Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze

from 1 votes

Light and fluffy crimson pancakes are topped with a rich, creamy drizzle. These Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze are an easy but impressive option for a Valentine’s Day breakfast, Christmas morning or a special brunch. I’ve been making this family favorite recipe for more than a decade!

Red velvet pancakes drizzled with cream cheese glaze and sprinkled with powdered sugar are on white plates and garnished with strawberries. A bowl of strawberries sits nearby.

Whether you want a sweet start to Valentine’s Day, a special birthday breakfast, or a showstopping brunch dish, you can’t go wrong with these red velvet pancakes. Light and fluffy and topped with a rich cream cheese glaze, they’re as delicious as they are pretty to look at.

And who doesn’t want permission to indulge in a variation of classic red velvet cupcakes before noon? 

Serve up a stack of these flapjacks any time for a sweet breakfast treat that everyone is sure to gobble up. 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Impressive appearance. As with my recipe for Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting, the gorgeous contrast of deep red and creamy white looks great on the breakfast table.
  • Ready in less than 30 minutes.
  • Satisfies a sweet tooth. The hint of chocolate in the pancake mix and the rich sweet glaze will please anyone who loves sweet breakfasts.
  • Light and fluffy. Use my tips for the perfect airy texture.

Ingredients

This pancake recipe uses the classic red velvet combination of cocoa powder, buttermilk and red food coloring.

For the cream cheese glaze you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese for the richest flavor and let it soften at room temperature to avoid lumps.
  • Butter: Like the cream cheese frosting that tops my pumpkin bars, this recipe includes a little unsalted butter for added richness and flavor.
  • Milk: Whole milk thins out the cream cheese mixture to the right consistency so it can be drizzled over the pancakes. Use more or less milk depending on the consistency you want.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: Also called powdered sugar, confectioners’ sugar is simply granulated sugar that’s been pulverized into a powder so it makes smooth mixtures. For smooth, lump-free glaze, sift the confectioners’ sugar before adding it to the other ingredients.

For the red velvet pancakes you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour: For the best results, watch my video to learn how to measure flour accurately. I use the scoop-and-level method to get the most precise measurement without a scale.
  • Cocoa powder: Natural cocoa powder is the best type of cocoa powder for this recipe because its lighter hue enhances the red color. But because this recipe uses baking powder as a leavening agent, which doesn’t require the acidity of natural cocoa powder, Dutch-process would work if that’s all you have on hand. Sift the cocoa powder before using it to break up lumps.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder combines sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar so it includes both the leavening agent and the acid needed to activate it. If your baking powder is old, you can test it for freshness by pouring about ¼ cup boiling water over ½ teaspoon of baking powder in a bowl. If it bubbles right away, it’s still good. 
  • Baking soda: Because this recipe includes buttermilk, baking soda is included to ensure a light texture and a tangy flavor.
  • Sugar: Use just a tablespoon of granulated sugar to add subtle sweetness to the pancakes.
  • Salt: It enhances and balances the other flavors. You can use table salt or Kosher salt in this recipe.
  • Buttermilk: Adds flavor, breaks down the gluten in the flour and helps activate the leavening agent for tender, light pancakes. Save the extra buttermilk for ranch dressing or biscuits. If you don’t have any on hand, use a buttermilk substitute.
  • Egg: Helps bind together the ingredients and provides the structure in the batter for the air bubbles to create thick, light pancakes. 
  • Butter: The best way to melt butter is in the microwave, on half power and in 30-second increments, stirring occasionally. Let it cool to room temperature before adding to the other ingredients so it doesn’t solidify into lumps.
  • Red food coloring: I always use gel food coloring, which is more vibrant than liquid food coloring, so you can use less in a recipe. 

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make This Recipe

Mix up these red velvet cake pancakes just before you plan to eat them to ensure a light and fluffy texture. Start with the glaze so that it’s ready to go when the pancakes come off the griddle–your waiting family will thank you! 

