Light and fluffy pancakes inspired by traditional Christmas pudding, and served with custard.
It’s here – the final month of the year! December also happens to be my favorite of the twelve months. Why? Food. Presents. Enough said.
Each year I imagine December being nothing but tree decorating, cookie baking and frolicking around in a Santa costume. And then I realize, ‘Oh yeah, I still have stuff to do.’ Like buy other people presents. And visit relatives. And I don’t even own a Santa costume.
So maybe December never lives up to my daydreams. But no amount of ‘life’ is going to stop me from making plenty of festive food this holiday season.
Case in point: Christmas Pudding Pancakes!
Christmas pudding has been a part of Christmas in my family for as long as I can remember. Since we switched from store-bought to homemade pudding a few years ago, it’s pretty much become the essential part of Christmas.
(As you may have guessed, desserts are taken seriously around here, especially during the holidays).
Being a dessert-for-breakfast fiend, I couldn’t resist turning my family’s beloved pudding into pancakes.
I’m not sure how widespread Christmas pudding enthusiasm is. On the English side of my family, everyone’s more or less into the traditional pudding. But you can bet the Italian side of my family won’t be serving this fruity pudding this Christmas. (They will, however, have tons of panettone).
So if you’re unfamiliar with Christmas pudding, let me give you a brief description: it’s a steamed pudding made from lots of dried fruit, some sweet spices (predominately cinnamon), brown sugar and brandy. Don’t forget about the brandy.
The pudding is often flambéed with more brandy (if you’re feeling fancy) and served with custard. Don’t be surprised if the custard is spiked with brandy.
As I said, don’t forget about the brandy.
Serious Christmas pudding enthusiasts will make their puddings weeks – or even months – in advance. (I’m pretty sure this is to help the flavors develop).
Luckily, these pancakes don’t require anywhere near that much time. That being said, you do need to let the dried fruit soak in brandy for a while, so a little forward planning is needed.
Unlike the actual pudding, these pancakes are butter-free and contain some heart-healthy oats. There’s also Greek-style yogurt for moisture and a little extra protein.
I figured that if I was going to eat pudding for breakfast, I may as well try to make it on the healthy side.
Of course, there were plenty of things about the traditional dessert that I simply had to include in these festive pancakes. For one thing, there’s brandy (which is necessary). I also love serving these pancakes with custard. It’s creamy and serious ups the ante in your dessert-for-breakfast game.
If you don’t have any custard, then some melted white chocolate would be delicious too.
But if all you’ve got is maple syrup, then maple syrup it is.
While they’re best fresh off the skillet, these pancakes can be frozen. Just make sure you cool them completely on a cooling rack before freezing. Then when a pancake craving strikes, let them defrost at room temperature, and then warm up in the microwave, or in the oven, or on the stove.
Or place the defrosted pancakes in the toaster! It’s almost like raisin toast, but better.
Let the festive pancake eating begin!
- For the pancakes
- 3 tablespoons (30g) raisins
- 3 tablespoons (30g) chopped dates
- 1 tablespoon (10g) currants
- 2 teaspoons (5g) candied mixed peel
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) brandy
- ¾ cup (100g) all purpose flour
- ¾ cup (65g) oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon (15g) brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup (120g) Greek-style yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 cup (240mL) buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons (15g) slivered almonds
- Red and green candies (optional)
- In a small bowl or container, combine the raisins, chopped dates, currants, and candied mixed peel. Add the brandy, and stir well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or put the lid on the container), and let sit overnight (or for several hours).
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the all purpose flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Mix well.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and brown sugar with a fork. Whisk in the yogurt, vanilla extract and blackstrap molasses. Add the buttermilk, and mix until well combined. Stir in slivered almonds and dried fruit mixture.
- In another bowl, use electric beaters to whip the egg whites into firm peaks.
- Pour the dry ingredients (the flour/spices mixture) into the wet ingredients (the egg yolks/buttermilk mixture). Mix until just combined.
- 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). If necessary, use the back of a spoon to gently shape the batter into circles.
- Cook the pancakes for about 3 minutes on one side, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip, and cook for 1 - 2 minutes on the other side. Adjust the stove heat as needed.
- Serve with custard, as well as some red and green candies, if desired. Enjoy!
To make your own oat flour, use a coffee grinder (or food processor, or blender) grind some rolled oats into a flour.
¾ cup of rolled oats will yield a little over ¾ cup of oat flour.
Blackstrap molasses give the pancakes a stronger brown sugar taste. If you don't have these molasses, either add another tablespoon of brown sugar, or simply leave them out.
You don't need to use authentic Greek yogurt in this recipe. Regular yogurt is fine, as long as it's thick and creamy.