brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas and bourbon whip

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

You know what I really love (besides pancakes)? The things that you just know are going to be good before you get to try them.  Black sesame soft-serve.  This nubbly sweater that just came in the mail.  (But not the other one that I’m returning. Or the shirt.)  Emoji updates.  (Tacos!  Cheese!)  Everything about this.  It’s like you see it, you just know, and that’s pretty much exactly how I felt when I saw this caramelized banana French toast last year.  Cloaked in buttery brown sugar caramel, gently spiced, and cradled by carbs, it was Sunday morning perfection — I don’t know if I’d ever given thought to caramelized banana goodness in breakfast before then, but I’m now convinced it belongs in any and all breakfasts imaginable.  

Like, say, pancakes!  I mean, the extra sauce from the caramelized bananas is its own pancake syrup — it was meant to be.  So I paired this new crush with my old favorite, and this is what resulted.  I took my cues from Kenji and added a touch of oat flour to give the pancakes enough heartiness to stand up to the bananas, along with some brown butter for extra warmth.  I’m loathe to say anything bad about pancakes, but if there was one thing (other than the fact that they aren’t bottomless), it’s that they tend to blow me up like a balloon yet leave me hungry again a few hours later — so I liked that the oats helped with that.  And then I went and undid that healthfulness by finishing these with generous dollops of bourbon-spiked whipped cream.  (Though you could totally swap out the whip for Greek yogurt, which would really make this breakfast stick.) All in all, the many things at play here are all notes on the same scale, even if they refused to all fit in the post title — things toasted, browned, and caramelized, gently coaxed into warming flavors that aren’t quite autumnal yet (guys, I’m still not ready) but full of comfort and lazy weekend vibes.  Hope your weeks ahead are full of the same, friends!

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip
brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas & bourbon whip

Brown butter-oat pancakes with caramelized bananas and bourbon whip.

Yield: serves 2 (makes about 6 medium pancakes).


  • for the bourbon whip:
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 2 tsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp confectioners' sugar
  • for the pancakes:
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz) butter, plus more for the pan (or oil)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (alternatively, use 1 cup buttermilk and omit the Greek yogurt)
  • for the caramelized bananas:
  • 1 firm banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • roughly chopped roasted hazelnuts


  1. For the bourbon whip: Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat the cream to soft peaks. (Make sure your cream is as cold as possible, which aids in whipping.) Lower the speed to medium and trickle in the bourbon, then the powdered sugar. Increase speed back to medium-high and whip just until firm peaks, taking care not to overbeat. The whipped cream should set more once it rests. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the pancakes.
  2. For the pancakes: Toast the oats in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the oats smell fragrant and nutty and begin to turn darker. Pour the oats into a blender or food processor and blend on high speed until finely ground, about one minute. (This can be done ahead of time.)
  3. Wipe out the skillet and add the butter. Cook over low heat, swirling constantly, until the butter turns a deep brown and smells nutty, about 2 minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. To the bowl with the brown butter, add the egg, yogurt, and milk, and whisk together until well-combined. (Note: For a fluffier pancake, separate the egg and add the egg yolk only in this step. Whisk the egg white to medium peaks, and keep separate until just before cooking the pancakes.)
  6. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix gently until mostly incorporated. As always, a few lumps are okay and good. (If you beat the egg white, add it here and mix just until wisps of egg white are still visible.)
  7. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and grease lightly with more butter or oil. When skillet is hot enough that a water droplet will dance when dropped onto the surface, pour about 3-4 tablespoons of batter onto the skillet. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup, which works well and also keeps the counter fairly drip-free. When bubbles form in the batter and leave a brief hole when they pop, flip the pancake and let cook on the other side for one or two more minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove to a plate, then repeat until batter is gone. You can keep the pancakes that are done in the oven on its lowest setting to keep warm.
  8. For the bananas: Wipe out the skillet to get rid of any pancake bits. Melt one more tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir just until the sugar dissolves. Add the bananas and hazelnuts and stir to coat, then let cook until caramel is thick and bubbly. Serve immediately over pancakes, spooning plenty of the extra sauce over top. Garnish with extra hazelnuts and bourbon whip, and enjoy!


