When exactly does a holiday tradition become just that: tradition? Is it simply a matter of repeating an activity more than once? If yes, I vote we make these Gingerbread Pancakes on repeat!
Thick, fluffy pancakes spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, then smothered in a holiday-appropriate maple cream cheese drizzle, these homemade gingerbread pancakes are everything a winter morning should be: cozy, sweet, and best enjoyed in pajamas.
Dibs on the last gingerbread pancake if the pajamas have feet!
They’re comfort and warmth in pancake form.
Their delightful gingerbread flavor comes from the combination of brewed coffee, dark brown sugar, and classic winter spices.
Their sky-high height and fluffy texture are thanks to the addition of buttermilk.
Enjoy them as they are, or add a dollop of the sweet and tangy maple cream cheese topping for a truly out-of-this-world breakfast experience!
While these easy gingerbread pancakes certainly step into the spotlight during the holidays, I petition that we find ways to include them in our breakfast routine all winter long (I’ve even shared a few variations below for inspiration).
No matter how you serve these tasty little gingerbread beauties, I know they’ll be a hit!
5 Star Review
“They were so good! These were so fluffy and delicious. Make these! You won’t be dissatisfied!”— Heather —
How to Make Gingerbread Pancakes
When I think of a special holiday breakfast, it’s hard to imagine a better choice than these easy gingerbread pancakes.
- White Whole Wheat Flour. To make these somewhat healthy gingerbread pancakes, I opted to use white whole wheat flour. The swap is imperceptible, but it helps boost the fiber and protein content. Translation: you can feel great about that third (or fourth) pancake you’ll be craving!
- Dark Brown Sugar. To channel that classic gingerbread flavor, I used dark brown sugar for sweetness. It also helps make the pancakes ultra moist.
- Buttermilk. The key to deliciously tender and fluffy pancakes.
- Coffee. I wanted to make gingerbread pancakes no molasses, because I found that molasses made the pancakes too dense and heavy. To create the same rich gingerbread flavor, I added a bit of brewed coffee to the batter. You can’t actually taste the coffee, but it gives the pancakes just the depth I was seeking.
- Spices. The classic winter spice crew! A mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves gives these pancakes the ideal gingerbread-like flavor.
- Butter. For richness and fabulous flavor.
- Maple Cream Cheese Topping. The icing on the (pan)cake! The maple cream cheese topping is sweet, tangy, and absolutely scrumptious.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then stir in the buttermilk and coffee.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the butter.
- Cook your desired size of pancakes in a skillet over medium-low heat. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
- Prepare the maple cream cheese topping. Serve the pancakes with the topping and DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover pancakes in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat pancakes gently in the toaster or microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze pancakes in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in the toaster, or thaw overnight in the refrigerator before microwaving.
Meal Prep Tip
If you want to freeze toaster pancakes in advance for easy, quick breakfasts, make sure to prepare smaller-sized pancakes so they fit in the toaster.
What to Serve with Gingerbread Pancakes
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Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Griddle. Perfect for making gingerbread pancakes.
- Small Whisk. So much easier to use than larger-sized whisks.
- Mixing Bowls. This set of glass mixing bowls has every size you need.
The Griddle That Does It All
This little appliance can act as a griddle, panini press, and grill. It can help you prepare everything from a Breakfast Burger to gingerbread pancakes.
These gingerbread pancakes have become a beloved holiday tradition in our household, and I hope they bring you and your family just as much joy!
Frequently Asked Questions
I haven’t tried making these into vegan gingerbread pancakes, so I can’t say for certain how they would turn out. I recommend trying my Vegan Pancakes recipe instead. You can add the spices from this recipe to give it more of a gingerbread flavor.
No, I do not recommend making these pancakes with any alternative flours (almond, coconut, oat, chickpea, etc.).
However, you can certainly add the spices and maple cream cheese topping to my Coconut Flour Pancakes, or Oatmeal Pancakes to create a similar taste.
Since this recipe was created for making pancakes, making it in a waffle iron would be an experiment. I suggest adding a few more tablespoons of melted butter to ensure they crisp. If you want to make already tested waffles, I suggest trying my Blender Whole Wheat Waffles recipe and adding the spices and maple cream cheese topping from this recipe.
For the Gingerbread Pancakes:
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or light brown
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee cooled to room temperature
- 1 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
For the Maple Cream Cheese Topping:
- 6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 3 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt or vanilla Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup plus additional to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons skim milk
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until well combined. Stir in the buttermilk and coffee.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently, just until combined. You will have some lumps remaining. Stir in the melted butter.
