Cinnamon roll pancakes are soft and fluffy swirled with a cinnamon and brown sugar filling. With a drizzled topping of cream cheese glaze, these out of this world pancakes are perfect for special occasions or any day breakfasts!
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Holiday Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes
On snowy days, holidays, and lazy weekend mornings, I love taking the time to make an extra special breakfast! With Christmas around the corner, you have to try my Elf on the Shelf pancakes for the kids. Waking up to these on Christmas morning may just be the next best thing to a visit from Santa!
There’s nothing better than enjoying a stack of pancakes, except maybe the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. But why choose?! This recipe brings you the best of both in a mouthwatering combination of soft, fluffy, ooey-gooey, and totally addicting cinnamon swirl pancakes!
The cream cheese glaze on top is the perfect finishing touch, but of course, you can replace it with a drizzle of powdered sugar icing or tried and true maple syrup. Serve warm for a fabulous holiday brunch, weekend breakfast, or yes, even for dessert! Such an easy way to create something a little extra special the whole family will love!
How to Make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
- Prep filling. Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon in a bowl. Transfer to a small Ziploc ‘piping’ bag and snip 1/4″ off the tip. Set aside.
- Prep glaze. Combine the softened cream cheese and butter in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk until it’s smooth then add the vanilla and powdered sugar. If you’re finding it too thick, feel free to add a bit of milk. If you’re finding it too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.
- Prep pancakes. Preheat a griddle or skillet. Melt the butter in the microwave and allow it to cool a bit.
- Whisk. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add. Then add the milk and cooled butter and stir to combine. Mix in the whisked eggs and vanilla and blend until smooth and all the lumps are gone. Coat your griddle/skillet with butter.
- Pour. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop and pour out enough batter to fill the cup.
- Cook & flip. Allow the pancakes to cook until bubbles start to appear. Taking the cinnamon swirl filling and pipe it around in a circular motion just on top of the pancake. Then, flip the pancakes and cook the other side until just lightly browned. Continue this process until the batter is finished.
- Drizzle and serve. When ready to serve, drizzle with the delicious cream cheese glaze over top and enjoy!
Using Pancake Mix
Believe it or not, these pancakes can be made even easier using a store-bought pancake mix! Depending on the brand, you may or may not get the same soft and fluffy results as a made from scratch recipe, but in a pinch, it totally works. Krusteaz is our favorite to use. For easy access to pancakes made from scratch when time is an issue, it’s always nice to have a jar of homemade pancake mix handy and ready for use when you are.
Tips for Success
- Thick swirl. Make sure the swirl filling is thick enough to hold its place in the swirl and not bleed too much into the rest of the pancake.
- Bubbles before swirl. Wait a bit before adding the swirl. You want to see the bubbles before you swirl that way it doesn’t blend too much into the pancake.
- It can get quite sticky. Making sure to coat your skillet or griddle with butter if it’s “nonstick” will help ensure you being able to lift it without destroying it. Make sure to wipe the “sticky” off the pan in between each pancake otherwise those bits will burn. No one wants burnt bits in their pancakes!
- Toppings. Have an array of different toppings if not everyone loves a cream cheese glaze. I don’t know any of those people, but I’m sure they’re out there :) Try cinnamon pancake syrup or an easy buttermilk syrup. Sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar or maybe some whipped cream.
Keeping Warm, Freezing & Reheating
- Keep warm. If you need to keep your pancakes warm before consuming them, keep them on a baking sheet in the oven. Set it to 175 degrees. A low warming temperature will keep them from drying out.
- Freeze. Once pancakes are completely cooled, separate them with parchment paper and keep in an airtight freezer friendly bag. The parchment paper will help avoid freezing in a clump and that way you can take out as many as you need when you need them.
- Reheat. The best way to get them soft again is to microwave them. It’s typically about 30 seconds per pancake from frozen. Alternatively, you can use the toaster or if you’ve got a big batch to reheat, you can lay them out on a baking sheet and reheat in the oven.
More Delicious Pancake Recipes
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Pancakes (you could also use a box mix)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (more for the griddle)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups milk (more if needed to thin it out)
- 2 large eggs (whisked)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter (melted)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar , packed
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cream cheese glaze
- 4 ounces unsalted butter (softened)
- 3 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- ¾ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare cinnamon filling
- Prepare the cinnamon mixture in a small bowl. Mix together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Then place in a small zip top bag (with the top 1/4" snipped off) or piping bag.
Prepare cream cheese glaze
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a small bowl. Melt in the microwave for 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Add a Tablespoon of milk if needed to thin out or more powdered sugar to thicken.
- Preheat a griddle to 325°F, or a skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool for 3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then add in the milk and butter and stir just until combined. Then mix in the eggs and vanilla, just until most the lumps are gone and the batter is smooth.
- Coat the griddle (or skillet) with butter and then pour 1/4 cup batter onto the heated griddle. Take the cinnamon sugar filling and make a swirl on top of the pancake. Cook the pancakes until bubbles appear, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook the other side for 1 minute, or just until lightly browned.
- Serve with the cinnamon swirl facing up. Then drizzle the cream cheese glaze over top.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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