The 15 Absolute Best Ingredients To Stuff Pancakes With

stuffed pancakes with various spreads
stuffed pancakes with various spreads - Static Media/Shutterstock/Facebook

Most stacks of pancakes come adorned with toppings — some keep it simple but classic with butter and maple syrup, whereas others get a little more adventurous with mounds of fresh berries and a drizzle of peanut butter. Regardless of the toppings you go with, it's all but guaranteed that you'll pair your pancakes with some sort of sweet addition; but what if instead of always topping off your pancakes, you stuffed them, instead?

Whether the world of stuffed pancakes is a new venture for you or you're a stuffed flapjack pro, there's always room for creativity when it comes to upgrading the fluffy breakfast favorite. Not only does stuffing a pancake allow you go to evenly disperse your spreads or fruits inside the pancake instead of just on top, it also opens up the possibility for an on-the-go breakfast option. From classic pancake additions like peanut butter and chocolate to more sophisticated ones like roasted berries and Bavarian cream, there's a whole world of stuffing potential right at your fingertips, and we've compiled a list of stuffed pancake filling options that will certainly make your mornings a little more interesting.

Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

Roasted Berries

roasted berries on baking sheet
roasted berries on baking sheet - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Adding berries to pancakes is not exactly a new venture, and, in fact, we'd argue that fresh berries are one of the most common pancake pairings out there, only second behind maple syrup, of course. Things do get a bit more interesting when you roast the berries, which yields a pancake stuffing that is sort of like a syrup, sort of like a compote, and is all parts warm, cozy, and delicious.

When you roast berries, you'll not only help soften the fruit and allow them to release their juices, but you'll also transform them into a very pancake-friendly fruit-syrup mixture that your pancakes will serve as the perfect vehicle for. Not sure how to make roasted berries? You can easily follow this roasted berry and buttermilk pancakes recipe; follow it up to making the roasted berries (and the pancakes, too, if you'd like), but instead of using the berries as a topping, you can stuff them into your pancakes, instead. Just be sure to let the berries cool down a bit before stuffing them into your pancakes.

Cannoli Stuffing

cannolis with chocolate chunks
cannolis with chocolate chunks - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Who can resist a good cannoli? The classic Italian pastry is beloved for a reason, offering up a convenient shape, not-too-sweet ricotta filling, and more often than not, lots of chocolatey goodness. All of these lovely features translate beautifully to pancake form, and in fact, cannoli pancakes just might become a Saturday morning go-to in your household. But why layer cannoli filling in between pancakes when you could take a hint from classic cannolis themselves and use the pancakes as the vessel for the filling, a la a cannoli shell?

The good news about making stuffed cannoli pancakes is that the subtly sweet ricotta filling will pair beautifully with classic pancakes, which are also a food that leans on the sweet side but isn't overbearingly so. Much like a classic cannoli shell, pancakes can easily take on all of that rich, creamy filling, and even better yet if you've added chocolate chips (mini ones would work best) to the mix. Simply partially slice open a pancake, stuff it with a generous spoonful of cannoli filling, and enjoy — you might find the eating experience to be quite similar to that of eating a regular cannoli, too.

Bacon And Eggs

scrambled eggs and bacon
scrambled eggs and bacon - Nadezhda_nesterova/Getty Images

While pancakes do make for an entrée or main course all on their own, it's not uncommon to serve them as a sort of side dish amongst a bigger spread. Other players commonly found in such a spread often include eggs and bacon — so why not cut out the middle-man and combine all three breakfast superstars into one cohesive dish?

Though pancakes often take on sweet flavor profiles, there's nothing stopping them from going a more neutral or even savory route. Or, better yet, why not drizzle maple syrup onto your bacon and egg-stuffed pancakes for the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and savory? Now there's a breakfast main course that would stand on its own and tasty mighty good while doing so.

