Trying to push birthday cake on a man with no sweet tooth is a thankless job. I like making cakes, stacked high and swirled with creamy icing. Problem is my husband doesn't care much for eating them. But for years, as his birthday approached in late October, I'd ask (hint, suggest, push) what kind of cake he'd like. No? No cake? Are you sure? How can you not want cake for your birthday?
It's like giving someone a gift that you'd love, without any regard to if he or she would actually like it.
One sweet he does like: pumpkin pie. But again, not a big dessert guy. So when I finally decided to put an end to my self-indulgent cake pushing, I came up with these rich and spicy pumpkin pancakes, capturing the flavors of pumpkin pie for a hearty fall breakfast.
And really, who could turn down birthday pancakes?
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
makes about 12 pancakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup Greek yogurt
3 tbsp melted butter, cooled, plus more for cooking
½ cup canned pumpkin
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients and spices. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and yogurt. Add cooled melted butter and canned pumpkin and whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. (Lumps are good!)
Heat a pat of butter over medium high heat in a nonstick skillet. Pour batter into skillet, about ½ cup at a time depending on the size you like your pancakes. When small bubbles appear on top, flip the pancakes and cook a few minutes more. Stack on a platter.
A few topping ideas beyond maple syrup:
• Stir a little honey into softened butter and slather on top.
• Add a teaspoon of powdered cardamom to a cup of heavy cream and whip in a mixer for a spiced topping.
• Sprinkle with toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds.