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A stack of Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes {Buttermilk Recipe}

  • Author: Rebecca Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pancakes


Fluffy, tender Apple Cinnamon Pancakes made with brown sugar and buttermilk are one of the world’s greatest comfort foods.


For the Apple Filling:

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups diced sweet red-skinned apples (peel and core apples, and cut into pieces about the size of a kidney bean)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Pancake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk (full fat)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest (optional)
  • 1 tbsp salted butter, melted (plus about 4 tablespoons for the pan)


Make the Apple Filling:

  1. Add the lemon juice to a 10 or 12-inch skillet. As you dice the apples, add them to the pan and toss them around in the lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  2. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to the saucepan. Stir to mix and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples have  softened slightly and the liquid in the pan is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape the filling into a bowl, stir in the vanilla, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. *(See note)

Make the Pancakes:

  1. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wire whisk to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, add the applesauce, buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and orange zest (if using). Stir with a wire whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until all the dry ingredients are moistened and there are no large lumps. (Some small lumps is fine; be careful to not over mix.)
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of melted butter and the apple filling to the batter and stir gently just until blended.
  5. Add a pat of butter to a skillet (about 1 tbsp) and set it over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add about 1/3 cup of batter to the skillet per pancake. In a 12-inch skillet, you should be able to cook three pancakes at a time.
  6. When the edges of the pancakes look set and there are little bubbles all around the pancake edges, use a spatula to gently flip the pancakes over. Cook until the other side of the pancakes is brown and the pancakes are cooked through. (To test, insert a small sharp knife in the center of one pancake and look for raw batter in the center.)
  7. Remove the pancakes from the pan to a platter. Rinse out the skillet (old butter will start to burn), add more butter, and continue cooking until all the batter has been used.


  • The Apple Filling can be made up to 2 days in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Keywords: pancakes, apple cinnamon, weekend breakfast, apple cinnamon pancakes, brunch recipe, breakfast recipe, buttermilk pancakes