I used to think that the only way to get stuffed pancakes was to go out to breakfast. Pancakes aren’t round and fluffy like doughnuts or cream puffs, so you can’t just shove a pastry tip into the center and shoot jelly or cream inside. Surely, there was some kind of magic ceremony being conducted in the kitchen in order to fill pancakes—solid, flat objects—with fillings. This is not the case. There’s actually a very logical, technical process behind the humble stuffed pancake.
Begin by mixing up a batch of pancake batter (from scratch, the box—you do you). Next, assemble an army of fillings. Anything mushy yet firm is a good choice. Some examples: Nutella, cherry or apple pie filling, pumpkin puree mixed with maple syrup, nut butters, caramel sauce, date caramel, cookie butter, cookie dough, marshmallow fluff. That’s probably enough to get you started. Gather at least 2 of those fillings.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium and let a pat of butter melt as it warms. When the pan is hot enough that drops of water dance and steam when flicked into the it, you’re good to go. Use a ¼-cup measuring cup to ladle out 2 pancakes. Let the pancakes set for 25 seconds or so, then scoop about 1 or 2 tablespoons of whatever filling you plan to use into the center of each pancake. Cover the blot of filling with another spoonful of pancake batter. When the underside of the pancakes are golden brown, carefully flip the pancakes. Repeat as needed.
If you feel so inclined, mix and match fillings: cookie butter and caramel, marshmallow fluff and peanut butter, Nutella and apple pie filling… I could go on, but I think you can take it from here.
Wasn’t that way easier than you thought? Who needs the diner? Well, you probably still do, because nowhere makes better hash browns than a diner. But you no longer depend on a diner for stuffed pancakes, so go, you!