Looking for a new recipe to shake up your pancake situation? Look no further! These fluffy cinnamon roll-inspired pancakes boast swirls of decadent cinnamon and date mixture that gets piped onto the batter in the pan. The pancake mix uses ground flax seeds to substitute for eggs, keeping this recipe pantry-friendly (and it just so happens to be vegan, whether or not that's your thing!) I love to make a batch of the pancake mix and store it in my pantry for the next time my family wants pancakes without having to reach for the store-bought stuff. Just pour the mix into a bowl, add the liquid ingredients, and proceed with the recipe as written. My favorite way to cook pancakes is over low heat with a small amount of nonstick cooking spray instead of butter. This leads to pancakes that are light, cakey, and evenly golden brown instead of patchy and overly crisp. I also love to measure my liquid ingredients in a large liquid measuring cup so that I can stir in the remaining wet ingredients and not dirty an extra bowl!
For the Pancake Batter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground into meal
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/ 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/ 4 cups flax milk or oat milk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar
Make the Cinnamon Date Swirl and Pancake Batter
Cover pitted dates with hot water in a small bowl until just submerged and set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk flour, flax meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine milk, oil, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in a medium bowl.
Gradually stir milk mixture into dry ingredients to form a thick batter. Let batter sit for 10 minutes to hydrate. (Note: if you use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend you may need to add a splash more milk until a pourable consistency is reached)
Drain half the water off the dates, then add soaked dates with remaining water to a high-speed blender along with date syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Puree until completely smooth and mixture is a thick but pourable consistency. If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon water at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add 3 tablespoons flour and blend until combined. Load mixture into a squeeze bottle or piping bag.
Heat a medium or large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Once pan is preheated, coat lightly with nonstick spray. Reduce heat to low.
Preheat oven to warm (about 185F degrees).
Pour ⅓ cupfuls batter into pan, spreading out with the back of the measuring cup, then squeeze a swirl of date filling. Let cook until the surface is dotted with bubbles and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to preheated oven to keep warm while you make the rest. If you prefer to make fewer, larger pancakes, use a ½ cup or 3/4 cup measuring cup to scoop batter and proceed as directed.
Serve pancakes hot with a drizzle of cream cheese glaze.
Make the Cream Cheese Glaze
Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese, milk, date syrup, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl until completely smooth and pourable. If mixture is too thick, add 1 teaspoon additional milk to thin. Refrigerate until ready to use.