When hosting a brunch or dinner party for a large group of friends and family, the mantra to follow is – the simpler, the better. Easy-to-make recipes will allow you to spend more time with your loved ones because Easter is, after all, a family celebration. On the other hand, simple-to-prepare doesn’t necessarily have to be simple-tasting and pancakes are the best proof of this theory.
Why We Love Pancakes
First of all, pancakes are the best way to re-introduce dairy products and eggs after the six-week-period of Lent!
Pancake recipes are so easy and simple to make, it’s almost unbelievable. Each recipe will take you no more than 25 minutes to prepare, including cooking. And if you decide to go for bake-in-the-oven varieties like the Dutch baby, the time will be reduced to no more than 10minutes – throw the ingredients together, mix and let the oven finish the job. In addition, knowing a few simple pancake tips and tricks will enable you to produce super-soft and fluffy flapjacks every time.
Pancake recipes are extremely flexible and allow experimenting with ingredients and preparation techniques, which means they can perfectly fit in your ‘special occasion menu’. In addition, fluffy flapjacks can be eaten any time of the day – breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even a dessert. So, find your perfect pancake recipe and prepare to give it a twist!
Easter Pancake Brunch
Hot Cross Pancakes
My idea is to incorporate traditional Easter ingredients into the pancakes you make on this day. Let’s start with the most famous Easter food – hot cross buns, spicy cakes made with raisins or currants. They are traditionally served on Good Friday, topped with a cross to symbolize Christ’s crucifixion.
To capture the taste and appearance of hot cross buns, fold in an ounce (one packet) of raisins or sultanas into the batter and complement with cinnamon. Optionally, you can also include chopped walnuts or any other type of nuts. Make icing by combining milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla, then ‘draw’ a cross on the top of each pancake.
Note: your flapjacks will look much better if you make the smaller in size. Do this by adding two spoons of batter for cooking instead of using the usual measure of ¼ cup of batter per pancake.
Easter Pancake Lunch7
Combining Pancakes with Meat
This simple combination might not be the first choice for a special occasion, but is a great way to use up the leftover Easter dinner meat.
While the rest of the world celebrates Easter with chicken or lamb, people in the US enjoy ham. Salty, cured ham can be combined with flapjacks in several different ways:
– Before cooking, stirred into the batter;
– Covering it with batter while it is cooking to make one big, Japanese-style pancake and in this case, it can be combined with sautéed veggies;
– Placing it on top of the batter, immediately after pouring the batter onto the skillet or frying pan;
– Placing it, together with cheese and oregano on top of a large, oven-baked flapjack when it is halfway cooked, then return to the oven to finish cooking to obtain a pizza-like dish.
If you are a fan of combining contrasting flavors, rich and salty ham is a perfect match for your sweet and light buttermilk griddlecakes. In that case, use sugar in the batter and complement the stack with maple syrup, pancake syrup, or a lavish boozy syrup made by combining 1/4 cup whiskey, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup sugar.
If you are leaning more toward balanced flavors, omit the sugar from the recipe and use semi-skimmed milk. Serve your flapjacks with barbecue sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, or sour cream.
Easter Pancake Desserts
Easter Pancake Cake
When talking about Easter desserts, the first thing that comes to mind is cake. Have you ever made a pancake cake? All you need is your standard pancake recipe. The ‘WOW’ moment is in the chocolate ganache and, of course, the decoration.
Prepare the flapjacks the usual way. Make a chocolate-liqueur ganache by melting 10 oz. dark chocolate and combining it with butter and a liqueur of choice like Amarula or Baylis (two tablespoons). Heat the mixture until smooth and glossy, then spread a tablespoon of it over each fluffy disc before topping it with another. Once you have arranged the cake, cover it with the remaining ganache and decorate with Easter eggs on top.
Note: Don’t worry about the alcohol in the cake. Your kids can eat it without problems because the amount is not big and most of it will evaporate during cooking.
People in England and Ireland traditionally make Simnel cake for Easter. It is a light, fruity cake made with marzipan and almond paste, usually decorated with twelve or thirteen marzipan balls to symbolize the apostles and Christ.
To recreate the taste of Simnel cake, replace regular milk with almond milk, and include one cup of grated natural marzipan (optionally, you can use almond paste, or combine ½ cup marzipan and ½ cup almond paste). The fruity twist comes from one cup of fresh blueberries incorporated into the batter or, alternatively, blackberry syrup on top. Don’t forget to top and surround the stack with marzipan balls!
Easter Pancake Muffins
Whichever pancake recipe you decide to make, prepare a double dosage and use half of it for muffins. Simply pour the batter into muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes. Muffins look cute and are very easy to decorate. Cover them with chocolate frosting made with melted chocolate (I prefer white, but brown is also good), butter, and powdered sugar. Spread the frosting on your muffins and decorate with chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, or colorful M&M’s!
Happy Easter feasting everyone!