Banana Split Pancakes! Delightful for a celebration, holiday, fiesta or just any weekend
Happy New Year’s Eve! To end the year on a high, I have a stack of pancakes that scream, ‘Surprise! It’s 2015!’
But first, I don’t want 2014 to pass without solving the age-old question that has puzzled breakfast enthusiasts for eons: Pancakes or Waffles?
So, without further ado…
There’s no doubt that I love both pancakes and waffles, so consider this a friendly boxing match between breakfast favorites.
Round 1: The Look
There’s something magical about a pancake stack. Piling them high on a plate is undoubtedly exciting – and terrifying, if you’ve got a wonky stack that may fall any second.
This joy is hard to replicate with waffles. I mean, you can stack waffles, but it’s just not the same. It’s the difference between making a fort out of pillows or crispy bricks.
When it comes to shapes, waffles win. There are round waffles, square waffles, Texas-shaped waffles, heart waffles, stick waffles, Mickey Mouse waffles… and many more. However, you’d obviously need a ton of waffle irons to make all those waffles. Or you and (at least) six friends could all buy one waffle maker each and routinely host brunch parties.
It is possible to shape pancakes (Exhibit A), but generally they’re all circular (or slightly-warped circles).
Pancakes have the advantage when it comes to size. You can make a tall stack of mini pancakes or a short stack of big pancakes, and anything in-between. While waffles do come in different sizes, it’s much harder to make mini waffles (unless you’ve got the right iron).
Round 2: Toppings
Here’s where those little waffles holes come in handy. They’re perfect for holding toppings! Syrup, jelly/jam, fruit, chocolate – there are few things waffles can’t hold. Pancakes can hold toppings (as shown in these photos), but don’t have the same sturdiness as waffles.
However, pancakes are much better at soaking up the syrup that’s all over your plate (since they’re flat). But then the syrup was only there because it ran down the pancake stack, whereas waffles wouldn’t have let that happen. Hmm… we have a conundrum here.
Round 3: Convenience
Waiting for bubbles to appear on the surface of pancakes, flipping them, and repeating that process can be a chore. By comparison, all the work in making waffles is done by an appliance.
That being said, it’s much, much easier to clean a skillet or frying pan than a waffle maker. Trying to clean all those little grooves in the iron drives me completely insane.
Waffles are easier to eat on the go, if that’s how you roll. Think about it: you could probably hold and munch on a waffle or two while walking, but try and eat a pancake stack while talking a stroll. Not going to work.
Round 4: Texture
Pancakes are soft and fluffy and are basically pillows of happiness. But then waffles can be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Waffles can also be dryer than pancakes, which is why – generally speaking – waffle batter contains more butter or oil than pancake batter. However, this depends on the recipe used.
Pillow-y softness of pancakes, or the two textures of waffles? Yikes, this question is impossible!
What do you think: Pancakes or Waffles?
For me, it’s all about the stack. There’s something whimsical about a stack of pancakes that tops anything else that waffles have to offer. So I’m going to have to vote for pancakes.
Notwithstanding, I love both pancakes and waffles (of course). I think my next breakfast showdown (in 2015!) will be between French Toast and crepes.
Well, I suppose I should mention something about these pancakes! Inspired by one of the most adorable, cartoonish desserts out there – the banana split – these pancakes must be eaten with all the toppings for the full ice cream experience.
The ‘base’ of this breakfast is a stack of banana pancakes flavored with vanilla bean paste, chocolate chips and strawberry Greek yogurt.*
*I used Chobani strawberry Greek yogurt, which was generously provided by Chobani.
Then come the toppings. Pour over some chocolate sauce (or just use melted chocolate), add sliced bananas, strawberries and walnuts. Finish the stack with sprinkles and a literal (candied) cherry on top.
As well as these toppings, you could also serve these with ice cream. Just saying.
Happy New Year!
- For the pancakes
- ¾ cup (80g) rolled oats
- ¾ cup (100g) spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (50g) chocolate chips
- 1 cup mashed banana (~ 2 large, very ripe bananas)
- 2 eggs, separated
- ½ cup (120g) Greek-style strawberry yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup (240mL) milk
Toppings (100% necessary)
- Chocolate sauce
- Sliced bananas
- Sliced strawberries
- Chopped walnuts
- Candied (glacé) cherries
- 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 and chocolate chips. Mix until well combined.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Mix in the mashed banana, strawberry yogurt and vanilla bean paste. 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/banana 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). This pancake batter tends to spread by itself (although you can swirl or shake the pan a little).
- 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.
- Pour (or drizzle) chocolate sauce over each pancake stack. Top with sliced bananas, strawberries, walnuts, candied cherries and sprinkles. Enjoy!
To make chocolate sauce, heat a few tablespoons of milk in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Add about two handfuls chopped dark (or milk) chocolate, and stir vigorously until the chocolate melts. For a thicker sauce, add more chocolate; for a thinner sauce, add more milk. If the chocolate hasn’t completely melted, microwave it in short intervals on a low wattage.
I used Chobani strawberry Greek yogurt. If you have a fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, mix it up and then measure ½ cup.
Full Disclosure: I have received gift baskets of Greek yogurt by Chobani.
Spelt flour and all-purpose flour are generally interchangeable
Walnuts can be replaced with peanuts, almonds or pecans