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Killer Pumpkin Pancakes

(recipe, Jessica Harper)

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In the tradition established by my mother, I have always (even in my crabbiest phases) liked to make a big, leisurely breakfast on Sunday mornings. Up until recently, however, this presented the kind of challenge I grappled with in Mr. Steele's 7th-grade math class. You've got four people, two of whom will not eat pancakes, three of whom refuse to eat oatmeal, and two of whom do not like scrambled eggs. Only two will eat French toast but one prefers white bread and the other whole wheat. What (the hell) do you feed them for breakfast? Is there a common denominator here? My answer was often Special K, which three members of my family will eat (okay, not four, but close — I get a B from Mr. Steele), although one uses skim milk, another prefers 2 percent, and a third likes soy with a little flurry of wheat germ. Because I'm math-challenged, it took me years to solve this problem definitively with the discovery of these pumpkin pancakes. All four of us love them, which makes them a Miracle Food (and pumps my grade up to an A).


  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  3. 2 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp. ground allspice
  7. ½ tsp. ground ginger
  8. ½ tsp. salt
  9. 2½ cups milk
  10. 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
  11. ¼ cup honey
  12. 1 egg
  13. 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for cooking
  14. Maple syrup, for serving


  1. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the milk, pumpkin purée, honey, and egg together until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the melted butter. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until all the ingredients are combined.
  3. Melt about ½ tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour ¼-cupfuls of batter into the skillet and cook until the pancakes are bubbly and the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip them over and cook until they are golden brown on the bottom and springy to the touch, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and keep them warm while you repeat, adding more butter when it's needed, until you've used all your batter.
  5. Serve immediately with maple syrup.