I’ve just stumbled upon a veritable tragedy. I wanted to provide a link to the website of the restaurant that served the best pumpkin pancakes I’d ever tasted, to suggest that if you live in the Los Angeles area, forget about this recipe and just go get the heavenly ones served at Doughboys. Huge, moist, and topped with dollops of cream cheese frosting (yes, you read that correctly!), they were standouts on a menu full of delectable possibilities. Alas, both Doughboys locations have closed…there’s a long letter detailing the politics of what happened, for those who care to read it, but selfishly, all I can think about is how I’ll now have to make my own pumpkin pancakes.
I first tried this recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Cook 1.0: A Fresh Approach to the Vegetarian Kitchen a couple of years ago, B.D. (Before Doughboys). I won’t try to pretend that they can compete with the perfection found at Doughboys, BUT these ones are much healthier, while still being delicious. In other words, you can eat them without suspecting that you’re really eating dessert thinly disguised as breakfast. Hearty and flavorful, they are a perfect autumnal meal, a lovely way to fill your belly before going leaf peeping or for a walk in the increasingly brisk fall air. (And yes, I do live in Southern California where the temperature is going up to 100 today- I’m living vicariously through you, New Englanders!) I’ll still hold out hope that there’s a future for Doughboys, but in the meantime I’ll make do with this recipe.
Pumpkin walnut pancakes (approximately 12 large pancakes; serves 4 hungry people easily)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves
2 cups buttermilk (or watered down plain yogurt)
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 big handfuls chopped walnuts
1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
2. To the dry ingredients, add buttermilk, eggs, unsalted butter, pumpkin puree, and walnuts. Stir all together until just combined (do not overmix the batter, lest the pancakes turn tough).
3. Heat skillet or pan to medium-hot and brush with pat of butter. Slowly pour 1/3 cup batter onto the skillet. Wait until the bottom is a deep golden color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through.