If such a savory stuffed pancake route sounds appealing, then the best bet is preparing all elements separately and combining them into a cohesive mixture before you get to stuffing. Scrambled eggs would work well here, so start with those — and maybe make them cheesy scrambled eggs while you're at it — then crisp up the bacon separately before chopping it up. Mix the bacon bits into the scrambled eggs, stuff the pancakes, and get to enjoying your all-in-one, sweet-savory brunch dish. Not a huge fan of bacon? No problem, as sausage or ham would also work well here.

Peanut Butter

peanut butter spoon on jar
peanut butter spoon on jar - Sanny11/Getty Images

Peanut butter is no stranger to pancakes, and though it may not be everyone's first pancake pairing choice, there's no denying that the nut butter pairs quite well with the fluffy breakfast favorite. While you can easily smear some peanut butter onto a pancake and call it a day, stuffing a pancake with peanut butter really enhances the whole experience, turning it into something more akin to eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Picture back to middle school lunch, biting into your homemade PB&J and getting a burst of peanut butter with every bite — now picture reliving that very scenario, but with pancakes, instead.

While you can't go wrong with stuffing your pancakes with good old PB — creamy or crunchy will both work well — other nut butters also make for good stuffings. Almond, pistachio, cashew, even macadamia nut butter would all function in a similar fashion here, so it really comes down to your preference and what you've got stocked in your pantry. And, even if nuts are completely off the table for you due to an allergy, you can still get in on the fun by incorporating something like sunflower seed butter into the mix.

Nutella

Nutella on knife and jar
Nutella on knife and jar - Jirkaejc/Getty Images

If the idea of stuffing your pancakes with nut butter is intriguing but you want something even more decadent, then Nutella is just the ideal option. Nutella, the chocolate-hazelnut spread that pairs well with all sorts of breakfast foods, naturally works well stuffed into pancakes since it will give you that same gooey, oozy experience. And, while Nutella sort of counts as a nut butter all by itself, since hazelnuts are a key ingredient, we figured that it deserves recognition all on its own, because it really does take a stuffed pancake from something good to something great.

Something that Nutella really adds to a stuffed pancake is not only a layer of chocolate but also a certain richness that other ingredients just can't compete with. While you could keep things simple and just stuff your pancakes with the good old hazelnut spread and nothing else, you can also play on other ingredients that pair well with pancakes, chocolate, and hazelnuts; think banana or strawberry slices to turn your Nutella-stuffed pancake into the most decked-out breakfast treat possible.

Crushed Cookies

Oreo with crumbled pieces
Oreo with crumbled pieces - Bababram/Shutterstock

Cookies are not just for dessert, and if you're going to enjoy them for breakfast, then it might as well be with pancakes. After all, cookies have all the features that elevate pancakes, as they're often chocolatey, sweet, and, importantly, crunchy. Yes, the idea of crunchy pancakes might seem a bit odd at first, but when you think about it, a fluffy flapjack stuffed with crispy-crunchy cookies just might be a genius breakfast invention (your kids will probably agree).

The beauty of stuffing your pancakes with cookies is that you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. Most types of store-bought cookies will work perfectly fine here, so stock up on Oreos or Chips Ahoy! the next time you're at the store. You can crush the cookies into smaller bits before stuffing, or you can shove an entire cookie (or two) into your pancake if you can't even be bothered to break them down first.

Also, if you're looking to invest a little more time in your cookie-stuffed pancakes, then you can also go a homemade route with the cookies. Follow your favorite chocolate chip cookie or sugar cookie recipe, let the cookies cool, then chop them up and stuff them into your pancakes for a wholesome sweet treat.

Bavarian Cream

Bavarian cream in bowl
Bavarian cream in bowl - Kristen Carli/Tasting Table

Bavarian cream is something of a dessert all on its own — somewhat like a thick whipped cream and somewhat like custard, Bavarian cream is perfect for stuffing into pancakes. While there are a couple of ways to go about making Bavarian cream (you could, for example, follow this easy Bavarian cream recipe and only need heavy whipping cream and instant vanilla pudding mix to make the magic happen), the sweet stuff typically contains eggs yolks, cream, sugar, and gelatin to give it that notably thick, fluffy texture.

