Home Recipes Pumpkin Pancakes (Thick & Flavorful!)

Pumpkin Pancakes (Thick & Flavorful!)

Wake up to homemade pumpkin pancakes filled with the warm spiced flavors of fall (and sometimes chocolate chips, too). You’ll love starting fall mornings with a happy stack of these soft, thick, and flavorful pumpkin pancakes. They’re so simple to make, and you can try my pumpkin waffles, too!

close-up of pumpkin pancakes with slices of butter and maple pecan syrup on top.

Whole wheat banana pancakes, cinnamon rolls, buttermilk waffles, or French toast are a favorite, indulgent way to kick off a weekend morning. But by about the second weekend of September, I’m ready to break out the fall breakfast favorites, like pumpkin French toast casserole, baked apple cider donuts, apple cinnamon rolls, and today’s easy pumpkin pancakes.

I originally published the recipe in 2014, and they’ve been a consistent favorite every fall season since. Here’s what some readers are saying:

One reader, Laura, commented: “I’m pretty picky about pancakes, and these were absolutely delicious! Very fluffy for a pumpkin pancake, and the chocolate and spices pair nicely… ★★★★★”

Another reader, Brooke, commented: “These were delicious! Made these this morning on this chilly fall day and they were perfect. I was nervous because the batter was SO DENSE but they turned out great… ★★★★★”

And another reader, Emily, commented: “…These were AMAZING! The best pumpkin pancakes I’ve had! Great pumpkin flavor but still a nice fluffy (and not dense) pancake… ★★★★★”

stack of pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes on orange polka dot plate.

Pumpkin Pancakes: Recipe Snapshot

  • Packed with cozy pumpkin spice flavor
  • Extra thick and flavorful
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Freeze and reheat well
  • Delicious with or without chocolate chips

It’s easy to make pancakes using a box of pancake mix, but nothing compares to the flavor and texture of homemade. When I began testing pumpkin pancake recipes, I had a long streak of reject batches comparable to hockey pucks. They were dense and flavorless. Why? Because pumpkin is a funny little ingredient. It changes the moisture, tenderness, and texture of anything it touches. (Have you seen my post about pumpkin oatmeal cookies?)

But I finally landed on the perfect ratio of ingredients, and now making these homemade pumpkin pancakes is a [crisp fall] breeze!

Ingredients You Need:

ingredients on marble counter including flour, milk, brown sugar, oil, egg, and cinnamon.

Made with pretty basic pantry/refrigerator staples, they’re really no more difficult than the box mix!

  1. Flour: Use all-purpose flour for the base of these pancakes.
  2. Baking Powder + Baking Soda: Yes, we use both, just like we do in whole wheat pancakes. These leaveners are what make your pancakes tall and fluffy.
  3. Cinnamon + Pumpkin Pie Spice: Pumpkin’s favorite spices. Using a combination of these two adds mega fall flavor. Go ahead and whip up a batch of this homemade pumpkin pie spice because you’ll want to use it again for other seasonal favorites like pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins.
  4. Pumpkin: In my recipe testing, I found that 1 cup of pumpkin wasn’t enough, while 1 and 1/2 cups was way too much. You need 1 and 1/4 cups, or about 285g. If you are wondering what to do with the rest of the can, check out all these recipes using leftover pumpkin puree.
  5. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar’s molasses flavor pairs so well with pumpkin.
  6. Egg: Binds everything together.
  7. Oil: Adds moisture. I usually use vegetable oil, but you can use melted coconut oil instead if you prefer.
  8. Whole Milk: Whole milk is key to rich and tender pancakes. If you don’t have it, the best substitute is buttermilk. If you don’t have that either, lower-fat or a nondairy milk can be subbed.
  9. Optional Chocolate Chips: If you don’t like chocolate chips in your pancakes, feel free to leave them out⁠—they’ll still be delicious. Plain pumpkin pancakes are anything but plain!

Use a Blender for Smooth Batter

My trick for perfect pancakes? Mix the wet ingredients in a blender. I use my Ninja blender. A blender guarantees an incredibly smooth batter and also breaks down the heavy pumpkin in the process. This is especially necessary if you are using fresh pumpkin puree. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, egg, oil, and milk to a blender and blend on high for 45 seconds until combined. I recommend a blender when making homemade crepes, too.

orange batter with bubbles on the surface shown in blender.

No blender? No problem. You can whisk by hand. I like to use a large mixing bowl with a pour spout because it makes pouring the batter onto the pan/griddle much easier.

How Do I Know if My Pan Is Ready to Cook Pancakes?

The best temperature for cooking pancakes is 375ºF (190ºC). If you’re cooking on an electric griddle, you can simply set it to heat to that temperature. If you’re cooking in a griddle pan or large skillet on the stove, allow the pan to preheat for several minutes over medium heat. Don’t be tempted to crank the heat up to high; that will lead to unevenly cooked, burnt pancakes.

To test if the pan is ready, flick a few drops of water from your fingers onto the pan. If they sizzle in place and disappear, it’s not quite hot enough yet. If they “dance” around on the surface before sizzling out, your pan is good to go! (Feel free to dance around a bit yourself, too!)

Expect a very thick pancake batter:

pumpkin batter in white bowl and shown again poured in circles in buttered skillet.

Pumpkin Pancakes Success Tips

Follow these tips for moist, fluffy, and flavorful pancakes!

  1. Don’t Over-Mix: Whisk batter until *just* combined, no more. A few lumps is OK.
  2. Use the Proper Pan: A griddle pan is best for cooking pancakes, but if you don’t have one, use your widest, shallowest skillet/pan. You want a thick-bottomed pan to prevent burning.
  3. Pre-Heat the Pan: Allow time for the skillet or griddle to get nice and hot (without turning the heat up to high) before cooking your pumpkin pancakes.
  4. Don’t Flip Too Early—Watch for Holes: Many pancake recipes instruct you to flip when you see bubbles forming on the surface, but you’re actually looking for holes. Your pumpkin pancakes are ready to flip when the bubbles are popping, forming little holes in the surface. Cook until the edges look set and you notice holes in the pancake’s surface around the border, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Keep pancakes warm as you cook the rest: If serving all of the pancakes at once, transfer the cooked pancakes to a wire rack on a baking sheet, and place in a preheated 200°F (93°C) oven to keep them warm.
pumpkin pancakes with slices of butter and maple pecan syrup on top sitting on white platter.

What to Serve With Pumpkin Pancakes

stack of pumpkin pancakes with pecans and maple syrup on top.