These peanut butter banana pancakes are soft and fluffy thanks to a secret ingredient. This decadent breakfast features the ultimate flavor combo (in my opinion)–peanut butter and banana.
Growing up, we only ever made pancakes from a boxed pancake batter. But do you know what’s in store-bought pancake batter? Flour, dehydrogenated oil, baking soda, sugar, and salt. You probably have all of those ingredients sitting in your cabinets already.
In other words, pancakes are super cheap to make from scratch, and you can adorn them with all sorts of flavors. Like peanut butter and banana. Does a more perfect flavor combination exist? Because I can’t think of one.
By the way, Creamy Homemade Peanut Butter works great in this recipe.
The best bananas for pancakes
Who else has a freezer full of these?
If you do… then hello there kindred spirit.
If you’re wondering what you just looked at… those would be old bananas at varying stages of overripeness, frozen for an indeterminate amount of time.
They’re not pretty, but you can do so much with brown, frozen bananas. Like make banana bread. Or muffins. Or cake. Or smoothies. Or pancakes! Just stick them in the freezer when they become too ripe for your liking, and you’ll give them a second life.
How to make fluffy pancakes
A common problem with homemade pancakes is that they can become dense. The secret ingredient for perfectly fluffy pancakes is…drum roll please…white vinegar. Crazy, right? Vinegar reacts with the baking soda and baking powder to create air bubbles in the batter. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the vinegar at all.
Shout out to Patty at Mm Good for this vinegar trick. My peanut butter banana pancake recipe is adapted from her Light and Fluffy Homemade Pancakes. Her pancakes are the best and I will forever stand by that statement.
How to properly flip a pancake
If you end up with a big mess when flipping pancakes, you’re probably trying to do it too early. After breaking many a pancake myself, I’ve learned a few tips for perfectly flipping pancakes every time:
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. If you fill your pan with pancakes, there won’t be enough room to get your spatula underneath them. And if they’re too close to the edge of the pan, one side of the pancake will cook too slowly and might break during flipping. It’s better to have two frying pans going at once with fewer pancakes in each. An electric griddle will work perfectly if you have one (I don’t).
- Use a low-medium heat. If your heat is too high, the surface of the pancake will burn before it’s had time to cook through. Between a two and a three on the temperature dial works perfectly on my stove.
- Wait to flip until you see bubbles on the surface of the pancake that pop and do not fill themselves back in. There’s some bad advice out there to flip pancakes when they start to bubble. But if the bubbles pop and immediately close again, it’s too soon. If you notice bubbles forming only on one side of the pancake, rotate the pan while cooking.
- Use a clean, thin spatula. If there’s any batter on the spatula, wipe it off with a dry paper towel before flipping.
- Insert the spatula completely underneath the pancake. If you’ve waited to see the bubbles as described above, this should not be difficult. Sometimes a little wiggling motion helps. If the pancake starts to scrunch up when you try to push the spatula through, it’s still too early.
- Lift the spatula directly upwards and turn your wrist to flip the pancake. Let it fall right back in the same spot where it was.
How to serve peanut butter banana pancakes
You can serve these with maple syrup, or you can drizzle them with peanut butter and top with sliced bananas. I don’t have a big sweet tooth, so I usually prefer to eat my pancakes plain (boring, I know).
Peanut butter banana pancakes make good leftovers the next morning. Just stick them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. You’ll notice the texture become a little bit soggier, but they’ll still taste great.
Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes
- Nonstick frying pan, skillet, or griddle
- ¾ cup milk
- ⅛ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- ½ tsp vegetable oil for the frying pan
Prepare the batter
- Whisk together milk and white vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, melt the butter. Mash the banana in another bowl with a fork.
- By now, your milk and vinegar mixture should have formed small curdles. Add the vanilla and egg to the milk mixture and whisk lightly to combine.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and whisk lightly until starting to combine. Add the melted butter, peanut butter, and mashed banana and continue whisking until the batter is mostly incorporated. It's okay for the batter to be a little lumpy. If you whisk until smooth, you'll lose air bubbles and your pancakes won't be as fluffy.
- Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes. You should start to see air bubbles form at the top. Don't skip this step–this is how the pancakes become soft and fluffy. This is a great time to heat up your pan and clean your work area.
Make the pancakes
- Heat your frying pan to medium-low heat. I start out with my stove set at a 3 and usually end up lowering it to a 2 or 2½ as I go. Add the tiniest bit of oil to the pan–just enough so that the surface isn't dry. I put in about a ¼ to ½ teaspoon (depending on pan size) and then dab up any extra with a paper towel.
- Pour pancake batter onto the pan. I like smaller pancakes, so I use a 1-inch cookie scoop and do 2 scoopfuls for each pancake. Be careful not to overcrowd your pancakes in the pan. This will cause them to cook unevenly and will make them difficult to flip. I prefer to use 2 pans at a time with just 1 or 2 pancakes in each.
- Your pancakes are ready to flip when you see bubbles on the surface that pop and do not fill themselves back in. I wait until I see a few bubbles like this in different parts of the pancake. This should happen in 2 to 5 minutes depending on your pan, how many pancakes are in the pan, and your stove temperature. If you notice bubbles only forming on one side of the pancake, rotate the pan throughout cooking.
- Flip the pancakes by inserting a clean, thin spatula completely underneath the pancake, lifting straight up, and turning the spatula upside down with your wrist. If the pancakes fold in on themselves when you insert the spatula underneath, they're not quite ready to be flipped.
- Cook the pancakes for 1 minute more on the other side after flipping.
- Stack the pancakes on a plate while you cook the rest of them. I find that placing the newest pancakes on top of the stack keeps the older pancakes warm and moist.
- Serve with maple syrup, fresh bananas, peanut butter, butter, or whipped cream.
- Try using Creamy Homemade Peanut Butter instead of store-bought.
- This is just the right amount of pancakes for 3 people (or 2 with some leftovers for the next morning). If you’re serving a crowd, double the recipe.