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Thick and fluffy, with crisp golden brown edges, these pumpkin pancakes are a warm and inviting fall breakfast. Top a stack with butter, and drizzle with apple cider syrup or warm maple syrup. Don’t forget the sausage, bacon, or ham steak on the side, plus a hot cup of coffee!

Stack of pumpkin pancakes on a blue and white plate

Pumpkin Pancake Recipe

Whether you serve them for brunch on a lazy weekend morning, microwave leftovers on your way out the door, or prepare breakfast-for-dinner on a busy weeknight, everyone at the table with love this easy pumpkin pancakes recipe. Each batch is thick, crispy, fluffy, and warmly spiced, so you’ll never need a boxed mix again. Every bite is like sinking your teeth into the delicious taste of autumn!

Square side shot of a stack of pumpkin pancakes on a breakfast table

The Secret to Fluffy Pancakes

The best pumpkin pancakes are those that are thick (not thin like crepes), crispy on the outside, and light and airy on the inside (not dense or dry). After many rounds of testing, I’ve landed on a few tips that will ensure the best pumpkin pancakes in your kitchen, too.

  • Thick Batter: If the batter is too thin and runny, the pancakes will spread and become thin like crepes. If the batter is too thick, the pancakes will be doughy and dense — and likely undercooked in the center. Since this batter has a fairly thick consistency, you’ll want to spread it in a thin layer (with the back of a spoon or spatula) so that the pancakes cook quickly and evenly.
  • Don’t Over-Mix: Some lumps in the batter are good! Don’t over-mix the batter in an attempt to make it completely smooth. That will just give you tough, dry pancakes.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk has a nice thick texture that creates a thicker batter. The acidic nature of buttermilk also makes the batter more tender, helps to activate the leavening agents that make the pancakes rise, gives the batter a nice “tang,” and helps to create the lightest, fluffiest pancakes.
  • Let the Batter Rest: Before frying the pancakes, allow the batter to sit and rest for 5-10 minutes. This gives the flour an opportunity to absorb some of the liquid ingredients and gives the baking soda (or baking powder in other recipes) a chance to become fully activated — resulting in tender, fluffy pancakes.
Apple cider syrup in a pitcher

Ingredients

Here’s a quick overview of what pumpkin pancakes are made of. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Self-rising flour: a common pantry staple in most Southern households, self-rising flour is simply flour with the leavening and salt already added. I prefer an extra-fine soft winter wheat flour made by White Lily. This low-protein, low-gluten flour gives pancakes (and biscuits!) that perfectly crisp-on-the-outside, light-on-the-inside texture.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: a convenient blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
  • Salt: remember, there’s already salt in the self-rising flour, so just a little bit more is all you need.
  • Buttermilk: for its acidity, as well as its fat and liquid content. In conjunction with the leavening agents, the acidity helps the pancakes rise. The buttermilk also gives the pancakes a nice, subtle tanginess and a tender texture.
  • Pumpkin puree: make sure that you use 100% pure pumpkin, not a can of pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix.
  • Brown sugar: for just the right amount of sweetness. Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar will both work, so use whichever you prefer.
  • Butter: I use salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter if you prefer a little bit less salt in your pancakes.
  • Vanilla extract: for warm flavor.
  • Eggs: give the pancakes structure.
  • Oil: use a neutral oil with a high smoke point to grease the griddle or skillet. Canola oil and vegetable oil both work well. You can also use cooking spray to grease the pan if you like.
Stirring pumpkin pancake batter in a bowl

How to Make Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancakes

Forget about the pumpkin pancakes at IHOP, because you can easily stir together a batch at home whenever the craving strikes!

  1. Make the apple cider syrup by boiling down apple cider for about 40-50 minutes, until it reduces and thickens. Set it aside to cool slightly while you make the pancakes, or store it in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then stir just until combined.
  5. Working in batches, cook the pancakes in a skillet or on a griddle (this is my favorite) for 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Serve with butter, apple cider syrup, or warm maple syrup!
Front shot of a white pitcher drizzling syrup on a stack of pumpkin pancakes

How to Keep These Easy Pumpkin Pancakes Warm

Since you’re preparing the pancakes in batches, you can keep the cooked pancakes warm on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven for up to 30 minutes while you finish with the remaining batter.

How to Serve Pumpkin Pancakes

For a full brunch spread, serve the pancakes with scrambled eggs (or a baked omelet or quiche), baconsausage, ham steaks with brown sugar glaze, fried apples, or baked apple slices.

