batter is thick and lumpy and will not pour out of the bowl easily. I use a spoon to move things along, but don’t worry the pancakes will still be light and tender. The key to keeping them nice and high is not to press them down! This will push out all of the carbon dioxide bubbles, leaving you with a dense, compressed cake.
Freezing and reheating
This pancake recipe makes about sixteen portions, so if you’re not feeding a crowd, it freezes nicely for later. Allow the leftover pancakes to cool on a wire rack then individually wrap them in plastic wrap.
Store in a large resealable plastic bag in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel for about 60 to 90 seconds. I like to then toast them once defrosted to give the surface a little crispiness.
- Chopped nuts like pecans, almonds, and walnuts
- Homemade granola
- Pure maple syrup
- Yogurt or whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
Buttermilk helps pancakes rise
When adding baking soda to a recipe an acid is needed for the sodium bicarbonate to react and create lots of bubbles. Buttermilk provides that acid and the tangy flavor makes each pancake more delicious.
- 2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (22 g) dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons (7 g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons (6 g) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 ½ cups (480 ml) buttermilk
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup (60 ml) plain Greek yogurt, whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons (44 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- vegetable oil, as needed for cooking
- ½ cup (53 g) pecans, chopped (optional)
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
- In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin puree, yogurt, eggs, and cooled melted butter.
- Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Leave a few streaks of flour, the pancake batter should look lumpy.
- Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes before cooking.
- Heat a large 12-inch nonstick pan over medium heat.
- Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the pan. Use a paper towel to create a thin layer of oil on the bottom of the pan.
- Measure out a ¼ cup (60ml) of pancake batter into the pan, 2 to 3 at a time. Use the back of a spoon to spread the pancakes into a circular shape, about 3 ½ inches in diameter.
- Cook until golden brown, the edges are set, and bubbles are beginning to break on the surface of the pancake, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Carefully flip the pancake, and cook until the other side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not press down on the pancake after flipping or it will not be fluffy.
- Repeat with the remaining batter, and grease the pan as needed.
- Serving Size: 1 pancake with nuts.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free 1-to-1 baking flour is recommended.
- Freeze and Reheat: Individually wrap cooled pancakes in plastic, store in a resealable container and freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat by wrapping a pancake in paper towel and microwave on a plate for 60 to 90 seconds.