Vanilla Chai Pancakes

by Jennifer on January 15, 2013

in Breakfast Sweets

Vanilla Chai Pancakes by Not Your Momma's Cookie

Hello, I’m Jennifer, and I’m a spice addict.

“Hi, Jennifer.”

Not just any spices. The delightfully fresh and amazing spices from a little place called Penzey’s. I had some of their spices on my Christmas list. That’s not weird, right?


I’m going to go with no, not weird at all.

The closest Penzey’s is about an hour away for me, which is probably best for my wallet. But, I had a gift card form Christmas, so I had been itching to go spend it. The experience is always the same.

I walk in and it smells like the warm, aromatic spices like nutmeg and cloves. One of the workers asks if I’m looking for anything in particular and I say that I’m just browsing. Which is what I do…for about an hour. I circle the entire store several times like a vulture. I refuse to spend much more than my gift card, so I have to make absolutely sure I see every spice before I make the heart-wrenching decision of which ones to buy. Finally, I begin to fill my cart – some new, unique things (like powdered lemon peel and cake spice) and some baking things that I always need (vanilla extract and flaked sea salt). I would normally grab some cinnamon, but I currently have three different varieties at home, so I think I’m good. Cinnamon overload, anyone?

So, to use up some of the super yummy spices I acquired, I made vanilla chai pancakes. They are sweet and spicy and perfect with a number of toppings – from maple syrup to a simple, vanilla custard sauce (I used this one).

5.0 from 1 reviews

Vanilla Chai Pancakes
Spicy and delicious vanilla chai pancakes.
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Grease griddle and preheat to 325 degrees.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Beat together the eggs, buttermilk, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract for 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Whisk the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture until large lumps are gone (some small lumps are fine). Allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes, if possible.
  4. Drop ¼ cups of batter onto preheated griddle. Cook until sides of pancakes are dry and bubbles break on the surface. Flip and cook until brown. Makes 12 pancakes.
Base recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings January 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

I love Penzey’s– I’ve never bought anything from them, but I can wander around the store forever!


2 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm

You have to try their cinnamon one day – holy cow, it is amazing!


3 Patricia @ ButterYum January 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

I’m a Penzey’s junky from way back. I’m so sorry I don’t live near one anymore, but they ship :) .


4 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Yes, thank goodness! :)


5 Michelle @ MakeMeCake.Me January 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm

We just got a Penzey’s a few months back! Such fun news! My first purchase was poppy seeds and I’ve been loving ‘em. Next up, I’ll now get some cinnamon :)


6 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Oh, yes, you totally reminded me – I got poppy seeds too! My store only had blue ones and they totally intrigue me. I’m excited to give them a try :)


7 Melissa {Simply Sweets by Honeybee} January 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm

These look yummy! How necessary is the cardamon? I might try these this weekend & I don’t have cardamon. Will they totally not be the same without it?


8 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Hmm, honestly, I think you would definitely lose the “chai” flavor without the cardamom. But, I bet they would still be a yummy, spicy pancake without it! Just not chai :) Oh, and if you make them without the chai, I would leave out the pinch of black pepper. Honestly, I couldn’t see how cinnamon, ginger, and allspice could ever be not-delicious – with or without cardamom!


9 Lacey January 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hi! Could you share the recipe for whatever is covering the pancakes? Is it vanilla custard? These look so fun, we may have to have pancakes for dinner one night this week!!!!


10 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hi Lacey! Yes, it is a vanilla custard – sorry, I should have included it! It is the sauce from this recipe:


11 Britt January 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I’ve never even HEARD of Penzey’s…but your experience there sounds like how I get whenever I go into a Williams Sonoma. I feel like I have to check out their website now (because I’m not sure that there’s one near me).

And holy wow! These pancakes…sound and look amazing! We usually eat plain ol’ pancakes at my house, but I’ve been on this kick where I want to find a really good flavored recipe that everyone will eat (picky eaters at my house). Hmm…


12 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Ah, yes, I love Williams-Sonoma too! I just bought some new baking pans at my local store a couple weeks ago :)


13 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts January 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm

This describes me perfectly! I love Penzey’s, but am an hour away. I could spend a whole day in that store – and I would have to get pretty much exactly what my gift card would cover :)

Love these pancakes, they sound so warm and wonderful!


14 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Haha – we are one and the same, Erin! :)


15 Mike @ Semi Sweet January 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Cake spice? I’m very intrigued. Sadly, I never experienced a Penzey’s. :( But I feel ya on spices. I love the spice section in specialty stores and I love a well-stocked, well-organized spice cabinet at home. Those pancakes look fantastic! In the pic, did you top them with the vanilla custard sauce you mentioned?


16 Jennifer January 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Oh, if you can get to one, Mike, it is a wonderful experience! :) Here is the link to the custard sauce (thanks for reminding me to link to it in my post!):


17 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious January 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I’m a spice addict too! And these pancakes look to die for! If only I can wake up to this every morning!


