Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
These Cinnamon Roll Pancakes have all the best elements of a classic cinnamon roll, but in the form of fluffy pancakes! They’re perfect for an indulgent weekend brunch, and are a household favorite for my whole family.
I’ll start right out and say that these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes are pretty much dessert for breakfast, but sometimes in life there are times for that.
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 on this Dinners Dishes and Desserts post 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.
Step by Step Overview:
To get started, let’s make the pancake batter.
Whisk together the dry ingredients, which consists of all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt:
In a measuring cup, whisk to combine whole milk, an egg, and melted butter:
Pancake dry and wet components, done!
In a medium bowl, make the cinnamon roll filling by combining melted butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon:
Whisk the cinnamon-sugar mixture until relatively smooth:
Now let’s put everything together!
Add the measuring cup milk mixture to the flour mixture dry ingredients in a large 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:
Drop ladlefuls of pancake batter onto a hot griddle or a large nonstick skillet greased with butter or cooking spray, then immediately drizzle on a swirl of the cinnamon filling:
The best way to do this is to use a squeeze bottle and move from the center of the pancake, but you may also use a piping bag, plastic bag with the corner cut out, or a spoon for adding the sugar swirl.
Also, please note here that because I’m setting up to take pictures, the pancake is more set than it should be before adding the filling (you can see the small bubbles have popped). You want to add the cinnamon sugar swirl to the top of the pancake promptly while the batter is less cooked.
Flip the pancakes and finish cooking, until golden brown on both sides. Then cook all the remaining batter.
There’s one more thing! We need a cream cheese drizzle for the top of the pancake.
Whisk to combine softened cream cheese with butter, confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar), and vanilla extract:
Drizzle the cream cheese frosting on top of your delicious cinnamon roll pancakes before serving:
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.
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.
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.
How to Store Leftovers
Keep leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
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 butter melted
- 1 egg
For the Filling:
- 3 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
- Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk to combine the milk, melted butter, 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. Immediately 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 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.