Blog Archive

Monday, February 7, 2011

IHOP Cornmeal Pancakes

I have never been a big fan of breakfast. The foods are generally sweet, so with the exception of eggs dishes I never got too excited about this meal. In high school my mom and I routinely got into big fights over what to eat for breakfast--I always wanted to eat soup or a sandwich but she wouldn't let me because those weren't "breakfast" foods. I still think she's wrong...I mean, who cares if I follow convention? As long as it is well balanced, I think a person should eat whatever they want for breakfast. Two exceptions are IHOP's cornmeal pancakes and my dad's oatmeal pancakes with molasses on top.

I always thought that regular syrup was too sweet so I nearly always had molasses at home...unfortunately for me, though, most restaurants don't offer molasses. So I never ordered pancakes at restaurants.

That is, until I met IHOP's cornmeal pancakes. Edward introduced me to them while I was visiting him at UC Riverside several years ago. I expected them to be gritty, but they are not. They have "texture" for sure, but they are not unpleasant at all. I seriously fell in love with those pancakes.

When I was pregnant (read: adamant that I satisfy a particular craving immediately), Dave took me to IHOP specifically for these pancakes. But THEY HAD REMOVED THEM FROM THE MENU! I was upset and pissed off. We seriously considered leaving to go eat elsewhere. But, since I was pregnant, I was absolutely starving so we stayed (and ate a much less yummy meal).

From then on I lurked the internet for copy cat recipes. Many were close but most were an entirely different beast. Finally I found a good starting point and have since altered it to match my memory of the original and my preference.

They are more like a cake, given the amount of sugar and fat. I reduced both, relatively, from the recipe I found online. That's one reason I like developing copy cat recipes: once you know the ingredients (and how unhealthy some of them are, like excess sugar and butter), you gain the perspective of how much you SHOULD eat versus how much you'd LIKE to eat. These pancakes are a perfect example of that: once I realized how unhealthy they were, I decided to tweak them so they were less fattening and sweet. So while these pancakes aren't exactly like the restaurant version, they are close enough for me and my family.

So here's my version of cornmeal pancakes. It makes about 24 cakes, when using 1/3 cup of batter each.

Heat griddle to 325F.

  • 1 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cups buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix all ingredients and let the batter sit for about 5 minutes so the cornmeal can absorb some liquid. Cook about 5 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Flip and cook about 3 more minutes, until golden brown. They are good eaten as-is or with whatever jam/syrup you like.

We always make a full batch and just freeze the extras in a single layer on a plate or cookie sheet. Once frozen, we put them in a zippy bag. This way it is really easy to get breakfast ready on workday mornings: microwave a pancake and slice some fruit for Eddie while his egg fries on the stove. (We usually also have regular pancakes, muffins, or waffles in the freezer, too, for variety.)


Kelly said...

Mmmm, they look yummy :D I'll have to try making a batch next weekend, I'm imagining lots of butter and strawberry jam on top!! (There go all your healthy recipe adjustments, I guess.)

I've never tried molasses on pancakes before, good idea. We always use real maple syrup at home. It's a bit pricey, but they sell it at costco sometimes. I HATE the maple flavored high fructose corn syrup concoctions that restaurants always serve!

Kaitlin said...

my mom just introduced me to whole wheat pancakes and they are soooooooooooooooooooo good. good thing she froze them so i can continue to eat them whne she's gone (although i guess i could learn how to make my own, too)