- If you'd like to keep different batches of pancakes warm, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat a griddle or sturdy skillet over medium-low heat. Coat the skillet with butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking, then ladle 1/2 cup batter (for large pancakes) or 1/4 cup batter (for smaller pancakes) into the pan and begin cooking. Because these pancakes are whole wheat, they cook more slowly. Flip when the edges of the pancake are no longer shiny and some bubbling forms on top, about 4-5 minutes for large pancakes or 2-3 for smaller ones. Continue cooking on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve the cooked pancakes immediately or keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
- For the maple cream cheese topping: In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and Greek yogurt on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix again. Add 2 tablespoons milk to thin the batter. Taste and add additional maple syrup if you desire a sweeter topping. If you desire a thinner consistency, continue adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until the topping is as thick as you like. Serve with warm pancakes.
- Recipe can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover pancakes in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat pancakes gently in the toaster or microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze pancakes in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in the toaster, or thaw overnight in the refrigerator before microwaving.
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What a PERFECT Christmas morning breakfast! I love the idea of using coffee in these, and maple + cream cheese is wonderful just about anywhere in my opinion, especially on pancakes and French toast! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks so much, Margaret Ann!
These made me start craving gingerbread this morning! These pancakes are sure to be outstanding! So great for enjoying during the holidays!
These pancakes definitely cause cravings! Thanks, Robyn!
The pancakes sound wonderful, although they are a mite heavy on the cloves for our tastes. I like that you and Ben have chosen not to exchange gifts. My husband and I are the same way. What we’ve ended up doing is, if we find a large purchase we want to make, we make it a gift to ourselves. It can be at any time of year. Your idea of dinner out is a very nice one. That might be one for us to adopt for the years when we celebrate Christmas at home. Years like this one we head out to visit my husband two sons and their wives and children, but when we’re traveling starting in January, we visit them just before we leave, and spend Christmas at home. Apart from that we have no traditions – my fault, since I’m not a fan of the holidays.
Susan, we sometimes treat big purchases like gifts too! I hope that you have safe travels this year. Wishing you a very happy holiday season (and feel free to use as many or as few cloves in this recipe as you like?)
Oh my goodness, I can just imagine how good your house must smell while these pancakes are being made! Perfect holiday breakfast recipe! Great photos too! :)
Gingerbread definitely smells heavenly! :) Thanks, Alia!
Yummy! that is a fantastic idea. I like the topping and I like how you didn’t make the gingerbread overly sweet. So that balance of the sweetness and the spices seem to work out nicely (:
Thanks so much! It’s nice to keep the sweetness in check when it comes to breakfast. :)
Just made these and they were amazing! My entire family loved them. They will become our new holiday tradition. Thank you so much
Hooray for new traditions! I’m so happy to hear you and your family loved the recipe, Laura. And I really appreciate your taking the time to leave this nice review!
My husband and I also started the tradition of not giving each other gifts this year as we just decided we prefer “experiences” over gifts. I’m glad to hear that you guys do that too! Looking forward to trying this recipe.
It’s a truly wonderful tradition! Thanks, Erin. I hope you enjoy the pancakes!
These look delicious!
Do you have any suggestions for a coffee substitute? We’re not coffee drinkers so there’s none in the house…
Hi Michelle! I don’t have an exact substitute for the coffee. You could maybe experiment with strongly brewed black (or cinnamon!) tea. Otherwise, you could use milk or water, but just note that without the coffee, the pancakes will have a milder flavor.
Thanks for the suggestions, Erin! I’ll report back when I try them and let you know what I subbed and how it turned out! :)
Have a wonderful Christmas!
You too, Michelle! (And yes, I’d love to hear how they turn out!)
This recipe is AWESOME! (testing out the new rating functionality)
Thanks so much, Lindsay! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pancakes! I appreciate your taking the time to leave this nice comment and 5-star rating!
I used an egg substitute and made my own “buttermilk” using almond milk and a splash of apple cider vinegar to make them vegan and they turned out wonderfully! I look forward to making these for my spouses breakfast on Christmas Eve.
Thanks for reporting back and sharing your tweaks to the recipe, Sierra! I’m happy to hear you enjoy the pancakes!
The kids absolutely loved this! Thanks for the post!!
Awesome, Tony! I’m glad to hear the pancakes were a hit. Thank you so much for taking the time to report back!
I was wanting to I mix up my boring pancake recipe and found these from Erin. I recently found her website and made 4 recipes in one week and this was the last one we made. They were so good! I’ve never made a recipe that called for coffee but these were so fluffy and delicious. We don’t eat dairy so I didn’t make the maple glaze but I want to figure out how to do that next time. Make these! You won’t be dissatisfied!
I’m SO happy that you enjoyed them, Heather! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Can you make the cream cheese topping ahead of time?
Hi Emory! Yes, I think you could prepare it a few hours in advance and refrigerate it. I hope you enjoy the recipe!