St Patrick’s Day celebrations often happen at night in Irish pubs (and bars that decide to go pub-themed for the night), but you don’t have to wait until the sun goes down to get into the spirit. These Irish Cream Pancakes are a fun way to start off the holiday – and a delicious way to kick off a lazy weekend brunch any time of the year. The base of the pancakes is a classic buttermilk, but they’re spiked with Irish cream and a little vanilla extract. This gives the pancakes just the right touch of sweetness and notes of not only vanilla, but also coffee and chocolate.
There is quite a bit of Irish cream in these, but Irish cream is fairly low in alcohol to begin with and most of it will cook of as the pancake batter sits on the griddle. There really isn’t a great way of making these without alcohol in them unless you are able to get your hands on some Irish cream flavoring (they make it for candies, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for pancakes), so keep that in mind if you’re looking to skip the booze at breakfast.
I topped these with an Irish cream-spiked maple syrup to add even more flavor. A 1-1 ratio of Irish cream to maple syrup produces a sauce that is tasty, but too runny to be a great pancake topper. If you’re using real maple syrup, I recommend 3 parts maple syrup to 1 part Irish cream. If you happen to have regular pancake syrup on hand, which can be thicker than pure maple syrup, you can probably use 2-1, although you’ll have to use your judgement as you mix it up. Make just enough of the syrup to serve with the pancakes, as it will separate when stored and it is easy to whip up a fresh batch at a moment’s notice. The pancakes are also delicious with non-spiked syrup, if you want to keep things simple.
Irish Cream Pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup Irish cream liqueur (such as Bailey’s or homemade Irish cream)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
In a small bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, Irish cream, eggs and vanilla until well-combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the Irish cream mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.
Preheat a nonstick griddle or a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When a drop of water skips around on the surface of the pan, the pan is ready for you to dollop 1/4-cups of batter onto it (if the water sizzles, the pan is too hot). Reduce heat slightly and cook pancakes, turning once, until pancakes are golden on both sides.
Repeat with remaining batter.