Favorite Pumpkin Spice Pancake Toppings

  • Butter
  • Maple syrup or the apple cider syrup shown here
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Apple butter
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Nutella
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce
  • Nuts — toasted pecans, walnuts, or almonds
Table of pumpkin pancakes with butter coffee and syrup in the background

Preparation and Storage

  • Make Ahead: Cook the pancakes in advance, allow them to cool completely, and then package them in a Ziploc freezer bag, using wax paper to separate the layers of pancakes (so that they don’t stick together).
  • Properly stored in an airtight container, the cooked pancakes will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze the cooked pancakes in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
  • How to Reheat: Reheat the pancakes directly from the freezer or refrigerator. Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. To reheat larger quantities of pancakes, place on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 375°F oven for about 10 minutes. Frozen pancakes may require slightly longer to warm through.
Square image of pouring syrup on a stack of pumpkin pancakes

Recipe Variations

  • Buttermilk Substitutes: To make your own buttermilk at home, pour either 1 ½ tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar into a large measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal 1 ½ cups of liquid. Give it a stir, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then use it in the recipe as directed!
  • How to Make Self-Rising Flour: If you don’t have a bag of self-rising flour in your pantry, that’s no problem. You can make 1 cup of self-rising flour by placing 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt. This recipe calls for 2 ½ cups of self-rising flour, so you would need to combine 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour with 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon of salt.
  • Instead of pumpkin pie spice, use 1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice.
Breakfast table with pumpkin pancakes and coffee

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe

  • Make sure that you use 100% pure canned pumpkin — not pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix. You don’t need an entire can, so just measure out 1 cup.
  • Mix-Ins: Prepare this base recipe, and then sprinkle any desired mix-in’s onto individual pancakes once they’re on the griddle. Good options include blueberries, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts.
  • Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes before cooking the pancakes.
  • When you drop the batter onto the griddle, it will be fairly thick. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread the pancakes into a diameter of at least 4 inches. This will help them cook through in 2-3 minutes per side. You want them thick, but if they’re too thick, they may be dense or undercooked in the center.
  • Large Batches: This recipe yields approximately 15 pancakes. For a larger batch, double (or triple) all of the ingredients and keep the cooked pancakes warm in a 200°F oven while you finish the remaining batter.
  • The apple cider syrup will thicken slightly as it cools, but it will still have a fairly thin consistency. If you prefer a thicker syrup, continue boiling until the liquid reduces to ½ cup.
Close up side shot of a stack of homemade pumpkin pancakes

More Pumpkin Recipes to Try This Season

Square side shot of a stack of pumpkin pancakes on a breakfast table

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total: 26 minutes
Servings 15 large pancakes total
Calories 161 kcal
Thick and fluffy, with crisp golden brown edges, these pumpkin pancakes are a warm and inviting fall breakfast.

Ingredients
  

FOR THE PANCAKES:

  • 2 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled (I use salted butter, but use unsalted butter if you prefer slightly less sodium in your pancakes)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil or canola oil, for greasing the griddle or skillet

FOR THE APPLE CIDER SYRUP (OPTIONAL):

  • 4 cups (1 quart) apple cider

Instructions

MAKE THE SYRUP (OPTIONAL):

  • In a small Dutch oven or saucepan, bring cider to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, uncovered, until the cider reduces to about 1 cup (this will take approximately 40-50 minutes). Stir occasionally as the liquid boils. The syrup will still be fairly thin, but it will thicken a little bit as it cools. If you prefer a thicker syrup, continue boiling until the liquid is reduced to about ½ cup. Serve warm, or cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

MAKE THE PANCAKES:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, pumpkin, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and eggs.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir just until combined.
  • Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes, which will give it time to thicken and allow the flour to hydrate.
  • Place a skillet or griddle over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, coat or brush with oil. Working in batches, measure 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Spread batter, if necessary, so that each pancake is at least 4 inches in diameter. You want them thick, but if they're too thick, they may be dense or undercooked in the center.
  • Cook until bubbles form on top, about 2 ½ – 3 minutes per side. If the pancakes start to get too dark before the inside is cooked through, reduce the heat to medium-low or low. The pancakes need at least 2-3 minutes per side to fully cook through.
  • Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and place in a 200ºF oven to keep warm, if desired. Repeat cooking the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Serve with apple cider syrup or maple syrup.

Notes

  • Buttermilk Substitutes: In a pinch, you can make your own buttermilk at home to use in this recipe. To do so, pour either 1 ½ tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar into a large measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal 1 ½ cups of liquid. Give it a stir, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then use it in the recipe as directed!
  • How to Make Self-Rising Flour: If you don’t have a bag of self-rising flour in your pantry, that’s no problem. You can make 1 cup of self-rising flour by placing 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt. This recipe calls for 2 ½ cups of self-rising flour, so you would need to combine 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour with 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon of salt.
  • Instead of pumpkin pie spice, use 1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice.
  • Make sure that you use 100% pure canned pumpkin — not pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin pie mix. You don’t need an entire can, so just measure out 1 cup.
  • Mix-Ins: Prepare this base recipe, and then sprinkle any desired mix-in’s onto individual pancakes once they’re on the griddle. Good options include blueberries, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts.
  • Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes before cooking the pancakes.
  • When you drop the batter onto the griddle, it will be fairly thick. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread the pancakes into a diameter of at least 4 inches. This will help them cook through in 2-3 minutes per side. You want them thick, but if they’re too thick, they may be dense or undercooked in the center.
  • Large Batches: This recipe yields approximately 15 pancakes. For a larger batch, double (or triple) all of the ingredients and keep the cooked pancakes warm in a 200°F oven while you finish the remaining batter.
  • The apple cider syrup will thicken slightly as it cools, but it will still have a fairly thin consistency. If you prefer a thicker syrup, continue boiling until the liquid reduces to ½ cup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pancakeCalories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 100mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 2709IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: buttermilk pumpkin pancakes, easy pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin spice pancakes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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