Wednesday, January 30, 2013

cake batter pancakes

It had been ridiculously cold until this weekend, and comfort food alone could no longer make it any better:  I made these cake batter pancakes on Sunday in an effort to drag me out of January-blues state of mind.

Then, all of a sudden, Monday was sixty something degrees:  perhaps putting brightly colored sprinkles in your food works like one of those please-give-us-a-snow-day-dances we used to do when we were kids?

These beautiful sprinkles, by the way, are from a little local grocery store called Urzi's Italian Market, which I absolutely adore.  They sell so many different types of sprinkles, not to mention their extensive collection of bulk candy and their wonderful bread dipping spice, which has become my crutch for every Italian dish.

It's a pretty small little store, but, every time I go in there for something, I spend far too long deliberating over which sprinkles, olive oil, or seasonings I want and whether I want some pepperoni Bosco sticks, malted milk balls, chocolate covered espresso beans, and/or blood orange San Pellegrino to go with that.

Granted, my biggest problem is that I am an extensive deliberator when shopping for anything, be it small or large, but I am not the only one who loves it:  even Mia regularly likes to stop by there to mull around and get a treat.  Of course, her ability to mull around places is unrivaled, which is a subject for another time when we have time to fully discuss her one-hour minimum trips to Michaels with me in tow (even though she doesn't even have her driver's license, I am still the one "in tow").

Now, go find some pretty sprinkles and make these!

Adapted from Chef-in-Training

¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow cake mix (I used a Betty Crocker yellow cake mix)
½ tablespoons sugar
 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ plus  cups milk
1 egg
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sprinkles (or desired amount)
vanilla glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
sprinkles for serving


  1. Make the pancake batter:  In a large bowl, stir together flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the milk and then the egg and vanilla; stir until just smooth.  Taste and add more cake mix if your batter doesn't taste enough like cake batter.  Adjust the milk, if needed, so that a normal pancake batter forms (not super thick, but not super thin either).  Stir in desired amount of sprinkles.
  2. Make the vanilla glaze:  In a small bowl, mix together the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth.  Adjust the powdered sugar and milk ratio if needed to get a thin glaze.
  3. Cook the pancakes:  Warm a skillet over medium heat to cook the pancakes.  Spray the cooking surface with non-stick cooking spray and ladle a ¼-cup of pancake batter onto the skillet.   Cook for 3 minutes or until you can shift the pancake around in the pan.  Quickly flip and cook for another minute or so on the other side until the pancake is cooked through.
  4. Serve the pancakes by stacking them and pouring glaze over them.  Sprinkle with extra sprinkles for decoration, if desired.
Makes about 6 pancakes (1 to 2 servings).

Notes:  If you have leftover pancake batter, you can cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for a day or two.  You can also save the glaze in the fridge and reheat for a few seconds in the microwave before using.  Just so that you know, though, your sprinkles will discolor your pancake mix by sitting in the batter for a long time, so they won't be quite as pretty and bright on the inside the next time you make them!

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