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Recipe: apple cider pancakes

It’s just me here now. Well, me and Kaweah. Jeremy is back home for work-related obligations, my photog pals have split in different directions because in truth, the fall foliage is sucking this year. I’m still hanging around waiting for Glory, but if Glory is not to be found in the leaves, there is beauty enough in day-to-day life. That’s why I have an office in Crested Butte – if Nature isn’t cooperating, I can get plenty of work done and still have time to get out for some solitude on a trail run or social time on a walk with my neighbor.

the interior of that shelter at the edge of town

There are only two more weeks of the Crested Butte Farmers Market, so I’ve made it a point to go and pick up greens and other goodies that I can’t generally find in the grocery stores around here (this ain’t no Boulder). Despite being a fraction of the size of Boulder’s Farmers Market (which I also love), CB has an incredibly friendly and charming vibe. It’s nearing the end for the heirloom tomatoes, so I plopped down a hefty chunk of change for several which I’ve been enjoying straight up this week. Our summers are short in the Colorado mountains, which makes me appreciate them far more than when I lived in The Land of Eternal Summer (Southern California).

colorful bouquets

a bowl of crab apples that todd and diane picked

Corn and peaches are growing scarce, but apples… apples and all things apple-y are on their way in. While at the market, I purchased my second jug of organic apple cider. I’ve been obsessed with these apple cider pancakes that my friend, Rachael, had mentioned a couple of weeks ago. First I fiddled with the recipe, then I served them to Todd and Diane on their visit last week, then I sent Jeremy home with a bunch to heat up for his breakfasts this week. So now I think someone else needs to make a batch before I turn into a pancake. Your turn! I should also point out that I liked them so much, I even shot the recipe here in CB (lots of kinks to work out still)!

milk, buttermilk, apple cider, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, salt

When someone sells me anything with “apple cider” in the name, it had damn well better taste like apple cider or I get a little stabby. By default, almost anything calling for apple cider in a recipe is changed to “reduced apple cider” in my kitchen. This is how I roll. I personally prefer regular apple cider, but if you can’t get that, spiced apple cider is fine (or maybe you like that better). Apple juice is acceptable if you can’t find apple cider, although clearly inferior. I call it like I see it.

boil the cider to a quarter of its original volume

a quart should yield a cup

Because the cider takes the most time to reduce, start on that first. When it’s done, let it cool or else it might cook the batter when you stir it in. Better yet, you can reduce the cider ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make pancakes for your unsuspecting family, roommates, guests, or pets.

mix the dry ingredients

whisk the eggs, milk, and buttermilk together

combine the wet and dry ingredients

I haven’t ventured much into the realm of whole wheat, but what few recipes I’ve tried with whole wheat flour, I’ve really enjoyed. It’s not just better for you (unless you’re celiac and then it’s way way way worse for you), but it adds this wonderful nutty flavor and toothy texture. It works very well with the sweet and tang of the apple cider. Anyway, I want to point out to any pancake newbies that lumps in your batter are fine. In fact, they are desirable. Don’t work out the lumps or your pancakes will be overworked, dense, flat, and sad.

pour in the apple cider

stir in the butter

it’s ready to flip when you see air pockets

Rachael serves her apple cider pancakes with butter and a simple cinnamon-sugar mixture. I happened to have leftover reduced apple cider on hand and served that with the pancakes too. When Todd and Diane were here, I also set some organic maple syrup on the table to give them a choice. Todd chose all three and he said it was great. So there you have it. Anything goes.

mix the cinnamon and sugar together

sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the pancakes, top with butter

pour a little reduced apple cider (optional, but completely awesome)

Normally, I can handle one pancake and I’m done. The first few bites are always the best for me and then I lose interest quickly. These fluffy apple cider pancakes are a different story. I can easily eat two and apparently, so can everyone else (or more). They are the perfect autumn breakfast fare on a chilly golden morning. Time to get your apple on.

jumpstart your morning

this is your brain on pancakes

Apple Cider Pancakes
[print recipe]
adapted from Tokyo Terrace

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup reduced apple cider (start with 4 cups of apple cider)
4 tbsps butter, melted
vegetable oil or butter for frying
3 tbsps sugar
1 1/2 tbsps ground cinnamon
extra reduced apple cider to serve with the pancakes

Reduce the apple cider: Place the apple cider (spiced or not spiced, but cider is better than apple juice) in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and let it boil until reduced to a quarter of the original volume. This will take at least 15 minutes or more depending on your stove and other factors affecting evaporative processes in your kitchen. Remove from heat and let cool. Measure out 2/3 cup of reduced cider for the batter. Reserve the rest for serving.

