Summer is here, and I don’t think I could be more delighted even if I tried. The sun that gracefully beams its rays against my skin and the warm breeze that delicately blows through my hair give me great feelings that I can’t get enough of. I am so much happier when the weather hits 75 degrees or higher.
And so when the weather starts getting warm, my mind, body and soul just want fruit—all of the fruits! Berries are a huge thing in our apartment; we always have containers in the fridge. Dan can go through five containers of raspberries in a week, and I’ll eat strawberries every morning with whatever I’m eating—by themselves, in my cereal, on my toast and, obviously, sandwiched between fluffy pancakes.
Saturday was a glorious day. I slept in until 9ish, which is rare for me, because I am accustomed to the daily 7:30 a.m. alarm clock. But when I woke up, I had this insatiable desire to eat strawberry shortcake, so this inspired me to get creative in the kitchen to “whip” up something fun and sweet. Alas came my stack of fluffy cardamom pancakes—and sandwiched between them are balsamic strawberries and a limey labne whipped cream.
I think these pancakes are going to be my summer brunch anthem, because they’re so fresh with the strawberries and the citrusy whip—and the pancakes just serve as a delicious vehicle to stuff all that goodness into my mouth. This dish is already pretty sweet, so maple syrup is optional; but who doesn’t love a little bit of extra sweetness?
Also, can I just say that I really love adding balsamic to almost any kind of fruit? Because fruit holds so much sugar in it naturally, the acidity of the balsamic really brings the sweetness out—no additional sugars needed! Outside of this pancake recipe, I love adding balsamic to fruit and then adding it to salads, or even as a side dish to a very savory, high-fat meat. It adds that extra layer of flavor that you didn’t think you need, but you really do!
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 2
What You’ll Need
For the pancakes
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used oat milk for this) + 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (you can use extract, too)
- 2 tbsp date syrup (honey or maple syrup works, too)
- 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled + extra for pan
For the labne whip
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup labne
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp lime zest
For the strawberries
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
How You’ll Do It
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Lightly whisk so all the dry ingredients are combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, vanilla paste, syrup and butter. With the same whisk, whisk all the wet ingredients together until fully combined.
- Make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients, and then add the wet ingredients into the well you just made. Take that whisk you used earlier, and whisk away! You’ll want to do this just until everything is evenly mixed together, making sure there are no lumps. Once you get here, set the bowl with the pancake batter to a side to let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes.
- While the batter is resting, you’re going to make the strawberries and the labne whip. First the strawberries—in a small bowl, add the strawberries and balsamic, and then mix well. Set aside until assembly (so easy, right?!).
- Next, the labne whip—add the labne, cream and powdered sugar into a medium mixing bowl. With a handheld mixer (you can also use a whisk and the power of your muscles), whisk that mixture together starting on low speed and gradually building up until the mixture is whipped into submission… meaning until the whipped cream is thick. Add the lime zest, and fold it into the whipped cream with a spoon. Set aside until assembly.
- Heat up your frying pan or skillet on medium, and add a tbsp of butter. Once the pan is ready, give your pancake batter a quick stir with a spoon. Next, spoon out pancake mounds, about 4-inches wide. Depending on how big your pan is, you may have to do this in batches. This should make at least 6 pancakes.
- The pancakes should cook for about 4 minutes on one side and an additional 2 minutes on the other side. You’ll be able to tell when they’re ready to flip, the top of the pancake should start forming lots of bubbles. (I learned this from a Mickey Mouse cooking game when I was 7.) If you see that your pancake is browning too fast, turn your heat down a notch.
- Once all the pancakes are finished, it’s time to assemble. Here’s what I like to do: plate, pancake, one layer of strawberries, one big dollop of whip. Repeat. I like to make a three pancake stack, but it’s completely up to you. You are the master of your own design.
- Finally, sit down with a knife and fork, and maaaaaange. I flushed these beautiful babies down with a cup of orange juice and also a cup of coffee.