Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pancake breakfast muffins

I've been working on this recipe for weeks now and am so excited that it is finally ready to share.

Regular readers know of my obsession with breakfast foods -- that is, trying to find breakfast recipes that meet my stringent criteria:
  1. Reasonably healthy
  2. Easy to make in advance
  3. Portable
  4. Freezable
You wouldn't think this would be such a tall order, but it is. At least, finding more than one or two recipes that meet the criteria is hard. If you eat the same thing every day and don't care about variety, I guess you'd be go to go -- but that's not how I roll.

Recently, it occurred to me that while I love pancakes, I never seem to bother to make them, especially during the week. It seems like too much of a hassle to drag out the griddle and just stand there, making three pancakes at a time. Not speeedy. I have a friend that whips up a huge batch and then freezes them, so her kids can pull a few out of the freezer and heat them up for a quick breakfast or snack. Perfect workaround, if I ever remembered to make a big batch on the weekends.

Then I realized that I could mess around with the format a little. Because pancakes are not really unique: they are cakes, with the normal roster of cakey ingredients -- flour, egg, baking soda, etc. And cakes are basically muffins, right?

So I took my pancake recipe and made it into a muffin recipe.

I have to admit, this recipe started out as blueberry pancake muffins. And they were damned good. But then I thought about the full "pancake breakfast" concept: when you go out for breakfast (and who doesn't love that?), you usually get a side of bacon or sausage with your pancakes, which are all slathered with maple syrup.


Why not roll the whole breakfast plate into one?

Behold: the pancake breakfast muffin. Pancakes, rich maple syrup and maple sausage, all cutified into a bite-sized muffin you can eat on the go.

If you follow me on Facebook, these are in fact in the famous "teletubby muffins" that I posted about, so named because on my first couple of tries, they slumped and lumped in weird directions, resulting in muffins that looked more worthy of appearing on The Teletubbies than Foodgawker.

(Full confession: Laa-Laa was my favorite, although I always thought it was smart of Tinky Winky to carry a purse.)

But practice makes perfect, even in baking. After too many tweaked batches to count, I learned that these muffins hold their shape better as mini muffins than full-sized muffins. Now, if you aren't photographing your food and don't really care about less-than-perfect-looking muffins, go ahead and make them full-sized -- just add a few more minutes to the cooking time and you'll have your own little batch of breakfast teletubbies.

I also think these muffins would be splendid with crumbled bacon. (But, really, what isn't more splendid when you add crumbled bacon?)

For the non-meatasauri out there, feel free to substitute blueberries, strawberries or any other pancake-y fruit for the sausage.

Then there's chocolate chips. Or bacon and chocolate chips.

See? They really are the perfect breakfast, aren't they?

Pancake Breakfast Muffins
This recipe makes about 3 dozen mini muffins or 1 dozen full-sized muffins. Don't forget, you can substitute an equal amount of blueberries for the sausage, if you prefer.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3/4 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled maple breakfast sausage (I used some from Vermont Salumi)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar, milk, syrup and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just combined (do not over-stir or beat). Fold in the sausage.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans. Bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden.


  1. Holy crickets, this could be the most genius thing EVER!!! If only my mini muffin tin weren't still packed somewhere. Blast. I might have to make a special trip to the storage unit so I can make these. You rock!!

    1. Don't forget, you can still make them as full-sized muffins, they just won't be nearly as cute!

  2. Made these on Sunday and they were a hit with me, Steve and our guests! When I took them out of the often and we taste tested, Steve suggested adding a sliver of butter to the top of each one while warm. We served them warm and had maple syrup at hand for drizzling or dipping as guests wished. True pancake finishing touches! This will be a staple at all of our brunches, mixing it up with berry ones, or bacon, etc. Thank you!

    1. OVEN, not often.

    2. Yay! So glad you liked them. We have dipped ours in additional syrup as well -- extra yummy! Thanks for the feedback, Jenn.