Banana-Berry Breakfast Cakes

September 15, 2008


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As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.” 

(Quick–try saying that title out loud ten times!). 

After staying up too late watching Tina Fey’s masterwork on Saturday evening, the HH and I woke up late Sunday–perfect excuse for brunch! As I rooted through the refrigerator for inspiration, I came across a half-full container of soy yogurt.  Now, you may recall that I was all high and mighty (though not as high and mighty as Tina Fey) last week, feeling pretty darned smug about how I cook everything from scratch, would never buy anything processed, yadda yadda yadda.  Well, isn’t it ironic, then, that I happened to have this soy yogurt glaring at me from the top shelf of my fridge?  True, I bought it originally at the behest of my friend PR Queen, who’d been extolling the virtues of this particular brand to me (and it did come in very handy for my mock tuna).  In this case, I promised to try out the strawberry flavor, and while it was. . . .okay. . . . I wasn’t crazy about it. I knew I’d never consume it “straight” the way I would dairy yogurt.  So I began to wonder what else I could conjure with it.

The first item I baked was a brownie–and not just any brownie–this one was superlative, and I’ll post about it anon (Oh, vague recollection of ACD!  Wherefore art thou, ACD, and why hast thou forsaken me, and I forsaken thee?) Anyway, I thought I might combine the strawberry yogurt with sliced bananas for an ultra airy, fluffy pancake.  I imagined the yogurt would react much like buttermilk in the recipe, creating a feather-light texture and fine crumb.  I was salivating at the very thought. (“Mum, we could salivate at the thought, too, you know–we sort of can’t help it.  Just ask Pavlov.“)  

In the home of my childhood, pancakes were a big deal.  In fact, brunch on Sundays were basically sacrosanct in our house; it was the only meal of the week we could all share together as a family (my dad worked 6 days a week in his butcher shop–yep, that’s right, he was a butcher!–and generally left in the morning before we kids were awake, then didn’t return home until well beyond 7:00 or 8:00 PM, after completing deliveries. But he didn’t work on Sundays, so that day was reserved for our family meal). 

No matter what my sisters or I had planned for the rest of the day, no matter how much we’d sobbed the night before watching Susan Hayward in I Want To Live on the Late Show, no matter how much we’d shrieked and bopped and hurled pieces of toast at the screen during  The Rocky Horror Picture Show, no matter how many Pina Coladas we’d downed while dancing with our buddies at the local disco, we were still expected to be on time at the brunch table on Sunday.  And since Dad was an early riser, “brunch” might begin anywhere from 8:30 to 10:00AM.  To their credit, my parents never said a word when we stumbled to the table looking less than perky. 

Occasionally, my mother would whip up a “treat,” what she called Cottage Cheese Pancakes (no points for creativity there–they were pancakes that contained cottage cheese).  Compared to our regular brunch pancakes, which were thick, fluffy, and mile-high, the cottage cheese variety were more like a yawn than a sigh: heavier, moister, and, to my mind, far less refined.  The first time you tried them, you might even wonder whether they were entirely cooked, as the outsides appeared bronzed and dry, yet the innards never quite lost their cheesy, gooey moistness. 

When I cooked up my own cakes this past Sunday and dug into the first bite, I was taken aback by the memory of those cottage cheese pancakes.  To begin with, they weren’t quite as high and fluffy as I’d expected, more like a cross between a pancake and a crêpe (a pancrêpe?).  Not entirely flat, yet with a slightly moist interior (courtesy of the yogurt), creamy and sweet where dotted with nearly-caramelized banana, these rounds were appealing enough to munch on their own, yet not so sweet to be cloying when served with syrup or jam (such as the all-fruit strawberry preserves with which I topped them).  They were also, coincidentally, most astonishingly good, and the HH and I enjoyed a couple of them each alongside our weekend tofu scramble. 

In the end, I wasn’t sure what to call these cakes.  I decided to go simply with “cakes,” which reflects their connection to both pancakes and griddle cakes from my childhood.  A delicious combination of fruit and cake; seemed like the perfect breakfast to me. 

