Spiced with traditional cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, these fluffy Gingerbread Pancakes are drizzled with a fresh lemon-buttermilk syrup. Christmas morning, I got your back. Originally published December 5, 2014.
Table of Contents
- These are the Best Gingerbread Pancakes!
- What you’ll need for Gingerbread Spice Pancakes
- How to make Gingerbread Pancakes
- Gingerbread and Lemon Sauce Substitutions and Variations
- Serving this recipe for Gingerbread Pancakes
- Ginger Pancakes Storage
- How to store Lemon Syrup for Pancakes
- Gingerbread Pancakes Recipe FAQs
- Recommended Recipes
- Ginger Pancakes with Lemon Syrup Recipe
Yesterday Eric gently shook me awake. I looked up at him, bleary-eyed, and he says to me, “Karen, something amazing has happened.”
So, tell me, if your spouse woke you up (after too little sleep) and said this, what would you guess in the few seconds before you found out? You know how fast your brain can think of stuff like this. To quote Han Solo, “I can imagine quite a bit.”
“U2 is going on tour next year, and I can buy tickets a day early!!”
It is, of course, a question of WHEN we will buy tickets, not if. Eric’s U2
obsession devotion love knows no bounds. His face looked exactly like Charlotte’s when I tell her that it’s okay to jump in the puddles as hard as she can.
I swear I did not coordinate their shirts, by the way. She and her cousin just have excellent taste, and serendipitous tendencies.
These are the Best Gingerbread Pancakes!
Sugar and spice and everything nice…that’s what gingerbread pancakes are made of.
Here’s my last post for gingerbread week! We started on Monday with these craaaazy awesome Frosted Peppermint Gingerbread Bars, then on Wednesday I shared these Nutella Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies. Never enough gingerbread! Represent.
Today we’re talking breakfast. I made these pancakes for the first time a few weeks ago, and that day my nephew requested them for his birthday party that weekend. My friend Kate tried them, and needed the recipe to make them for her in-laws who were visiting.
So this recipe officially falls under the “I literally can’t wait until you post” category. I get a text, “When are you posting X recipe?” “Uh I don’t know a couple weeks probably.” “You have to email it to me. Now.” That’s when you know you’ve found a winner.
These gingerbread pancakes WIN. And the lemon-buttermilk syrup. Ooooh, the lemon-buttermilk syrup. I’m kind of regretting not dedicating an entire post to that recipe. Stuff of DREAMS you guys.
What you’ll need for Gingerbread Spice Pancakes
Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!
- Brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Ground ginger
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground cloves
Lemon Sauce for Pancakes Ingredients
- Salted butter
- Lemons (2)
- Granulated sugar
- Baking soda
How to make Gingerbread Pancakes
Here’s a quick overview of how to make gingerbread pancakes and the totally-no-optional lemon syrup that goes with it. Scroll down to the recipe card below for complete instructions!
- Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses, egg + yolk, butter, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Heat your griddle or skillet to medium and grease the pan.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form the pancakes. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until bubbles have formed all over the top. Then flip with a spatula and cook until light brown, another 2 minutes or so.
Making Lemon Syrup for Pancakes
- Melt butter over medium heat, then add lemon juice, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and sugar. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, then add the lemon zest and stir while the foaming settles down.
Gingerbread and Lemon Sauce Substitutions and Variations
I love this recipe just the way it is, but here are some ideas to add your own twist.
- Instead of lemon syrup, make buttercream frosting. Give each person at your breakfast table a little decorating bag of buttercream and let them frost their own designs (happy faces, Christmas trees, snowmen, snowflakes–the sky’s the limit!).
- Add a chopped bar of high quality white chocolate to the pancake batter for a totally dessert-like breakfast experience.
- Use freshly squeezed orange juice and orange zest instead of the lemon juice and lemon zest in the syrup if you love orange.
- If citrus isn’t your thing, feel free to serve these pancakes with butter and real maple syrup (still an absolutely delicious choice).
- Pour the gingerbread pancake batter into your waffle iron. Now the lemon syrup can soak into every little waffle pocket! Heaven.
Serving this recipe for Gingerbread Pancakes
These gingerbread pancakes are good by themselves, but they’re BEYOND good with this lemon syrup. This is an excellent breakfast on its own, but if you’re making them for a big family or guests and you want to add some protein, I recommend these Creamy Make Ahead Scrambled Eggs for a Crowd. You can keep the pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven until you’re ready to serve breakfast.
Ginger Pancakes Storage
These pancakes will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, but putting them in the freezer immediately preserves their flavor much better.
You can lay them out on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper and let them hang out in the freezer for 30 minutes or so. Then remove them from the baking sheet and pop them into ziplock bags or tupperware for an easy-to-reheat breakfast anytime.
(If you skip the baking sheet step and just put them into a ziplock, they may stick together and it’ll be hard to reheat just one.)
How to store Lemon Syrup for Pancakes
Lemon syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you’d prefer freezing it, it can last for several months. You can put it in a tupperware or ziplock (label it, future you will thank you!) as you prefer.
