Hearty Cornmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon & Walnuts

This morning I woke up to about two inches of lovely, fluffy snow covering the ground and clinging to the tree branches.  We haven’t had much snow here in Western Massachusetts this winter and I was just thrilled when I opened my shades to such splendor!

Winter 2016  - My Yellow Farmhouse.com
These trees have grown sooo much since we moved here in 2004.
Winter 2016 - My Yellow Farmhouse.com
Sophie, the stray cat, lives in the barn.

Padding around the kitchen in my favorite red plaid slippers, I decided a hearty, and delicious, breakfast was in order on this lovely snowy morning.  Hearty Cornmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon and Walnuts fit that bill perfectly – and they were one of my sons absolute favorites for breakfast when they were growing up.

Photographing something as bland as pancakes is a real challenge, so I came up with the idea of thickening the maple syrup.  Otherwise the syrup would disappear into the pancakes, which would result in a very boring photo. First I boiled the syrup… but that didn’t make it thick enough.  So I added a bit of cornstarch, mixed in water.  Still not thick enough…  A bit more cornstarch and water was added, then I got caught up doing something else.. and forgot the maple syrup boiling away. (The older I get, the more forgetful I get..)

The end result of my forgetfulness was a REALLY thick syrup which photographed beautifully and I was happy with the results.  However, I was a bit less happy a few minutes later, once the unused portion of thickened syrup cooled and stuck to the pan with an vigorous tenacity!  (If this ever happens to you, just add water, heat to a boil and allow to sit for a while.)

Recipe makes about 12 small pancakes – enjoy!

small red heart


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 Tbs. sugar     ++  You can substitute brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Mix 1 cup cornmeal, 2 Tbs sugar and 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl.  Add 1 cup boiling water and stir briefly.  Cover bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.  ++  I usually put a dinner plate on top.

After 10 minutes add ½ cup flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon to the softened cornmeal. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg, 1/2 milk and 2 Tbs butter until smooth and add to bowl. Stir ingredients quickly until just combined.  Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Heat a buttered skillet over medium heat.  (I use an electric skillet, which I love, because the heat is even throughout.)

++  I suggest using a 1/4 cup measure so each pancake is about the same size.

Cook pancakes until bubbles form on the surface and edges appear dry, then flip and cook just a bit little longer.

Hearty Cornmeal Pancakes with Cinnamon and Walnuts are especially delicious with a side of bacon and lots of maple syrup.   ; o )


Banana Nut Pancakes

banana nut pancakes - my yellow farmhouse

Banana Nut Pancakes were always a BIG favorite in our house when my boys were growing up. Unlike regular pancakes, which can be very dry when reheated, these pancakes are always dense and moist. And, they can be frozen, so you can enjoy them whenever you wish. As you may know, I’m a big believer in “Everything’s Better with Chocolate”, so I usually add chocolate chips to the batter, although I didn’t add them this time. (Perhaps I’m considering the fact that my high school reunion is only a month away….)

My friend Katie recently told me she could imagine these pancakes with a scoop of ice cream, with chocolate syrup drizzled on top. I told her, “Katie, I like the way you think!” Then, I added, how about imagining these pancakes with some slices bananas and chopped walnuts, along with the ice cream and chocolate syrup.    “Overkill”…. nah !!!

Totally off the subject of pancakes…. recently I hosted a pretty good-sized party but, due to problems with my separated left shoulder, I ended up ordering some fabulous Italian food from a local eatery. I did make a few items though. One was a green bean salad. But I was not happy with the results of my efforts, which doesn’t often happen…  Recently, Rufus, of Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide, posted a lovely recipe for a green bean salad. I told him I’m going to provide the link because it looks so delicious. – so here it is.  http://rufusguide.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/green-bean-salad-2/


Ingredients       Makes about 17      Recipe can easily be cut in half…

(I really believe a griddle or an electric skillet cooks pancakes or French toast much better than a ordinary skillet because the heat is even – right to the edge of the pan.)

  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk pancake mix (I like Aunt Jemima)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk or water (I didn’t have any milk, so I used water & they were fine.) If you like your pancakes thicker, add less water. It you think the batter’s too thin, add more pancake mix.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1 banana  (Doesn’t have to be  super “ripe”.  Just mash it up a bit.  “Chunks” are OK !)         
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  •  1/4 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips – – optional
  • oil or butter – to grease the pan/griddle/electric skillet

In a good-sized bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups buttermilk pancake mix, 1 1/4 cup milk or water, 2 eggs, 2 Tbs. oil, 1 “mashed” banana, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon & 1 Tbs. packed brown sugar. thoroughly with a wooden spoon. (I prefer to hand-mix pancakes. Just like muffins, pancakes come out fluffier when mixed by hand.) Add 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/4 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips, if you so desire but it’s certainly not necessary.

Begin heating your pan/griddle to 275 F – 300 F. Use a generous amount of butter or oil (I prefer butter) to grease your pan. Using a 1/4 measuring cup (or 1/3 measuring cup, depending upon how big your want your pancakes), pour out enough batter for each pancake, leaving a bit of room between each one.

Banana Nut Pancakes - cooking

Very soon bubbles will begin to appear on the top but it’ll take about a minute after the bubbles appear before the pancakes are ready to turn over. (If you’re not sure when to turn them over, use a spatula to peak at the bottom of one to see if it’s browned,.) The second side usually cooks faster than the first. Here’s how I check to see (especially with the first ones), I just open one up a bit with a knife so I can be sure the inside’s cooked. ) As I said previously, these Banana Nut Pancakes are moister than others – so they are far less likely to dry out.

Banana Nut Pancakes - Cooked

Now the rest is up to you. You can sprinkle these babies with confectionery (icing) sugar or brown sugar or, of course, drizzle on some maple syrup. OR – you can go crazy and add ice cream, whipped cream etc. It’s your Breakfast Party !!

++  To reheat frozen pancakes – place a paper towel on a plate, then place three pancakes on top. Cover pancakes with a second paper towel. Heat on HIGH for 1 minute & 20 seconds…. of course, it depends on your microwave.                      Enjoy !!

possible - last photo