Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

Last week I was fighting a cold and dealing with jet lag, and this week I’m focusing on catching up and getting back on track.  No evening meetings, no nerve-wracking procedures lined up – just a regular week with normal meals, plenty of trips to the gym, and hopefully a boatload of productivity.  And what better way to celebrate this return to normalcy than a batch of cinnamon bun pancakes??  This upcoming weekend is one of those perfect pancake weekends – no travel plans, a fiance’s birthday, and plenty of time lounging around the apartment.  It’s been gratifying checking things off my to-do list this week, and I’m looking forward to following it up with a no-fuss weekend that might just have to include another batch of these ridiculously delicious and indulgent pancakes!

I only have one other pancake recipe up on the blog, and those Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes are a fantastic go-to recipe, but this one today takes a standard pancake to a whole different level.  Such a different level that these probably no longer belong in the breakfast category, but this isn’t something you’ll make every day!  That brings me to another point – pancakes for breakfast.  I love going out to breakfast or brunch, and every single time I want to order one of the sweet choices like french toast, pancakes, or waffles, but I suppress my urges and choose something savory since they tend to be healthier.  Only recently did I realize that when my friends order savory dishes , they’re doing so because they prefer that, not because they’re just attempting to ignore their sweet tooth.   Well, this blog is aptly named because turns out I’m obsessed with sweets and would choose them for every meal if I could!

This really is a fun recipe and I’m very thankful to Lori of Recipe Girl for providing great instructions to help yield such beautiful results.  I was practically giddy with excitement when I flipped over the pancake to see such a perfect swirl flowing with cinnamony goodness.  You can use your favorite pancake recipe as a base (I actually used a mix picked up from a local farm stand) and the cinnamon swirl is added as the pancakes are cooking.  The secret seems to be getting the cinnamon swirl mixture the perfect consistency so it oozes nicely out of the bag but stays in place once you pipe it on.   There’s no need for much syrup with these, but I did whip up a little cream cheese glaze to put them completely over the top.  It might be too much of a sugar overload for some first thing in the morning (like Ryan per se), but it was a perfect Sunday meal for me!

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Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl


for the cinnamon swirl:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

for the cream cheese glaze:
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for the pancakes: (or use boxed if you're in a rush!)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly


for the cinnamon filling:
- In a medium bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Transfer the mixture to a piping or ziploc bag and set aside.

for the cream cheese glaze:
- In a small pan, heat the butter on low until melted. Once melted, whisk the cream cheese into the butter until smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the pan and stir. Add vanilla extract and set aside.

for the pancake batter:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and melted/cooled butter.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. GENTLY combine the ingredients until just combined. Allow batter to sit for 10 minutes before cooking.
- Heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil over medium heat until shimmering. Using a paper towel, carefully wipe out oil, leaving a thin film of oil.
- Using a 1/4 cup measure, portion batter into pan and reduce oil to medium low. Make sure the cinnamon mixture is ready by using your hands to re-incorporate the butter into the sugar. Snip the corner of the cinnamon mixture bag and when the pancake begins to form bubbles, add the filling. Start at the center of the pancake and form a swirl.
- Cook the pancake 2-3 minutes more until the bubbles being popping and it's golden brown on the other side.
- Use a large metal spatula to slip underneath the pancake and carefully but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you'll see the beautiful cinnamon swirl that's melted itself into the batter.
- Wipe the pan with a paper towel to clean it a bit, and repeat with remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Rewarm the glaze briefly if needed and drizzle lightly over plates of pancakes.

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22 Responses to “Cinnamon Bun Pancakes”

  1. #
    Blog is the New Black — October 24, 2012 @ 12:15 am


  2. #
    Akuma Kanji — October 24, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    I follow your website for wuite some time now and I am in love with this recipe! This surpasses blueberry pancakes like crazy! :D But tell me, when you are adding the cinnamon filling, do you have to press it down on the pancake, like injecting it, or you do it on the surface, like you were frosting a cupcake? Thank you so much! I have already done the Oreo Popcorn and they didn’t turn out beautifully like yours because the candy melts didn’t melt properly, but they were quite a treat anyway :P

    • Erica — October 24th, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

      Thanks for the nice comment, so glad you’ve enjoyed the blog :) For the filling, you just lay it on the surface like on a cupcake, and it kind of blends in and then when you flip it to cook the side with the swirl, the indentation happens on its own. Magic! Enjoy them!!

