Pumpkin Pancakes

What is it about fall and cooler weather that makes me think of pancakes?  These are sooo much better than regular pancakes, thicker and denser, and lighter on the spicing to highlight the pumpkin flavor.  You can use any winter squash to make these.  It really is fine to have pancakes for supper. 


Serves 4 or more

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1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

Vegetable oil for frying

Unsalted butter, softened

Sorghum syrup or real maple syrup, warmed


Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.


In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla until frothy.  Whisk in the pumpkin until combined.  Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined, with a few streaks remaining.  The batter will be fairly thick.  Add tablespoons of water as necessary to make it spoonable but short of runny.


Warm a griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Pour a thin film of oil onto the griddle.  Pour or spoon out the batter onto the hot griddle, where it should sizzle and hiss.  A generous 1/4 cup of batter will make a 4-inch pancake.  Make as many cakes as you can fit without crowding.


Cook the pancakes until their top surface is pocked with little bubbles but before all the bubbles pop, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  This batter forms fewer bubbles than many pancakes, so also watch for the edges to look just a bit firm and dry before turning.  Flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer.  Repeat with the remaining batter, adding a bit more oil to the griddle as needed.


Serve immediately with butter and syrup.