Banana bread is the obvious use for ultra ripe bananas, but sometimes you don’t feel like eating yet another loaf (or baking one, for that matter). That’s when these easy banana pancakes come in handy.
They’re super simple, quick to make, pantry-friendly, and totally adaptable depending on what you have on hand (or don’t). They can be made vegan or gluten-free as well.
Related Reading: These Banana Muffins Are Also Pantry-Friendly and Kid-Approved
The browner your bananas, the sweeter these will be, and as with banana bread, you can use ripe bananas you’ve been storing in the freezer—so make it a habit to pop your spotty fruit in there if you’re not ready to bake with it quite yet.
Three bananas will yield at least a dozen pancakes, so you can cut this recipe in half if you like (just use two bananas), or make the full batch and freeze any extra finished pancakes once they cool.
Stasher Silicone Storage Bags, $9.99-$19.99 from The Container Store
These reusable silicone bags are great for storing both frozen bananas and the subsequent pancakes.
Some people like to put a piece of parchment or wax paper between each pancake to make sure they don’t stick together. Stored in a tightly sealed bag, they should last up to three months in the freezer.
What You Need to Make Banana Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar (feel free to use honey, agave syrup, or another sweetener instead, and adjust the amount according to the sweetness of your bananas)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (you can also use a neutral oil like canola or avocado)
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 ¼ cups)
- Butter for cooking pancakes
Steps to Making Banana Pancakes
1. Preheat the oven to warm on the lowest setting and place a sheet pan inside (this isn’t necessary if you’re going to serve or eat the pancakes one by one as they’re finished, or if you’re just cooking them ahead of time to freeze for later). Meanwhile, assemble all of your ingredients and equipment: two large bowls; measuring cups and spoons; a whisk; and a griddle, skillet, or nonstick pan.
2. In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk together until well combined.
3. In another large bowl, measure out the milk and add the eggs, olive oil, and mashed bananas. Whisk until well combined.
4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while whisking to avoid any large lumps. Once well combined, stop whisking to avoid overworking the batter.
5. Heat a griddle, skillet, or nonstick pan over medium heat and melt a pat of butter; tilt the pan to cover the surface. Pour batter by 1/4 cup portions into the pan (you can cook two or three at a time depending on the size of your pan) and flip once bubbles begin to appear. Cook for a minute or two more until other side is golden brown and remove to the baking sheet to keep warm in the oven.
6. Repeat until all pancakes are made. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel in between batches if there’s a lot of dark brown butter residue that might make the pancakes burn.
7. Serve with sliced bananas and maple syrup.
To dress these up a bit, try adding any of the following to the batter:
- Chocolate chips (mix some into the bowl but sprinkle a few extra on top of each pancake as you cook them to ensure even distribution)
- Blueberries (ditto)
- Cinnamon and/or a dash of ground cloves (or even a pumpkin spice blend)
- Creamy peanut butter
- Some vanilla bean seeds scraped from the pod, or a tiny dash of vanilla extract
Mikuni Wild Harvest Noble Tonic 02: Tahitian Vanilla Bean & Egyptian Chamomile Blossom Maple Syrup, $29 from Food52
Any infused or bourbon barrel aged syrup instantly upgrades these too.
Or instead of maple syrup, top them with:
- A drizzle of melted Nutella
- Caramel sauce or dulce de leche
- Caramelized banana slices (follow the directions in our Banana Cupcake recipe if you don’t want to wing it)
- Crisp bacon (with a smear of melty peanut butter for an Elvis homage)
- Marshmallow crème (store-bought is fine!)
To make the pancakes gluten-free, use a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend. (It’s the easiest way to maintain the proper proportions.)
Out of flour entirely? Try blitzing oats in your food processor to a fine flour texture and use 1 1/3 cups for every 1 cup of flour called for.
Header image by Chowhound