For these pancakes, we triple down on the apple flavor. The batter is made using spiced apple cider, then we add shredded apple into it. After the pancakes are cooked, we make a quick cinnamon butter apple compote to serve on top. So you get three times the apple flavor. Unleash the awesome power of apple!
So if you want to embrace the season and take your pancake skills to the next level, these apple cinnamon pancakes have got your name all over them. Whether you’re going camping, making them on a ski trip, or just making them at home, we’re sure they’ll be a hit.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in and we’ll show you exactly how to make them.
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Ingredients
Apple: Using shredded apple in the pancake batter adds flavor and texture. Just like in baking, we suggest using an apple that skews slightly tart, such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Jonagold. They will retain their flavor and shape a lot better than overly sweet apples like Red Delicious, Envy, Sweet Tangos, etc.
Spiced Apple Cider: Spiced apple cider adds the real apple punch to these pancakes. Since it is already loaded with spices, you can avoid buying a bunch of mulling spices like star anise, clove, allspice, etc.
Whole Milk: The full fats in whole milk really makes the pancakes moist and tender.
Melted Butter: A trick we learned from the New York Times, we add melted butter to the batter. Not required, but it does make them extra moist. If all you have is 2% or skim milk, adding some butter can help.
Egg: We love these hard-sided holders for protecting eggs in our cooler.
Flour: All-purpose reporting for duty!
Sugar: Sugar helps crisp up the edges of the pancakes and adds a touch of sweetness.
Baking Powder: Baking powder gives these pancakes lift and makes them light and tender.
↠ Mason Jar / Resealable Container: Premixing the dry ingredients at home just makes life a lot easier. Put the mix into a resealable container to keep it dry and take it with you to camp.
↠ Non-stick Skillet: While you can definitely use a cast-iron skillet, we’ve found our non-stick skillet gives us more of a diner-style griddle experience. Non-stick skillets are better at conducting heat (made of aluminum), which produces a more even heat pattern when used on a camp stove burner.
↠ Spatula: If you’re using non-stick skillet, use a wood or silicone spatula.
↠ Camp stove: Using a camp stove gives you far more control over the heat than cooking over a campfire. Our favorite camp stove is the Camp Chef Everest, which has great simmer control so you can really dial in the heat on these pancakes.
↠ Box grater: We bought a collapsible box grater that takes up less space than a traditional one.
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Pancakes + Step by Step Video
Making these apple pancakes is super easy. Watch this step-by-step video to see how to do it!
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) at home and place them into a resealable container. A mason jar or any hard-sided container with a gasket lid works great to keep moisture out.
Once you get to camp, whisk the egg until completely smooth in a large bowl. Add the milk, cider, and melted butter and stir to combine. Slowly add in your dry ingredients and mix a little bit at a time. Slowly churning them into the mix until fully incorporated. You want to avoid excessive mixing, but also don’t want any big clumps of flour. Once the batter is looking mostly smooth, gently fold in the shredded apple slices.
If you can, we recommend letting the batter rest for about 30 minutes to an hour. The flour will start to absorb the water and really thicken up. This will produce tall and extra fluffy pancakes.
Preheat your skillet over medium heat. If you’re using a cast-iron skillet, we recommend using butter or, better yet, ghee. If you’re using a good non-stick skillet, we’ve actually had a lot of success using no fat at all.
As for pancake size, we find it’s better to be on the smaller size. We scoop out about ¼ or ⅓ cup of batter. Camp stove burners are notoriously undersized, which produces a relatively small heat profile on your skillet. If you want even browning, then keeping your pancake small will help.
Medium heat seems to be the sweet spot for temperature. Too low and they’ll take forever to cook. Too high and they’ll burn before they cook through.
So, when is it time to flip? This eternal question has been debated throughout the ages. When bubbles rise in the middle? When the edges brown? When the cow jumps over the moon?
If you’re new to making pancakes, do yourself a favor and just lift up a corner with your spatula and peek. If it looks golden brown, it’s time to flip. There is a correlation between the bubbles and doneness, but the timing will depend on your skillet and heat source, so just take a sneak peek on your first couple and you’ll get a feel for it. Better to check and verify than to leave your pancake fate up to chance.
Once all the batter has been used, it’s time to make the quick apple compote. Toss a pad of butter, your thinly sliced apples, sugar, and cinnamon into the still hot skillet. Knock around until the apples start to soften, then serve. Alternatively, this can be done on your second stove burner while you finish cooking up the last few pancakes.
Tips & Tricks for Perfect Apple Pancakes
↠ You can pre-mix the dry ingredients at home ahead of time and store them in an airtight container or bag – the mix should last several months if stored properly! At camp, simply add the shredded apples, milk, cider, egg, and butter once you’re ready to make breakfast.
↠ If you let the batter rest it will start to thicken up as the flour absorbs more of the liquid. If you like extra fluffy pancakes, try to let the batter rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
↠ Preheat your skillet. There is a reason why the first pancake always sucks. The pan isn’t up to temperature.
↠ If using cast iron, cook your pancakes in ghee. Butter has a tendency to burn, but ghee (or clarified butter) has a much higher heat point, making it the perfect fat to fry up your pancakes.
↠ If using a non-stick skillet like a GSI fry pan you might be able to skip the fat. Some of our prettiest pancakes (even, edge-to-edge, golden brown) using no fat at all.
↠ We have found that medium heat is the sweet spot for pancakes. You want the outside to turn a golden brown at the same time the inside becomes fully cooked.
↠ Keep your pancake size between small-medium. You don’t want your pancakes to be larger than the heat profile of your camp stove burner. Otherwise, the centers will burn and the edges will be underdone.
↠ Take a peek on your first couple of pancakes and flip when they’re brown. Bubbles on top are a good indicator, but we prefer to trust but verify. You’ll get the feel for it after a couple.
↠ Serve these pancakes with an easy cinnamon apple compote topping and warm maple syrup (recipe included in the card!) and a hot cup of camp coffee!
Other Camping Breakfast Recipes You’ll Enjoy
Cinnamon Apple Pancakes
- 1 egg
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup spiced apple cider
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shredded apple
- Butter or oil to grease pan
- Maple syrup for serving
Cinnamon Apple Topping
- 1 apple, sliced or chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- To make the batter, whisk egg, milk, cider, and melted butter together in a medium bowl. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, stir to combine. Fold in the shredded apple.
- Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Generously grease the surface, then pour the batter out ¼ cup at a time.
- When the bottom of the pancake is golden brown and little air bubbles begin to form on the top, flip the pancake and cook until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- To make the Cinnamon Apple Topping, melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet and add sliced apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir to coat the apples, then saute for a few minutes until apples have softened.
- Serve pancakes topped with cinnamon apples and maple syrup.