Recipe Review

I Tried the Popular Pancake Cookies to See If They Lived Up to the Hype — Here’s My Honest Review

published Nov 18, 2021
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Pancake Cookies
Credit: Rochelle Bilow

If you’re a fan of breakfast (and who isn’t?), you probably have a go-to pancake recipe. After years of flipping flapjacks at home, I thought I’d mastered everything there was to know about my favorite sweet breakfast treat. But when my editor here at Kitchn shared a post featuring pancake cookies, I was surprised, intrigued, and incredibly hungry. These cookies, from the popular “plant-forward” cooking account @dadaeats run by Samah Dada, looked fluffy and light … just like the real thing. Only cookier. They even had a maple syrup drizzle. If there’s anything I love more than breakfast, it’s cookies, so I decided to make the recipe and see how it — err — stacked up.

How to Make Pancake Cookies

The recipe consisted of a follow-along Reel with written-out instructions in the caption. I immediately realized that these were specialty cookies — no butter or sugar here. Coconut sugar, coconut oil, and maple syrup stood in for the “regular” stuff, and wheat flour was swapped for a combination of oat and almond flours. 

The recipe instructs you to mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls (pretty standard cookie instructions), then mix and dollop onto a baking sheet. They’re then hit with that aforementioned maple sauce and baked. The entire recipe was 6 steps and seemed pretty easy. After hitting the grocery store to stock up — I don’t typically keep specialty baking ingredients on hand — I preheated my oven to 350°F and got to work.

My Honest Review of Pancake Cookies

I’ll lead with the bad news: I was not impressed with this recipe. My main complaint was in the high sugar content, which caused my cookies to burn. (Both coconut sugar and maple syrup are used in the cookie batter.) 

I followed the recipe as closely as I could, but some of the instructions were frustratingly vague, and could have been better clarified. For example, I was a little confused about the guidance to “Form them into cookies with your utensil or hands,” as my batter was pretty thick and the blobs seemed relatively cookie-like. Additionally, the bake time is listed as 25-30 minutes at 350˚. By minute 19, my nose told me I had to pull the trays from the oven. Unfortunately, I was too late. And yes, I do have a thermometer to measure my oven’s real-time temp!

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

As you can probably see from the photo, the culprit of my singed cookies was that maple syrup topping. In the recipe, Samah admits that she eyeballed the amounts. I’ll admit to being an eyeballer in my own cooking, but this was a situation where precision mattered; a thicker drizzle might not have run off the cookies and incinerated so quickly. I also wasn’t sure why my cookies had spread so much, when Samah’s looked fat and fluffy.

The cookies smelled like the diner of my dreams while they baked — well, until they started to burn — but I was put off by the coconutty flavors; the melted coconut oil in the batter and drizzle and 1/3 cup of coconut sugar were hard to ignore. These are also not cheap cookies to make; specialty flours cost a lot of money, as do alternative sweeteners. 

Redeeming qualities? They did have a pancake-y texture, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would; I found myself wishing for a denser, chewy-style cookie — or a real-deal pancake. After cleaning up my baking tools, I found myself wondering what I might change if I were to make these cookies again. But by the time I had mentally swapped in real flour, creamed softened butter instead of stirring in melted oil, adjusted the baking time and temp, I realized I was just writing a new recipe.

Tips for Making Pancake Cookies

  1. Use another fat if you don’t like coconut oil. I don’t think that swapping melted butter or vegetable oil for the melted coco oil would irreparably alter the chemistry of the recipe — but it would help these cookies taste more like traditional pancakes than a coconut explosion. That said, if you’re a fan of coconut, go — err — nuts.
  2. Don’t add too much of the maple drizzle. This is the trickiest part of the recipe! Because the amounts of the ingredients are eyeballed, it’s crucial to nail the consistency and amount. Err on the side of too-thick (so it doesn’t slide off the side of the cookies), and don’t add so much that it pools on the baking sheet and burns.
  3. Keep a close eye on your oven. As I mentioned, my cookies burned 6 minutes before the start of the “done window.” To ensure that yours don’t suffer a similar fate, stay in the kitchen, and start checking them after 15 minutes.

I’m glad I gave the pancake cookies a shot, but next time a breakfast craving strikes, I’ll be reaching for this recipe, instead.