28 April 2013

Slender Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Whenever the hubs wants a sweet breakfast treat, he requests cinnamon roll pancakes.  They are his absolute favorite.  When I first made the original version from Recipe Girl, he though he had died and gone to breakfast heaven.  Deliciously sweet and fluffy pancakes topped with cream cheese frosting...what's not to love?!  Um....how about the half stick of butter?  Yeah...not so much.  As he began requesting them more and more, I began slowly but surely slimming them down.  The end result is this delicious Slender Cinnamon Roll Pancake recipe.  It has the great flavor of the original recipe, but with a third of the fat and almost half the calories.

This recipe is super simple.  I use my fluffy and healthy Greek Yogurt Pancake recipe, swirling the batter with her wonderful cinnamon brown sugar syrup.  Then the whole thing is topped off with my butter free cream cheese frosting.  Whenever any recipe calls for cream cheese topping, this is what we use.  True, it does not have the same decadent richness as the traditional buttery frosting.  But when drizzled over flavorful pancakes such as these, I honestly cannot tell the difference. The hubs actually prefers the little extra tang in my frosting to the buttery classic....go figure.

With only 380 calories per serving and 14 grams of fat, this version is a bit more figure friendly.  It also has an extra 2 grams of both protein and fiber, thanks to the greek yogurt and whole wheat flour.  If you know that your family would prefer white flour and butter, definitely sub those in here.  Or heck, the original may be the perfect breakfast for you with its step-by-step images.  Just think of this as a slender alternative to the fabulous original.

Slender Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (2 servings)

Cinnamon Roll Syrup:

  • 2 tbs butter or Smart Balance Light (or a combo of both)
  • 2 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3 tbs powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1+ tsp fat free milk
  • 6 oz fat free plain greek yogurt (if you use vanilla, omit 1/2 tbs brown sugar in syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/2 c whole wheat flour

Start with the syrup.  Place the butter in a small microwave-safe dish and melt in the microwave, about 20 seconds.  Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, then stir together until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Next, make your cream cheese frosting.  Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 teaspoon of milk in a small bowl.  Mix together until smooth, adding more milk as needed to reach desired consistency (we use about 1 1/2 teaspoons in ours).

Now that the cinnamon syrup has cooled slightly, prepare for drizzling.  Transfer into a small ziplock bag and pool together in one of the lower corners.  This will be your piping bag to swirl onto the cooking pancakes.  

Place a large pan over medium heat and preheat the oven to 150 degrees.  In a medium bowl, make the pancakes by combining all ingredients and mixing together until smooth.  When the pan is hot, spray with non-stick.  Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop the batter onto the prepared pan, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches between each pancake (the batter expands quite a bit).  After the pancakes have cooked for 3-4 minutes and have stopped expanding, snip the tip off of your ziplock piping bag.  Hold the cut tip over the center of your pancake, gently squeeze out the syrup in a spiral, stopping about a quarter inch from the outer edge of the pancake.  Quickly flip the pancake and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until set.  Transfer to a plate and set in the oven to keep warm while the second batch is cooking.  

To serve, stack the pancakes and top with cream cheese syrup.  Perfect with a hot cup of coffee and fresh fruit.    

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