With the kids on mid-winter break, it's the perfect time to treat them to a cozy and classic breakfast: pancakes.
Chances are, you already have a go-to recipe — whether it’s from scratch or a box — but we’re here to encourage you to branch out! That’s why we’ve rounded up these delicious variations, from cinnamon roll pancakes to pancakes for chocolate lovers.
Note: For allergy-friendly variations, we recommend swapping in your favorite cup-for-cup gluten-free flour, or, in a pinch, trying the Bisquick Gluten Free pancake mix. For dairy-free kiddos, oat milk makes a creamy alternative. For vegan families, the Minimalist Baker has a great guide to egg substitutes.
Instant Pot pancakes
Yep, really! This recipe makes one huge pancake that can feed six people (maybe more). Simply mix up your batter, pour it into the Instant Pot and let it do its magic. No need to stand over a hot stove flipping pancake after pancake. You’ll find the recipe and all the details at The Spruce Eats. Note: It takes about 45 minutes to make this giant breakfast feast, so this one is best for a slow morning.
Bacon Pancake Dippers
Do these count as pancakes? Who cares! You are sure to take home a Parent of the Year award when you set this plate on the table at breakfast time. These dippers are pretty simple to put together; coat bacon in pancake batter and cook until golden brown. Don’t like (or eat) bacon? No problem. Feel free to substitute with sausage, vegan bacon, or a banana — anything you can cover with pancake batter and cook will do. Serve with a small bowl of maple syrup for dipping, and take a bow as your family cheers. You’ll find the details at Delish.
Blue Corn Piñon Pancakes
If you feel like going all out, give these blue-colored pancakes a try. The blue corn brings a fun color to these pancakes, and the blackberry syrup adds a splash of red. Add some whipped cream and keep this breakfast in mind for July 4! Find the full recipe and instructions at Food and Wine.
You read that right. Recipe Tin Eats has come up with so much more than Nutella slathered between two pancakes — each pancake has a layer of gooey Nutella on the inside, which means more room for toppings on the outside.
Blueberry, lemon and ricotta pancakes
The Spruce Eats is at it again with the sophisticated pancakes! This recipe is a step up from your average blueberry pancakes and has all the best flavors: sweet berries, tangy ricotta and zesty lemon. They’re sure to take a celebratory breakfast to the next level. Pro tip: Bookmark this one for Mother’s Day!
Chocolate pancakes 2.0
Gone are the days of simply throwing a handful of chocolate chips into your pancake batter. Pretty, Simple, Sweet has transformed dessert into breakfast with this recipe variation on pancakes that are chocolate through and through.
Cinnamon roll pancakes
Two family-favorite breakfasts in one? Yes, please! Fifteen Spatulas has a fabulous recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes. This recipe calls for a standard pancake batter with a special cinnamon swirl addition — and of course, cream cheese frosting for the top.
Boston cream pancakes
Your favorite pie (or doughnut) just became a pancake. Homemade Home presents a recipe for pancakes complete with pastry cream and chocolate ganache for the top. Drool. Pro tip: Make the pastry cream the night before for a more relaxed morning.
For a fruity riff on your classic pancake recipe, try these cinnamon-applesauce pancakes from Just a Taste. Make sure to go the extra mile and prepare the softened apples for a topping — you won’t be disappointed!
Peanut butter pancakes
For peanut butter lovers, try Taste of Home’s peanut butter pancake recipe. The topping options are endless, from honey to syrup to peanut butter or — for a PB&J twist — this strawberry syrup recipe from Cooking Classy.
For kiddos who love some color, try these funfetti pancakes from Yummy Healthy Easy. Rainbow sprinkles make these pancakes possible, but don’t forget to save some sprinkles (and whipped cream) for the top!
Pureed pumpkin isn’t just good for pie! Spiced with cinnamon, allspice and ginger, these pumpkin pancakes from Once Upon a Chef are perfect for pumpkin spice lovers. Top these cakes with toasted pecans and maple syrup. Pro tip: Not a pumpkin fan? You can swap the canned pureed pumpkin for canned pureed sweet potato to achieve a similarly sweet result.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2021, and updated most recently in February 2024.