Photo Collage of Making Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

These Cinnamon Roll Pancakes have all the best elements of a classic cinnamon roll, but in pancake form. They’re perfect for an indulgent weekend brunch!

I’ll go right out and say that these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes are pretty much dessert for breakfast, but sometimes in life there are times for that.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes - Stacked on a Plate with Cream Cheese Icing Drizzle

And I mean, cinnamon rolls…and pancakes…combined?!?

Only good things can happen in that situation, and these cinnamon swirl pancakes are much quicker to make than a batch of cinnamon rolls.

I first saw this recipe about 5 years ago here and instantly had to try them for myself. They are admittedly VERY messy to make, but you’re rewarded with something delicious, and I think there’s something very whimsical about them.

You drop big swirls of cinnamon roll filling right onto the pancakes while they’re cooking, then drizzle them with a cream cheese frosting to serve.

Though my usual pancake breakfast is these Whole Wheat Pancakes topped with butter and pure maple syrup or thin and eggy Crepes, it’s nice to have a change every once in a while.

Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes - with Cream Cheese Frosting Drizzled On Stack on Blue Plate

How to Make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes:

To get started, let’s make the pancake batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients, which is flour, baking powder, and salt:

Flour, Leaveners, and Salt in Mixing Bowl

In a measuring cup, whisk to combine milk, an egg, and vegetable oil:

Wet Ingredients for Pancakes in Glass Pyrex Measuring Cup

Pancake dry and wet components, done!

Make the cinnamon roll filling by combining melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon:

Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and Butter in Glass Bowl

Whisk until relatively smooth:

Brown Sugar Butter Cinnamon Mixture in Bowl

Now let’s put everything together!

Add the measuring cup liquid to the dry ingredients:

Dry and Wet Ingredients Combined in Mixing Bowl

Whisk together until the dry flour disappears, but making sure to leave the little lumps alone so you don’t overmix the pancake batter:

Pancake Batter in Mixing Bowl with Whisk

Drop ladlefuls of pancake batter onto a hot griddle, then when the pancakes start to form bubbles on the first side, drizzle on a swirl of the cinnamon filling:

Pancake on Griddle with Swirl Piped from Bottle

I find it easiest to use a squeeze bottle, but if you don’t have one, simply use a spoon.

Flip the pancakes and finish cooking, until golden brown on both sides:

Cinnamon Pancakes Stacked on Blue Plate

You will notice that the cinnamon sugar swirl spreads out and griddles into a crunchy, sweet caramelized “crust” for the pancakes.

Finally, whisk to combine softened cream cheese with butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla:

Cream Cheese Frosting in Bowl with Whisk

Drizzle the cream cheese frosting on top of the pancakes before serving:

Drizzling Cream Cheese Frosting Over Stack of Cinnamon Pancakes

Enjoy, and put these Carrot Cake Pancakes or Bananas Foster French Toast on your list for next time.

I made a full video on how to make these that you can watch after the recipe card below. Happy cooking!

How to Freeze Pancakes:

You can freeze the pancakes, but not the frosting.

First let the pancakes cool completely, then follow one of these two methods so the pancakes don’t stick to each other:

For the first method, place the pancakes on a sheet pan in a single layer, making sure they aren’t touching each other, and freeze for 30-60 minutes, until they are completely frozen. Then you can remove the pancakes and place them in a large plastic bag. This way they won’t stick to each other, and you can take out as many pancakes as you’d like.

For the second method, stack the pancakes between wax paper or parchment paper, and place those stacks in a resealable bag to freeze. This will keep them separated so they don’t freeze stuck together.

Freeze the pancakes for up to two months.

How to Reheat Pancakes:

Here are three methods for reheating, either by using the microwave, oven, or toaster:

Microwave Method (my favorite):

Place 1 to 5 frozen pancakes on a microwave-safe plate. Cook uncovered at 20 seconds for 1 pancake, 30 seconds for 2 pancakes, 40 seconds for 3 pancakes, 50 seconds for 4 pancakes, and 60 seconds for 5 pancakes. Exact timing will depend on the strength of your microwave, but this is a good guideline.

Oven Method:

This is great for a larger numbers of pancakes. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the desired number of frozen pancakes into a foil packet. Or place pancakes in a flat layer on a sheet pan and cover the pan tightly with foil. Just make sure you seal tightly to prevent the pancakes from getting dry. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the pancakes are warm and soft. 

Toaster Method:

This is my least favorite method, but it does work. You are limited to only one pancake per slot, and need to watch to make sure the pancakes don’t become crispy or overcook. Time varies depending on toaster settings.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes Stacked on a Plate with Cream Cheese Icing Drizzle

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

These Cinnamon Roll Pancakes have all the best elements of the classic Cinnamon Roll, but in pancake form!
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Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 5 oz all purpose flour (1 cup, if measuring)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

For the Filling:

  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Glaze:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk to combine the milk, vegetable oil, and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until the flour has disappeared, but there are still plenty of lumps.
  • Make the filling by stirring to combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Prepare the glaze by melting the butter and cream cheese together in the microwave. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  • Heat up a griddle over medium heat, and if desired, grease the pan with a little bit of butter. Use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop to portion out the pancakes. Once small bubbles start to appear on the surface, spoon over a tablespoon or so of the cinnamon swirl, in an outward circular motion from the center.
  • Cook for another minute, then flip. Cook for one or two more minutes.
  • Top the pancakes with the glaze, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 391kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 295mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Updated from the archives with new photos and writing in July 2018. Originally published October 2011.