Cinnamon roll pancakes are the ultimate breakfast or brunch dish, combining two classic morning favorites to make a delicious treat.
The pancake batter is based on a secret recipe from a legendary Los Angeles brunch spot, which in turn was based on a recipe for oatmeal griddle cakes handed down from the chef’s grandmother. Chewy, rich, and slightly sweet, the griddle cakes have a texture not unlike the warm gooey center of a perfect cinnamon roll. By sandwiching soft vanilla-flavored cream cheese between two pancakes and topping with warm melted cinnamon-maple butter, the cinnamon roll effect is complete. Bonus: they’re made with heaps of whole grain, so they’re not completely terrible for you.
Make sure your pan or griddle is well-heated before cooking the pancakes, and don’t be afraid to let them blacken just a touch.
- For the Oat Pancakes:
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 5 tablespoons butter (cut in 1/2-inch pieces, plus extra for griddling)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup oat milk (or your milk of choice)
- 1 cup whipped cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- For the Cinnamon-Maple Syrup Butter:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (plus more for garnish)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- Garnish: Powdered sugar
Gather the ingredients.
Add the oats, flour, butter, brown sugar, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl. Using a fork or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a crumble with chunks no bigger than the size of a pea.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and oat milk. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Let the batter sit for about 30 minutes to hydrate the oats.
Prepare the cream cheese filling. Add the whipped cream cheese and vanilla to a small mixing bowl. Mix well. Transfer to a piping bag or plastic zip top bag with one corner cut away. Set aside.
Heat a large griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add some butter. The butter should sizzle and foam immediately when it hits the pan.
Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle to make a pancake about 5 inches in diameter. Flip as soon as you are able to do so without upsetting the pancake’s form and shape, about 3 minutes. Cook for approximately 3 minutes on the second side. Remove to a sheet pan and proceed with the remaining batter.
Just before serving, make the cinnamon-maple syrup butter. Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted add the cinnamon. Mix well for a few moments as the cinnamon infuses the butter, then incorporate the maple syrup. Warm the mixture through but do not boil it. Remove from heat.
To serve, place one pancake on a plate and pipe on cream cheese filling according to taste. Place another pancake on top of the cream cheese, then top the whole short stack with a drizzle of the warm cinnamon maple syrup butter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon and powdered sugar. Serve immediately.