Apple butter pancakes are made with creamy apple butter and will give your entire family a healthy dose of fall flavors first thing in the morning!

Stack of apple butter pancakes dripping with syrup and topped with pecans.

Apple Butter Pancakes are a super easy fall breakfast recipe. Loaded with warm cinnamon and sweet gooey apple butter, they are the perfect way to start the day. The pancakes are so light and fluffy and they pair so well with a cup of pumpkin spice hot chocolate, a pumpkin spice latte, an apple cider mimosa or a gingerbread hot chocolate in the morning. We also love a creamy cinnamon dolce latte topped with cinnamon whipped cream (which is also great on these flapjacks)!

About this recipe

Whether you’re team pumpkin (pumpkin pancakes, anyone?) or team apple this time of year, these apple butter pancakes are for everyone! If you’ve never made pancakes any other way than an old-fashioned classic buttermilk pancake recipe, get ready for something a little extra special.

Apple butter is a thicker, more concentrated version of applesauce and is a delicious spread that many people slather on toast. Much like applesauce, when added to pancakes it becomes a natural source of moisture and sweetness, giving the pancakes moisture, sweetness, and a delicate apple flavor!

These pancakes are easily adaptable with things like swapping buttermilk for milk, or using homemade apple butter or store-bought. You can decide if you want to keep the granulated sugar for extra sweetness or completely omit it. Swap out the spices for an apple pie spice blend.

It’s a customizable easy recipe that uses nothing more than your basic pantry staples and a TON of mouthwatering apple, cinnamon, and warming flavors.

Add this pancake recipe to your rotation of cozy breakfast recipes to get you through those cold mornings!

Pile of pancakes on a plate topped with pecans.

What is apple butter anyway?

First off, there’s no dairy in sight! So, the term “butter” is used the same way it’s used to describe pumpkin butter or any nut butter. It’s very similar to applesauce, but it is taken one step further. The apples, along with apple cider or water, are cooked down even more than applesauce is through a low and slow process. The sugars in the apples start to caramelize, giving it a darker brown color and a deeper flavor than applesauce.

What you need

  • All-Purpose Flour – The base of any pancake starts with flour. All-purpose is a good choice for flour that holds the structure of the pancake but also keeps it nice and light.
  • Granulated Sugar – Feel free to use less or completely omit it if you’re not looking for any additional sweetness outside of the apple butter.
  • Baking Powder – Baking powder works to create a lovely rise and helps to make your pancakes nice and light and fluffy!
  • Salt – Salt is needed to round out the flavors of all of the other ingredients.
  • Cinnamon – You can play around with the amount of cinnamon, depending on how much of it you want to taste.
  • Ground Nutmeg – You can swap the nutmeg with cloves or ground ginger. Cloves are very strong, as is ginger, so you may want to start with a lesser amount. Alternatively, you could use a blend of apple pie spice or even pumpkin pie spice if you have some.
  • Milk – Whole milk, buttermilk, or any non-dairy milk will work. Keep in mind the fat in whole milk adds to the texture of the pancakes.
  • Apple Butter – A deliciously smooth spread made of concentrated apple puree. You can use store-bought, which is usually a little thinner than homemade.
  • Egg – An egg is needed to hold everything together.
  • Melted Butter – You can also swap with an oil of your choice (canola or coconut are good choices). This goes into the batter. You may also need a little extra oil or butter either for the pan to prevent the pancakes from sticking.
Overhead view of ingredients needed for recipe in small bowls.

How to make them

In a large bowl mix together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt.

Dry ingredients in a clear glass mixing bowl.

In a medium-size bowl beat together the milk, apple butter, egg, and melted butter. 

Wet ingredients in a white mixing bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

Wet ingredients being poured into dry ingredients.

Mix until completely incorporated, but don’t overmix.

Pancake batter in a clear bowl with a whisk.

Add one teaspoon of oil into a pan over medium heat and cook each pancake for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Pancake before being cooked on left, after being cooked on right.

Serve the pancakes warm with any toppings you like. Pecans and honey are magic. Enjoy!

Syrup dripping down a stack of pancakes.

FAQs

How do you make apple butter?

It’s made by cooking down the apples in water or cider until they caramelize. You can then add whatever sugar and spices you like. Spend with Pennies has a great recipe for both stovetop and slow cooker methods.

Can I substitute apple sauce in this recipe?

You can. Just know that the apple flavor won’t be as apparent. Many times apple sauce is used as an oil replacement and a natural sweetener, but not so much for its strong apple flavor. Apple butter is concentrated and has a stronger flavor, just to keep that in mind!

How to make these pancakes your own

  • To save yourself some time, especially on busy mornings, make these with a pancake mix or gluten-free pancake mix. Simply add ½ a cup of apple butter to the mix and cook as per the mix instructions.
  • Top with pecans or walnuts for a crunchy addition.
  • Save some apple butter and use it to spread on top of your pancakes.
  • Amp up the protein and top these with creamy candied almond butter.
  • Serve with apple compote, fried apples or fresh apple slices and a dollop of Greek yogurt.
  • For something a little more decadent, enjoy it with a bit of whipped cream and caramel sauce on top!
  • Keep it simple with a pat of butter, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Out of maple syrup? Try our homemade pancake syrup.

Make Ahead Ideas

Make the pancakes ahead of time and freeze them for later. Stack the cooled-down pancakes on top of each other with a piece of parchment paper in between the layers. Store in a freezer-friendly Ziploc bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Storage Suggestions

Place your leftover pancakes in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating Tips

When ready to serve, warm them in the microwave at 20-second intervals or until warm. If they are frozen, thaw overnight first, or pop them in the toaster for a crispier result.

More apple recipes

Stack of apple butter pancakes dripping with syrup and topped with pecans.

Get the Recipe: Apple Butter Pancakes

Apple butter pancakes are made with creamy apple butter and will give your entire family a healthy dose of fall flavors first thing in the morning!
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Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (reduce to 2 tablespoons for less sweet pancakes)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk (we recommend whole milk)
  • ½ cup apple butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
  • Oil to fry the pancakes

Optional toppings:

  • pecans or walnuts
  • additional apple butter
  • maple syrup or honey
  • fresh apple slices
  • greek yogurt
  • whipped cream
  • cinnamon
  • butter

Instructions

  • In a large bowl mix together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.
  • In a medium size bowl beat together the milk, apple butter, egg and melted butter.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated.
  • Add one teaspoon of oil into a pan over medium heat and cook each pancake for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Serve the pancakes warm with any toppings you like. We went for pecans and honey. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Makes about 8-10 pancakes.
  • We used homemade thick apple butter for this recipe but you can also use store bought apple butter.
  • If using a non-stick skillet, feel free to skip the oil.
  • To save time you can make this recipe using pancake mix. Simply add ½ a cup of apple butter to your pancake mix and cook as instructed on the box.
  • Storage: Place leftover pancakes in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Warm leftover pancakes in the microwave for a 30-45 seconds or until warm.
  • Freezing: Stack the cooled pancakes on top of each other with a piece of parchment paper in between the layers. Place the stacks of pancakes in a freezer friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to serve them simply thaw them in the refrigerator the night before and warm them up in the microwave until warm through. 
Calories: 280kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 657mg, Potassium: 165mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 168IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 267mg, Iron: 2mg