18 Jennifer January 16, 2013 at 8:27 am

Thanks, sweet lady!! :)


19 Lora January 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I love Penzey’s too. I stand there mesmerized until I can make a selection (I chose lemon peel as well). Thesse Vanilla Chai Pancakes look simple out of this world. A wonderful breakfast treat any time of year, but especially in these bleak days of winter.


20 Jennifer January 16, 2013 at 8:28 am

Yes, I was totally intrigued by the lemon peel. I don’t mind zesting lemons, but I can never get the pieces chopped small enough for my liking, so I’m excited to try it out in a recipe :)


21 Paula January 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

These sound delicious and I bet they smell wonderful when cooking. I have a few stores that I like to get lost in too…mostly all kitchenware and bakingware shops.


22 Jennifer January 16, 2013 at 8:29 am

Thanks, Paula! :) They do make the whole house smell great!


23 Anne@FromMySweetHeart January 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Hi Jennifer….I popped over from Food Ramblings to say hi and I’m so glad I did. I love your blog and I knew I was going to love it the moment I read that you put Penzey’s spices on your Christmas list! There is a Penzey’s only 20 minutes from where I live and I LOVE that store. On my Christmas list…their vanilla beans! (they come in those little tubes and are always so fresh!) These pancakes look amazing! It’s fun to play with different flavors in the batter. But I’ve got to tell you….it’s that custard sauce that has me wishing it were Sunday morning! Can’t wait to give these a try!


24 Jennifer January 16, 2013 at 8:31 am

Hi Anne! Yay for a new reader! :) Thanks so much for stopping by.

I saw the vanilla beans – they looked amazing! Alas, they were a little expensive and I wanted my gift card to go as far as possible ;)

I think the custard sauce is stealing the show! I’ve made it before, for gingerbread pancakes – it is a simple, wonderful sauce!


25 The Partiologist January 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Just when I thought I had seen every kind of pancake you come up with this amazing sounding pancake! I love spices too and I really love those spice jars with wide lids to fit my measuring spoon into! :)


26 Jennifer January 16, 2013 at 8:27 am

Oh yes, the wide lid is a must-have, Kim! The Penzey jars are great – they actually sell them separately, I guess people really liked them :)


27 Elizabeth January 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

These look so decadent and the perfect indulgent breakfast food!


28 Jennifer January 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

Thanks, Elizabeth! They were pretty darn tasty :)


29 Baking Serendipity January 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I’m a definite pancake addict…but I’m willing to dig into the back of my spice cabinet to make these!


30 Jennifer January 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Oh yes, they are so worth it!


31 Kristina (paddle attachment) January 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Yum! How lucky for you to live near a spice store! As a fellow baker, I’m intrigued by both of your new selections – dried lemon peel and cake spice – I can’t wait to see how you use them!


32 Jennifer January 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

I am so excited to use them, but I think I might feel bad putting a recipe that requires them on the blog, since some people might not be able to get them easily :( But, with the lemon peel, you could substitute zest instead, so maybe it will make an appearance. I’m a sucker for lemon and haven’t made anything tart in a while!


33 Julia {The Roasted Root} January 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Hi Jennifer, I’m a spice addict too! Definitely not a bad thing to be addicted to. Your pancakes are gorgeous and I can literally taste them in my mouth right now…and they’re delicious!


34 Jennifer January 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

Thanks so much, Julia!


35 Amanda January 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I love Penzey’s as well! Love the idea of chai pancakes – thanks for sharing!


36 Jennifer January 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thanks, Amanda! Isn’t Penzey’s the best? :)


37 Yael January 17, 2013 at 12:36 am

Wow, these pancakes sound amazing! I LOVE chai and I love vanilla , so it has to be good!


38 Jennifer January 17, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thanks, Yael! :)


39 a farmer in the dell January 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I just found your blog and I am SO glad I did. I am a sucker for chia anything. These pancakes sound fantastic!


40 Jennifer January 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Thank you! I’m so glad you stopped by :) I added your blog to my reader so I can check it out!


41 Maria January 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm

These pancakes sound & look amazing! I’ve never heard of Penzeys but can definitely relate, I can’t seem to stop buying spices. My cupboard is loaded with them and always looking for new uses. Thanks for this recipe, will definitely try it.


42 Jennifer January 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Thanks, Maria!


43 Kammie @ Sensual Appeal February 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Wow, so creative. And I aboslutely LOVE that they are drowning in topping :)


44 Jennifer February 17, 2013 at 9:33 am

Thanks, Kammie!


45 Jackie September 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Hi! I have whole black and green cardamom pods, any idea which would be better ground?


46 Jennifer September 24, 2013 at 8:55 am

Hi Jackie! Green is better for sweet dishes, so I would go with green! :)


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