Breakfast takes a back seat to gift-giving come Christmas morning, especially in a house full of giddy little ones. But a piping-hot heap of over-the-top pancakes might just change that. These showstopping stacks are as visually impressive as they are easy to prepare — not to mention fluffy, flavorful and downright inhale-able.
The recipes shown here are simple to double or even triple, making them our go-to option for feeding a crowd over the holidays. Serve them hot off the griddle or take them mile-high for a layered presentation sure to steal some of the spotlight from anything Santa put under the tree.
Dena Peterson, Executive Chef, Café Modern
Dena Peterson’s tiramisu tower almost resembles a wedding cake with its layers of rum-infused pancakes and sweetened mascarpone cheese. The Café Modern chef and mother of six admits that, upon Christmas morning, after a busy season of cooking for holiday parties and soirees, she’s ready for not much more than a potent bloody mary. Mix yourself up one, too, after assembling this sweet skyscraper.
John Klein, Executive Chef, Restaurant 506 at the Sanford House Inn & Spa
Chef John Klein says pancakes were a Christmas morning tradition during his childhood, as his grandmother would prepare a baked version in a cast-iron skillet for everyone to share. He recommends seasonal Honeycrisp apples for his own hotcakes. Thin-sliced and simmered in cider and maple syrup, the spiced apples create an aroma that will awaken a house full of sleepy heads — even before it’s time to rip apart any wrapping paper.
Felipe Armenta, Executive Chef & Owner, Pacific Table
Chef Felipe Armenta, who will celebrate his first Christmas as a dad this year, says he indulges in these lemon ricotta pancakes about once a week when checking in on his latest restaurant, Pacific Table. We like the refreshing burst of lemon zest that is vibrant in every bite — a welcome departure from the holiday spice overload that often comes with the season. Save some of Armenta’s maple butter for biscuits or toast, too.
John Devivo, Owner & Chef, Devivo Bros. Eatery
Since opening in May, brothers John and Ralph Devivo have been waking up Keller residents with scratch-made pancakes featuring varieties like fresh blueberry and pumpkin. When making John’s caramel pecan cakes, plan to prepare an extra batch of caramel — the sauce serves as a decadent dipper for everything from apple slices to poundcake cubes. Or jar it up and pair with vanilla ice cream as an easy gift for neighbors, if there is any left after breakfast.