Make the pancakes: Whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up. Stir in the buttermilk and milk. Pour the wet egg-milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the cooled reduced apple cider to the batter and stir it in taking care not to overmix (overmixing makes the batter flat, dense, and tough). Stir in the melted butter. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil or butter in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the pan. Watch for bubbles to appear on the surface of the pancake. When the bubbles begin to pop, flip the pancake over and cook until golden. Remove from heat and repeat until all of your pancakes are done.

Serve the pancakes: Mix the sugar and ground cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the pancakes. Add a pat of butter if desired. Serve with reduced apple cider on the side. Makes approximately 13 pancakes.

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28 nibbles at “appledeedoodah”

  1. ec says:


  2. Kristin says:

    I’m not a pancake fan either, but these sound like something I will have to try! I have an exec board meeting Thursday at, of all places, IHOP! I have been searching the internet to see if there is anything remotely healthy on their menu, and wondering why we can’t meet somewhere that doesn’t involve buying food I don’t want to eat!

  3. Cindi says:

    I miss pancakes so much. We keep experimenting to find a recipe that will work for us. Our Canadian family keeps us supplied with maple syrup so we’ve got to find one! ;-)
    I’m sorry that the fall color sucks this year. But selfishly I’m happy to know I’m not missing much because we don’t have time to get up there!
    And – your CB studio is great – excellent shots!! xo

  4. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    I agree – if something has “apple cider” in the title, then it needs to taste like apple cider! This looks so amazing, Jen.

  5. jill says:

    YUM, these are going to be on our table next week when we get a little time off! TPH likes to make pancakes, and when the pancakes are ready to turn, he adds a sprinkle of chopped pecans…then flips them. That will be a delightful addition to this recipe, I think. I’m curious how you packaged these for Jeremy, for the week. Tin foil, individually? Glassware, peel off from the stack?? Enjoy your paradise! xo, j

  6. Bev says:

    Sunday morning is going to be “pancake day.” Yipee–out with plain jane white patties. Do you have any idea how many times I wish you were my neighbour? This time it was to bring you a loaf of my trophy whole wheat bread that came out of the oven yesterday. Sometimes I’m just so happy about what is sitting on my kitchen counter, I want to pass some on. My husband had a thick heal when it was minutes old and I had the the next slice drizzled with new Rocky Mntn. honey. The second loaf went into the freezer, but it is never as good later for some reason. Actually we ARE neighbours, sort of, just a couple too many peaks between CB and B.C.!

  7. Sophie says:

    I get apple-cidered out pretty quickly this time of year since a lot of recipes incorporating apple “cider” are just boring, uninspired and like a bad Pinterest nightmare. These sound SO GOOD girlfran! Can’t wait to serve them up to some people I love! Reducing the cider, so legit.

    Also, your CB photos are killing it! Love the cozy vibe!

  8. Anna @ Bashful Bao says:

    These pancakes look fabulous!!

  9. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    I am also waiting for color here, it’s been quite a disappointing fall so far.

    These pancakes will probably help me feel better though!

  10. Pey-Lih says:

    Thank you, thank you…I will make these ahead of time just before my long bike ride this Saturday!

  11. Alanna says:

    Oh wow, these look absolutely amazing! “Apple juice is acceptable if you can’t find apple cider, although clearly inferior. I call it like I see it.” – hahaha, I concur! I plan to make these ASAP!

  12. SMB says:

    The chocolate ginger pancakes you posted a while ago are a favorite in our Brooklyn home. Can’t wait to try these – and I’m so happy they’re not pumpkin flavored! Give the beautiful autumn apples some love, people!