And since these cakes contain not one, but two whole grain flours, I’m sending this off to Aparna from My Diverse Kitchen, who’s hosting  “Grains in my Breakfast” for Weekend Breakfast Blogging (an event started by Nandita at Saffron Trail).

[Quick Cookbook Note: THANKS SO MUCH, everyone, for your wonderful comments and support regarding the cookbook!  And thanks to all the volunteers who asked to be testers. I’m wrapping up the paperwork and will contact the testers this week! I really appreciate everyone’s input and feedback, testers or not–so keep those comments coming!]

Banana Berry Breakfast Cakes


A cross between a classic pancake and a crepe, these are the vegan incarnation of cottage cheese pancakes, with the added bonus of two types of fruit.  The strawberry may be my feeble attempt to hold onto the last vestiges of summer, but luckily, yogurt is in season all year round.



30 Responses to “Banana-Berry Breakfast Cakes”

  1. My tongue is now in knots, thanks to you… and my tummy rumbling is all your fault as well!

  2. ttfn300 Says:

    oh my, those looks so good. i’ll take pancakes any meal of the day 🙂

  3. stilllifeinbuenosaires Says:

    Fruit + Pancakes = heaven. I always love adding some flax!

    Does dairy wreak havoc on your digestive system as well? I blow up like a helium blimp after I consume full fat yogurt. I’m trying to get some calcium, but I may have to just turn to supplements. I’ve found no soy milk down here.

  4. Celine Says:

    I can’t stop picturing you throwing toast at the tv set now!!

  5. VeggieGirl Says:

    Tina Fey and Sarah Pailn are IDENTICAL!!! It’s so funny 😀

    Oh my, Ricki, you’ve really done it with those breakfast cakes – no doubt they’re “astonishingly good”!! Yum!!

  6. Banana pancakes! Yum. Bummed that I’m not around for weekend breakfasts these days — work on Saturday and church on Sunday. Egads!

  7. Mihl Says:

    Soy yoghurt doesn’t count as processed food, imo. 😀
    I am so making these at the weekend, they look delicious.

  8. Courtney Says:

    That last photo looks fabulous! It makes my mouth water just to imagine that bite…yum. I hear ya on the soy yogurt–I will buy it for recipes etc., but I would never eat it straight out of the carton–yuck! This sounds like a great way to use it up!


  9. Ashley Says:

    Mmm those pancakes look yummy! I so rarely make pancakes. I love the idea of your family’s Sunday brunch. =)

  10. aTxVegn Says:

    Those pancakes look amazing! I could eat them right off the screen.

  11. Ricki Says:

    Sorry to cause knots and rumbling. . .but in a good way, I hope?? 😉

    I must admit, pancakes are my favorite breakfast food, too. 🙂

    Yes, I do have trouble with dairy. I haven’t had milk in eons. When I last ate dairy yogurt, I was just fine, as the live bacteria do help with digestion. But calcium is available in many, many other foods besides dairy (and did you know that the largest consumers of dairy are also the people with the highest percentage of osteoporosis?). I’ll be posting an entry about calcium in the next few days–stay tuned! 🙂

    Actually, I was at the movie so long ago that we still threw the toast at the screen IN THE THEATER. They used to screen Rocky Horror at midnight all over the city, and teens dressed as the characters would go and sing along, dance, throw toast when they said, “And now, a toast!”, etc. etc. Ah, the good old days. . . 🙂 Don’t they do that any more??

    Yes, I thought they could have been separated at birth, too! (Well, except for their ideas and phiosophy and political party and friends and values. . . etc.!)

    No probs–just make these on a weekday! Or cook ’em up at night and consume the next morning (they freeze really well, too).

    As far as soy products go, I guess the yogurt is way less processed than, say, fake meat. 😉 Go for what you like and what tastes good to you, I say!

    I agree. And I was rather pleased to find a good way to use it! 🙂

    Just consider these as “stovetop baking,” and I’m sure you’ll want to make more of them! I love pancakes. And with your baking skills, I’m sure yours would be marvelous.

