Grated apple is the secret ingredient to these lightly spiced, fluffy pancakes. The fruit helps keep the pancakes moist and tender, and the combination of brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla makes them irresistibly fragrant. Measuring out the batter makes the pancakes particularly easy to flip. It’s hard to imagine a better breakfast, brunch or comfort dinner after apple picking, but these are so good they could be your go-to pancake year-round.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl.
Whisk the milk, sugar, vanilla and eggs together in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Let cool slightly, then whisk the butter into the egg mixture; reserve the skillet for cooking the pancakes. Whisk the flour mixture into the milk mixture until combined with a few lumps. Grate the apple on the large holes of a box grater and stir into the batter.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the hot skillet. Cook until the surface of the batter forms bubbles and the edges are set, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and continue to cook until puffed in the center, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm while making the rest of the pancakes. Cook the remaining batter, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter as needed.
Serve the pancakes with butter and maple syrup or honey.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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