Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

This Cinnamon Roll Pancake recipe first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.

Make breakfast an experience with Cinnamon Roll Pancakes! A twist on the brunch classic, these homemade pancakes feature cinnamon-sugar swirls and are topped with a cream cheese glaze. Perfect for weekends, holidays or even breakfast for dinner. Makes 12 pancakes.

Love homemade pancakes? You need to check out How to make the Best Homemade Pancakes!

A sliced stack of pancakes with cream cheese glaze

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—we are pancake people, and my entire family is here for fun twists on classic homemade pancakes.

These Cinnamon Roll Pancakes take the traditional breakfast item and elevates them to something that’s manageable for a person to make in a single morning.

While these homemade pancakes can get a bit messy, they’re worth the effort because they are utterly scrumptious.

Why I love this recipe:

Unlike a classic cinnamon roll, these beautiful pancakes have the same flavor profile, thanks to a fun swirl of cinnamon-sugar. As an added bonus, they also don’t take hours of preparation to make.

These homemade pancakes are topped with a tart cream cheese glaze because that’s what you do with a cinnamon roll.

The cinnamon-sugar swirl can make these pancakes a little tricky, but I promise the taste is worth the potential mess. I’m sharing my best tips and tricks below for them to be less of a mess—but I want you to be prepared because stickiness is something you’re going to deal with.

Other homemade pancake recipes we love: Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes | Double Chocolate Pancakes | Sweet Potato Pancakes | Blueberry Breakfast Sausage Pancakes | Peanut Butter Pancakes with Raspberry Preserves Syrup | Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes | Old Fashioned Pancake Recipe | Funfetti Pancakes | Strawberry Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Drizzle | Nutella Pancakes

Need breakfast recipe inspiration? Head on over to my Breakfast and Brunch Recipe Index.

Homemade pancake recipe ingredients in bowls on a marble countertop

What you need to make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

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  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • 2-tablespoon cookie scoop
  • Cast iron griddle or nonstick skillet—I tried these beauties on my cast iron griddle, and they were an utter mess. (We’re talking pancakes sticking, sugar burning, the whole nine yards…) They were a lot more manageable in a nonstick skillet. Be prepared to wipe down the pan between pancake batches because the cinnamon-sugar mixture will bleed out a little.
  • Pastry brush—to brush oil or butter onto your griddle
  • Metal spatula—if you’re using a nonstick skillet, make sure your spatula is plastic so it doesn’t scratch the surface!
  • Plastic bag or a piping bag—We need this for the cinnamon-sugar swirl. However, be mindful of the heat near this, as I had some baggies melt on me during the testing process. Working quickly and efficiently (and also letting the cinnamon-sugar rest) is key.

Homemade pancakes are made from a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator. You’ll need…

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Whole milk—you can use another milk if that’s what you’ve got on hand! We’ve made this recipe with cashew milk before, and they were equally delightful.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unflavored oil, like vegetable, canola or avocado oil
  • Salted butter
  • Brown sugar—dark or light brown sugar works perfectly, but it needs to be soft. I ran into some issues with brown sugar that was a little hard and it making swirling of the cinnamon-sugar challenging.
  • Ground cinnamon

I like to top these homemade cinnamon roll pancakes with a cream cheese glaze because, well, the best cinnamon rolls have a glaze. (As a note, this is the same cream cheese glaze we use for the Red Velvet Pancakes. Because it’s that good.)

For that, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract

The beauty in this one is that you can make it in your blender or your food processor. Also, you can make it the day before so you don’t have to fret with it the morning you’re making your pancakes.

Collage showing how to put together the batter and glaze for cinnamon roll pancakes

How to make this Cinnamon Roll Pancake recipe

Prep the cinnamon-sugar swirl and the glaze

Make the cinnamon-sugar swirl. Combine melted butter with brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, mixing until combined. Transfer this to a piping bag or a plastic bag (we’ll snip off the end in a bit!), and let it sit while you make the pancakes! Honestly, letting it sit for upwards of 20-30 minutes is best.