Feel free to replace the bourbon whipped cream with Greek yogurt, which would both simplify and lighten up the recipe a bit. If you don't happen to have oats around, 1 cup all-purpose flour (total) will serve you just fine instead.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention! This will make considerably more bourbon whip than you will need (unless you're a whipped cream eating machine). Here's a suggestion for the extra -- fold about 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk and a touch of vanilla extract into it, then pop it into the freezer for no-churn bourbon ice cream! (I did a crazy thing and added a half-teaspoon of matcha powder, and it made the most unexpectedly tasty matcha bourbon ice cream, but I won't force that on you unless you're weird like me.)


  1. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 8:09 am

    These are great! I love caramelized bananas, I sometimes put them in pancake batter just because I like that they make that sweet top (or bottom, however you turn them). But how all three factors come together in this meal, pure decadence.

  2. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 10:09 am

    SO lovely!!!!! Even though you’re not using any quintessential fall produce, somehow this post puts me in the mind of a cozy foggy morning with a colorful sprinkle of autumn foliage. These pancakes would be quite perfect for that. So warm and cozy, Cynthia!

  3. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Caramelized bananas!!! I love this post much!! I can’t believe I just found a solution to post-breakfast hunger. I thought it was just me, and that I was a total glutton for wanting a burger 20 minutes after having pancakes for breakfast :p

    It’s going to be hard saying goodbye to summer, but maybe, to ease the pain, you can escape the city for a weekend to enjoy the gorgeous foliage in New England!!

  4. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I agree with you on the pancake problem. When I eat pancakes I feel stuffed, then empty. Adding oats for heft is a brilliant idea. And this looks perfect for a leisurely weekend breakfast as we move into fall. Well done.

  5. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Well this is my weekend breakfast sorted!
    Love the caramelised bananas – they look incredible! (they are also so good when cooked in coconut oil to give a kind of tropical flavour and the oil makes it ever so slightly sweeter!)

  6. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    This pancakes-oriented post was the perfect final ingredient to making this hump day happy. Now if only it were already the weekend so that I could make these pancakes a reality!

  7. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Beautiful. I am always so amazed how gorgeous your photo styling is, and I love that I never get bored of looking at these photos! These pancakes sound and look incredible.

  8. says:

    September 16, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    HELLO, sweet, sweet weekend vibes! Even the gentle light in these photos (and obviously the pancakes) are so reminiscent of a perfectly lazy Sunday morning, Cynthia! I can imagine exactly what it feels like to belly up to that table in my favorite PJs & slippers — just beautiful!

  9. stephanie says:

    September 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    this is so so gorgeous and cozy cynthia!! perfect for those coming fall days. i just want to sink into your photos and eat piles and piles of these pancakes 🙂

    ps – thank you for inspiring ME!!! heehee. i feel so honored to have given you a lil bit of inspiration for these guys.

  10. says:

    September 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Wait, what?? Star Wars is going Disney Land?? Oh my. I. Love. This.

    And besides going crazy over this AWESOME piece of news, I’m also drooling over these pancakes and (especially) the toppings you’re providing. Sounds almost too good to be from this planet.

  11. says:

    September 17, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Mmmmm yessss, this is one of those things I KNOW are good! I totally get it when you say you just know sometimes. I always felt like chocolate and black sesame would be the perfect match and when I made it into a roll cake, I felt like a genius. 😉

  12. says:

    September 18, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Oh my goodness–caramelized bananas in EVERYTHING, please. My first time trying them was in a recipe for rum banana bread, and I’ve never looked back since. I’ll take these pancakes with another full-sized serving of banana, please!

  13. says:

    September 18, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Sundays are made for brunches and pancakes and hours filled with the most delicious food. These sound like the most perfect pancakes ever. ‘Self-saucing’, with a little bit of heartiness from the oat flour, the sweet caramel-y bananas, the whipped cream/yoghurt. I’m so craving these right now.

  14. says:

    September 20, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Have you ever pre-made the toasted oat flour? I was wondering if I make a large batch of the toasted oat flour on the weekends then I can whip these pancakes up on say on a dull Tuesday that needs a little lift.

    Love the pics!

    <3 Dani

  15. Sherrie says:

    September 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    These are over the top, in all the best ways possible. I’m in love with that bourbon whip, my goodness Cynthia!!! xx

  16. says:

    September 21, 2015 at 11:57 am

    This has “decadent brunch” written all over it. YUM. Every aspect of this post I love… especially the photos! This is making me want pancakes right. now. please. Talk about indulgent ingredients… I am hooked. Thanks for sharing! xo

say hello!