Souffle Pancakes – The Ultimate Breakfast Comfort Puff

Souffle Pancakes - The Ultimate Breakfast Comfort Puff

– I love souffle pancakes. They’re the ultimate breakfast comfort fluff. –

This has been the winter of my virus-fueled angst. When I haven’t been felled by a cold, I’ve been wallowing in NyQuil-soaked influenza goodness. My sinuses are the devil’s playground, with a plethora of microorganisms acting as his loyal minions.

I’ll spare you the grim details, but let’s just say that what I’ve lacked in energy, I’ve more than made up for in post nasal drip. As such I haven’t been cooking very much, and even 5-minute dinners seem like too much of a commitment right now.

But, as illness would have it, the infirmed occasionally need to eat. When hunger is high and energy has long since sunsetted, you reach for whatever is easy and close at hand – in my case, it’s an emergency ration of soup that I keep in the freezer. That quickly ran out, and I was left with eggs, flour, and butter in the fridge. A single banana languished on the counter, turning that unique color of brown that only bananas possess when they’re somewhere between banana bread fodder and bound for the compost bin.

Equipped with the basic ingredients to make something tasty but lacking any sort of creativity, I floundered. A copy of The Pancake Handbook rested on a shelf nearby, a great little book by Bette Kroening, owner of Bette’s Oceanview Diner – also known as The Pancake Capital of Berkeley. I flipped through the pages, weary with starvation, finally settling on Bette’s recipe for a soufflé pancake. A banana soufflé pancake sounds good, I thought. And easy.

Now, the boy and I had visited Bette’s Diner, and neither of us was especially impressed with the souffle pancakes they served. It was indeed light and airy, but tasted only of egg whites and fruit. We both thought it needed a little more oomph, likely just a bit of additional salt and sugar. And vanilla. If you ask Thad, everything is better with more vanilla. So I prepared the recipe, adding a little more flavoring, and the end result was just what the doctor ordered. Light and fluffy enough to not agitate my sad stomach, but still substantial enough to count as a meal. Win.

I made my souffle pancakes recipe with bananas and blueberries, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand – as long as the fruit is dry and at somewhere around room temperature. Strawberries work well, as do raspberries and apple chunks. In fact, if you sautéed your apple bits in butter and brown sugar before dropping them into the pancake, it would probably taste just like heaven.

Souffle Pancakes: The Ultimate Breakfast Puff
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Soufflé pancakes are light and airy while remaining incredibly decadent. Feel free to smother yours in powdered sugar, chocolate syrup, or your favorite fruit. A pan that can go from stovetop to oven is essential to making this dish correctly – 10-inch cast iron skillets are your best bet.
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs yolks
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • Chopped fresh fruit
  • Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler in your oven. Alternately, preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Beat the egg yolks and half & half in a large bowl until well mixed. Slowly whisk in the flour, stirring just until combined, then whisk in the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric beater until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter, folding just until the whites disappear. You don’t want to flatten your egg whites, lest you compromise the fluffiness of your lovely soufflé.
  4. Lightly grease a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof pan and set it over medium-high heat for one minute. Pour the batter into the hot pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook the pancake for 5 minutes, until the batter begins to firm up a bit. Drop chunks of chopped fruit onto the surface of the pancake.
  5. Place the pan 5 inches below the hot broiler, or if you don’t have a broiler, slide the pan into the preheated oven. Bake for 2-3 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed up and center is set but still soft. Watch carefully to make sure the top doesn't burn! These things tend to head south pretty quickly, so don’t walk away from your oven while the soufflé pancake is baking.
  6. Slide the pancake onto a plate using a spatula. Dust with powdered sugar and more fruit, if you like. Eat immediately.

 
 

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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. lynn @ the actor's diet says

    wow. pancakes are great, but pancakes in cast iron skillets are better. great food blog. also, get better soon!

  2. Kris @ Attainable Sustainable says

    This reminds me of what my aunt used to call a Puff Pancake. It was a treat to have during the early summer with berries fresh from her strawberry patch.

  3. MyKidsEatSquid says

    I was going to say it looks like a Dutch baby to me too. I’ve failed miserably at making the standard souffle, but this one looks like it would work for me.

  4. Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart says

    I love pancakes of all kinds. I’ve not tried a souffle kind, though. Usually, if I want something lighter, I go to waffles … but this looks lovely. I’m a big fan of breakfast anyway, but now my sad, sad bowl of oatmeal seems even more pathetic. Feel better! Darn germs.

  5. Jane Boursaw says

    That is a thing of beauty. Any idea how it shakes out for Weight Watchers points? It seems fairly low-cal.

  6. Jon says

    Yum! Who needs a plate. The cast iron skillet would work well for me right there in my lap. Plus, it would hold every drop of syrup or preserves that happened to fall in. I know what your think’n… Answer: A dish towel keeps the heat at bay in your lap. :)

    Now where to put the coffee?

  7. Joan Lim says

    I ate at Bette’s a few weeks ago. This pancake souffle is THE BEST EVERR!!! Thanks for posting the recipe. Do you have any recommendation how can I make this pancake souffle without a cast iron skillet? Thanks!! 😀

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      You could do it in another pan that’s completely heat-proof – as long as it has no plastic parts. Or you can get a cast iron for cheap at a junk store or garage sale!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      Actually, if you’re in Berkeley, try Urban Ore or the Goodwill on San Pablo. Both places have great cast iron pans for like $5. There’s also a guy who sits outside of the Friday farmer’s market in Old Oakland – he always has good deals on cast iron. I got a great 10″ skillet for $8!

  8. CactusHeart says

    Meh. Wake me up when you’ve got (or have come close to) the recipe for Hoshino Coffee’s souffle pancakes. Those things look amaaazinnnggg :.P I was just at their website, have a looksee to see what I mean. Makes me want to throw out my pillow and replace it with a plate of these babies lol.

  9. Jeremy says

    Great recipe, but when I tried it on a cast iron the bottom got burnt to a crisp except for 1/4 of an edge :(

    I think for people who want to use cast iron pans you shouldn’t pre-heat the pan on med-high, but just keep it at a consistent medium throughout since the cast iron pan retains heat so much better.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      That’s weird, because I’ve made this a hundred times with the cast iron, in different peoples’ pans and ovens, and that’s never been a problem. What sort of cast iron are you using? Is it straight black or enameled?

      Is there a chance your oven is too hot? I had a thermometer in my oven and I suddenly started burning everything. Turned out the thermometer was broken. SIGH \o/

      I’d like to get to the bottom of this!

      • Jeremy says

        Its a straight black cast iron pan and I’m pretty sure the oven temp wasn’t too hot since I set it at 400 F exactly.

        Plus it was the *bottom* that burned and not the top, which indicates that its not an issue regarding the oven heater coming on to compensate for heat loss.

        My stove is an induction top though, so I wonder if that has something to do with it?

        Ultimately, I think it can be resolved simply by starting at a lower stove temperature even for the preheating stage (med instead of med-high). I’ll probably test it out again with that adjustment tomorrow or Sunday.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      I’m looking back over the recipe, and with the amount of time that it’s cooking, it shouldn’t get anywhere near that burned. How long are you cooking it for? Let’s figure this out together. :)

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