Gingerbread Pancakes Recipe FAQs
I used to struggle with pancakes. Then I learned how to make the best pancakes ever. Now, I’m here to share the secrets with you (I guess they’re no longer secrets, whoops).
1. Don’t use a pancake mix. Seriously. Don’t. I know that the ingredient list is longer, but you can keep a few baking staples on hand and have insanely good, stuff-of-your-dreams pancakes anytime you want.
2. Don’t over-mix the batter. If you need an arm workout, go lift weights (or come carry my toddler around). Over-mixing batter is a fast way to make pancakes tough.
3. Use buttermilk. It adds an incredible complexity of flavor with the tiniest bit of tang. With all the fluffy sweetness in a pancake, you need a little somethin’ somethin’ to contrast.
4. Don’t turn up the heat too high. Don’t get impatient! Pancakes are a weekend thing. You’ve got to keep them on medium heat, watch them until little bubbles are rising all over, THEN flip them. Burned-on-the-outside, raw-on-the-inside is not the goal.
Here are ways to avoid sad, chewy, flat pancakes (and get fluffy ones instead).
1. Use milk (or buttermilk), not water. Preferably use whole or at least 2% (you need the fat!), though 1% or skim will still work.
2. Don’t over mix the wet and dry ingredients. If you over-mix, then you fell victim to one of the classic blunders! (Name that movie!!)
3. Activate your baking soda with an acid. This recipe uses buttermilk.
4. Drop the batter onto the griddle only when it is very hot. Test it by sprinkling on some water droplets. They should immediately sizzle.
Fluffy pancakes require a leavening agent, like baking soda or baking powder. Most pancakes use baking powder because baking soda requires some kind of acid to activate it. Since we have buttermilk, which is acidic, we’re using baking soda…AND baking powder. Lots of leavening, lots of fluff.
Whether you use butter or oil is completely up to you. I use butter or nonstick spray interchangeably when greasing my griddle or pan. Butter is delicious, but nonstick spray or a lightly flavored oil like vegetable oil or canola oil don’t detract from the flavor of the pancakes at all. I also use melted butter IN the pancakes (so we’re already getting that buttery flavor).
It’s up to you! This recipe for gingerbread pancakes requires no resting time between making the batter and cooking the pancakes. However, if you’d like to make it ahead, you can refrigerate it as long as overnight and enjoy hot pancakes in the morning.
More Breakfast Recipes to Try
Best Pancakes Recipe I’ve Ever Made << sometimes you just can’t beat a classic!
German Pancakes Recipe (Dutch Baby) << a puffy, delectable, and easy breakfast that you can make with the blender.
Banana Macadamia Pancakes << take yourself on a mental vacation to Hawaii with these pancakes and homemade coconut syrup to boot.
Deep Dish Buttermilk Pancake << why stand over the griddle all day when you could make one BIG pancake??
Peach Pancakes by The Healthful Ideas
Sourdough Pancakes with Hibiscus Syrup by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Can’t get enough gingerbread? Me neither. Here are more sweet recipes with loads of ginger.
Chocolate Chunk Gingerbread Cookies << gingerbread + chocolate = BFFs.
Nutella Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies << creamy, dreamy Nutella tucked inside a super soft and flavorful gingerbread cookie. HEAVEN.
Frosted Peppermint Gingerbread Bars << All your favorite flavors of Christmas, wrapped up in one big pan of easy-to-share (and easy to make!) bars.
Grandma Prudy’s Classic Gingersnaps << this one is a huge family favorite!
Homemade Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting << a super moist cake with all your favorite warm spices (and that rich frosting).
Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies << no snappy gingersnaps for you? These ginger cookies are SOFT, sweet, and chewy.
Ginger Molasses Sandwich Cookies with Buttercream Frosting << Now take those same soft soft cookies, and add vanilla buttercream….yes please!
Ginger Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake << a classic English dessert drenched in buttery caramel sauce.
Gingerbread Roll from Saving Room for Dessert
Gingerbread Loaf with Cinnamon Glaze from Happy Foods Tube
Ginger Pancakes with Lemon Syrup
For the lemon syrup
- 1 cup salted butter
- 2/3 cup lemon juice, fresh, buy 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3-5 teaspoons lemon zest, plus more for garnish
For the pancakes:
- 1 & 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg , + 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- butter , or nonstick spray for frying
- Start with the lemon syrup: In a 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
- Add lemon juice, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and sugar. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda. The mixture will bubble up and foam like a science experiment (this is why you need a larger pot).
- Add the lemon zest and stir. It will take a few minutes for the foam to calm down, just stir it every now and then. Let rest while you get the pancakes ready, or keep it on low.
- For the pancakes: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses, egg + yolk, butter, and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Heat your griddle or skillet to medium. (350 on my griddle)
- Grease the pan with butter or nonstick spray, just enough to coat it.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form the pancakes. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until bubble have formed all over the top. Then flip with a spatula and cook until light brown, another 2 minutes or so.
- Serve with warm lemon syrup. Sprinkle each serving with lemon zest.