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How to make the perfect Christmas Cinnamon Pancakes

Having a special breakfast, like Christmas cinnamon pancakes, every Christmas morning sets the stage for the rest of the festivities. I love setting traditions to build memories around and meals are one simple way I do that.

cinnamon roll pancakes

Breakfast is how everyone starts their day, unless you prefer to sip your coffee for a few hours before you eat.

I am a tradition kind of gal and I love setting the stage for special moments in our lives with simple traditions that can be carried on throughout the years.

A few simple traditions we have for Christmas are decorating our bedrooms right when the calendar strikes November.

We also make some sort of ornament, whether it be dried orange ornaments, salt dough ornaments, or a simple dried orange garland to decorate our greenery with.

One thing that is important to me when it comes to traditions is that it be something I can repeat year after year without much stress.

I like to prepare for Christmas ahead of time to help keep the season cheery and not stressful. Having special, but simple meals is part of that preparation.

Today, I’m going to share a simple Christmas cinnamon pancake recipe that can easily become part of your Christmas morning menu.

cinnamon roll pancakes on a blue plate

Why you’ll love these Christmas Pancakes

The best part about these pancakes is how they taste and smell like Christmas.

We eat with our nose and eyes first, so as the smell fills the kitchen, your family will know that today is a special day.

Be sure to tuck this recipe away for other special occasions, too!

A few other reasons you will love these Christmas pancakes are:

  • They are simple
  • You can make this batter ahead to make the morning stress-free
  • These can be as simple or decadent as you want to make them
  • It’s easy to elevate these pancakes with your toppings
  • Cleanup is quick with just one batter mixing bowl and one griddle needing to be cleaned
  • They taste amazing and will be a recipe your family looks forward to
cinnamon roll pancakes with a cream cheese glaze

How to make Cinnamon Pancakes

There are two ways you can make these cinnamon pancakes.

One is a simple addition of a cinnamon spice and another involves making a cinnamon filling and swirling it into the batter.

You will learn both recipes below and both are worth tucking away to make any breakfast a treat.

Either way, this recipe uses my family favorite, easy fluffy pancake recipe that we have used for years. It is the base for all of my pancake recipes.

Ingredients for Christmas Cinnamon Pancakes

  • Milk– You can use whatever milk you have on hand. I have even used almond milk before with good success. You milk have to add a couple of tablespoons of flour to thicken up the batter if you use a nut milk, but the pancakes will still be yummy.
  • Flour– I use an all-purpose flour for our pancakes.
  • Sugar– You may use cane sugar, maple sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. I have used a variety of sweeteners and the results are still great.
  • Baking powder– This is used for the rise of the pancakes.
  • Salt– As with every good recipe, you must have a salt to balance and bring out the sweet.
  • Egg– Eggs create a fluffy texture and give structure to baked goods.
  • Oil- You may use an oil or butter to give this recipe some fat content, which helps to create a fluffy pancake.
  • Cinnamon– This gives the batter that lovely, Christmas flavor and smell.
a fork stuck in cinnamon pancakes

Steps for cooking Christmas Cinnamon Pancakes

  1. Mix wet ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Mix dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients. It is okay if there are small lumps.
  3. Allow batter to sit while griddle preheats.
  4. Cook each pancake on a buttered griddle until done. See flipping tips below.
ingredients for cinnamon filling

How to make Cinnamon Pancake filling

If you want to make these extra special, the best way is to pipe in this delicious cinnamon roll filling. It isn’t necessary, but it is quite delightful.

If you can imagine pancakes and cinnamon rolls smushed into one simple recipe, this would be it!

Consider these cinnamon roll pancakes.. an elevated version of the standard cinnamon pancakes.

In a small mixing bowl, mix:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Add this to a ziplock bag, piping bag, or some squeeze bottles to use for the cinnamon pancakes. Swirl it over the top of the pancake as the bottom side cooks.

Start in the center of the pancakes and swirl your way to the outside of the pancake.

cinnamon roll pancakes glaze in a saucepan

Cinnamon Pancake Cream Cheese Glaze

Like I said, you can make these as simple or decadent as you want!

This glaze is so quick to whip up and is a great alternative to syrup. It adds extra creaminess and sweetness, if your family likes that.

You can set this on the table so people can glaze their pancakes, or allow them to use your regular maple syrup.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
  • 3 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a swirl of cinnamon filling on a pancake

How to make a Cinnamon Pancake glaze

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the saucepan
  3. Remove from the heat
  4. Pour over pancakes!
steps for making pancakes

How to cook pancakes

While the ingredients are the most important part of cooking, you can’t forget how to cook the pancakes.

You can use any large skillet to cook your homemade pancakes, but I recommend a cast iron skillet to get the best pancakes

I shared my love for cast iron in a blog post because nothing makes food taste better.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use whatever you have on hand. My second choice would be an electric griddle.