    Thanks so much! They were rather yummy, I must say 🙂

  12. Seriously, was the opening bit the *only* good part of SNL? Is it just me or is the show a whole lotta suck the last 6-8 years?

    Most of the time, it just isn’t funny enough to matter and I regret staying up to catch it. I count myself lucky if there are 2 funny skits but mostly it is LAME. Thoughts?

    PS: Nice cakes!

  13. Deb Schiff Says:

    They look so nice and fluffy! Mmm. I can just smell them cooking now…

    Hope I’m a tester!

  14. giz Says:

    Aye yay yay – from what part of your brain does this goodness come?

  15. Johanna Says:

    We never had cottage cheese in pancakes (but you have made me curious now) but it was a treat when my mum put sliced banana in them – I would happily lap these up for breakfast – look delicious

  16. shellyfish Says:

    Oh…pancrêpes! I love it!! I also loved imagining a teen-aged Ricki slowly making her way to the Sunday Brunch Table…with that tell-tale trace of not-quite-washed-off mascara under her eyes…

  17. holler Says:

    Mmmmmm, lovely! I will stay over!

  18. Ricki Says:

    I have to agree about the opening of that particular show. While we don’t watch regularly, when we HAVE watched over the past couple of years, we’ve found that lots of the show is still very funny (though Kristen Wiig’s repetitive characters are beginning to get on my nerves. . .). I like Andy Samberg (sp?)’s video shorts most of the time, as well as some of the recurring characters (McGruber, maybe?), but I do think the old classics (Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin as guest hosts) were better. Oh, and glad you liked the cakes!

    Thanks! I’ll email you privately re: the book. 🙂

    It’s a whisked-up brain, all right. 😉

    Oh, if you can find a recipe, they’re worth a try. I do have fond memories of them NOW, of course! 🙂

    Um, okay, you’re freaking me out now. . . how did you know about the mascara–??!! (Don’t tell my dad. . .) 😉

    Any time! I’d love to mix up some pancakes for ya!

    Would love to have you stay over (you and happy herbivore can share a room!) 😉

  19. Erin Says:

    Ricki, these look divine!!!! No words. 🙂

    Come cook for me, PLEASE….

    ~Erin @ “Vegan & the City”

  20. Lizzie Says:

    Yuuuuuuuum. Suddenly I’m craving pancakes for dinner 😉

  21. Aparna Says:

    These pancakes look delicious. I just had lunch but I’m finding these irresistible. Talk about Pavlovian!
    Thanks for participating in WBB. I just realised that I seem to have missed a few mails and haven’t got yours as well. Could you please resend this with the WBB details? Thank you.

  22. Ricki Says:

    Would love to cook for you! And boy, would love to go to Florida (especially in a couple of months from now, when we’re covered in snow!). But I think you’ll need to come here. . . The Girls couldn’t stay alone that long 😉

    And why NOT pancakes for dinner, I say?!

    Hi Aparna,
    Thanks! Yes, will resend asap! 🙂

  23. Megan Says:

    I am drooling over the pictures and wish I could have some right now. They look absolutely delicious!

  24. Ricki, email me if you want to talk about easy techniques to kick your photos up a notch. I was just talking to my husband about easy things you could do–they certainly matter less with just a blog, but more with a cookbook!

  25. What a fluffy stack of yum!

  26. BitterSweet Says:

    Yum, these pancakes look so soft and light, but very moist at the same time!

  27. Andrea Says:

    My fantasy is to wake up late on a Sunday morning to the sweet smell of pancakes like these wafting from the kitchen. Oh well. Can’t sleep late, and the hubby doesn’t do pancakes…

  28. I made these for breakfast yesterday and they came out *amazing.* I’ve tried out 6 different vegan pancake recipes and these are the best by far. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  29. Lily Says:

    OMG SO DELICIOUS!!! I made them with raspberry yogurt since they didn’t have strawberry, and with all spelt flour..these were unbelievably good..soft, moist, and filling! I love how this recipe can be easily tweaked! I bought some Soy Delicious cinnamon bun yogurt so I’m going to use that next! I only wish I had made more 😦 Thanks for the recipe!!

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