Joanna’s note: Exciting news: I am thrilled to welcome a new recipe contributor here on the blog! Meet Josh Borden from Wanderlust & Piecrust. Josh and I connected on Instagram long ago and have been quietly making plans for him to join my team — and it’s finally time! He’s relatively new on the scene and some truly wonderful recipes to share. We can’t wait to share even more! Be sure to follow Josh on Instagram, too.
October has always been a whimsical time of year for me. It signals the opening of the gateway to the holiday season. Nothing contributes to this time of year quite as much as the flavors and foods of fall: soup, pumpkin, spices, and crisp apples. One particular fall favorite of mine is my Buttermilk Pumpkin Pancakes recipe. I am sure I am not alone in the general feeling of disappointment at how pumpkin-flavored things have just become sticky sweet and lacking anything cozy and spicy. Often the standard pumpkin pancake recipes you find rarely carry any of that sought after flavor. When I created this pancakes recipe, the flavor profile needed to give way to those authentic Fall flavors, and that’s precisely what it does. A more unique and robust flavor is achieved by taking a few extra steps when handling the common ingredients found in a standard pancake recipe and by creating your own blend of spices instead of reaching for that premixed pumpkin spice (you know, the one that’s been sitting in the back of our pantry for years).
What is Chinese Five Spice?
One of the most significant differences between this recipe and other pumpkin pancakes recipes is the blend of spices. Pumpkin pie spice has a place somewhere; I’m not sure where, but I will tell you it’s often not in my pumpkin pies — and it won’t be found here! IMHO, it has always left little to be desired. The real star of this recipe is Chinese Five Spice. This unique, yet simple blend of seasonings truly is the secret weapon.
If you haven’t heard of it, meet your new favorite spice. Chinese five-spice is traditionally a blend of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, pepper, and fennel. While it is commonly used in Chinese and Vietnamese recipes, it can add a bold and dynamic flavor to holiday baking.
The other key to layering warm and cozy flavors is browning your butter (learn how here). Sure, the recipe calls for two tablespoons of butter total, but those two tablespoons browned make all the difference. Trust me!
Cozy Up With This Chinese Five Spice Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe — Perfect for Fall!
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp browned butter — learn how here
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- neutral oil (such as avocado or coconut oil)
Pre-heat your oven to the lowest setting and place a parchment-lined baking sheet inside. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, egg, 1 1/2 cup of buttermilk, and browned butter. In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just combined; some small clumps are fine. If you notice your batter is thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk.
In a medium-size nonstick pan, heat a few tablespoons of neutral oil (such as avocado or coconut oil) over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, spoon in about 1/3 cup of batter and let cook on one side until bubbles form in the center. Flip and repeat with the remaining batter, wiping out the pan and occasionally adding fresh oil to avoid getting burned bits on your pancakes. Place the completed pancakes on the baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm.
The use of oil instead of butter is essential here to achieve crisp outsides. Contrary to popular belief, adding oil to butter will not increase its smoke point, so leave it out! Using a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip your heavy cream until it just starts to come together. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and combine. Keep refrigerated until ready for use. Serve with warmed maple syrup, pecans, a pinch of flaky salt, and a healthy spoonful of whipped cream.
BTW, cooking your pancakes in neutral vegetable oil will be a must here to create crispy edges. All of these things topped with a dollop of whipped cream, and you have yourself all the ingredients that are sure to become a new fall favorite. These pancakes are excellent for brunch, lazy Sunday breakfast, or a sweet anytime treat. Happy fall, y’all!
Looking for more fall recipes?? Try these:
- Chai-Poached Pears with Spiced Hazelnut Oat Crumble and Caramel Sauce
- Orange and Ginger Harvest Moon Phase Cookies
- Rustic Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup
- Spiced Persimmon Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies
- Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Tart