Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

5:54 pm by

Happy Saturday!

We returned last night from our family reunion in Yosemite with sore bums from so much driving and amazed eyes from so much looking. Yosemite National Park, if you’ve never been there, is one of the most spectacular sights in these humble United States. Getting to hang out with my family-in-love (Mike’s huge family of aunts, uncles & cousins) was like icing on the cake!

One of the best things about vacations – besides just getting away from it all – is returning home. I love crawling into my huge, comfy bed, taking a hot bath with my favorite bath salt, petting my sweet kitty. And cooking – I so missed cooking! I did one dish at the campground – a chili verde recipe for my mom-in-love – so my cooking mojo was starving for attention. Wading through 296 emails last night, I came across this lovely dish & decided to surprise my family (& get back into the groove) with Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. I’m still in my sweet Nick & Nora PJs as I type this… ah, home. Sorry for the lack of pictures – I was a bit busy!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

an Angelicious breakfast treat – with inspiration from The Big Red Kitchen

This is truly a one-bowl recipe, but it has several steps. Follow the steps the first time, and see what works for you.

Before you begin….

If you have pastry bags, now’s the time to get them out. If you don’t, you can use plastic sandwich bags (the kind that seal) – you will need¬† two. Open the bags and spread the top part around a drinking glass, making a kind of “bowl” out of the bag. You will be pouring your filling & icing into these bags.

Make the filling and icing first – you’ll need them almost immediately after you make the pancake batter (and that’s how you get one bowl!)

The original recipe called for a pancake mix; I’m enclosing my family’s favorite pancake recipe because I rarely use mixes. If, however, you use mixes, I heartily recommend Trader Joe’s multigrain baking mix – so good and so good for you!

I used my regular griddle for this, but since the cinnamon filling caramelizes so easily, I might use a cast-iron skillet next time.


Cinnamon Filling

  • 1 stick (1/2 c.) very soft butter
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash kosher salt

In large bowl, use mixer to whip butter until creamy. Add brown sugar and cinnamon, and beat until very smooth. Watch for lumps here – brown sugar tends to get little “sugar rocks,”¬† break them up with a fork if you see any. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the filling into one of the bags (scrape the sides as clean as possible). Your bowl should look pretty clean, with maybe a streak or two of mix on the sides – don’t worry about it. :) You do, however, want to rinse the beaters and spatula before the next step.


  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 T milk

In same bowl, use mixer to combine all ingredients until smooth. Use spatula to scrape icing into the other bag; again, clean the sides as best you can with the spatula.

Angelicious Pancakes

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour (I use Trader Joe’s white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 T butter, melted or 6 T canola oil
  • 1 T vanilla

Preheat your griddle or skillet, spraying lightly with cooking spray. (If using a skillet, a pat of butter works better than spray.)

In the same bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and pour in milk, eggs (I like to beat the eggs first, makes it easier to blend), and melted butter or canola oil. Beat with mixer until batter is smooth and not lumpy.

We were out of milk (because who leaves milk in the fridge for a week while on vacation? Except I did forget to dump the bowl of tuna salad before we left, and uh, GROSS) so I made up a quart of powdered milk. Always keep powdered milk on hand – you never when you might need it, and no one can taste the difference when cooking.

Get your filling and icing ready by snipping a scant 1/4″ to 1/2″ from the corner of your bags (or screw in a round tip if using a pastry bag).

Scoop batter using a 1/4 c dry measuring cup and pour onto griddle – I do about 3 at a time on the griddle, but would do at a time in a skillet. Let cook for about 15 seconds, then grab the cinnamon filling bag. Beginning at the outside of the pancake, make a swirl of cinnamon filling around to the inside of the pancake – like a cinnamon roll! Do this to the other pancake(s) and let cook for 15-30 more seconds, or until edges of the pancakes are dry. Flip over and let cook for 15-30 more seconds.

tip: while you’re waiting for the pancakes to cook, start filling your sink with hot, soapy water. Trust me on this one.

When pancakes are ready, carefully scoop up using a spatula and plate them – don’t stack! You’ll need a large serving platter or several plates. To me, this one of those “eat as you cook” type of dishes, unless you’re planning to serve a bunch – if so, plate them on a large baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200 degree oven.

While the pancakes are still warm, grab your icing bag and perform another snip on the corner. Swirl icing over each pancake – I used a straight up-and-down, a nice contrast to the swirl of the cinnamon filling, but you can do swirls, a cross-hatch pattern – whatever suits your fancy. Remember that the larger your bag opening, the more icing you’ll use and, since these are very sweet already, you don’t want too much icing.

Repeat the process with all pancakes. If you’re doing the oven plating, you can wait until all the pancakes are finished before applying the icing – as long as the pancakes are still warm.

I served with turkey bacon; next time, I’ll add some fruit (sliced strawberries or melon chunks would work great for this dish). Sit back and watch your diners marvel at your genius.


Cleanup for this recipe is a little messy, due to the caramelizing. Caramelized sugar hardens quite quickly, so be sure to scrape your griddle/pan clean while it’s still warm, then rinse the spatula. As soon as they’ve finished raving about your cooking, have your diners put their dishes immediately into the hot, soapy water so the sugar doesn’t get hard and stick to the plates and silverware.

PS: Did I mention Yosemite is amazing? My photog husband took this picture of J & me in front of Half Dome. Check out his Flickr site for even more amazing pictures (and please be sure to comment – I know his pictures are awesome, and he loves to hear from others!)

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