Genius Idea: Make-and-Freeze Pancakes (Instant Breakfast!)


On a sunny afternoon walk with the boys today, we stopped to check out my friend Annette’s garden (remember her–the one who turned her entire front yard into a city farm and introduced me to the amazingness that is French sorrel?). Carson, my 2 year old went wild for her three big orange pumpkins sprawling out onto the sidewalk. (He whispered in my ear, “I want to eat them.” The kid is on an eating kick. He wants to eat everything. More on that in another post.)

Annette sent us home with on gargantuan zucchini, an acorn squash (which is too beautiful to eat, I’ve decided) and a genius idea that I can’t believe I’ve never thought to try. Her 3 year old,  she said, goes through picky-eating stages. Lately, all he wants is pancakes! So, she makes big batches of homemade (and of course, healthy!) pancakes and then freezes them in batches. All you have to do is pluck one out of a Ziplock bag and toss it in the toaster. Brilliant, right? So you know what I did? I walked straight home and made pancakes. Here’s a recipe for the most satisfying little whole-wheat banana-cinnamon pancakes and photos of my pancake-crazed afternoon…

So, I pulled out a cast-iron skillet–because I’m not a fan of nonstick (P.S. cast-iron is the original nonstick–and way healthier … no weird chemicals)–and made these wonderful pancakes on my induction range from Viking (loving it, by the way–it might even be better than gas cooking, in my opinion)…


After they cooled a bit, I stacked them up with squares of waxed paper, so they wouldn’t stick to eachother when frozen.


Then, into the Ziplock bag they went–so they’re ready for breakfast, a snack, or dessert (um, it’s 9 p.m. as I write this, and I just had one).


Pancake lovers, is this not the coolest idea ever? It’s also so recession-friendly! Think of the money you’ll save on breakfast, or wasted batter. Annette, I think your casual mention of pancakes today might have changed my life. You have a standing invitation to breakfast at my house–any time of the day. xo

Whole-Wheat Banana Cinnamon Pancakes
Makes about 8 medium pancakes
Recipe by Sarah Jio


2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar (optional–I omit, because I’m going to cover these suckers in maple syrup, so why bother with more sugar?)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A sprinkle of nutmeg (all you need is a little)
1 egg
3 tablespoons canola oil (or any vegetable oil, or just use butter)
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large banana, mashed
Cooking spray for pan


Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together in a smaller bowl. Then, just dump the two together. (Hey, they’re pancakes, not wedding cakes–no need for a delicate hand, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe just don’t beat the heck out of them, unless you need something to take your stress out on. If so, have at it.) Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, coated in cooking spray, and spoon a few dollops of the batter into the pan. Cook on both sides until golden brown. When the pancakes are cool, separate them with small sheets of wax paper and then place in a Ziplock back and send to the freezer. Reheat by popping in the toaster (same way you would with a frozen waffle–but I find that sometimes you may need to nuke these in the microwave for an extra 15 seconds or so–just to thaw completely), then slather with jam, maple syrup, or your favorite pancake topping–enjoy!

[Photos: Moi!]

  • September 5, 2009

    Love this idea! Thanks!

  • September 5, 2009

    I was just wondering the other day if something like this would work!! Thanks for the great recipe and how-to!

  • September 16, 2009


  • September 17, 2009

    I learned to do this a while back. I like it w/the wax paper if I’m storing a bunch that’ll be re heated at different times. it’s really nice how easily it makes them separate as long as there isn’t too much condensation to really freeze up and weld em’ together;) If I’m going to reheat the entire stored batch, which I typically just use a bag or a plate with plastic wrap on it, I don’t use wax paper, but just flip them once after defrosting and before they get too hot. Pancakes Rock! Thanks for the great post!

  • September 17, 2009

    Thanks for the tip! I have three boys and can’t wait to start our mornings off with these pancakes!

    My husband loves cast iron, too. He has the dutch oven for use when camping with the Scouts. Then he got a cast iron griddle which we use for eggs-in-a-nest (toast with a circle cut out, then an egg is put in on the griddle, done with the eggs ‘over-easy’ is how I like it), grilled cheese, and pancakes (you can do 8-10 pancakes at one time!).

  • October 7, 2009

    Great idea – I like to make the pancakes into shapes for the kids. Hearts and stars are the easiest. This would make a great afternoon treat for them too!

  • October 7, 2009

    more healthy pancake recipes plz…or any substitutions?

  • February 21, 2010

    I made these this morning! I’ve been wanting to ever since I saw the post on, and finally did it! They are fantastic with blueberries, and extra cinnamon! I’m very excited to be able to pop a couple in the toaster before school on weekday mornings! Much better then the oatmeal rut I’ve been in!


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