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Beer and Brown Sugar Pancakes

I’m in the process of developing a beer scale for the recipes I write. A scale that lets you know how much beer flavor comes through upon the final result. From the low end being, "Mild Hints of Beer Flavors" to the high end of "Strong Bold Forward Beer Taste."

Some people want to be smacked in the mouth with the flavor of beer, while others want the flavors to fly under the radar, yielding a treat they serve to unwitting non-beer lovers. This pancake recipe falls right in the middle. Beer that is tastable, but mild.

The difficulty with a scale such as this is that the type of beer you use has a direct result on the "beery-ness" of your final product. While the most important aspect of choosing a beer for your recipes is matching flavor profiles between your beer and the recipe, the second aspect is finding the right level to suit your desired level of beer taste.

There are a few tricks you can use to adjust the levels of beer taste to suit your needs. If you want to increase the amount of beer you taste, simply adding more beer may not work due to the fact that you will be increasing the amount of liquid in the recipe by doing so. If the recipe calls for "1 cup of beer" then try putting two cups of beer in a pot on the stove and cooking until it has reduced to 1 cup. This will remove water from the beer and intensify the beer flavors. One thing to keep in mind is that beer is often used as a leavening agent and cooking your beer prior to adding it to a recipe can remove those effects.

If you want to decrease the beer taste, substitute some of the beer for a non-beer liquid such as broth, water or juice, depending on the recipe. Or, if the beer is being used as a leavening agent (as in this pancake recipe) try to substitute with carbonated soda water.

If you want to increase the flavor of beer, look for beers that have a strong "malt forward" or "hop forward" taste notes, but beware of too hoppy beers (Such as IPA’s) because when reduced, they are very bitter.

Cooking and baking with craft beer is a journey, there will be a certain level of experimentation, success and failures that you should expect when trying forage ahead in a field that is growing with huge popularity, but with very few who have gone before us. In a lot of ways, this is uncharted water. We should learn from every batch, making note of what works and what doesn’t. Thanks for joining along the road.

For this recipe, I choose Mission Amber Ale because it has notes of caramel and malt, but with a balanced hop flavor. If you want to make this recipe and can’t find Mission Amber Ale, look for an amber with notes of caramel, maple, brown sugar, cloves, or cinnamon with low or balance hop notes.

Beer and Brown Sugar Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg plus 1 additional yolk

2 tbs canola oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup Amber Ale Beer

(makes 10-12)

In a bowl add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder, whisk to combine.

In a small bowl, add the egg, the additional yolk, vanilla and the oil whisk until well combined.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the egg mixture and beer to the center and whisk to combine.

Heat a skillet or griddle until hot. Spray with butter flavored cooking spray or brush with melted butter. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot griddle. Once bubbles appear in the middle of the pancakes and the edges start to look dry, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 5 minutes total (2.5 minutes per side).

*For this recipe, plain Grade A Syrup just didn’t seem to be enough for me. I put 3/4 cup of syrup and 1/2 cup of the Amber Ale in a pot on the stove over high heat for about 10 minutes and it thickened and reduced to a caramely syrup that was perfect.Β 

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Christina April 18, 2012 um 2:17 am

Beautiful pictures! The pancakes look lovely!


Julia {The Roasted Root} April 18, 2012 um 4:07 am

Hey lady, I’ve gotta say, I just love your blog! Cooking with alcohol is tons of fun in my mind, and I love that you use all sorts of unique brews. I enjoy trying new microbrews, but you’ve been using all sorts of stuff I’ve never seen. Would love to try beer in pancakes – I think this is such a great idea! Nice work and thanks for all your great creations!


The Beeroness April 18, 2012 um 3:43 pm

Thank you so much Julia! Glad you like the recipes, and there are so many craft breweries out there, always something new!


Cassie Laemmli (@BakeYourDay) April 18, 2012 um 2:55 pm

I didn’t know you had another blog until I ran into these on TK today. LOVE, love, love them. And you for putting beer in PANCAKES. Totally brilliatn!


