Thursday, September 15, 2011

Corn & Cheddar Pancakes

I made 2 versions of these pancakes. In the first version I followed Closet Cooking's recipe to the letter and while they were certainly good, they were not my cup of tea. They had a flavor similar to corn tortillas and the cornmeal made them a bit gritty. I should warn you, I'm picky about corn products. I love fresh corn, but detest most canned versions (bleck-added sugar, weird creaminess). I like grits, but only if they're the real kind (boo instant grits!). And I have only met a few good corn tortillas in my time. However, if you're all over the corn tortilla thing, you should definitely try the original version.

In the second version, I cut out the cornmeal all together and I sub powdered buttermilk for the milk for a more traditional pancake flavor. I did miss the more vivid corn flavor so I think next time I might try just 2-4 tablespoons of cornmeal (instead of the 1/2 cup originally called for). The best change I made was to the cheese. The original has you add 1/2 a cup shredded and as a result the cheese just kind of melts in and only makes a slight impact. But, if you cut the cheese into small cubes you get gooey little pockets of cheese in your pancakes that are soooo good. If the cheese touches the skillet you get crispy parts similar to the edge of a quesadilla. Nom!

A pancake's best friends: corn and white cheddar.

These can be eaten sweet or savory. They're good with butter and maple syrup or with salsa and sour cream.  If you're using a salty cheese I would skip the salt in the recipe all together. I should also warn you that I had a near fail because my batter was too thick. You want a consistency like melted ice cream, not like mousse. The first couple I made were overdone on the outside, gummy on the inside, and way too dense. Add a little liquid and thin the batter if necessary.

Bad! Batter that is way too thick!

Good! Batter with the right consistency.

Almost ready to flip. See the little air bubbles in the bottom left of the pancake. As they get bigger and more numerous you'll know it's time to flip. You can sorta test the solidness of the cake with the edge of your spatula to make sure. I cooked mine at 4 (one setting below medium on my stove) in a cast iron pan and they took 2 minutes on the first side and 1 on the other. Make sure to respray with cooking spray between batches. You can keep the done ones warm in a 250 degree oven.

Mmmm. Leaning tower of pancakes.

Corn  & Cheddar Pancakes
makes approx. 6-8 6" pancakes (the ones in my pics are smaller)
(adapted from Closet Cooking's Recipe)


1 1/4 cups flour or sub cornmeal for some of the flour up to 1/2 cup (I think 2-4 tablespoons would be the sweet spot for me)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (skip this if you're using a saltier cheese)
1 cup milk or buttermilk
2 eggs
kernels from one ear corn (approx. 3/4 cup-I nuked the corn in a bowl with a little water to make it easier to get the kernels off)
2-3 ounces cheddar cheese, cut in small chunks


1. Mix all the dry ingredients except the corn and cheddar in one bowl. Beat the eggs together with the milk in another bowl. Stir the wet into the dry until just combined. Check the consistency of the batter and add more liquid to thin if necessary.

2. Stir in the corn and cheddar and let the batter rest for 5 minutes or so. While the batter is resting heat a skillet to medium heat.

3. Once the skillet is hot, spray with cooking spray and spoon 1/4 cupfuls of batter into skillet (or less if you want smaller cakes). Cook approx. 2-3 minutes, flip and cook 1-2 minutes more. Respray skillet before spooning in a new batch. Keep pancakes warm in a 250 degree oven if necessary.


  1. I wonder whether, if you used corn flour, you'd get the texture you want but keep the intense corn flavor! Might be worth a try.

    Either way, they look delicious!

  2. Trying to imagine a savory thick pancake. Here they make savory pancakes all the time in Holland, but this sounds Tex Mex. Is that the origin?

  3. @ Joanne. That's a great idea! I think I'll try corn flour next time.

    @ Sam. No idea what you'd classify this dish as but it's really good sweet or savory. The sweetness of the fresh corn works really well with syrup and the cornmeal makes it tortilla-like enough to eat it with taco kinds of toppings.