Random musing: If I had a cinnamon roll tree in my backyard that produced calorie free cinnamon rolls all year, I do believe I would have cinnamon rolls every day. I love them that much. But alas, cinnamon roll trees don't exist (that I know of!) and they are certainly not calorie free so I have to settle for having them every once in a while.
A while back ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning inexplicably craving cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, I didn't have the hours it takes to make up a batch of fresh cinnamon rolls. So I started to make a batch of one of my favorite pancake varieties, oatmeal, which has a hint of cinnamon, thinking that would calm my craving. I thought maybe I could even add a little extra cinnamon to up the ante. Then I remembered seeing a recipe somewhere for cinnamon roll pancakes. A quick internet search brought me to just what I was looking for--pancakes with a cinnamon-sugar swirl and a cream cheese glaze. I just adapted the idea into my whole wheat oatmeal pancakes for a breakfast that was fast, hearty, and surprisingly cinnamon roll-like. Perfect!
I was so happy with how these turned out. It took only a few extra minutes to take my regular whole wheat oatmeal pancakes into faux cinnamon rolls. They were so yummy and really captured that great cinnamon roll taste I love so much. Plus, because my pancakes are whole grain and low fat, I could get my cinnamon roll fix with less guilt! The only problem was that once I had one, I wanted to eat the whole batch at once!
I was a little hesitant about adding cream cheese glaze to my usually healthy pancakes, but I went for it. It was so worth it! And I did use reduced fat cream cheese, so it's not so bad, right? And because you are not baking the cream cheese, you could probably even go fat free safely.
If you would like to share in my love for these oatmeal cinnamon roll pancakes, start by mixing some oatmeal and milk in a bowl or liquid measuring cup.
Then combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. I usually add some cinnamon and nutmeg in this step, but I omitted it this time since I was adding the cinnamon swirl.
Add eggs, vanilla, and applesauce to the oat mixture.
Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until they are combined. You want this batter to be a little lumpy. Otherwise you will end up with very flat pancakes. I like 'em puffy!
Let the batter rest for a few minutes while you make the cinnamon swirl. Just melt some margarine and whisk in brown sugar and cinnamon. I put mine in a squeeze bottle for easy swirling. I really wanted to squeeze some directly into my mouth. But I didn't. That anyone knows of. If you don't have a squeeze bottle, you can put the mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut the corner off.
Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to ladle the batter onto your hot skillet and then make your cinnamon-sugar swirl.
Do the usual cook, flip, and cook routine. You know the drill.
While the pancakes are cooking, make the cream cheese swirl by melting margarine and cream cheese. Whisk them together until they're smooth and then whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until you get the consistency you want. I went a little thinner than I would for cinnamon rolls to make it more like a syrup.
We had some leftovers, which made for a much happier Monday morning. When I reheated the cream cheese glaze to get it nice and melt-y again, I added some maple flavoring. I love maple flavoring! I got the idea from the easy apple pecan cinnamon rolls I made last fall, and it was a good one. Next time I'm going to make maple cream cheese glaze from the beginning. And there will be a next time!
Oatmeal Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
For the pancakes:
1/2 cup oats
2 cups skim milk
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
For the cinnamon swirl:
1/3 cup margarine
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
For the cream cheese glaze:
1/2 cup margarine
4 oz light cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine oats and milk; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add egg, vanilla, and applesauce to oat mixture. Whisk to blend and add to dry ingredients. Stir just until ingredients are moist. Allow to rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in brown sugar and cinnamon. Move to squeeze bottle or Ziploc bag.
Ladle 1/4 cup pancake batter onto hot griddle. Squeeze cinnamon/sugar spiral onto pancakes using squeeze bottle or by cutting a hole in the corner of Ziploc bag. Allow pancakes to cook until bubbles begin to pop on surface and then flip and allow the other side to cook until browned.
While pancakes are cooking, melt margarine and cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
Serve pancakes with warm glaze.
Cinnamon swirl and cream cheese glaze adapted from Recipe Girl. Oatmeal pancakes--I've had so long, who knows?