5 Pancakes for a Cheerfully Decadent Holiday Season

Why deck the halls when you can deck out hotcakes? These festive flapjacks make a perfect holiday meal.


While some may view pancakes as the traditional, even ho-hum Saturday morning breakfast, we think that this North American staple is arguably the most decadent and comforting morning meal in existence. The round cakes, which are fashioned on the griddle rather than inside the oven, are no less extravagant than a frosted birthday cake when done right (and dripping in maple syrup, of course). Holiday breakfasts deserve nothing less than a fluffy, sweet, and toothsome stack of flapjacks to keep you cozy and full of morning carby and sugary fuel before you leave the house and brave the wintry air and frenzied shopping malls. Transform your sizzling pancakes into the most festive circles of holly-jolly for everyone to enjoy and feel the magic that this season is famous for unleashing.

Peppermint Bark Pancakes sprinkled with Maple Sugar
The refreshing zing of peppermint combined with dark chocolate “bark” makes this timeless combination unbeatable. Crush up some dairy-free peppermint bark and mix it into your pancake batter instead of chocolate chips to add some wintery flare to your heaping of hotcakes. Add maple sugar atop your confection-infused cakes to add a subtle candy quality that will make you feel like a kid again. Who said holiday spirit had to be healthy?

Gingerbread Pancakes dusted with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Sugar and spice and all things nice is literally what a gingerbread pancake is made of. The smell of this cookie-inspired flapjack will waft through the house as if it were constructed of gingerbread. With a dusting of seasonal spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, your pancakes will smell warm and peppery. Add a quarter cup of molasses, a few pinches of dried ginger, and a dash of cinnamon and clove. The only thing left to complete your gingerbread hotcakes is to shape them into gingerbread men with the help of a cookie cutter.

Hot Chocolate Pancakes smothered in Salty Caramel Sauce
A cup of hot cocoa is a sure way to warm up from daylong sledding, and a handful of twisty-tied caramel candies are a sure way to get your teeth sealed shut (with satisfaction). But hot chocolaty griddlecakes drizzled with a salty caramel sauce is one of the most perfect ways to experience wintertime breakfast. This meal may not make you want to leave your house and do productive things like a green smoothie would, but it is definitely a great way to start a day long marathon of Hallmark Channel shows buried deep under a thick, toasty blanket.

Sugar Pumpkin Pancakes drizzled with White Nog Syrup
Pumpkin purée is actually a great and effortless way to give your cakes a binder when you nix eggs. Mix in a quarter to a half-cup to transform your customary cakes into something reminiscent of the harvest season. And topping your sugar pumpkin hotcakes with a dousing of dairy-free nog syrup will tie it all together. Made from roughly half a cup of egg-free nog and half a cup of maple syrup (with a dash or two of sweet vanilla), this snowy-sweet sauce will drench your pancakes in sugary syrup that might have you actually licking the plate clean.

Cranberry Vanilla Pancakes glazed in Melted Amaretto-Fudge
For a more sophisticated winter-themed pancake, seasonal cranberries and several splashes of vanilla extract will serve as an upgraded version to your typical blueberry pancakes. Since cranberries are naturally tart, slice them open and sprinkle sugar until the berries are fully coated before you throw them into the batter. Heat them in the oven until the sugar melts and the cranberries start to bubble. Once this happens, the sweetened cranberries can be tossed into the mixture. To top off the more “adult” pancakes, melt some fudge sauce spiked with an almond-flavored liqueur and make your breakfast buzz-worthy.

With just a few recipe changes, your pancakes will scream Christmas carols, Hanukkah ballads, or simply symbolize the mere coziness of wintertime festivities and all of the foods that are enjoyed in the season. Breakfast plates will have never looked so deliciously decadent. Even Santa will want to swap his traditional fireside cookies for some filling flapjacks. Happy Holidays!

Photo: Garrison McArthur Photographers