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Applesauce pancakes are perfect for weekend mornings, whether you’re at home or cooking over a campfire. The applesauce makes them wonderfully tender and lightly sweet.
Breakfast is really, really important to me.
It’s not necessarily about being the first meal of the day and more about how I just love breakfast food.
So, pancakes have become a weekend staple around here, and that doesn’t stop even when we’re off camping and cooking over a fire.
Applesauce pancakes are some of my favorites to make. They’re just sweet enough that you don’t really need maple syrup — when camping we top them with yogurt, granola, and fruit for an energy boost that will get us through any long hikes.
Of course, they’re just as delicious at home with butter and syrup!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Quick and easy – Pancakes are some of the easiest things to whip up! They’re great for making with kids as well. Want to make it even easier? Swap in your favorite pancake mix.
Make ahead – If you’re heading out on the road, you can mix this batter up ahead of time. We like to use large jars to store it and then just shake to re-mix when ready to cook.
Fan favorite – Who can resist a pancake breakfast? My kids love these with their favorite fruit on the side, or with a sausage patty tucked between two pancakes for an on-the-go breakfast sandwich.
Applesauce in pancakes
You might be familiar with using applesauce to replace eggs or fat in a variety of baked goods, from zucchini bread to muffins.
Applesauce is great to use as a replacer because it works to bind ingredients together as well as provide moisture in the recipe.
You can use any applesauce you like for this recipe. I like to use the natural unsweetened variety, or even homemade applesauce.
Sweetened applesauce is an option for the batter as well as topping the pancakes. Cinnamon applesauce is also a great option for making pancakes!
How to make applesauce pancakes
To make these pancakes, grab a large bowl.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Then, make a well in the center and add the applesauce, milk, oil, and eggs. Whisk everything together just until blended and no dry bits of flour remain.
Because of the applesauce your pancake batter might seem more lumpy than usual, which is fine!
Let the batter rest while you heat your pan or griddle to medium. Resting allows the gluten to relax and help create fluffier pancakes.
Flick a few drops of water onto your griddle to test the heat. If the water bounces across the surface, you’re ready to cook!
Pour batter onto the griddle using a measuring scoop. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles form on the top, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side.
Serve pancakes right off the griddle or place on a plate in the microwave or low oven to keep warm while you finish the batch.
- Milk – No milk on hand? Simply swap in water. You can also use your favorite dairy milk alternative.
- Eggs – The eggs can be left out if needed. Or, swap them for a flax egg.
- Flour – Swap 1 cup of the flour for 1 cup oat flour to make a heartier pancake. You can also replace the flour, baking powder, and salt with 2 cups of packaged pancake mix.
- Canola oil – Swap in vegetable oil or melted butter. You can even use olive oil, if you like.
- Vanilla – I always add vanilla to my buttermilk pancakes, and it’s great here too! I recommend pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
- Cinnamon – Apples and cinnamon go perfectly together. Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to your batter.
- Other spices – Make your applesauce pancakes even more fall focused and try adding ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, or ground ginger.
- Nuts – Add finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.
Tips for making pancakes
Make sure to not overmix the batter. It shouldn’t be completely smooth — a few lumps is fine!
If you like thick pancakes, leave out a little milk when mixing. Depending on how thick your batter is, you might need to spread it more on the griddle.
For thinner pancakes, add more milk at the end. Start with adding ¼ cup of milk and increase as needed.
Don’t forget to grease your pan or griddle to prevent sticking. I usually use a light coating of cooking spray.
If you are using a large griddle pan, cook one pancake first to test the griddle temperature. I often find I need to lower the heat when making pancakes. Medium heat is a good starting temperature; around 350°F on an electric griddle pan.
Making these pancakes in advance or have leftovers? Check out my tips for how to freeze pancakes! They’re a great make-ahead breakfast.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 eggs, optional
- In a large bowl (preferably one with a spout for easy pouring onto the griddle), whisk together all ingredients.
- Heat griddle over a fire or on the stove. To test temperature, flick water onto the griddle. If it sizzles, it’s ready.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle and repeat until griddle is full. Cook pancakes 2-3 minutes, until edges are dry and bubbles appear, then flip and cook until underside is browned.
- Serve immediately or keep warm on a plate in a microwave or low oven while you cook remaining batter.