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Pancakes: New Takes on an Old Favorite - The Sweetie, Sweet & Sweetly Sour, Surely Savory

By Luci

Don’t we all love pancakes? Sure, and they are special fare. Sunday morning breakfasts with pancakes are a tradition in many families, especially when made by Dad. I have fond memories of watching my father standing over a hot stove and turning out one after the other, to be slathered with butter and maple or corn syrup, then quickly devoured. Pancakes are the favored breakfast on very special days, especially Father’s Day and Mother’s Day*. As Mother’s Day is today, pancakes, made extra-special with uncommon flavors, make a good blog topic. Special days, whether Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or a celebratory  breakfast or brunch, deserve special pancakes. Here are three. Their batters sport intriguing flavors, their toppings are atypical. Each sums to a very special treat.

Basic Batter


Bubbles begin

I like pancakes the way I like pizza - thin with crisp edges. This batter does the job. But feel free to use any pancake recipe. However, adding sour cream to any batter allows the batter to ferment for greater, fuller flavor.

Yield: 2 cups, makes about 12 pancakes


3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup full fat milk

1/3 cup sour cream

1/2 cup water

Butter for greasing skillet


  1. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a depression in the middle of the mixture. 

  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream and water.

  3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well of dry ingredients. Gently fold together; 15-20 stirs should do the job. Small lumps may remain. Refrigerate for 6 - 24 hours to allow mixture to ferment.

  4. Melt a small amount of butter in a skillet over medium heat. When bubbling, pour a scant 1/4 cup pancake batter into the skillet and rotate the skillet to make a nice round pancake. Cook until bubbles in batter begin to break. Lift the pancake up with a spatula, add a bit of butter to the skillet and then flip the pancake to brown on the other side.

  5. Place the pancake on a warm plate and add a small amount of the topping sauce. Repeat until batter is used up.

The Sweetie: Lavender Pancakes with Apricot Sauce

Lavender is fragrant, sweet and somewhat astringent; the apricot sauce supplies more sweetness and a fruity complement to the lavender flavor.

For the pancakes

To the basic batter add 1 tablespoon ground culinary** lavender buds and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook as directed.

For the apricot sauce

Yield: 1 cup

  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan. 

  2. Add 1 cup apricot jam. Stir until melted. Add 2 teaspoons ground ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes.

  3. Pour over warm pancakes.

Sweet and Sweetly Sour: Lemon/Poppy Seed Pancakes with Honey/Lemon/Poppy Seed Sauce

Lemon and poppy seeds are a great combination, used especially in cakes and quick breads. A good lemon is tart and sweet, the poppy seeds nutty and a bit fruity, the result a burst of sparkly taste.

For the pancakes

To the basic batter add 1 teaspoon lemon zest,  and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook as directed.

For the honey/lemon/poppy seed sauce

Yield: Makes 1 generous cup

  1. Melt 12 tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan .

  2. Add 1/2 cup honey, 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds. Cook until honey is dissolved. Take off heat and stir in 2 tablespoons sour cream.

  3. Pour over warm pancakes.

Surely Savory: Pancakes with Bacon and Cheese and a Cheese Sauce

Hearty and savory says it all. Perfect for Father’s Day and any bacon and cheese lover. Feel free to use your favorite hard cheese for the pancakes and your favorite cheese sauce.

For the pancakes

Note: These pancakes may stick a bit to the skillet so use more butter in the skillet when cooking them.

To the basic recipe add 3 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled, and 1 and 1/2 ounces of grano/padano or other cheese, grated. Cook as directed. Top the stack of pancakes with a generous amount of cheese sauce and 2 strips of bacon. 

For the sauce

I made a cheese sauce a few days ago for another purpose and did not  write out a recipe. It used American and Parmesan cheeses in equal amounts. Use your favorite cheese sauce.

*Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May, declared a national holiday by Woodrow Wilson in 1914. In 1972 Richard Nixon made Father’s Day, the third Sunday in June, a national holiday. 

**Lavender other than culinary may contain poisons.

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1 Comment

Thanks for sharing a creative and imaginative way of elevating a classic. I'm eager to try all of the recipes and be inspired to experiment with even more ideas.

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