3 pancake recipes that are perfect for a leisurely brunch

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More time on your hands to make a fancy breakfast? Then serve up an indulgent brunch at home with these sweet and savoury pancake recipes.

There’s something about having a brunch date in the diary that makes the weekend feel complete. The company of our friends, several plates of delicious food and – if the mood takes us – bottomless drinks can stretch one meal into an all-day affair.

But while we may not be hitting up favourite cafes and restaurants quite like we used to in pre-pandemic times, there’s no reason why we can’t make our own indulgent brunch at home.

Even if you’re working from home right now, you’re probably not spending a great deal of time in the kitchen making fancy breakfasts of a weekday morning. But at the weekend, it’s a different story. There’s no alarm, no meetings and plenty of time to potter around putting a delicious brunch together. We’re talking coffee, bloody marys and, of course, a stack of melt-in-the-mouth pancakes.

Fancy making restaurant-style pancakes at home? Below, we’ve three moreish recipes to inspire your future brunch endeavours. 

Anyone with a sweet tooth will love the ‘morning glory’ banana and chantilly cream pancakes served up at Big Mamma restaurants (the group that owns Circolo Popolare, Gloria and more).  Chow and Alex Mezger’s fluffy buttermilk pancakes, meanwhile, make use of caramelised apples and toasted oats, and make for a brilliantly indulgent dessert, too. 

And to mix things up, we strongly suggest you try The Vegetarian Silver Spoon’s savoury baked crêpes with tomato and aubergine – think of a hearty pancake version of shakshuka and you’re on the right track.

Time to perfect your flipping technique…

  • Big Mamma’s morning glory chantilly cream and banana pancakes

    Preparation time: 15 minutes

    Cooking time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the batter

    • 4 eggs
    • 120g caster sugar
    • 100g ricotta cheese
    • 500ml cultured buttermilk
    • 320g flour, preferably Italian ‘type 00’
    • 40g cornflour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 50g unsalted butter

    To serve

    • 2 bananas, cut diagonally into 1-cm-thick slices
    • 12 tbsp Chantilly cream
    • maple syrup, to serve

    Method

    Make the batter. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whisk the egg yolks with the ricotta in in a large mixing bowl. Add the cultured buttermilk and mix. Sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk briskly until you have a smooth batter.

    In a second mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

    Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Using a small ladle, add a portion of batter to the pan. Cook the pancake for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden. Repeat the process to make 11 more pancakes.

    Stack 3 pancakes on each individual serving plate. Add 3 tablespoons of Chantilly cream to each plate and scatter the banana slices over the pancakes. Drizzle each stack with maple syrup and devour!

    Tip: don’t hesitate to double or triple the quantities so you can stack the pancakes really high.

    Courtesy of Big Mamma Group

  • Chow and Alex Mezger’s fluffy buttermilk pancakes with roasted apple, toasted oats and ice cream

    These pancakes are epic at breakfast and they make a brilliantly indulgent pudding, too. The addition of whisked egg white gives the pancakes their distinctive fluffiness, so don’t skip that step.

    Serves 4 generously

    Makes 12 pancakes

    Ingredients

    For the roasted apples

    • 4 eating apples, preferably Russet
    • 4 tbsp clear honey
    • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon

    For the pancakes

    • 150g self-raising flour
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
    • a pinch of fine salt
    • 2 medium eggs, separated
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 300ml buttermilk
    • oil, for greasing
    • 25g butter, for frying the oats
    • 40g jumbo oats

    To serve

    • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
    • maple syrup

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.

    Halve each apple and remove the core using a sharp knife. Put the apple halves, cut side up, into a medium baking dish, in a single layer. Mix the honey, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon to a thick paste and drizzle over the halved apples. Cover and bake for 40 minutes, turning the apples over after 20 minutes, until they are very soft.

    Meanwhile, make the pancakes. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl, stir well and set aside.

    In another bowl, mix the egg yolks, vanilla and buttermilk and combine thoroughly.

    Put the egg whites in a third large, clean bowl and whisk using an electric mixer until they form soft peaks.

    Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and add the egg and buttermilk mixture. Whisk lightly then, using a light touch, fold through the egg whites in two additions. Once the mixture is uniform, set aside for 5 minutes.

    Place a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat to get hot, then lightly grease with oil. Working in batches, dollop generous tablespoonfuls of the batter into the pan, spaced well apart, to make pancakes roughly 12cm (4½in) diameter and 1cm (½in) thick.

    Cook for 1–1½ minutes on each side, or until bubbles form on the surface. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Repeat to make 12. To toast the oats, heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it melts and foams, add the oats and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until they are toasted. Remove from the heat.

    To serve, for each portion layer up three pancakes with two apple halves and a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with any warm sauce from the roasted apples and a little maple syrup and then scatter over some toasted oats. 

    If you’re after a more dramatic look, squish down a ball of ice cream to a rough disc shape and put atop a pancake. Continue building a tower in this way, using a skewer down the centre of the pile for structure. Top with some roasted apples, any warm sauce from the roasted apples and a little maple syrup and then scatter over the toasted oats. Serve any remaining roasted apples alongside.

    Tip: Do leave the batter mixture to sit for 5 minutes, as it gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid and provides the pancake with more structure. And while we’re talking about tips, use a piece of kitchen paper to wipe clean the frying pan after cooking each batch; this creates an even, fine greaseproof surface to cook on.

    From Judes: Ice Cream & Desserts by Chow and Alex Mezger (£16.99, Kyle Books), out now

  • The Silver Spoon Kitchen’s baked crêpes with tomato and aubergine

    In November, when Gaeta olives are picked, they are green with dark dots. They are then pickled in brine, which turns them their characteristic purplish colour.

    Serves 4

    Preparation time: 30 minutes

    Cooking time: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 4 eggs
    • 100g plain flour
    • 60g grated parmesan cheese
    • 200ml milk
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 200g buffalo ricotta cheese
    • handful of parsley leaves, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 2 purple aubergines, cubed
    • 20 Gaeta or other black olives, pitted
    • 200ml passata
    • 200g buffalo mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
    • salt and black pepper

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly oil an oval baking dish.

    In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Add the flour, half the parmesan, a pinch of salt, and some pepper and whisk to combine. While whisking, drizzle in the milk and whisk until the batter is well combined.

    In an 8-inch (20cm) frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Pour in a small ladleful of batter, then lift and tilt the pan to allow the batter to spread uniformly over the surface. Cook the crêpe for 1 minute on each side, then transfer it to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.

    In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, the remaining Parmesan, and the parsley and season with salt. Spread this mixture over the crêpes, roll them up around the filling, and place them in the prepared baking dish.

    In a nonstick medium frying pan, cook the garlic over medium-low heat until golden (do not let it burn). Add the aubergines and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the olives, passata, and a pinch of salt, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

    Pour the aubergine-tomato sauce over the rolled crêpes and bake them for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella, then bake for 5 minutes more, until the cheese has melted. Serve.

    From The Vegetarian Silver Spoon by The Silver Spoon Kitchen (£35, Phaidon), out now

Photography: Jude’s; Phaidon

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.