Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with a sweet cinnamon swirl and decadent cream cheese glaze are what breakfast dreams are made of!
Birthday breakfasts are a BIG tradition in our family. The birthday boy or girl gets to choose what everyone is going to eat that morning. No request is too outlandish.
When it’s MY turn to pick breakfast, you can guarantee I’m requesting something super sweet. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes are exactly the birthday breakfast I’ve been searching for my entire life!
Fluffy pancakes with a beautiful cinnamon sugar swirl and a cream cheese glaze… absolutely drool-worthy. Whip up a batch of cinnamon roll pancakes for the next special breakfast you have planned and make sure you pair your pancakes with some bacon in the oven! You’ll be licking your plates clean.
CINNAMON ROLL PANCAKES
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I am a true sucker for a sweet breakfast. Pancakes, waffles, pop tarts, I love it all. But, above all other breakfast confections, I ADORE cinnamon rolls.
Homemade cinnamon rolls, the tasty ones you pop from a cardboard can, the ones you smell throughout your entire walk at the mall… I love them all.
One of my best girlfriends knows my true love for all things cinnamon rolls and she asked me if I’d ever had a cinnamon roll pancake. I swear, my jaw practically hit the floor. WHY in the world hadn’t I heard about these delicious breakfast delicacies? More importantly, why had I not been the one to invent them?!?!
At that moment, I knew I had to try them out in my kitchen so that I could become the queen of cinnamon roll pancakes. I did my market research by trying out some famous IHOP cinnamon roll pancakes and I have to say while they were delicious. I knew that I could top their pancakes and believe me, this cinnamon roll pancake recipe is the best! You’ve simply got to try it.
I would not at ALL claim that these delicious cinnamon roll pancakes are health food (let alone good for you in any way)… but sometimes we deserve a breakfast that makes your heart smile and this recipe does just that.
So whether you’re celebrating someone’s birthday or you just need a sweet pick-me-up breakfast, here are a few of the ingredients you’ll need for your cinnamon roll pancakes:
Buttermilk – in my humble opinion, buttermilk is the KEY to making the perfect pancake. It gives your pancakes a light, fluffy, tender texture and a slightly tangy taste. The tanginess from the buttermilk really helps to cut back on some of the sugariness of the cinnamon filling! You can use pre-made buttermilk, buttermilk from a powder packet, or even make homemade!
Brown Sugar – the star of any cinnamon roll is of course the sugary filling. It’s no different for a cinnamon roll pancake! You’ll need about 3/4 cup of brown sugar for your cinnamon roll filling.
Cream Cheese – no cinnamon roll is complete without a sweet, warm glaze poured over it. Of course, cinnamon roll pancakes deserve the same finishing touch, right? I love making a nice cream cheese glaze for my cinnamon roll pancakes. With this glaze and the delicious brown sugar filling, you won’t have ANY need for syrup whatsoever!
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
You’re going to be making this cinnamon roll pancake recipe in a few different steps. It’s important to start with the pancake batter first because you want it to have time to rest. (See the next section to read why!)
First up – the batter!
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add in the milk, oil, and egg, and whisk until the batter is moistened. A few small lumps are fine.
Next, it’s time for the cinnamon roll filling!
- In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then pour the filling into a ziplock bag and snip the corner of the bag.
- Set the cinnamon mixture side for now in a cool place. You don’t want it to get super-liquidy. It’ll stiffen up a bit as you let it sit and should have a consistency similar to toothpaste.
Now it’s time to prep your cream cheese glaze:
- In a small saucepan, heat butter and cream cheese until melted.
- Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Turn off the heat and let the glaze cool a bit.
And last, it’s time to get cooking!
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and spray it with nonstick spray.
- Scoop about 3/4 cup batter onto the skillet.
- When your pancake has started to cook a little, swirl in the cinnamon mixture over the pancake batter. You can start in the center or the outer edge and then work your way around.
- When bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancake, flip the pancake carefully with a thin spatula and cook until golden brown on the underside (about 1 to 2 minutes more).
- Transfer your cinnamon roll pancakes to a baking sheet or platter and keep them in a warm oven until ready to serve.
- When you’re ready to serve, spoon warmed glaze and a little confectioner’s sugar onto the top of each pancake.
What is the secret to making good pancakes?
While pancakes are super simple when it comes to the ingredients, there are definitely tips and tricks that help to make the ultimate pancake. You know… fluffy, tender, with a slightly crisp crust on the outside? You can’t beat a well-cooked pancake! It’s not hard to do.
Here’s how to guarantee you make the perfect pancakes every time:
- Check your baking powder – old or expired baking powder will result in flat pancakes (and nobody wants a flat pancake). Fresh baking powder gives your pancakes the desired lightness and fluffiness that you’re looking for!
- Rest your batter – It’s SUPER important to start your cinnamon roll pancake recipe prep by making the pancake batter. You want to give your batter at least 15 minutes to rest. By allowing your batter to rest, those lumps of dry ingredients will work themselves out without you having to over-mix the batter.
- Use a big skillet – if you’re feeding a crowd (or simply a family of hungry kids…), you’ll want to use a big skillet to make your pancakes. You want to ensure that you can cook a few pancakes at a time while also ensuring that each pancake is cooking on an evenly heated surface. By squishing too many pancakes into a small skillet, you’re guaranteeing that some of those pancakes are too close to the edge of the skillet where the heat isn’t even.
Need more sweet breakfast inspiration?
- Apple Pie Oatmeal Bars
- Strawberry Pop Tarts
- Eggnog French Toast Bake
- Crunchy French Toast Sticks
- S’mores Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- more BREAKFAST recipes…
Tools used to make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Electric Griddle: I LOVE this griddle for pancakes. I can easily fit 6 pancakes at a time, meaning my cooking time is cut down at least in half!
Thin Spatula: It’s super important to have a thin spatula to flip your cinnamon roll pancakes with, this one is perfect!
*This post originally posted on 01/19/2013.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour the buttermilk, oil, and egg into the dry ingredients. Then mix just until batter is moistened, a few small lumps are fine. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until a paste forms. Pour the filling into a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Set aside in a cool place. (It should have a toothpaste-type consistency.)
Cream Cheese Glaze
- In a small saucepan, heat the butter and cream cheese over medium heat until melted and smooth. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and spray with nonstick spray. You want the heat low so the cinnamon filling doesn't burn.
- Scoop about 3/4 cup of pancake batter onto the skillet.
- When the pancake has started to cook a little, pipe in the cinnamon filling onto the pancake batter in a swirl pattern starting at the center and working your way out.
- When bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancake, carefully flip it over with a thin spatula/ Continue to cook until browned on the underside, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer the pancake to a baking sheet or platter and keep it in a warm oven (200 F) until ready to serve.
- To serve, spoon warm cream cheese glaze over the top of each pancake and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
- You can substitute sour milk if you don't have buttermilk. Mix together 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoons white vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. OR you can substitute plain milk.
- This recipe makes more cream cheese glaze than we usually use for our pancakes. Store any extra in the fridge and heat in the microwave until runny when you're ready to use it.