How to Make the Best Banana Pancakes
What’s your favorite meal of the day? Mine is hands-down breakfast. Or dessert. They’re a really close tie, to be honest. But here’s the thing – the line between breakfast and dessert is miniscule! I mean, pancakes could totally be a dessert. Especially these vegan caramel banana pancakes. Soft bread? Check. Fruit? Check. Sweet drizzle of caramel? Check. Basically, this is an amazing excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, and it’s vegan. 🤭
Should You Let Pancake Batter Sit?
There is widespread debate about whether you should let pancake batter rest after mixing it and before cooking it. I personally like to rest my pancake batter for at least 10 minutes, to create fluffier pancakes. Allowing your pancake batter to rest gives the liquid in the batter time to soften the flour and release some of the starches to aid the pancakes in rising while they cook. Resting your pancake batter also gives the baking powder time to evenly distribute amidst the batter, for level rising of your pancakes.
Don’t have time to rest your pancake batter and stand at a hot griddle flipping all those flapjacks? I’ve got you covered! Try out my pancake cake recipe. The pancake cake bakes in the oven after being swirled with peanut butter and jelly. It’s the perfect salty-sweet breakfast for the whole family to enjoy! Or, store it in the fridge as your breakfast meal prep for the week!
What is the Secret to Making Pancakes?
Okay, so we already know how important it is to rest our pancake batter, even for just 10 minutes. But here’s my other best pancake recipe secret – indulge in the toppings! Pancakes are wildly versatile. I think bananas that get a little caramelized on the griddle while cooking along with thick, salty, sweet vegan caramel sauce is unbeatable.
Use ripe or overripe bananas for a sweeter taste and softer texture. Once you pour the pancake batter onto your griddle or pan, gently press in a few banana slices on top of each pancake. Once the first side is done cooking, flip over your pancakes to allow the other side to cook and to allow the bananas to caramelize.
And while maple syrup is a tried-and-true pancake partner, my vegan caramel recipe takes home the gold. It’s a lot thicker than maple syrup, and bananas with caramel is simply a match made in heaven. Once you try these vegan caramel banana pancakes, you’ll never go back to the boxed brand.
Banana Pancakes Recipe Troubleshooting
Pancakes, while popular and simple, can be really hard to execute perfectly. I’ve gone through a number of pancake batches that burned, didn’t cook through, turned out chewy and tough, or soggy and gross. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.
Why Are My Banana Pancakes Soggy?
Usually when my pancakes are soggy instead of slightly crisp on the outside, it’s because my griddle or pan didn’t have enough fat on it. I recommend using vegan butter to grease your cooking surface. And grease it again in between each batch of pancakes that you cook. This will also tell you if your cooking surface is hot enough to add your pancake batter. It should be hot enough that your vegan butter sizzles, but not so hot that it begins to smoke profusely. The right cooking temperature plus the right amount of fat will create pancakes with a delicate crisp on the outside.
Why Do My Banana Pancakes Burn?
Trust me, I’ve been there… one too many times. I’ve even set of the smoke alarm while attempting to make pancakes. Getting the temperature right on your griddle or pan is so critical to cooking the best fluffy banana pancakes. Like I said in the previous tip, adding vegan (or regular) butter to your cooking surface in between each batch of pancakes is a great indicator of whether you need to adjust your cooking temperature. If it’s too hot, your pancake batter will start to burn as soon as it hits the griddle. You may even find yourself with blackened pancakes on the outside with raw batter on the inside because they don’t have those few precious minutes to cook through.
Can I Refrigerate Banana Pancakes?
We usually end up with leftover vegan caramel banana pancakes when I make them at home. I have refrigerated them before on a plate wrapped in plastic cling wrap, then used the microwave to reheat them. And if you don’t mind soft, floppy pancakes, go for this storing method. But I have a far superior way that I learned from my cousin years ago. Let your leftover pancakes cool completely, then place them in a ziplock bag or wrap them in aluminum foil. Freeze them until you’re ready for a pancake breakfast. Then leave that microwave alone and reheat them in the toaster instead! This re-crisps the outsides while warming the pancakes all the way through, so they taste as fresh as the day you made them!
Vegan Caramel Banana Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1¼ cup non-dairy milk of your choice (plus more to loosen the batter if needed)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 Tbsp vegan butter, for greasing the griddle or pan
- 2 ripe bananas, sliced, for topping
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the milk, vegetable oil and vanilla and stir just until there's no visible dry flour remaining. It's okay if some lumps remain in the batter. The batter should be thin enough to drip from a spoon, but thick enough so that it won't spread out too far and create paper-thin pancakes. Allow the batter to rest in the mixing bowl for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare the griddle or pan.
- Heat a griddle to 375°F or a pan on the stovetop to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the griddle or 1½ teaspoons to your pan. It should start melting and sizzling right away if your pan is hot enough.
- Using a ⅓ measuring cup, pour your batter onto the hot greased griddle or pan. Place a few banana slices towards the center of each pancake and gently press them in. Allow it to cook on the first side for 2-3 minutes, until you see little popped bubbles along the edges of the pancakes. Flip them over with a spatula and cook the second side for another 2-3 minutes, until golden.
- Top with more banana slices and a generous drizzle of vegan caramel sauce or maple syrup. Enjoy!