Tiramisu Pancakes

Sometimes you just want to bake something really over-the-top, you know? Something that is just outrageously good. Something that will earn you smiles, compliments, recipe requests, friend requests, offers of marriage… While there are many desserts that fit the bill, my personal favorite “impress me” recipe is Tiramisu Pancakes. I must say, normally I am not a fan of cross-breeding desserts (i.e. pumpkin pie cookies, or chocolate-chip-cookie-dough brownies, or red velvet… anything). If it’s good in its original form, just leave it be! This is especially true of Nutella, by the way. No one needs to improve upon Nutella by trying to make it into some new dessert. It is just fine as is.

Tiramisu Pancakes, however, are an exception. I originally discovered the recipe on My So-called Knife and have been baking it for a couple years now. Although it does require some special ingredients and preparation of multiple separate parts, it is not difficult, and a few easy substitutions can bring down the price without making a noticeable difference in quality. If you can make regular, traditional pancakes, you can make these pancakes. And while I’ve definitely served them for breakfast before, they are much more appropriate for dessert. How many servings depends on how large you make your pancakes; you should figure on two pancakes per person; this recipe will serve at least 4-5 people at a minimum. Leftovers are still plenty good reheated.

Tiramisu Pancakes

4 oz. mascarpone (cream cheese is also good)
1 cup whipping cream
2 TBS coffee liqueur (such as Kahlúa; or, substitute espresso)
2 TBS maple syrup
2-4 TBS powdered sugar (optional)

Glaze (need not be exact):
1/4 C maple syrup
3 TBS softened butter
2 TBS coffee liqueur (again, you can also use espresso)

2 C flour
2 TBS sugar
2 TBS cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C milk
1/2 C sour cream
3 large eggs
4 TBS melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBS instant coffee granules*
*if using real coffee, omit a little milk to balance liquids

1. First, make the cream. Mascarpone is generally pretty soft, but if you are using cream cheese, you may need to soften it up in the microwave first. Your cheese should be malleable enough to easily incorporate other ingredients, i.e. about the consistency of a thick frosting. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, beat whipping cream on high until soft peaks form. When I make whipped cream, I generally add the vanilla and some powdered sugar along the way, and I do the same here. However, the sugar is not really necessary since you will be adding maple syrup; it’s up to you.

3. Mix the cream carefully into the cheese. It is important that your cheese is soft; you might beat it with the mixer for a minute first to be sure. Otherwise, you will end up with many tiny lumps in your cream that will never disappear. This won’t hurt the end product at all, it just looks awkward. Mix in the coffee liqueur and maple syrup as well, if you haven’t already. Store cream in fridge until pancakes are ready.

4. Next, make the glaze in a small bowl. This is easy. Soften the butter (or melt it—it doesn’t matter here). Mix in the maple syrup and coffee-goodness. Haha, just kidding! Maple syrup and butter don’t mix. Water + oil situation. But you should pretend to mix them anyway. Set aside until pancakes are ready. Note that you may need to reheat and re-stir just before serving.

5. Now, the pancakes. Preheat a griddle or your favorite pancake frying pan to medium-high (I can never remember the exact temp, but I think it’s 275ºF?). You will need yet another two mixing bowls. In the first (if different sizes, this would be the larger one), mix all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt). If you have a sifter, sift the flour and cocoa powder to avoid lumps.

6. In the second (smaller) bowl, mix milk, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. If you are dissolving instant coffee granules directly into the batter, I suggest melting the butter in a small bowl and stirring the coffee into that so the warmth can help break them down. They may not dissolve completely before you add the butter to the rest of the wet ingredients. If, on the other hand, you are using real, liquid coffee, simply stir it into the bowl with everything else.

7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring carefully and making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. You may end up with some lumps; this is okay. Over-stirred pancake batter results in flatter, tougher pancakes. Spoon or ladle batter onto hot griddle or pan. Cook until edges start to look dry and bubbles have risen and begun to pop. Flip, and cook another minute or two. Stack in a warm place if saving, or move on to Step 8 and serve immediately.

8. Assembly time! Look, I have photos (courtesy of my friend V, who took these a few months ago):

Layer 1: Pancake.
Layer 2: Glaze.

Layer 3: Cream.

Layer 4: Pancake.

Layer 5: Glaze.

Layer 6: Cream.

And finally, an optional garnish:

Layer 7: A light dusting of cocoa powder.

And there you have it. Pancakes like you’ve never seen before.

3 Responses to “Tiramisu Pancakes

  • I’ve eaten these before, yes? I think when I stayed at your apartment once. I have a vague memory of there being some kind of grocery store issue involved. Whipped Cream maybe?

  • Yes, you were over once when we made these! I have made them many times; I have a feeling this will be a favorite recipe for life.

  • Samuel Scardino
    9 years ago

    sound great, will try

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