Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Banana bread pancakes

I don't even know where to begin.   It's 8:30 on Saturday morning, and I simply couldn't wait to talk about this recipe.  My heart (and stomach) are aflutter with love.

I won't say I should still be in bed because I'm not really the kind of person who sleeps in late on the weekends.  Matt considers this one of my many few faults.

But something tells me I should at least be lounging horizontally on the couch with a blanket, settling for some so-bad-it's-good movie on TV (ahem, The Cutting Edge) and reveling in that post-weekend-breakfast feeling of satisfaction  and relaxation.

Instead, the first thing I wanted to do after eating breakfast was record everything as soon as possible before the smells, tastes, and this magical nirvana that could only come from banana bread pancakes fades.

I love pancakes, I really do. But I'm a bit of a white bread pancake kind of gal.  You know, basic pancake batter whose recipe I know like the back of my hand, altered with a few in batter additions: cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, blueberries, or even crumbled bacon one time long ago.  Good every time.  If it isn't broken, why try to fix it?

But last night something changed deep within me.  I felt this craving for pancakes, but of a different kind.  I was scouring the interwebs for recipes to use the ripening bananas in my kitchen.  And then I found it.

Not simply banana pancakes, but banana bread pancakes.  The recipe was different, edgy, even!  (Yes, pancake recipes can be edgy.  Now you know.)  Brown sugar in place of regular white.  The scents of cinnamon and nutmeg whose aromas fill the house when baking banana bread.  And mashed banana, rather than sliced, to permeate all of the batter.

In a bread-induced haze, I pushed the envelope further and tossed in shredded coconut and chopped walnuts.  Was this all crazy?  Or crazy enough that it just might work?

Holy sh--.  I'm not sure there are words to describe how incredible these pancakes are.  And, even if there were, I'm not sure my foggy banana brain could recall them.  Let me try: Crazy delicious!

I don't even want to say that these pancakes taste like banana bread because that wouldn't be right. They are banana bread in pancake form.  Chewy and moist, just like you'd expect.  I could've eaten twice as many, but I only had four, so I added a little syrup for good measure.

OMG.  I've had many pancakes in my pancake-filled life, and will go on the record by saying these were the best pancakes I've ever had.  Even a top candidate for my last meal on earth.  Just promise me you'll make these now, please.

The only bad part about this entire endeavor?  Well, um, here's the thing.  Since I was up so early and knew I couldn't wait a few more hours until Matt woke up to eat, I only made enough for one serving.   And then I tasted my first bite... and the rest is history.  I didn't want it to end.

But, when there were no more pancakes, guilty feelings began to creep in.  I came to my senses and quickly cleaned the dishes, carefully removing any trace of this pancake nirvana before Sleeping Beauty was awake.  What he doesn't know won't hurt him, right?

...unless he just read this.  Run!

Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes
(with more than a few changes from How Sweet Eats)
makes 8 pancakes

A few notes: I quartered the original recipe because I was only cooking for one.  However, I've written up the halved version below for you.  I also added a little shredded coconut and chopped walnuts to mimic my favorite version of banana bread; omit these if they aren't your thing.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon shredded coconut, optional
1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts, optional
1/2 cup milk, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 small ripe bananas, mashed
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat griddle or pan to medium high heat.  In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients up to and including walnuts.  Add milk and vanilla and stir until combined.  (Batter will be thick and dry; fret not.)  Add mashed banana and melted butter to the mix and stir to combine.  Batter should be wet but considerably thicker than traditional pancake batter.  Hint: When you scrape the bottom of the bowl, the batter should very slowly eventually cover up that spot.

Using 1/4 cup measure, drop portions of batter onto lightly greased griddle or skillet.  Use a butter knife or the back of a spoon to spread the batter out to desired pancake size.  Cook pancakes, three to four minutes or until bubbles begin to form on top, then flip.  Cook an additional three to four minutes.  Remove and serve immediately with syrup.  Sharing is optional.  Enjoy!


  1. Yup, these will have to be made for breakfast tomorrow... definitely... or right now...

  2. Ditto! I think I'm looking at dinner tonight!!