The Beeroness April 18, 2012 um 3:43 pm

Thanks Cassie, glad you "found" me πŸ™‚


Connie September 4, 2012 um 11:51 am

Wow, I have A LOT of kitchen gadtegs, but have never seen that before!I normally heat my oven to 250, and as my pancakes are done, they get transfered to an oven safe dish and stay toasty – but I like your idea better!Now if I can just convince the hubby that I need another kitchen gadget! πŸ˜€


Katie April 18, 2012 um 3:07 pm

I still have Guinness in my fridge from St. Paddy’s Day…guess what I’ll be using them on? πŸ™‚


The Beeroness April 18, 2012 um 3:46 pm

That sounds great. Guinness is a lot different than the beer I used, stouts and ambers have such different flavors. Try making Chocolate pancakes by adding cocoa powder (maybe 1/4 cup?), changing the sugar to white sugar and maybe adding some chocolate chips. Sounds like a fun project!


Isla April 18, 2012 um 6:33 pm

Good recipe. I’m going to try it this weekend.


irene brown April 18, 2012 um 6:37 pm

I could not resist commenting. Well written!And the pancakes looks amazing


diro allintrano April 18, 2012 um 7:42 pm

You made pancakes with beer! The brown sugar sounds perfect with this.


Gourmantine April 20, 2012 um 12:19 pm

I’ve just recently discovered your blog and loving it, especially the uniqueness and creativity of recipes. The day you publish a cookbook I’ll be one of the first to buy it! These pancakes along with the chocolate porter beer tart are the first on my to do list!


The Beeroness April 20, 2012 um 2:47 pm

Thank you so much! I’m so flattered by that πŸ™‚


CashTrinston May 15, 2012 um 7:29 pm

I’m impressed, I must say. I want to make this for breakfast and dessert.


Andrew B. June 15, 2012 um 12:10 pm

Good info about reducing IPA’s and such. The majority of my beer inventory is dominated by a lot of IBU’s.

Do you think something like Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale blend well into the pancake recipe?


The Beeroness June 16, 2012 um 1:39 am

I think so. It has nice malty, slightly sweet notes. Sounds good to me!


Amber November 1, 2012 um 1:59 pm

I used Lakefront Pumpkin Ale and pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. These were probably the best pancakes I have ever made. I also used my dad’s homemade maple syrup and reduced it down with the Lakefront Pumpkin and it was the "icing on the cake"! Thanks so much for the inspiration!


Jackie November 1, 2012 um 2:22 pm

I love everything about that πŸ™‚


Bekah December 24, 2013 um 7:47 am

Is this a no-salt recipe on purpose? I tried your recipe, which looked lovely, in place of my favorite beer pancake recipe, but noticed and wondered at the lack of salt. I tried the first batch exactly as written, and they were a bit blander and flatter in height than I would hope. I added a 1/2 tsp of salt to the second batch and they rose a bit higher and had the flavor I missed before.


bonni May 7, 2014 um 11:55 am

My dad used to make beer pancakes … Haven’t had ’em for years. But it’s a grey and gloomy day here, and I feel like pancakes for lunch… one thing led to another and here I am. Eating pancakes at my desk, and feeling cozy. Nice site, and I’m looking forward to trying the other recipes. One little thing: you refer to a "leveling" agent and I’m pretty sure you mean leavening.


Jackie May 7, 2014 um 12:01 pm

Thank you! I’m the worst, editing is not a talent of mine. Fixed! Thanks again.


Lorna February 6, 2015 um 3:09 pm

Beer pancakes are new to me, but they sound fantastic! I’m wondering whether a touch of molasses would give them a delicious rich taste.


West Coast Beer Geek March 3, 2015 um 4:06 pm

I love making them with Maple Porter or Maple Stout, the infused maple is so good in the pancakes! I’ve tried just about every kind of beer and that is my absolute favourite style to use now.


Rick Green May 18, 2015 um 6:52 pm

Tried the recipe this morning with Central City Brewing’s Red Racer Maple Bacon Ale. Turned out well. I also added it to the maple syrup and reduced the mixture, as you suggested. I’ll be doing that again :-). Thanks for sharing the recipe. Cheers!


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