Make the cream cheese glaze by combining softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract in the base of your food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Voila! That’s it! Set it aside for later.

Make the homemade pancake batter

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until combined.

After that, measure the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and oil into a smaller bowl. Using a fork, stir together until combined. Make sure the egg yolk and white are mixed well because you don’t want stray pieces of egg white in your pancakes.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold them together until just combined. The batter doesn’t need to be smooth, and be careful not to overmix.

A cinnamon swirl inside a pancake on a skillet

Cook the pancakes

Once the batter has been mixed, heat a nonstick skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Brush the pan with melted butter or unflavored cooking spray, and let it warm up.

Use a cookie scoop or a measuring cup to dollop the pancakes onto the preheated skillet when ready. Snip the end off your baggie holding the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and swirl it on top of the pancakes. Top with another scoop of pancake batter to cover the swirl (and keep the cinnamon-sugar inside your pancake.)

Switch it up! Leave the cinnamon swirl visible for the true “cinnamon roll” look by not adding the extra scoop of batter. It will be messy, but it’s a fun look!

When several bubbles form on the surface, flip the pancakes, and cook through for another 1-2 minutes.

Some of the cinnamon-sugar mixture will run out, especially if it’s close to the edge of the pancakes. That’s OK—because the majority of it should stay inside the pancake! Be prepared for this to create stickiness on the pan.

Wipe down the pan with a wet paper towel or cloth between rounds to remove the cinnamon-sugar stickiness (because it’ll burn and also make your pan sticky), then brush the griddle with additional butter or oil.

Repeat until all of the batter has been made into pancakes.

Stack the cooked pancakes onto plates. Serve with the cream cheese glaze and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and enjoy immediately.

A stack of Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with glaze on a white plate

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes for an at-home brunch? Oh my word, YES.

While pancakes are something that I previously thought might be a fussier item to prepare for a brunch at home situation, you can absolutely make them for brunch! It just requires a little patience, planning and working ahead to get ‘em made before guests arrive.

Here are a few tips and tricks to transforming these pancakes into a brunch centerpiece:

  • Depending on the amount of people you’re serving, you can double this cinnamon roll pancake recipe. You can also half it if you’re not feeding a crowd.
  • Make the pancakes before guests arrive, and keep them warm in the oven. We put ours on baking sheets* (affiliate link) and keep them warm in a 200°F oven.
  • Make both the swirl and the glaze in advance, too. Let the swirl stay on the countertop for up to an hour. Refrigerate the glaze until serving time.
  • Transform your table into a pancake bar! Offer various toppings, like the cream cheese glaze, as well as maple syrup, sweetened whipped cream and extra sprinkles. (You can even make them into a Pancake Board if you’re feeling creative!)
A fork holds a slice of pancakes

Frequently Asked Questions

When do you know how to flip your pancakes? 

When big ‘ol bubbles start to form in the batter. Lift up the edge a little bit with a spatula to confirm the color on the other side before committing… because when you flip them, you won’t flip them again. (Yep. We only need to flip our pancakes once.)

How do I prevent these pancakes from sticking to the griddle?

These Cinnamon Roll Pancakes can be a bit of a mess with the cinnamon-sugar mixture swirled into them, so my way to prevent the stickiness is brushing the griddle with butter between each round of pancakes. Also, if you’re able to drizzle extra pancake batter on top of the swirls, this will contain the cinnamon-sugar mixture a bit better and will allow for a cinnamon roll surprise when the pancakes are cut into!

How do I store leftover Cinnamon Roll Pancakes?

Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and pop them in the freezer for 4-6 hours. When the pancakes are fully frozen, transfer them to a freezer baggie. Reheat in the toaster oven, toaster or the oven until warm.

Three plates of pancakes with cream cheese glaze

Quick Tips and Tricks for the Best Pancakes

  • Don’t overmix your batter! Just mix the batter until it has just come together. Lumps are OK. If you mix until it’s smooth, the pancakes won’t be as fluffy.
  • When do you know how to flip? When big ‘ol bubbles start to form in the batter. Lift up the edge a little bit with a spatula to confirm the color on the other side before committing… because when you flip them, you won’t flip them again. (Yep. We only need to flip our pancakes once.)
  • Once you’ve flipped your pancakes, don’t press down on them! This will deflate them. Obviously, we want them to puff up and be as light and airy as possible.
  • Leftover pancakes? Freeze ’em! Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and pop them in the freezer for 4-6 hours. When the pancakes are fully frozen, transfer them to a freezer baggie. Reheat in the toaster oven, toaster or the oven until warm.

Ready to make this Cinnamon Roll Pancake recipe? Here’s how you can do it at home…

A stack of Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with glaze on a white plate
Yield: 12 pancakes

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Make breakfast an experience with Cinnamon Roll Pancakes! A twist on the brunch classic, these homemade pancakes feature cinnamon-sugar swirls and are topped with a cream cheese glaze. Perfect for weekends, holidays or even breakfast for dinner.

Ingredients

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 8 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pancake Recipe

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unflavored oil, like vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

Make the Cinnamon Sugar Swirl

  1. Combine the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Stir until mixed well.
  3. Transfer to a plastic bag or a piping bag, and set aside. (This will help us swirl the mixture into the pancakes without a lot of messiness. We’ll snip the bag when it’s time.)
  4. Let this sit for 20-30 minutes.

Make the Cream Cheese Glaze

  1. Combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract in the base of your food processor or a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Set aside until it’s time to serve your pancakes. (You can also make this ahead of time, so you can store it in a food-safe container in the refrigerator.)

Make the Pancakes

  1. Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together until incorporated, and set aside.
  2. Measure the milk, eggs, vanilla extract and oil into a smaller bowl. Use a fork to stir together until combined. Make sure the egg yolk and white are incorporated.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to overmix, as this will affect the texture of the pancakes. Don’t fret about lumps—they’re OK.
  4. Once the batter has been mixed, heat a nonstick skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Brush the pan with melted butter or unflavored cooking spray.
  5. Dollop the pancakes onto the preheated skillet when ready using a cookie scoop or a measuring cup.
  6. Snip a small corner off the piping/plastic bag, and swirl the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the pancakes. Cover with another small scoop of pancake batter. (Doing this step will ensure the cinnamon-sugar mixture stays inside your pancake.)
  7. When several bubbles have formed on the surface, flip the pancakes, and cook through.
  8. Wipe down the skillet between pancakes with a wet towel or cloth, and rebutter it each time. Why? This will ensure they don’t stick or become a mess.
  9. Repeat until all of the pancakes have been made.
  10. Stack the pancakes onto plates and serve with the cream cheese glaze.

Notes

This recipe makes 12 (2 tablespoon) pancakes. If you use a larger or smaller scoop, you will have fewer or more pancakes.

Here are a few tips to making the best pancakes at home:

  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. It’s important to get the eggs incorporated into the other wet ingredients so you don’t have stray bits of egg white in your pancakes. Also, this will help you not overmix the batter once combined.
  • Don’t overmix the pancake batter! Lumps are OK—we just want the ingredients just incorporated.
  • Don't swirl the cinnamon-sugar super close to the edge of the pancakes. It'll bleed out onto the pan.
  • Wipe off the pan between rounds of pancakes, then brush it with butter or oil before making more. This will prevent any cinnamon-sugar that’s seeped out of the pancakes from burning in the skillet and making the rest of your pancakes bitter.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12 pancakes

Serving Size:

1 pancake with glaze

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 286mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 5g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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One Comment

  1. These were SO GOOD!! I have been making your old fashioned pancake recipe for a while now, and these caught my eye. We had breakfast or dinner last night and WHOA!! these will be in our regular rotation!!

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