This Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries recipe is irresistibly delicious and is the perfect Fall season treat for those early mornings or that holiday get together for the entire family----kids + adults alike! Soft, fluffy pancakes that boast of an amazing combo: apple cider + pumpkin and comes topped with a simple cranberry compote. Super easy to make and can be whipped together in a few short minutes. Entirely dairy-free. Vegan + Gluten-Free options.
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Whenever I get a chance to whip together pancakes, I'm always excited because they're one of my favorite breakfast foods. Seriously, pancakes are so easy to make and I often enjoy making them with my husband and son as a great family activity. These Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries in particular are just TOO GOOD to pass up---trust me.
If you've never considered trying apple cider and pumpkin together, I definitely recommend because they work perfectly together. Whether you chose to make your own Homemade Apple Cider or your purchase your favorite quality brand, these pancakes are sure to be your newest family fave this season!
While I've made a ton of pancakes in my day, I can admit that I didn't always master them, especially in the beginning. I remember learning how to make pancakes with scrambled eggs (which became my staple for most of my adulthood) at the age of 13 and I've never looked back since. Back then, I only had the Aunt Jemima pancake mix, a bowl, and spoon, but I felt accomplished. Haha.
Fast forward to now and since becoming a mama myself---I've really learned to appreciate the power of an easy and delicious pancake like this recipe. Time can sometime be of the essence and nothing comes together quicker than a pancake, especially when the whole family agrees to loving them---especially during the holidays!
How to Make Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries
Don’t be intimidated by a pancake recipe, especially these pancakes. I know that many people are afraid to experiment with pancakes because they might not be perfect. But you probably already have most, if not all, of the ingredients at home for these Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries!
SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THESE PANCAKES!
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with these Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries. Everything from my fave baking sheet, skillet, mixing bowls, wooden spoons, high-powered blender, cooking utensils, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
Ingredients for Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries
The following ingredients are the bare bones of these Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries and are actually staples that you might already have:
Cranberries. You can use fresh or frozen berries for the compote/topping. You'll also need water, cane sugar, and lemon juice.
Eggs. This is the binder for the batter. For an egg-free option, simple substitute your eggs with 2 “flax eggs”.
Apple cider. This adds a burst of authentic apple cider flavor. You can make this on your own or purchase your fave quality brand.
Pumpkin. I use 100% organic pumpkin puree in the can, NOT pie filling. There's a difference!
Maple syrup. This vegan-friendly liquid sweetener is subtly sweet and won’t overpower the apple spice, apple cider, and pumpkin flavors. You can also sub maple syrup with Agave, date syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or pure cane sugar. If you’re not vegan, honey also works.
All-purpose flour. I recommend organic flour from Bob’s Red Mill. You can also sub with their GF Baking flour for the gluten-free option.
Baking powder. This will lighten your pancakes so they’re fluffy and airy. Make sure your baking powder is fresh (not expired!) for best results.
Apple spice. This adds a warming spice profile to these pancakes. You'll need about 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice.
Almond milk. You can use any dairy or dairy-free milk you have on hand.
Vanilla. Another important flavor boost to these decadent apple cider pumpkin pancakes.
Canola oil. I like to use a high-quality organic version of this oil by La Tourangelle, however, you can substitute with coconut oil or melted vegan butter, if preferred.
What Kind of Milk Works For Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes?
When it comes to dairy-free milk options, there are so many possibilities. From soy milk to nut milk to the newest trend, potato milk, you can find a delicious plant-based option you love. And what makes these milks even better? You can make them from scratch at home! All of these dairy-free milk recipes will work for this Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries recipe:
Other Topping Ideas for Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries
You’re already eating pancakes for breakfast, so why not go all out with fun toppings to switch things up sometimes—right?
I love serving any fluffy pancake with:
Coconut whipped cream (store-bought or homemade)
Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.)
A drizzle of agave, maple syrup or honey (for non-vegans)
Fresh fruit, especially other berries
Peanut butter (softened) or other nut butters
How To Make Your Own Apple Cider
If you'd prefer to make your own batch of apple cider, no worries---I've got you covered! You can make your own apple cider easily in a slow cooker, which is the easiest way to do so without requiring your full undivided attention. Of course, you can slowly simmer everything over the stovetop if you don't own a slow cooker.
How to Reduce Apple Cider for These Pancakes
If you'd prefer to have a more concentrated apple cider taste within your pancakes, you can easily reduce your cider by following these steps:
Pour your apple cider in a saucepan, about 2 cups which we'll then reduce to ¾ cup.
Turn on the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once you hit the 10 minute mark, be sure to check on your apple cider every few minutes (4 minutes or so), stirring occasionally until your cider has reduced to the desired ¾ cup.
Remove it from heat and allow it cool completely before continuing the recipe.
If you're thinking about making your own pumpkin puree instead of using a store-bought canned version, then you'll be happy to know that it is rather simple:
Step 1: Cut your pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds. Be sure to save the seeds for another time because you can definitely use those!