  3. #
    Taylor — October 24, 2012 @ 1:41 am

    I love weekend breakfasts…and having free weekends to make those breakfasts! These pancakes look amazing.

  4. #
    Lily — October 24, 2012 @ 2:43 am

    Wow these look amazing. I was showing your website to everyone at the office and my sugar obsessed hygienist told me she wants to come work for you so she can have treats every day!

  5. #
    Kelly — October 24, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    oh. my. god. I think my brain exploded.

    “Only recently did I realize that when my friends order savory dishes , they’re doing so because they prefer that, not because they’re just attempting to ignore their sweet tooth.” – HAHA! This cracked me up because I totally know what a surprise that is. I feel like only in the past couple years have I come to the realization that not everybody in the world has a sweet tooth the size of the Titanic. And that some people don’t care about sweets at ALL. When I first started dating my SO, I wanted to bake cupcakes for him to bring on a trip home to his family. He let me down gently, saying that his mom didn’t care for sweets. I thought that was BONKERS but since then, I’ve actually paid attention and slowly come to the realization that some people truly don’t care for sweets.

    They’re crazy, of course.

    • Erica — October 24th, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

      Hahaha, I’m so glad you agree!!

  6. #
    Alysha @Shesontherun — October 24, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    This is one of your most delicious looking dishes. I am going to make it on that alone!

  7. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — October 24, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

    Love these pancakes. I made them about a year ago, but need to make them again!

  8. #
    Ruth — October 24, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

    These sound amazing

  9. #
    Chanelle — October 26, 2012 @ 12:15 am

    I JUST made this and it was LOVE at first bite! I absolutely love this recipe! It’s so fun and so easy to make. I love Cinnamon Rolls…it’s my all time favorite thing to eat in the world and now, with these delicious cinnamon bun pancakes, I can whip up a batch anytime I have a craving. Thank you for sharing this recipe! :)
    Aloha, from Hawaii! :)

  10. #
    Javelin Warrior — October 26, 2012 @ 4:08 am

    I could definitely make a meal of these pancakes and I think they’d be a ticket to relaxation any day of the week :D I’m featuring this post as part of Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution) and thanks for making me drool!

  11. #
    Yesle @ D is for Dentist — October 28, 2012 @ 12:38 am

    I love the color coordinated napkin + plates! And of course these seem much healthier than the huge-portioned cinnamon buns at bakeries… I just might bake this weekend after our biochemistry exam. ;)

  12. #
    Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake — October 29, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

    This is so cute and creative! I love the swirl!

  13. #
    amalina — October 31, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    i love the way u serve the food…great job erica…

  14. #
    Alice — December 2, 2012 @ 4:25 am

    Do you think this would work with waffles? :D

    • Erica — December 11th, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

      I bet it would, that would be amazinggggg!

  15. #
    ??? — December 24, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    These were a pinterest fail. The cinnamon swirl didnt sink into the pancakes beautifully like in your picture. Instead it spread all over the griddle when I flipped the pancake and burned. I must have done something wrong with the recipe. Oh well, will try again at some point!

  16. #
    Fries — January 6, 2013 @ 5:06 am

    Probably the best pancake recipe ever: spot on on the first try, crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside.

    However, I had small superficial issues with the presentation of the swirl and glaze. My cinnamon swirl was thick and not really in a good way. It did not leave beautiful indentations, but burned like the previous poster mentioned. Next time I will try to thin the swirl. Same with the glaze. When I made it exactly as written, it clumped. I stirred in a bit of water (about 1 T) and it was fine.

    Also, the photo pancake looks like it has a very high rise. Mine were more like 1/2″ high.

    Taste-wise, these were A++. Pinterest grade was more like a C-. If I post about these I will definitely link to this site because I couldn’t get even one decent photo of my efforts.

  17. #
    Cindy — January 12, 2013 @ 1:47 am

    I’ve tried this recipe twice, I love it but I used brown sugar and it didn’t look as nice, is there a difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar/regular brown sugar?

    • Erica — January 12th, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

      Hmm I’m not sure about that one. I know the darker the brown sugar, the more the molasses, but I’m not sure how that would affect your pancakes. I guess just stick to the regular stuff!

  18. #
    Lindsey — February 23, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    Hello- I made these this morning for my daughters and nieces, and they loved them!! However, I had some trouble. The brown sugar mixture became hard by the second round of pancakes, and my panackes became flat and messy after flipping. They in no way turned out like the pictures. Happen to have a video tutorial? lol!! They loved them so much I will keep trying. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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