Coffeecake without the bake: cinnamon streusel pancakes

Truth be told, I kinda like to get up early on the weekend. Somehow knowing that I don’t have to do it and don’t have to be anywhere makes it easier to do. Trust me, if I do have to get up early on a weekday, it’s not nearly such a pleasant thought.

If I could, I’d bake coffeecakes and cinnamon buns, Belgian waffles and steamy creamy oatmeal at 6:30 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Too bad my house is so small that once I start banging pots and pans, everyone else is awake whether they like it or not. So, I try to be kind and make quiet breakfasts.

Oh, I know I could put things together the night before, but somehow I’m stuck in Donna Reed mode, where I picture myself flitting about in a ruffled apron fixing a perfect morning feast while the sun rises. I’ve only seen about four episodes of The Donna Reed Show, and don’t even own a ruffled apron, so go figure. But there it is: I’m a morning baker.

While surfing the ‘net, I am across several different references to pancakes being new and hip again, and that thrilled me to my toes. Pancakes are hot, yummy, personal little bits of heaven, and they’re quiet to boot! One bowl, one whisk, a scale, and a griddle.

This recipe features two special twists that make it taste just like your favorite cinnamon coffeecake. First, part of the batter is richly flavored with cinnamon filling mix; and second, you pour real streusel right onto the pancake and bake it in. Cinnamon, crunch, and caramelized sugar in every bite. OH, yes!

Let’s tiptoe to the kitchen and make Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes.

Whisk together 2 large eggs and 1 1/4 cups milk until lightened and foamy. Gently stir in 3 tablespoons oil or melted butter.

Whisk in the following:

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar or malted milk powder

Gently mix the wet and dry ingredients until combined. Don’t over-mix, or the gluten will become overly developed, making tough, not tender pancakes.

Set the batter aside to rest and thicken while you preheat the griddle and make the streusel topping.

In a small bowl combine:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend with a fork or, better yet, your fingers until the cinnamon and nuts are mixed into the sugar.
If you don’t want to go the nut route, you could use rolled oats (uncooked oatmeal) instead.

Transfer 1/2  cup of the thickened batter to a measuring cup with a spout and add 3 tablespoons Baker’s Cinnamon Filling Mix. Mix until smooth. Check the batter for consistency and thin with milk until it flows evenly.

If you don’t have the Cinnamon Filling Mix on hand, you can use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon instead. I’ll be honest and say it won’t have the same great deep flavor, but it’ll do in a pinch.

Pour 1/4 cup plain pancake batter onto the hot griddle. Let it spread slightly, then pour a scant tablespoon of the cinnamon batter into the center, like a bulls-eye.

Cook for a minute or so, until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancake. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon of the streusel, cook for another minute, and flip the pancake, streusel and all.

You can see how the streusel that’s now on the bottom is melting and caramelizing as the pancake cooks.

So, why is there streusel on top of the pancake? Maybe, just maybe the pancake got flipped before I took the right photo, so I added more streusel to show you how much to use.  Of course, we ate this pancake with the additional streusel on top and it was amazing, so you can streusel both sides on purpose if you wish.

Once you remove the cooked pancakes, there will be some sugar melted onto the griddle.

Ah, the beauty of non-stick surfaces. Just scrape up the hot sugar, nuts, etc. with a heatproof spatula. The rest will just wipe up with a paper towel once the griddle is cool.

Mmmm, bonus bite. Melted sugar, cinnamon, and nuts are just right for nibbling as you cook the next batch of pancakes.

Hot pancakes, richly redolent of cinnamon and sugar and toasted nuts. These pancakes don’t need syrup, just a plate and a fork and a big glass of cold milk. These pancakes reminded a lot of our tasters of cinnamon coffeecake, only much faster to make.

So, next time you have a hankerin’ to quietly make a big statement, give these pancakes a try. You’ll have the family shouting your praises!

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Bonnie

    Holy cow. GREAT idea. These pancakes are going to kick my husbands pancakes all over the floor. I’m serving these babies with some real whipped cream and then it’s on like donkey kong!

    Reply
  2. dmeaux1000

    What a wonderful and simple recipe. I made these the last 2 Saturdays and enjoyed them both times. They even reheat well in the microwave the next day. Thanks.

    Reply
  3. kmtwriter

    This post arrived a day before my birthday, so I sent it to my husband. I woke up that morning to these delicious pancakes. My husband put the streusel on both sides, which made them really sweet, but not so sweet that anyone turned them down. Next time we’ll use the streusel only on one side. Thanks MaryJane for providing the recipe for a great birthday breakfast!
    I’m so glad you got such a lovely birthday breakfast and enjoyed it so much with your hunny-bunny. As Pooh would say, many happy returns of the day! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  4. Gwen

    So why didn’t I think of this? Tried it already, was only cooking for me and Hub so I was lazy and just added cinnamon to my usual pancake recipe and didn’t mess with the two types of batter, and then used the topping. Very yummy. Somehow pancakes didn’t seem right without butter and syrup so I put a dab of butter each spot I was gonna pour batter on the griddle and then used just a little dribble of maple syrup on top as a finishing touch.

    Reply
  5. dvhirst

    Hi MJ,

    Wow, these are way rich! Made 1/2 recipe this morning for the two of us, and had a hard time finishing even that amount. No instant cinnamon filling mix so made do with a mashup of butter+brown sugar+cinnamon; seemed to work quite well. Will use the left-over nut mixture on cereal next week. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

    Don from OR.
    Hi Don,
    Yes, these are definitely more like eating coffeecake than a plain pancake. Glad you liked them though.
    Haven’t been to Oregon in more than 20 years, but do remember quite clearly how beautiful it was. Happy Spring!
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. aoifeofcheminnoir

    Memories, again! I fixed pancakes for my little sister one morning,
    not realizing we were out of syrup…I threw some coconut, brown sugar and chopped nuts to spread over the butter on her cakes..instant love! I did a few different streusel mixes after that. Who needed syrup?!
    PS: Was great on french toast and waffles too.
    oooh, the coconut sounds like a great addition. Thanks for the hint! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. kkaschke

    A famous pancake chain, not sure if I can mention names, had streusel pancakes once and my husband loved them. Now I can make them at home. I’ll be surprising him for Sunday morning breakfast. Thanks!!!! I really enjoy the see how to make it section.
    I hope he loves the pancakes. You’re a dear to make them for him, hope you get lots of hugs. 🙂 ~ MaryJane

    Reply

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