When I begin to long for winter to melt into spring, for the crocuses to pop their heads up and to feel the sun on my face again, the best remedy is to make something that I would only cook in the wintertime. It’s a nice reminder of the excitement I feel when the season begins, when the snow feels new and not like a nuisance, and I can’t wait for months of snow and mittens and stews. Gingerbread seems perfect. Since I’m missing my Honey Girl, who is our number one pancake horker, I’m making gingerbread pancakes. I’ve had some exciting blog news this week, and so I’m missing her. If she were here she would gallop through the house with me. The boys are happy, but they aren’t up for a gallop. I long for our pancake-eating, galloping days, when she was just a sprout. So I’ll eat these pancakes and think of her and enjoy another winter day. These pancakes are delicious. The whole wheat flour makes them a little heartier but they’re still melt-in-your-mouth, and the gingerbread spices have made the whole house smell like Christmas again. If you’re needing to lift your winter spirits, make some today.
Give your spices a sniff before you use them. They fade in flavor as they age. If they are older than six months or if they smell like a pale version of their true nature, replace them. These pancakes should make the whole house smell like gingerbread.
A microplane is ideal for grating the nutmeg. If you don’t have a whole nutmeg, the pancakes would still be delicious with ready-ground nutmeg.
These pancakes have a high ratio of flours to liquid. That’s intentional. I prefer a pancake that’s luscious and doesn’t need to be drowned in syrup. If you like a cakier pancake, reduce the buttermilk and milk.
I often use a countertop griddle to make pancakes. It was a wedding present from my great aunt, whom I miss dearly. If you have one of these, 312 degrees is perfect for these pancakes.
Allow enough space between your pancakes so that you’ll have room to flip them without issue.
These would be delicious with homemade cultured butter. Recipe here.
Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes
Yield: ten pancakes, five inches in diameter
1 c. all purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur.)
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 T. baking powder
2 T. brown sugar
pinch of salt
¼ t. ground cloves
½ t. ground ginger
½ t. freshly grated nutmeg (a microplane works best here)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 ½ c. buttermilk
1 ¼ c. milk, preferably whole milk
canola oil or butter for frying the pancakes
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, salt, and gingerbread spices until they are well mixed.
- Beat the eggs lightly and toss them into the bowl.
- Pour in the buttermilk and milk and stir together with a fork until they are just combined. Do not overmix. The batter should have a few lumps. Allow the batter to rest for a minute or two while your griddle or pan heats.
- Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat.
- When it is hot, pour in a glug of canola oil or add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the pan.
- Scoop out ½ c. of batter for each pancake using a measuring cup, and pour it into the pan.
- Fry the pancakes until bubbles form across the top and the edges look dry.
- Flip each pancake and fry on the other side.
- Add a bit more oil or butter to the pan with each batch to fry.
**I always use King Arthur flour, which seems to absorb a higher amount of liquid. If you are using another brand of flour, reduce both the buttermilk and milk by 1/2 c. each to start. Then add more gradually until your batter is a nice consistency. You’re aiming for creamy and bubbly but not thin–definitely a pancake batter and not a crepe batter.
Serve with butter, maple syrup (real is best here), jam, spiced apple butter, or a sprinkling of sugar.