A mug of hot apple cider on a cold fall day is one of life’s simple pleasures. And I just love using apple cider in baked goods, as well. When cider is reduced, the flavor becomes more concentrated, and it’s a fantastic ingredient in muffins, cakes, cookies, and today’s recipe for Apple Cider Pancakes. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves nicely complement the flavor of the apple cider in these pancakes. And pretty butter leaves, made of salted maple cinnamon butter, make a lovely presentation.
These pancakes are incredibly light and fluffy, perfectly spiced, with the rich flavor of crisp apples, butter and maple syrup. They’re quick and easy to make, too, especially if you reduce the cider the day before.
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- Apple Cider
- Baking Powder + Baking Soda
- Spices (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves)
- Melted Butter
TIP: Be sure to use apple cider, and not apple juice, for these apple cider pancakes. Apple cider has a much more intense and deep flavor, and is generally only available seasonally, whereas apple juice is available year ’round.
Reduce the Apple Cider.
The key to a strong apple flavor is in reducing the apple cider to boil off some of the water and concentrate its flavor. Basically all you’ll need to do is boil your apple cider in a saucepan until it’s reduced to 1/3 of its original volume. You can even make the reduced apple cider a day or two in advance, to save time on the morning that you want to make your pancakes.
Sift the Dry Ingredients.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, to make sure that everything is well combined and free of lumps.
Whisk in the Liquid Ingredients.
Now whisk in the reduced apple cider, milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter, until mostly smooth.
Cook On Moderate Heat.
I use a non-stick griddle with a temperature setting, and always set it to between 300-325 F to cook pancakes. The moderate heat ensures that the pancakes don’t burn before they have a chance to cook through. If your griddle isn’t non-stick, you’ll need to grease it with some non-stick spray or butter.
When using a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter on the griddle, expect to get about 12 pancakes. Of course you can use a larger scoop for fewer pancakes.
How beautiful are those butter leaves? I just love molding butter for the holidays. It makes the most ordinary thing extra special. There are so many ways you could serve these apple cider pancakes, though.
Butter and Maple Syrup.
The classic choice, and my favorite. I just love good-quality, pure maple syrup with a dark or robust flavor.
To really highlight the flavor of the apple cider, serve your apple cider pancakes with a warm apple compote or softened apples. I’d suggest something like the spiced apples I made to top this Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal the other day. Whipped cream would just take it over the top. And why not? It’s the holidays.
Make an apple syrup by reducing some apple cider even further until it turns into a thick, sweet, sticky syrup known as Boiled Cider. You can make your own or buy this fantastic ingredient. Drizzle the boiled cider over your pancakes, or mix it with some maple syrup, for a delightful apple cider maple syrup.
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Apple Cider Pancakes
- 2 ¼ cups apple cider
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Maple Cinnamon Butter
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp maple extract
- ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Pour the cider into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and boil, uncovered, until reduced to 3/4 cup. Set aside to cool to room temperature. The reduced cider can also be made a day in advance.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the reduced apple cider, milk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter, and whisk until well combined. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat a non-stick griddle to between 300-325 F. Measure out 1/4 of a cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until browned underneath and set, and bubbles are rising to the surface, then carefully flip and cook the other side.
- Keep warm in a 200-degree oven while you finish cooking the pancakes.
Maple Cinnamon Butter
- With an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients until smooth and well combined, about 1 minute. Serve with the pancakes.
- If you like, use a silicone leaf mold to mold the softened butter. Use an icing spatula to spread the butter into the mold, then freeze for 30 minutes. Pop the leaves out of the mold, and keep refrigerated until needed.