When cooking your pancakes, use butter to create a nonstick surface.

If you don’t have butter, use coconut oil or cooking spray. I think a fat of some sort provides the best flavor profile for any pancake.

The butter creates a rich, crispy outside layer that is hard to replicate. Coconut oil is the best alternative to butter, if you would rather stick with a plant based option.

If you don’t like crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, just use a cooking spray.

dripping sauce on pancakes

When should you flip the pancakes

Flipping the pancakes at the perfect time is part of the art of pancakes.

If you flip too early, your batter will splatter everywhere and create a mess. If you flip too late, you risk charring the outside of your pancakes.

Follow these simple steps, to flip your pancakes at the perfect time:

  1. Have your griddle set to medium hot skillet
  2. Pour on 1/4 cup of the batter and wait until you see your batter beginning to set up around the edges and bubble on the inside.
  3. Slide your spatula under the pancake and flip using your wrist. The pancake should be golden brown.
  4. Allow the pancake to cook on the second side for a few minutes to ensure that it’s cooked through.

Addition Toppings for Christmas Pancakes

  • Nuts- chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds
  • Whipped cream- whip heavy whipping cream with a mixer for several minutes on a high speed until stiff peeks form
  • Extra sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Chopped Apple for apple cinnamon pancakes
a pat of butter on pancakes

Can I make this batter ahead of time

Yes, if you want to make your morning even easier, make this batter in a large mixing bowl the night before and store in the refrigerator. Be sure to cover it with plastic wrap.

If you want to make this batter the night before, combine all of the ingredients, but leave out the Baking Powder.

Add the baking powder the morning you are making your pancakes about 5 minutes before you’re ready to cook them.

If you add the baking powder the night before, you will have to add more because it is the leavening agent and it will “fall flat” if it sits too long before being cooked.

  • Night Before– Mix up everything for your pancake batter, except the baking powder
  • Morning of– Add in the baking powder and let it activate for 5 minutes before cooking the pancakes.

Can these Christmas Pancakes be frozen?

Yes! Allow the pancakes to cool to room temperature.

Set them on a cookie sheet in a single layer, slide them into the freezer and let them gently freeze. Then, put them into a ziplock until you’re ready to use them.

To reheat them, microwave them for 15-30 seconds, or toast them in a toaster. The toaster will give you pancakes that are still crispy on the outside.

dry ingredients in a bowl for pancakes

Variations for Christmas Pancakes

I prefer a fluffy, thick pancake, so this recipe creates fluffy pancakes.

If you prefer a thinner, flatter pancake, simply add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to the batter until you get the consistency you are wanting.

Adding more milk will give you the flat pancakes you’re looking for.

If you are using the Cinnamon Filling, don’t make them too thin. You want the glaze to sink into the pancake when it’s on the griddle.

If you make it too thin, it won’t fill the center, but rather be sitting on the bottom of the pancake.

Other delicious make ahead breakfast ideas

Christmas Cinnamon Pancakes

Liz Quick
This delicious and decadent breakfast is perfect for Christmas morning or for any morning where you want it to feel special. You can make the batter ahead of time to make mornings even easier. This recipe shows you the simple cinnamon pancake and then makes takes it to the next level with the cinnamon roll version.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
0 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 pancakes
Calories 200 kcal

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl
  • Griddle or Large Skillet

Ingredients
  

Cinnamon Pancakes

  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Roll Pancake Filling

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Roll Pancake Glaze

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
 

Cinnamon Pancakes

  • Combine wet ingredients in a mixing bowl- combine milk, egg, and oil/butter.
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix the batter. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray or butter. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Cinnamon Roll Pancake Filling

  • Melt the butter in a small mixing bowl.
  • Add in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Put it in a ziplock bag and seal it. Snip the corner of the ziplock to pipe the filling onto the pancakes in a circular, swirl motion.

Cinnamon Roll Pancake Glaze

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add in the cream cheese and vanilla. Whisk it until the cream cheese melts.
  • Remove the glaze from the heat and add in the powdered sugar. Whisk well.
  • Pour over your stacks of pancakes in place of syrup.

Notes

  • When should you flip pancakes? Be patient and wait until the outside edges are beginning to set up and the inside is bubbly. Flip using your wrist.
  • How to freeze pancakes: Freeze them on a cookie sheet so they don’t stick together. After 15 minutes, place them in a ziplock until ready to use. Reheat in a microwave or toaster.
  • Don’t over stir. When you see your batter bubbling, do not stir the bubbles out. The bubbles give rise to the pancake batter.
Keyword christmas pancakes, cinnamon pancakes, cinnamon roll pancakes

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