This pancake pudding is a gorgeous brunch dish made with fresh fruit and yogurt – great for guests and special occasions!
I never know what to make for breakfast when we have friends or family to stay, especially around the holidays. Cereal and toast just don’t seem special enough, and there are only so many times I can serve up scrambled eggs before I feel the need to make something different. This strawberry and blueberry pancake pudding is the perfect solution – it can be prepared in advance and thrown in the oven first thing in the morning, and it’s super tasty!
Dessert or brunch?
This pancake pudding is inspired by one of my favourite dessert recipes – bread and butter pudding. It’s a British dessert that can be made in any flavour combination you fancy – I usually use strawberry jam or chocolate spread, and serve it drizzled with plenty of cream!
But with a few minor alterations, there’s actually no reason why bread and butter pudding can’t make a perfectly acceptable breakfast or brunch. The ingredients are all things you’d find in any number of other breakfast dishes:
– fresh fruit
– Greek yogurt
The only ingredient that’s a little less healthy is a bit of sugar – but you could easily switch this for maple syrup, if you wanted to. Personally, I think there’s nothing wrong with having a little bit of sugar for breakfast on a special occasion (it’s no worse than sugary breakfast cereal!).
Bread and butter pudding can be made with any kind of bread – in the past I’ve made it with a normal white loaf, bread rolls, hot cross buns, brioche… basically whatever I have on hand. To make it a bit more breakfast-friendly, this pancake pudding is made with – you guessed it – fluffy American-style pancakes.
You can make your own pancakes from scratch if you like – I’m sure everyone has their own favourite recipe. But I only ever tend to make British-style pancakes (I’ve never perfected the thick, American-style ones!), so for this pancake pudding I used a packet of shop-bought pancakes – we call them Scotch pancakes in the UK.
Next up, some fresh fruit! I used fresh strawberries and blueberries, but you can mix it up depending on what you feel like. Harder fruits like apple might need to be cooked a little first, but any kind of berry can be thrown straight into the dish. I think strawberries and blueberries are a great combination because the colours are so flipping pretty!
Finally, the custard!
Actually, custard might be the wrong word to use – it makes it sound much more complicated than it actually is. It’s just milk, Greek yogurt and eggs, whisked up with a few pinches of cinnamon, and a little sugar to sweeten. It takes seconds to make.
Just pour the mixture over the pancakes and fruit, and make sure everything is well coated. Ideally you want to let it sit for a few minutes so the egg mixture soaks right into the pancakes – but if you haven’t got time, that’s okay too!
Then just sprinkle a little more sugar over the top, and bake it until the custard has set.
The end result is a real treat – the pancakes underneath are soft and moist, having cooked right in that cinnamon custard mixture. The fruit softens and bursts out its juice – I love the vibrant red strawberries, and the blueberries leave smears of violet across the pancakes. The pancakes on top are crispy and sweet.
If this pancake pudding doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, I don’t know what will.
Can I make this pancake pudding in advance?
Absolutely! Nobody wants to get out of bed at 8am just to stand in the kitchen – so just like any good breakfast recipe, this pancake pudding can be prepared the night before, and then just baked in the morning while you brush your hair and make yourself look slightly presentable (or more realistically, if it’s Christmas time, while you sit and gorge on chocolate… just me?).
You have three options for preparing this dish ahead of time.
Firstly, you can prepare it in its entirely (including pouring over the egg mixture) the night before, then just bake it in the morning. This will probably work fine, but might lead to a slightly mushier pudding.
Or, you can prepare the pancakes and the custard separately the night before, then wait until the morning to mix them together and bake. This would be my preferred option – the pancakes will get a bit less soggy, and since it takes literally seconds to pour some custard over some pancakes, it’s barely any more effort in the morning.
Orrrr, you can do everything the night before, including baking, then just reheat it in the microwave the next morning in bowls. The nice crispy bits on top end up softer this way, but otherwise it reheats just fine.
How should I serve this pancake pudding?
If you’re serving this for breakfast or brunch, you probably want to keep things on the healthier side – I served mine with an extra dollop of Greek yogurt and some more fresh berries.
You could also make a simple fruit compote to spoon over the top – just cook some more berries (frozen berries work really well!) in a pan with a dash of honey and a pinch of cinnamon until they’ve cooked right down, and you’re done. It’s so easy, but is really effective, and looks really striking – berries give such a rich, vibrant colour when they’re cooked.
An easy brunch dish inspired by one of my favourite British desserts!
- 360 g American-style Scotch pancakes (~ 12 small pancakes)
- 60 g (~ 1/3 cup) fresh blueberries
- 80 g (~ 1/2 cup) fresh strawberries, quartered or diced
- 150 g (~ 1/2 cup) plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 150 ml (~ 1/2 cup) milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
Quarter the pancakes, and layer about two thirds of them in a baking dish (mine measured around 8 x 8 inches). Scatter over the blueberries and chopped strawberries, and top with the remaining pancakes. Try to arrange the pancakes so there aren't too many big gaps - nestle them down into the dish.
In a mixing bowl, combine the Green yogurt, sugar, cinnamon, milk and eggs, and whisk lightly to combine. Pour the mixture over the pancakes, pressing the pancakes down into the custard. Leave it to sit for a few minutes if you have time.
Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top, and bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 30 minutes, or until the custard has set, and the top of the dish is slightly browned and crispy. I also sprinkled mine with a little icing sugar (powdered sugar) before serving, just to make it look pretty!
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.