  1. Make the glaze. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, butter and milk. Beat in about half the confectioners’ sugar and beat at medium speed until combined, then add the rest and beat until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until needed.
In a clear glass stand mixer bowl, cream cheese glaze is being mixed with the paddle attachment.
  1. Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Whisk together to aerate, break up lumps and thoroughly combine.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, cooled melted butter and red food coloring.
  3. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not overmix or pancakes will be flat and dense. Batter will be lumpy.
The wet ingredients are being poured into dry ingredients in a bowl to make red velvet pancake batter.
  1. Cook the pancakes. Heat a nonstick skillet, saute pan or griddle over medium-low heat. Add about ¼ cup batter to the pan. When bubbles form on the top and the edges look a little dry, flip the pancake and cook the other side until it’s no longer doughy. Continue with the remaining batter. Serve pancakes immediately, drizzled with the cream cheese glaze. 
Two red velvet pancakes sit in a nonstick skillet. A stack of cooked pancakes sit nearby on a rectangular white platter.

Kelly’s Note: If the glaze is too thick, add more milk, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches a pourable consistency. The glaze may need to be stirred before using. 

Kelly’s Recipe Tips

Want perfectly light and fluffy pancakes? Follow my tips for diner-quality flapjacks.

  • Nix the Overmixing: Do not overmix the batter or the gluten in the flour will develop and you’ll end up with tough, dense pancakes. Lumps in the batter are a sign of stirring success.
  • Make-Ahead = Mess: Do not make the pancake batter hours before you plan on using it. It’s important to mix the batter then use it immediately in order to prevent the leavening agents (read: baking soda and baking powder) from losing their gusto.
  • Excessive Flipping Leads to a Flop: While it may be tempting to flip and then re-flip those flapjacks, it’s best to limit yourself to one solid flip once you see bubbles all atop the surface of each pancake. Excessive flipping flattens your ‘cakes and makes them more dense.

Storage Tips

Leftover pancakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Wrap cooked, cooled pancakes tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before refrigerating. Pancakes can be heated in the toaster or oven until warmed through.

Pancakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. Layer between sheets of wax paper in a freezer container or freezer bag. The frozen pancakes can be heated in the oven for 10 minutes or in a toaster until warmed through. 

Do not top with the cream cheese glaze until just before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do red velvet pancakes taste like?

These pancakes have a tangy flavor and light, tender texture similar to buttermilk pancakes, but with a hint of chocolate flavor because of the addition of cocoa powder. The cream cheese glaze is sweet, rich and tangy.

What toppings pair well with red velvet pancakes?

When it comes to topping off your red velvet pancakes, I love to get creative! Fresh berries, a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of chopped nuts, a handful of chocolate chips or a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup all add their own delicious twist to this decadent breakfast treat.

What’s the best way to reheat leftover red velvet pancakes?

Frozen or refrigerated pancakes can be heated in the toaster, toaster oven or conventional oven. For the toaster, use a low heat setting. Refrigerated pancakes will need around 90 seconds, frozen pancakes might need two cycles to heat through. To reheat more than one or two pancakes, use a toaster oven or oven preheated to 350˚F. Place the pancakes on a baking sheet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Heat for 4 to 8 minutes, depending on whether they’re refrigerated or frozen. 

Don’t drizzle the pancakes with the glaze until after they’re reheated. 

What type of cocoa powder is best for red velvet pancakes?

Natural cocoa powder is best for this and other red velvet recipes because its lighter hue helps make the red food coloring more vibrant. But since this recipe uses both baking powder and baking soda, which doesn’t require the acidity in natural cocoa powder for the leavening agent to activate, Dutch-process cocoa powder can be used if that’s all you have on hand. Your pancakes may turn out darker. 

Red velvet pancakes drizzled with cream cheese glaze and sprinkled with powdered sugar are on white plates and garnished with strawberries. A bowl of strawberries sits nearby.

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Breakfast

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze

Valentine's Day. Your birthday. A Saturday. There's no special occasion needed when it comes to whipping up a tall stack of light and fluffy red velvet pancakes. Add a tangy cream cheese glaze to the setup and suddenly Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies have some competition high atop the list of everyone's favorite crimson-colored foods.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 1 vote
Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients 

For the glaze:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the pancakes:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring

Instructions 

Make the glaze:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and milk until well combined. