Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – Fluffy pumpkin buttermilk pancakes are swirled with cinnamon brown sugar and then topped with a cream cheese icing. You’ll feel like you’re diving right into a plate of pumpkin cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls are a huge favorite in this house, and with great reason. The soft, fluffy texture, the gooey cinnamon sugar center, and the sweet icing on top – how could you not love cinnamon rolls?!
But I have to admit, not only are they a labor of love, they also take all morning to make. By the time they come out of the oven, it’s almost lunch time.
Well, now I have a great substitute to satisfy all the cravings in cinnamon rolls but are ready in under 30 minutes – Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. They give me everything I am looking for in a cinnamon roll:
- fluffy texture
- swirls of cinnamon sugar
- sweet icing on top
- A comforting, spiced flavor from the pumpkin and spices
They’re so great that no maple syrup is needed! In fact, the maple syrup will just ruin the flavor structure these pancakes have so just skip it – trust me!
Making the pumpkin pancakes
The recipe for pancakes is just like any other – buttermilk, flour, a little sugar, eggs, and butter. But this recipe also has pumpkin puree and a mixture of spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
The dry ingredients and wet ingredients are mixed separately and then folded together to make the batter. The batter is then spooned into a hot, buttery skillet to form the pancake. The cinnamon swirl is then added immediately after to give it that cinnamon roll look.
The cinnamon swirl is thick so that it stays separate and distinct from the pancake. If it were too thin, it would run into the pancake. Therefore, the swirl is made with brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon. It forms a thick mixture. that will go into a plastic bag with the corner cut off to make it easy to direct in a swirl pattern.
Once the swirl is added, the pancake cooks until bubbles form on the top. The pancake flips to cook on the other side until the sugar caramelizes slightly and it’s no longer gooey and syrupy.
Cream cheese icing
The finishing touch on these pancakes is the cream cheese icing. It’s made by whisking warm cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together until smooth. It can firm up when it cools so I like to make it right before drizzling over the pancakes so it’s drizzles easily. If yours is too thick, a little cream or milk can help thin it slightly.
Tips and Tricks
- Buttermilk is key to getting these pancakes super fluffy. The pumpkin puree weighs down the pancake slightly so we need that buttermilk to react with the leveners to raise it back up.
- Be careful not to put too much cinnamon swirl in the pancake or get it too close to the edge of the pancake. When the mixture heats up, it will spread slightly and you don’t want the swirl to blend together or fall off the pancake onto the pan.
- If the skillet has excess brown sugar left after you flip the pancake out, wipe it out carefully so that it doesn’t burn onto the next pancake.
- The pancake side with the swirl will only be done when the sugar has caramelized into the pancake. This will take between 2-3 minutes to happen so don’t get impatient!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
For the pumpkin pancake batter:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 3 tablespoons melted butter cooled
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cinnamon swirl:
- ⅓ cup butter salted, melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the cream cheese glaze:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1¼ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- cream or milk (as needed)
- First, make the cinnamon swirl by whisking all ingredients together. Place in fridge to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together until combined. In a medium bowl whisk butter, and pumpkin puree together. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold together, just until combined. Do not overmix! Its okay if a few lumps remain.
- Grab cinnamon swirl mixture and whisk again to combine any butter that may have separated from the sugar. Spoon into a quart-sized plastic storage bag and seal shut.
- Place nonstick skillet onto stove and heat over low heat. Place a pat of butter in pan. Once melted, spoon about 1/2 cup of batter into skillet and swirl to spread it out. Grab cinnamon swirl bag and cut the tip of a corner. Squeeze cinnamon in a swirl design within the pancake batter in the skillet, being careful not to make the swirl too tight or too close to the edge. Otherwise, the swirl will blend together or leak out of the pancake.
- Cook pancake until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake. This could take between 5-8 minutes since we're cooking on low. That's okay! Once the bubbles appear, flip the pancake ever so swiftly so the swirl doesn't go everywhere. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the cinnamon swirl caramelizes but doesn't burn. Without using a utensil, flip pancake upside down onto a plate to remove from skillet. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- Once the pancakes are done, create the cream cheese icing. To do this, add butter and cream cheese to a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from oven and whisk to melt the rest of the butter (if it's still slightly solid). Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk together until smooth. If too thick, add a little milk or cream to help it drizzle from the fork/spoon. Drizzle over pancakes and serve immediately.