A light and fluffy pancake with a swirl of tangy buttermilk syrup make this a dish taste like a cookie on the plate. These snickerdoodle pancakes are really two recipes in one since it includes a great tasting pancake that is quick to make. The buttermilk cinnamon syrup is what makes this snickerdoodle delicious! But the syrup can be used as a topping for fruit and ice cream as well.
Buttermilk Versus Substitutes
Both the pancake batter and the syrup use buttermilk. You can sour milk or use the powder for the buttermilk in the pancake. But the syrup needs the actual stuff to make the dish thicken up and taste yummy. Buttermilk has a long shelf life. Although you do need to shake it up before every use. Check the use-by date on the container when you buy any dairy product. Keep it refrigerated and remember you can always freeze any extra buttermilk, (see this post for more information). Luckily this recipe calls for a pint so it is easy to add that exact amount to your shopping list.
Tips for Making Snickerdoodle Pancakes
- Mix the batter correctly. Whisk the dry and wet ingredients until just combined. There may be some small lumps remaining, but that is fine. The lumps will dissolve as the batter relaxes. By not overworking the batter, gluten doesn’t have a chance to form and that makes for a fluffy and light pancake.
- Let the batter rest. A 15-minute rest of the batter lets any gluten that has formed unwind and lets small lumps dissolve into the batter. It’s also the time it will take to make the buttermilk cinnamon syrup so it works out perfectly.
- Buttermilk, baking powder, and baking soda equal bubbles. The chemical reaction of the acid in the buttermilk primed with the baking soda is combined to turbo boost the baking soda to create strong air pockets. These bubbles are what lift the batter both before it cooks and when it hits the heat. Bubbles are what creates light and fluffy pancakes as opposed to dense crepe-like pancakes.
- Heat the griddle to the correct temperature. You want the surface to be hot enough to cause the rise as the baking powder activates the second time (thus the double-acting note on the label) when it is heated. The liquid converts to steam and locks in the bubbles. Too low of a temperature and the bubbles are slow in forming so the steam doesn’t form at the opportune time. Too hot and the bottom side of the pancake browns too quickly resulting in an uneven cook. Set the heat to medium-high and adjust as needed. On an electric griddle, the sweet spot setting is 375°F.
- Grease the pan. You want just enough fat to prevent the batter from sticking, but not enough to cause the batter to crisp up too much. A light spray of cooking oil or a quick wipe of melted butter is what you want.
- The first pancake is a test. Since you know that the first pancake is a trial run, there is no reason to make it full size. Add half as much batter to the pan for the first pancake and adjust the heat and oil. This will give the cook a snack as the remaining pancakes are cooking.
- Flip the pancake once. As the pancake is cooking, the edges are firm up and bubbles in the center begin to lose their shine—this is when to gently flip the pancakes. Slide a thin spatula under the pancake and turn the pancake over being careful to not deflate the cooking batter by dropping the pancake onto the pan. If you are a pancake novice, cook one pancake at a time to make flipping easier. There is no need to move the pancake around or flip again as the second side is cooking. It will take less than half the time to cook the second side as it did the first side of the pancake.
- Don’t press the pancake. You have worked hard to get a lift from the bubbles, don’t undo your work by deflating the bubbles with the spatula after you have flipped it.
- The amount of batter you use determines the diameter of the pancake. If you want dinner size pancakes, you start with a lot more batter than the normal 6” pancakes. Large pancakes take longer to cook and are more difficult to flip. 1/4 cup batter gives a standard-size pancake.
- Keep cooked pancakes warm. I like to cook pancakes to order. This does mean that everyone is done eating when I get to eat. If you want to cook pancakes ahead, spread the cooked pancakes out on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in a warm (200°F) oven to hold as you finish cooking the pancakes.
- Warm the Syrup. Drizzle the syrup in a small pitcher or squeeze bottle. Warm syrup seems to pour and taste so much better than room temperature syrup. So use the microwave or stove-top and treat your family and friends to warm syrup.
These fluffy snickerdoodle pancakes have just a hint of cinnamon in the batter and are covered with a swirl of tangy buttermilk cinnamon syrup making them taste like a cookie on the plate.
Snickerdoodle Pancake Batter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Buttermilk Cinnamon Syrup
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons room temperature water
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and whisk to combine well.
- In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla and stir well to combine.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture until just combined. There may still be small lumps and set aside to rest while you make the Buttermilk Cinnamon Syrup.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the buttermilk, sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine and dissolve the butter and sugar.
- Bring to a light boil and cook for 3 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Watch the pan to make sure the buttermilk doesn’t foam up and boil over the top to make a mess.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and stir to create a slurry.
- When the syrup has cooked and is still boiling, whisk in the corn starch slurry and continue stirring until the syrup has thickened.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and keep warm.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Spray with cooking spray or brush a light coating of butter or oil on the griddle.
- With a ladle, add 1/4-1/3 cups of batter per pancake to the heated pan and cook.
- When small bubbles have formed on the surface and the edges are firm, flip the pancake over and continue to cook the other side.
- Remove each pancake from the griddle and keep warm.
- To serve, drizzle the Buttermilk Cinnamon Syrup on a stack of pancakes and garnish with cinnamon sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.