During the pandemic it feels like either everyone had lots of super-ripe bananas they wanted to get rid of, or people tried to bake something that was considered “semi-healthy” (because it has fruit in it!) so I think banana bread was probably the most baked treat of 2020 – right?!
But see, I’m actually a bit of a rebel and when I had a few bananas that were starting to look sad I didn’t want to follow the trend and make banana bread like everyone else! So I started thinking of other stuff I could make with them that would be equally delicious. It just so happens that one of our friends is a bit of a bananaholic (seriously, loves bananas) so one day when we decided to meet for brunch I thought – why not make delicious pancakes that will use up my sad bananas? (weird sentence, sorry).
— Let me tell you something: don’t experiment with something you’ve never made before at a social gathering unless the people you’re with are like family. If it turns out good then awesome but if it doesn’t you’ll feel like an idiot! The first time I made these they were absolutely delicious but they were a bit flat and the texture was a bit dense. I needed to tinker with the recipe a bit.
I found that the trick with these pancakes is to have the batter pretty smooth (without over-mixing) and most importantly to let it rest a bit. It doesn’t have to be too long, even just 30min to an hour can make all the difference. You can also make the batter the night before, leave it covered in the fridge and then take it out in the morning so all you have to do is make delicious pancakes – this is what I usually do when I make pancakes.
Note: Just be aware that these pancakes will always be denser than regular pancakes or buttermilk pancakes. Between the “heavy” bananas and the addition of butter in the batter they’re never going to be as fluffy as other pancakes. They are delicious though!!
First things to do:
- Mash your bananas until they’re nice and smooth
- Melt your butter and let it cool slightly (if you choose to use it)
- Find your maple syrup!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp sugar (or to your taste)
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (a few gradings of fresh nutmeg ideally)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tbsp oil / 57g melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 mashed bananas (the uglier the better!) – I sometimes use frozen bananas
- Mix all the dry ingredients until the color looks uniform
- Whisk all the wet ingredients until they’re well combined
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients just until they form an even batter – DO NOT OVERMIX!!!
- Preheat your non-stick pan on the stove over medium heat and oil it just enough so your pancakes don’t stick (I recommend using butter but you can use vegetable oil or one of those sprays if you prefer)
- Plop a small amount of batter (I use a large ice cream scoop) onto your oiled (not oily!) pan and cook until the pancakes start to look dry on the edges and bubbles appear on the surface – this usually takes a couple of minutes – and then flip them decisively and cook for another minute or two. You’ll know when they’re done when you can lift them from the pan and they look nice and toasty on the bottom (it’s okay to peek before taking them out of the frying pan)
- Drizzle some maple syrup or whatever you prefer over the top and eat warm!
- About 1/2 cup (or however much you want!) of the filling of your choice – nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips…
- Drizzle of maple syrup (is it really optional though?) or chocolate sauce, honey, yogurt, whipped cream…
- If you want to spice things up you can sprinkle in some chocolate chips or nuts to the pancakes. The best time to do this is after pouring the batter onto the pan, before your bubbles appear. Then you flip the pancake and it’ll be nicely filled!
- Don’t worry if your batter looks a bit lumpy, this is normal with any pancakes but particularly with banana. Pancakes do a magical thing when they get to rest for a bit and then when they hit the hot pan – those lumps somehow just disappear!
- If you want to make these extra fluffy you can separate the egg before whisking your wet ingredients and whisk the egg white separately until it forms stiff peaks. Then just fold the egg white into the batter at the end very gently and voilà!
- Make sure that your frying pan is at a steady medium-low temperature – this will make the biggest difference when making the pancakes. If it’s too cold they’ll look a bit anaemic and will take forever to cook. If the pan is too hot they’ll burn on the outside and stay raw on the inside. Try not to fiddle with the temperature too much once you’ve reached that perfect in between point.
- Another trick to cooking pancakes evenly – and maybe faster? – is to cover the frying pan after pouring your batter, until your bubbles form on the top. This allows for more even cooking and moisture retention. Just remove the lid once you’ve flipped them so they don’t get soggy.
- Don’t be afraid to flip your pancakes! The trick is to be decisive and a good flip is all on the wrist – try to master the “wrist flick” with your spatula so you can swiftly flip them onto your pan (and not the neighbouring pancake!).
- If you want to make this recipe but you don’t have bananas that are ugly enough, stay tuned! I’ll share a tip on how to brown bananas quickly soon.
And that’s it! Brunch is served! Make these alongside a beautiful frothy warm cup of coffee and I promise you, it’ll be the best start to your day! I won’t judge though – if you feel like having these for dinner instead I wouldn’t say no to that!!
Have an awesome day and thank you so much for reading me! See you on the next post 🙂