‘Tis the season for Gingerbread Pancakes! The batter is butter-free, oil-free and easily be dairy-free too.
I live in a very weird apartment building. It’s a very nice building – don’t get me wrong – but it’s weird.
For one thing, you need keys to exit the fire escape (which is inside the building). Last week I managed to rescue my (new) neighbor from the doom of the fire escape. He thought he’d take the stairs instead of the elevator, only to find that you can’t escape the fire escape.
As luck would have it, I was in the hallway and heard him banging on the door. There aren’t any locks or anything preventing you from entering the fire escape – you just can’t exit because it’s locked on every floor.
Apparently there’s one door on the ground floor that isn’t locked. But there are at least three doors on the ground floor, and the fire escape turns into a series of tunnels. So finding the right door is a riddle in itself.
To add to the weirdness of it all, there’s no phone signal/reception in the fire escape.
Needless to say my neighbor was very confused (and thankful to be let out of the temple of doom). In retrospect, it’s kind of weird he didn’t have any keys. No part of this situation made any sense. I told you it’s a weird place!
On a much more delicious note, I have Gingerbread Pancakes for you today! Later this month there’ll be Panettone Pancakes too. Festive pancakes all round!
Instead of all-purpose, these pancakes are made with half oat flour, and half spelt flour. That’s because I love the flavor that oats bring to the table, and my annoyingly sensitive stomach handles spelt better than regular flour. However, I imagine you can replace the spelt with all-purpose flour if you’d prefer, as these two flours are generally interchangeable (but this is a guess; I haven’t tested the recipe with all-purpose flour).
As I’m not willing to buy a bag of oat flour (it’s more expensive, or at least it is where I live), I always use rolled oats and grind them in a coffee grinder (you can also use a food processor or blender to do this). If you happen to have a bag of oat flour, feel free to replace the oats with ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon oat flour.
The recipe below gives directions for making good old circular pancakes. If you’d like to make gingerbread men shaped pancakes, this is how I did it:
- Preheat a skillet over low heat. Grease a large cookie cutter really, really, really well. My gingerbread man cookie cutter is about 3 ½ inches (9 cm) tall.
- Spray the skillet with cooking oil. Place the cookie cutter on the skillet, and then pour ¼ cup of batter into the cookie cutter. Use a butter knife to spread the batter into the arms, legs, etc.
- When the pancake is ready to be flipped, the batter will have risen a lot, bubbles will appear on the surface and the pancake will no longer look liquidy. This usually takes around 3 ½ – 4 minutes, but it varies depending on your stove/cookie cutter/skillet. (Please note that pancakes cooked in cookie cutters will take longer than regular, circular pancakes).
- Carefully flip the pancake – still in the cookie cutter. A wide spatula is best for this. Cook for about a minute on the other side.
- Transfer to a plate and remove the cookie cutter. If the cookie cutter won’t let go, use a butter knife to loosen it around the edges.
I also tried removing the cookie cutter before flipping the pancake, but this wasn’t as successful and tended to yield warped looking gingerbread men.
Another option would be to cook the pancakes without a cookie cutter, and then cut out shapes. But this would result it a lot of wasted pancakes, which would be tragic.
As my one-year blogging anniversary is coming up soon, I’ve been asking myself: Why do I have a food blog? This blog is undoubtedly more time consuming than any of my other hobbies (my poor piano is gathering dust as we speak), so I figured I’d better make sure I know why I’m doing it.
Looking at this stack of Christmas-themed pancakes, it’s clear to me exactly why I have a food blog: to share my ridiculous love of breakfast, the holiday season, and especially holiday-themed breakfasts.
Also, I’ve become completely and utterly obsessed with taking photos. Particularly when pancakes and maple syrup are involved. You know what? Anything involving pancakes and syrup has my full attention.
And I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not the only pancake enthusiast out there!
- ¾ cup (80g) rolled oats
- ¾ cup (90g) spelt flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 eggs, separated
- ½ cup (130g) pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (35g), packed
- 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240mL) milk
- Maple syrup, to serve
- Use a coffee grinder (or food processor or blender) to grind the oats into a flour. Transfer the oat flour to a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Mix until well combined.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Mix in the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and vanilla extract. Add the milk, and mix until well combined.
- In another bowl, use electric beaters to beat the egg whites into firm peaks.
- Pour the dry ingredients (the flour/oats mixture) into the wet ingredients (the egg yolks/milk mixture). Mix until just combined. If the batter is lumpy, use the electric beaters to briefly beat the mixture until smooth. Don’t beat the mixture for longer than a minute.
- Fold the egg whites into the batter. This is easiest if you fold in one tablespoon first, and then add the remainder of the egg whites.
- Preheat a skillet over medium-low heat. Grease with cooking oil spray, and then add ¼ cup of batter for each pancake (an ice-cream scoop is perfect for this). Shake the pan a little to spread the batter.
- Cook the pancakes for 3 minutes on one side (or until bubbles appear on the surface). Flip, and cook for 1 - 2 minutes on the other. Adjust the stove heat as needed.
- Serve with maple syrup. Enjoy!
While I haven't tested it, I imagine that spelt flour can be replaced with all-purpose flour (these flours are generally pretty interchangeable).
Fresh pumpkin puree is preferred, as it doesn't have that 'can' taste to it. To make fresh pumpkin puree, simply bake some pumpkin and then puree/blend it (or mash it really well).
To make Gingerbread Men-shaped pancakes, see notes above.