These Sticky Toffee Pancakes are an anomaly. And no, it’s not because they’re pancakes of the sticky toffee variety. I’ve seen other (potentially better) versions of this breed of pancake elsewhere. No, what makes these pancakes strange is the fact that I made them. Oh sure, I’ve made pancakes before but this is a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence. I’m much more of a savory brunch human, I’m pretty much a savory person no matter the mealtime. But for some reason when my brain landed on the concept of Sticky Toffee Pancakes I decided I had to make them mine. So I did and now you’re looking at them.
But to be fair, although I am billing these pancakes are brunch, I did actually eat them as dessert. Hey, I just got to be me. But I most certainly wouldn’t scold anyone for eating these for brunch. It’s not like they have a ton more sugar or butter than pancakes normally have. Okay, maybe the toffee sauce is a little eviler than pure and natural maple syrup. But without the toffee sauce, these would just be pancakes with ginger and allspice and that does not a sticky toffee anything make.
Dessert. Brunch. I mean it’s sort of up to interpretation, so I’m just going to leave it up to you. Eat them for dinner for all I care. All I want is for you to make them, eat them, and love them as I did. Is that so much to ask? Well, it might be because these Sticky Toffee Pancakes are not a one-bowl deal, which I know will be a deal-breaker for some of you. But I swear I have a good reason for this particular stroke of inconvenient madness.
If you’ve ever had sticky toffee pudding, you know it’s a bit of a dessert paradox. It has a heft to it and its flavors are full-on, forward, and a little heavy. But the cake itself has a lightness to it. No, we’re not talking spongecake here, but there is a surprising airiness to it.
So how do I add heavy ingredients like fresh ginger, brown sugar, and molasses to pancakes and maintain the fluffiness of a typical pancake? The long and short of it is you don’t. These are slightly flatter than your usual buttermilk fair. But you can almost hit the fluffiness pinnacle of your old favorites by whipping your egg whites separately from the yolks.
You’ve probably seen this method deployed in Japanese Souffle Pancakes. We won’t even approach those heights here. But by whipping the egg whites separately we can achieve a pancake interior that is not unlike the bubbles in an Aero bar. And on top of having fairly fluffy pancakes, you get all the flavor of sticky toffee pudding. Personally, I think it’s well worth the height lost.
Aside from that, these pancakes are pretty straightforward. A few extra spices and a little fresh ginger root can really transform a pancake. You’ll be shocked by how much these cakes differ from the usual stack. I suppose the gentle sweetness of traditional pancakes makes them feel more brunchy and the addition of apple-pie-esque spices makes me think of these pancakes as more of a dessert. But then again, Nutella banana crepes are things people eat for breakfast, so maybe I’m the weird one…I’m definitely the weird one.
That’s everything you need to know about these Sticky Toffee Pancakes with Blackberries. They’re the perfect indulgent brunch or dessert depending on who you are and what your thoughts are surrounding sweet brunch items. It’s a hot button issue.
Sticky Toffee Pancakes with Blackberries
- Large skillet
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp salt
Sticky Toffee Pancakes
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp gingerroot grated
- ¾ cup milk I used 2%
- ¾ cup flour**
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp cream of tartar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ pint blackberries optional
For the Sauce
- Place a skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter, sugar, and molasses. Slowly bring the mixture to a gentle boil, giving the butter time to melt and the sugar to dissolve.
- Once the mixture is bubbling, take the skillet off of the heat and whisk in the cream. The butter/sugar mixture will sputter violently but subside quickly. Continue to whisk until any remaining bits of seized sugar dissolve into the sauce.
- Pour the finished sauce into a vessel with a spout and set aside to cool slightly.
For the Pancakes
- Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another. Add the sugar, ginger, and milk to the yolks and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Using a fine-mesh strainer, sift the flour mixture into the yolk mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar together until foamy. With the mixer running, slowly stream in the sugar. Whisk the whites on high until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped egg whites into the batter and fold to combine.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Grease with butter. Using a soup ladle, spoon the batter onto the skillet in batches. Fry the pancakes until golden on one side. Gingerly flip the pancakes so the batter doesn't go flying everywhere and repeat until golden on the opposite side.
- Transfer the finished pancakes to a plate and place in a 150°F oven to keep warm while you finish frying the remaining batter.
- When ready to serve, stack 3-4 pancakes on a plate and cover with the toffee sauce. Garnish with blackberries or your favorite fruit. Serve immediately.