What is Pancake Cereal?
Pancake Cereal is a viral trend that started on TikTok. They're just regular pancakes painstakingly miniaturized and served in a bowl instead of a plate. I say pain-staking because flipping a pan full of regular pancakes can be a pain, but try flipping several pans of M&M-sized pancakes... You get the idea.
The other problem is that they'll turn to mush the moment you try to add milk to the bowl. These two flaws have relegated Pancake Cereal to a one-time novelty for most people, but I wanted to see if I could turn this craze into an actual breakfast cereal that could be eaten with milk, and that doesn't require a ridiculous amount of effort to make
Why this recipe works
- Cooking the pancakes until they're crisp allows you to serve this with milk like regular cereal. It also allows you to store this cereal in a sealed container for several weeks.
- By baking the pancakes in the oven, it's possible to make many at once, and you don't need to flip them over.
- Chickpea flour does not contain gluten, which means it's impossible to overmix the batter.
- The batter is relatively loose, which makes it easy to squeeze out of a bottle, and it also helps it crisp faster in the oven.
Ingredients for Pancake Cereal
- Flour - I've used chickpea flour in this recipe because it doubles the protein content and quadruples the fiber content. That being said, you can use regular all-purpose flour to make these. Just be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Leavening - This pancake batter is leavened with a combination of baking powder and baking soda. For regular pancakes, these help them get fluffy, but for this recipe, you could probably get away with just baking powder.
- Salt - A small amount of salt in baked goods highlights the umami created through Maillard browning.
- Egg - In a regular pancake recipe, eggs tenderize the batter while helping the batter rise. Since neither of these is very important for our cereal, you could replace it with a flax or chia egg if you wanted to make this plant-based.
- Cultured unsalted butter - the cream used to make cultured butter has been fermented once before it is churned, which increases its diacetyl content, making it taste more buttery. It's also sometimes called "European-style Butter." If you can't find it, you can use regular butter. If you want to make this plant-based use vegan butter or make it by blending coconut oil with a few raw cashews and a pinch of nutritional yeast.
- Milk - The milk is added as a liquid for the batter. You can replace it with any non-dairy milk.
- Maple syrup - This is where the pancake cereal gets its maple flavor and sweetness from. I've limited the amount of syrup used to keep the cereal from burning, but if you like it sweeter, you can pour some maple syrup over the cereal when you eat it.
- Yogurt - Yogurt is the primary liquid in the batter, and the acidity of the yogurt reacts with the baking soda to keep the batter from getting too dense. A non-dairy yogurt will work fine.
How to make Pancake Cereal
Aside from having maple syrup in it, making this batter is identical to making regular pancakes. The difference is in how it's cooked. Instead of cooking them on a griddle, This cereal is baked in the oven until it's crisp.
To make the batter, you want to start by whisking together all of the dry ingredients (chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). If you notice there are clumps in any of your dry ingredients, you may want to sift them all through a strainer to prevent lumps in your batter.
For the wet ingredients, I like to beat the eggs and melted butter together first, because egg yolks contain lecithin, which helps emulsify the fat in the butter with the other liquids. Then you just whisk in the milk, maple syrup, and yogurt.
The wet ingredients get poured into the dry ingredients, and then you just need to mix this together until it's nice and smooth. Since chickpea flour contains no gluten, don't be shy about whisking the batter thoroughly as you don't want any lumps in it that may clog the squeeze bottle.
Next, you just load the batter into a squeeze bottle and squeeze it into little droplets on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
These get baked in a 300 degree F (150 C) oven until the edges start to brown.
Then you can pull the pancake cereal out of the oven and let it cool completely. It won't be crisp when it's hot, but it should crisp up as it cools. If it doesn't crisp after it's cooled, you can put the cereal back on a sheet pan and bake it in a 200 degree F oven until it's crisp.
- Chocolate - replace some of the chickpea flour with cocoa powder to it chocolate.
- Blueberry - Add some dried blueberries to the cereal, after it's been baked and cooled.
- Peanut Butter - Whisk in a few tablespoons of smooth peanut butter into the wet ingredients.
Other Pancake Recipes
- 140 grams chickpea flour (~ 1 ½ cups)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoon cultured unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cups yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Add the chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and whisk them together.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the melted butter.
- Whisk in the milk and maple syrup, and then finish it off by whisking in the yogurt.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix this together thoroughly until there are no lumps in the batter.
- Pour the batter into a squeeze bottle and squeeze ¼-1/2-inch circles of batter onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the pancakes for 13-15 minutes, or until they start to brown around the edges.
- When the pancake cereal is done, let them cool to room temperature and remove them from the parchment paper.
- Repeat steps 6-8 until you've used up all of the batter.