Somebody mentioned bacon pancakes to me recently. My first thought was, “Those crazy bacon people will put it in anything.” But I immediately began to wonder how I could try this fusion of flavors. I guess vegetarian bacon people are just as crazy!
So I decided to tackle it and see how it turned out. I’ve had these flavors together on the same breakfast plate before—pancakes covered in maple syrup with some vegetarian bacon on the side. Everything kind of gets mixed together. I figured it could work.
I chose to make a basic pancake batter, not too thick and puffy, but not too thin and crepe-like. I wanted just enough butter and milk to make it really tender. I also decided to add an egg for richness and also as a nod to a traditional pancake batter. I don’t cook with them much, but I thought it would be a good choice here.
Next came how to incorporate the bacon into the pancake itself. Regular bacon probably keeps its crispness and even cooks a little into the batter. Vegetarian bacon would be different.
I decided to cook it first, then cut it into pieces. I didn’t want to just mix it into the batter. Like blueberries, it seemed better to sprinkle the pieces on the pancake while the first side was cooking. Then when it was flipped it would cook right into it. Or so I hoped. I also really hoped it would keep some crispness and texture.
Finally, I decided to add maple flavor into the pancakes instead of relying on the syrup poured over them to do that. I already had some, so it seemed a good choice. If you don’t have the maple flavor or can’t find it, you could substitute maple syrup. It isn’t the same, though, and it won’t have as much maple taste on its own, but it will still be delicious.
The result? Tender, smoky, savory, and salty goodness. But there wasn’t any crispness from the veggie bacon. Well, you can’t have it all. I liked these and they would be super fun for a brunch party. I hope you try them and let me know what you think!
Vegetarian Maple Bacon Pancakes
½ a package of vegetarian bacon (7-8 slices)
1½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt
1¾ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1½ tsp maple flavor
Cook the bacon according to package directions. Remove from heat and chop into bite-size pieces.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the buttermilk, egg, butter, and maple flavor. Whisk just until mixed.
Heat a large skillet and spray with a little oil. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter on the skillet. Add some of the bacon on top.
Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until browned. Flip and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.