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!
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… ★★★★★”
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:
Made with pretty basic pantry/refrigerator staples, they’re really no more difficult than the box mix!
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour for the base of these pancakes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar’s molasses flavor pairs so well with pumpkin.
- Egg: Binds everything together.
- Oil: Adds moisture. I usually use vegetable oil, but you can use melted coconut oil instead if you prefer.
- 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.
- 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.
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 Pancakes Success Tips
Follow these tips for moist, fluffy, and flavorful pancakes!
- Don’t Over-Mix: Whisk batter until *just* combined, no more. A few lumps is OK.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
What to Serve With Pumpkin Pancakes
These pumpkin pancakes are the epitome of a cozy fall breakfast, and a very popular recipe on this website! Moist and fluffy, they’re wonderful with a pat of butter and a cascade of maple syrup. Feel free to add chocolate chips, or leave the pancakes plain.
- In a large bowl, preferably with a pour spout, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together until combined. Set aside.
- For this step, I like to use 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 whole milk to a blender and blend on high for 45 seconds until combined. Alternatively, you may whisk by hand or use a hand mixer.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently to combine. Make sure there are no patches of dry flour at the bottom of the bowl. The batter is very thick and a few lumps are fine. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Heat a griddle or large flat skillet over medium heat. (If using an electric griddle, preheat it to 375°F (190°C).) Coat generously with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Once it’s hot, drop/pour a heaping 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look set and you notice holes in the pancake’s surface around the border, about 2–3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until cooked through, about 1–2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet with butter or nonstick spray again, if needed, for each batch of pancakes.
- Keep pancakes warm in a preheated 200°F (93°C) oven until all pancakes are cooked. Serve pancakes immediately with toppings of choice like butter and pure maple syrup. I also really like serving these with the maple pecan topping from this pumpkin waffles recipe.
- Cover and store leftover pancakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Pancakes freeze well up to 3 months. Reheat frozen pancakes in the microwave. Or you can reheat frozen pancakes in a 350°F (177°C) oven. Place pancakes on a lined baking sheet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 6–8 minutes or until defrosted and warm.
- Can I make the batter the night before? No, I don’t recommend it. Baking powder is activated once wet. You can, however, mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together and keep them separate and covered in the refrigerator until the morning.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Mixing Bowls | Blender | Whisk | Electric Griddle, Griddle Pan, or Shallow Skillet/Pan
- Flour: I strongly recommend all-purpose flour. Because pumpkin is so heavy, substituting whole wheat flour will create incredibly heavy, dense pancakes. If you want to use some whole wheat flour, substitute in 1 cup (about 125–130g), and increase the milk to 1 and 3/4 cups.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores, or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. This is in addition to the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon—you will still add that as well.
- Milk: Whole milk is key to rich and tender pancakes. If you don’t have it, the best substitute would be buttermilk. If you don’t have that either, lower-fat or a nondairy milk can be subbed.
Keywords: pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes