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Show your family extra love this weekend and whip up a batch of my homemade applesauce pancakes. They’re light and fluffy with a hint of apple and cinnamon then served with chopped apples in buttery brown sugar on top. Don’t forget the maple syrup for this perfect fall breakfast or brunch!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Fluffy cinnamon applesauce pancakes are easy to make, they are made with basic ingredients but the star of the show really is the applesauce and the warming spices of a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.
I’ve been adding my homemade applesauce to baked goods and breakfast treats for as long as I can remember. These pancakes, and applesauce muffins are some of my favorites. Not only does it add a delightful sweetness and apple flavor, but it also adds moisture. So, using it to make pancakes seemed like a no-brainer!
They cook up soft and fluffy and are the perfect breakfast with a little fall flavor when there’s a chill in the air.
Serve a stack of fresh homemade pancakes topped with a homemade apple compote any time of the week. The aroma is enough to get everyone out of bed on the weekends and easy enough to enjoy on busy weekday mornings.
Make a double batch of cinnamon apple pancakes and freeze some for later! You can also use this batter in a waffle iron, as an alternative to my apple cinnamon waffles. Ensure you grease the waffle iron really well!
If you’re looking for more breakfast and brunch recipes that contain all the apple cinnamon combinations, you’ve got to try my apple cinnamon scones next.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- This recipe is so easy to make an entire batch in 30 minutes. They’re great for busy mornings, lazy Sundays, and even as a snack throughout the day!
- The topping of cooked apples in butter and brown sugar is optional but delicious! I’m including instructions for that too.
- You’ll love freezing these and having pancakes on demand when you need a quick breakfast.
Frequently Asked Questions
In our case, we’re using it to replace butter with a lighter, low-fat alternative that not only enhances the flavor but gives it the moisture it needs.
Some people will also use it as an egg replacer, but that’s not what we’re doing.
This is a personal preference. Unsweetened applesauce is a bit tart which is a nice balance to the sweetness in the pancakes. However, if you use sweetened applesauce, your apple pancakes will be a bit on the sweet side.
With that being said, if your applesauce already has cinnamon in it, you may have a deeper cinnamon flavor.
All of the above options will be delicious!
If I’m making batches, or my family isn’t ready to eat, I keep the applesauce pancakes warm in the oven. Use the warm function or a low temperature and cover them with foil so they don’t dry out.
What to serve with Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
You can’t have a stack of pancakes without maple syrup, I don’t care what’s in them! There’s nothing more satisfying than a pat of melting butter and real maple syrup to top it off.
I do love adding the brown sugary apples on top, for something extra special.
You can also go all out with some maple whipped cream or caramel sauce.
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
How to store leftover applesauce pancakes
Keep leftover pancakes stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 days. They’re great just to grab as a snack or warm up for breakfast.
If you want to extend their freshness a bit longer, place the container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If you’ve got some of that tasty apple topping leftover, keep that stored separately for about 4 days.
Reheat the apple pancakes in the microwave (cover with a slightly damp paper towel) for the softest results. You can toast them in the toaster, but they’ll be slightly crispy.
Use salted or unsalted butter for the apple topping.
Swap the light brown sugar for dark brown sugar for the topping.
The tartness provided by Granny Smith apples is a nice balance to the brown sugar, but you can use red apples too.
There are a couple of ways to freeze these without having them stick together so you can take out only what you need at one time.
Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe container. Or, layer them in a Ziploc freezer bag, separating the layers with parchment paper.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
For the Apple Topping
- Butter. Either salted or unsalted works.
- Green apples. You’ll need 2 medium apples, peeled and chopped.
- Light brown sugar, packed. You have the option of using dark brown sugar if you prefer.
For the Pancakes
- Flour. Regular all-purpose flour is what I use. I have never tried these with whole wheat flour, but I’d assume they’d be good this way too. Oat flour or gluten-free flours work too.
- Sugar. In pancakes, you can adjust the amount of sugar you use depending on whether you don’t want them quite as sweet.
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Warm spices that pair well with the apples and scream fall.
- Baking powder. Helps to keep the applesauce pancakes nice and soft.
- Baking soda. Makes the pancakes airy and fluffy!
- Salt. Seems strange to add this, but it enhances the flavor and balances the sweetness.
- Applesauce. Use home made or store-bought, whichever you prefer. I use unsweetened applesauce but use what you’ve got.
- Large eggs. To bind the applesauce pancakes together so they don’t fall apart.
- Vanilla extract. Extra flavor.
- Milk. I used 2% milk, but use any kind of milk you have on hand, dairy or nondairy (like almond milk or oat milk)
- Griddle or Skillet (cast iron or non-stick)
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Make the apple topping
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the chopped apples and cook for 7 minutes.
Once they are tender, stir in the brown sugar and cook for another 3 minutes.
Remove the apple mixture from the heat and allow it to cool.
Make the pancake batter
Mix the dry ingredients
Sift the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Sifting the dry encourages the pancakes to fluff up.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until the eggs are beaten.
Fold in the applesauce until the batter is thick and dry, then pour in the milk.
Mix until the batter is just mixed and wet. Do not overmix. Some small lumps are okay.
Let the pancake batter sit for 3 minutes. Up to 10 minutes is ok too.
Cook the pancakes
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. If you are using an electric griddle, preheat it to 325°F.
Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop out 1/3 cup of batter (for smaller pancakes, use a ¼ cup).
Pour it onto the preheated griddle or into a greased medium skillet over medium heat. You can use butter or cooking spray to grease.
Let the pancake cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom side is light brown and the bubbles begin to appear on the top, and it gets brown around the edges.
Flip the pancake and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until both sides of the pancake are cooked and golden brown. Continue cooking the pancakes until all of the batter is used.
You can store cooked pancakes on a baking sheet in the oven.
Stack the applesauce pancakes and top with the caramelized apples and maple syrup.
More Pancake Recipes:
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Fancy it up (and add protein!)
- DIY Pancake Mix. A super simple mix to make ahead and keep in the pantry.
- Blueberry Pancakes. Fresh pancakes, bursting with juicy blueberries and with a hint of lemon (as well as a secret ingredient), these blueberry pancakes are a popular breakfast!
- Pumpkin Pancakes. Fluffy pumpkin pancakes made with real pumpkin, and warm pumpkin spices – these pretty pancakes are perfect for fall and taste amazing with just a little butter and syrup.
- Banana Pancakes. Packed with bananas, light and fluffy – this banana pancake recipe is super easy to make, any time of day!
- ALL BREAKFAST RECIPES
Apple Topping (optional)
For the Apple Topping
- In a small or medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the chopped apples.
- Cook the apples for 7 minutes or until the apples are tender, then mix in the brown sugar and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Make the pancake batter
- If you are using an electric griddle, preheat it to 325°F.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, add the eggs and vanilla extract, and whisk until the eggs are beaten.
- Fold in the applesauce until the batter is thick and dry, then pour in the milk.
- Mix until the batter is just mixed and wet. Some small lumps are okay. Allow the batter to sit for 3 minutes.
Cook the pancakes
- Scoop out 1/3 cup of batter and pour it onto the preheated griddle or into a greased medium skillet over medium heat, and let the pancake cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom side is light brown and the top side starts to bubble.
- Flip the pancake and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the sides of the pancake are cooked. Continue cooking the pancakes until all of the batter is used.
- Stack the pancakes and top with the caramelized apples and maple syrup.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients together instead of just mixing them. That will lighten the batter and encourage them to fluff up while they are cooking.
- Cook the pancakes at a low temperature to help promote fluffiness.
- Letting the batter rest for a few minutes before cooking allows for the ingredients to start interacting with each other and makes the batter nice and bubbly.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.