  13. whiness says:

    Woah, they’re perfect! Puffy and aromatic, actually perfect for autumn breakfast. :)

  14. Sherry says:

    My tiny town in Oregon is full of orchards and apples is one of the big cash crops (after cherries and pears) so all things apple are popping up… Living here my entire life, I got tired of apples a long time ago but there’s something about apple cider that is just delicious. I never thought to incorporate them into pancakes before but now I think this is something I have to do, and soon.

  15. Abbe@This is How I Cook says:

    The pancakes look killer. But you made me thirsty and now i want apple cider!

  16. Pamela says:

    Oh, my. Don’t *these* look like something to cuddle up to?! Going to the top of my To-Make list pronto!

    I have a product called boiled cider ( which is sold on the King Arthur Flour Web site. Highly recommended. Wonderful stuff. I’ll be using it here rather than boiling my own.

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  20. Rachel says:

    I tried these today and my batter came out SUPER thick, nothing like the picture or like regular pancake batter… I ended up just adding more milk until it looked right, but I think this resulted in overmixing because I never got bubbles and they just didn’t turn out right. I’m TOTALLY sure I used the right quantities of flour, milk, etc… am I missing something? Anyone else have this problem?? :(

  21. Bug says:

    These look fantastic! There are a couple of products that I have been experimenting with recently, and you might find a use for them! One is Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. It is whole wheat flour, but it is produced like white pastry flour (minus the bleaching and sifting out of bran and germ). It gives that texture and nutty flavor, but stays lighter than whole wheat flour. I have only used it half-and-half with all purpose flour so far, but I’m sure there is some experimenting to be done with it!

    Also, my step mom used to always make buckwheat pancakes for my brother and me when we were little, and I love them. I am pretty sure they were 100% buckwheat, too, so those who are celiac or have other gluten/ flour sensitivities and allergies could enjoy delicious and very nutty flavored pancakes!

  22. jenyu says:

    ec – :)

    Kristin – if you’re an apple fan, then it may make the pancakes worth a spin :)

    Cindi – thanks, hon! I hope you guys find some good go to recipes! xo

    Eva – ha ha!!

    Jill – oh, that sounds nice! I just let them cool and pop them in a tupperware and refrigerate. He then toasts them in the toaster oven and they’re almost like new :)

    Bev – My neighbors wind up getting a lot of excess baked goods :) Yes, CB and BC are practically neighbors! ;)

    Sophie – yay!! xo

    Anna – hope you tried them! They’re so good :)

    Rocky Mountain Woman – I hope so xo

    Pey-Lih – ahhh, lots of replenishing energy there.

    Alanna – :)

    SMB – yes, I do love me some apple pancakes, but pumpkin is a favorite of mine too!

    whiness – thank you!

    Sherry – yes, I absolutely love apple cider. This recipe (from Rachael) is genius!

    Abbe – hee hee!

    Pamela – interesting. I do tend to prefer fresh reduced if I can as it doesn’t require any sort of stabilizer or preservative. But if it works, then go for it!

    Rachel – well, it’s hard to know what went wrong based on your description. I’ve made these pancakes five times now and never had a problem (and there is a lot of wiggle room too). So perhaps you could try again and double check the flour measurements or weigh the flour (1 cup of unsifted all purpose flour = 4.25 ounces or 125 grams). Good luck!

    Bug – I’ve used whole wheat pastry flour in a sablés recipe. It’s lovely. Although I really enjoy the weight and texture of the whole wheat flour in this recipe :) Now buckwheat, that sounds good.

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  24. Joanna says:

    Made this with all AP flour and it turned out great!

  25. jamie says:

    When the cider is reduced is it supposed be like a syrup consistency or the same consistency as the non-reduced cider just stronger taste?

  26. jenyu says:

    Jamie – it shouldn’t be syrup-like, but it should be thicker than regular cider (just think, if you reduce the volume to 1/4 of the original, it should be a tad thicker than the original).

  27. jamie says:

    Ok! Thanks!

  28. 2pots2cook says:

    It’s 102 F here for weeks. However, I am happy to find this one since I have never used apple cider when making pancakes. So, will keep for next week, hoping my favourite weatherman is right. He’d better be ! Thank you !

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