Step 2: Feel free to cube the pumpkins into medium-large chunks and then place them unto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. NOTE: ensure that the skin of pumpkin are peeled off at this point.
Step 3: Always season your pumpkin pieces (pinch of salt and cinnamon in this case for the recipe) and lightly grease with olive oil until coated.
Step 4: Roast in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40-45 minutes or until the edges are golden and they become super tender once tested with a fork or knife.
Step 5: Using a food processor or blender, puree your pumpkin along with water or veggie stock, until smooth. You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you'd like, store it in the freezer for later use.
Can I Make Apple Cider Pumpkin Gluten-Free Pancakes?
Yes! You can make this recipe gluten-free with a simple swap and by following the same tips + hacks. Simply replace the flour with a gluten-free flour blend (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill brand). If the batter is thinner than you’d like, add more flour, ¼ cup at a time until it is thick but pourable.
How to Make Pancakes without Baking Powder
OK, so in case you weren't aware, baking powder is super important in pancakes because it's a leavener that's super acting and it helps to create thick, fluffy pancakes. Therefore, if you don't have any baking powder or you just rather not use it, you do have a few options. I must admit that using alternatives might not create the most fluffiest pancakes, but they do still come out pretty good.
While there are a few great alternatives to baking powder, this is certainly the best DIY option: ¼ teaspoon baking soda + ½ teaspoon cream of tartar + ¼ teaspoon cornstarch = 1 teaspoon DIY baking powder.
How to Store Leftovers
You can store any leftover Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes + Cranberries tightly sealed in a ziplock bag and kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-heat in the oven or microwave when ready to serve.
How to Freeze Leftover Apple Cider Pumpkin Pancakes
If you're thinking about storing your leftover pancakes for a longer period of time OR you'd rather meal prep them for less hassle, it's so easy to freeze them. When you freeze them, they generally last for up to 3 months when stored properly.
Personally, I love doing method #2, however, you can always pick and choose which works best for you:
Method #1: Place your cooled pancakes in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about 1 hour or so. Once solid, add them to an airtight sealed container or ziplock bags and store in the freezer.
Method #2: Once your pancakes are cooled, stack them together with parchment paper in between each pancake and place them into an airtight sealed container or ziplock and store in the freezer.
When you're ready to reheat and serve, simply do so in a microwave, toaster, oven, or over the stove top in a skillet until warmed through.
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1 ½tspsapple spice blend(See Post for Notes/Ingredients)
Pinch ofsea salt
2largeorganic eggs, at room temp.
1cupAlmond milk, unsweetened (You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
½cupapple cider, homemade or store-bought
3Tbspspure maple syrup
2Tbspsorganic canola oil
unsalted butter, for cooking
1cuporganic cranberries, fresh or frozen
¼cuporganic cane sugar
½teaspoonfreshly-squeezed lemon juice
TO MAKE THE PANCAKE BATTER:
In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, apple spice, and salt together and whisk until combined.
Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, apple cider, maple syrup, vanilla, and oil, stirring gently (using a spatula) until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX! NOTE: If the batter is way too thick and hard to stir, add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until more smooth, yet still thick enough.
COOK THE PANCAKES:
Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter to a heated skillet over medium-high heat and wait until fully melted. Pour ½-3/4 cup of pancake batter unto the surface of the skillet and cook for about 1-2 minutes (until batter begins to bubble) and gently flip pancake to it’s opposite side, cooking another 1-2 minutes. NOTE: Be sure to gently press down on pancake to ensure that center cooks through.
Once cooked and lightly brown on both sides, remove pancake from heat and repeat steps until all batter is used. NOTE: You should have about 12 pancakes.
TO MAKE THE CRANBERRY TOPPING:
In a saucepan, add together all ingredients over medium-high heat, stirring until combined. Once cranberries begin to pop, continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken a bit and cranberries are broken down, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
To serve, stack pancakes onto one another and top with the cranberry topping and lightly drizzle with maple syrup, if desired.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: You can store any leftovers tightly sealed in a ziplock bag and kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-heat in the oven or microwave when ready to serve.
FREEZE OPTION: If you’d like to make these pancakes ahead of time, you can freeze them for up to six months. Simply cool the pancakes to room temperature, then arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for an hour, then place in a zip-top bag and keep in the freezer. You’ll have a healthy breakfast to grab anytime.
GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: To make these pancakes GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). NOTE: If the batter is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, ¼ cup at a time.
VEGAN OPTION: To make these pancakes vegan, simply omit the eggs and substitute with 2 ‘flax eggs’ (2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal + 4 Tbsps water) and create a dairy-free buttermilk by adding 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the milk.
SWEETENER: If you choose to opt out of maple syrup, you can always substitute with Agave, date syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or organic cane sugar.
OIL: Instead of canola oil, you can always use coconut oil or melted vegan butter, if preferred.