Whichever route you go in terms of making Bavarian cream, there's no denying that the custardy treat is great for stuffing into pancakes. Similar to topping off a fluffy stack with whipped cream, Bavarian cream will add that rich, sweet goodness that pairs with pancakes so well. Since Bavarian cream holds up a little bit better than whipped cream, it's especially ideal for stuffing, so you can enjoy your Bavarian cream-stuffed pancakes and not have to suffer through a big, runny mess.

Cookie Butter

jar of cookie butter
jar of cookie butter - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

For those who want to stuff their pancakes with a sweet, paste-like substance but aren't quite sold on peanut butter or Nutella, then perhaps cookie butter will be more up to your speed. There are quite a few ways to put cookie butter to good use, and we'd venture to say that stuffing the sweet stuff into pancakes is one of the best options yet.

In case you aren't entirely familiar with the cookie butter craze, perhaps the mention of Belgian Speculoos cookies might ring a bell. These biscuit-like cookies are sweet, spiced, and everything nice, and, as it turns out, the flavor of said cookies translates quite well into cookie butter form. When it comes to stuffing your pancakes, you can likely find a jar of premade cookie butter at the grocery store, though you could go the homemade route; this Speculoos cookie butter recipe walks you through the steps of making the spiced little biscuits themselves along with transforming the cookies into a thick, sweet paste.

Jam Or Fruit Compote

fruit jams in jars
fruit jams in jars - Easybuy4u/Getty Images

Even if you don't have fresh fruit on hand, there's still a way to incorporate plenty of fruity goodness into your pancakes. Jam, preserves, or even fruit compote are all great options for stuffing into pancakes; not only do such condiments add a fruity flair to pancakes, but they also sweeten up the deal considerably since most store-bought (and homemade) jams include added sugar. Plus, due to the gelatinous nature of jams and preserves, it's easy to spoon them into pancakes without creating a big mess.

One of the obvious perks of incorporating jam into your stuffed pancakes is that you can really customize your breakfast based on what kind of fruit you like best. Keep things sweet and simple with strawberry preserves, or get a little bit fancy with homemade peach or apricot jam. Take a cue from this sheet pan buttermilk jammy pancakes recipe and even consider adding jam into the pancake batter itself along with stuffing it into the final product for an positively fruity, jam-infused treat.

Chopped Nuts

chopped walnuts on cutting board
chopped walnuts on cutting board - Olenaa/Getty Images

Though we have already covered ways of incorporating nutty flavors into your stuffed pancakes already, there's a chance that you're not interested in a nut butter, but still want that flavor profile. Luckily, plain nuts are a great option for stuffed pancakes, though it'd be a good idea to chop them up first if you opt for larger ones like walnuts or pecans. By stuffing your pancakes with nuts, you'll not only add plenty of nutty goodness to your breakfast, but you'll also add a crunchy factor.

Nearly any kind of nut is fair game here, and it all comes down to preference. We've already mentioned pecans and walnuts, but other options like peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts would pair well with soft, fluffy pancakes. If you want to take things a step further, you could roast the nuts before chopping them and adding them to your pancakes, which would add yet another level of flavor depth and crunch.

Hash Browns

hash browns in skillet
hash browns in skillet - Msphotographic/Getty Images

Potato pancakes are a thing all their own, but what if you want classic pancakes and potatoes all in one go? Well, stuffing your flapjacks with hash browns is the obvious answer here, which would give you yet another best-of-both-worlds breakfast main in terms of sweet-savory-salty flavors. You could even mix cheese into the hash browns before stuffing for an added layer of savoriness.

There are a few options when it comes to what type of hash browns you might stuff into your pancakes, and you really can't go wrong with any of them. Classic loose hash browns are a good choice as you can stuff as much or as little into the pancake as you'd like. Or, you can even crisp up some hash brown patties and tuck them into pancakes, though you might need to cut them in half. Home fries could even work here, as would straight-up potato pancakes — a pancake stuffed into a pancake, what could be better than that?

Lemon Curd

lemon curd on spoon and jar
lemon curd on spoon and jar - Maria Tebryaeva/Getty Images

Lemon curd is a delightfully tangy, tart, and sweet condiment that would work well in the realm of stuffed pancakes. Though lemon curd may not be the most popular spread out there, it does offer a distinctly citrusy flavor profile that something like jam or fresh fruit doesn't typically have. Also, the luscious texture of lemon curd would lend itself well to being a pancake filling, as every bite of pancake would be bursting with smooth, lemony goodness.

While you could buy lemon curd premade at the store, it's also not too hard to make it yourself. The main ingredients you need to make lemon curd include eggs, sugar, butter, and lemons, of course, both juice and zest. If you do go the homemade route, be sure to give your lemon curd enough time to cool down before you get to stuffing (because no one wants to bite into a pancake exploding with piping hot lemon curd), and you also want the texture of the curd to be just right, which does take a bit of patience.

Spiced Apples

spiced apples in white bowl
spiced apples in white bowl - olepeshkina/Shutterstock

Spiced apples taste great stuffed into turnovers, hand pies, donuts, and pies, so why not in pancakes? It's not uncommon to order a stack of specialty pancakes at a restaurant that come adorned with spiced apples, but we encourage you to take things even further and stuff your pancakes with spiced apples for a dessert-like breakfast main. Warm, comforting, and perfectly ooey-gooey, the texture of spiced apples would contrast nicely with the fluffy exterior of a pancake.

In case you need some inspiration in the spiced apple game, these warm spiced Southern fried apples would yield the perfect fruit for stuffing. Both white and brown sugar ensure that the apples are delightfully sweet, whereas cinnamon and nutmeg give them that irresistibly warm and spiced flavor profile. Even if apples aren't your thing, there are other fruit options to play around with — think peaches or pears for a comparably delicious fruit addition.

S'mores

s'more on black surface
s'more on black surface - Bhofack2/Getty Images

If just one ingredient isn't enough for you when it comes to stuffing pancakes, then perhaps a classic trio will get the job done — and, yes, we're talking about s'mores. Now, we wouldn't recommend trying to stuff a whole s'more into your pancake, but if you break down the individual parts of the beloved summertime treat, then there's some real opportunity for stuffed pancake goodness.

Of course, the three ingredients in question here are graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, all of which would fit succinctly into a pancake when broken down a little bit. Crush or crumble the graham crackers a little bit, opt for mini marshmallows, and break your chocolate bar into smaller chunks (or use chocolate chips) and voilà — you've got a deconstructed s'more ready for stuffing. You could even go the extra mile and give your marshmallows a light toast before stuffing them into your flapjacks; it's not a strictly necessary step, though it would help hone in on that classic, toasty s'more flavor.

Cinnamon Sugar

unrolled cinnamon roll
unrolled cinnamon roll - Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Cinnamon roll pancakes are not a new invention, but cinnamon sugar-stuffed pancakes? That might be a new one for your household, but definitely one worth trying out. There are a few ways to go about interpreting cinnamon sugar pancakes, though perhaps the best way to envision it is that your pancake is like the cinnamon roll in terms of being a vessel. And what gets rolled up in a cinnamon roll? A delightfully sweet, decadent mixture of butter, sugar, and cinnamon.

Such a cinnamon-forward mixture would work quite well stuffed into a pancake, especially if the pancakes are still a bit warm so the butter gets all gooey and melty on the inside. If you don't want the cinnamon roll inspiration to stop there, you could even make a cream cheese icing to stuff into the pancake as well, resulting in a stuffed pancake that's absolutely bursting at the seams with sweet, rich, buttery, cinnamon roll-inspired flavors.

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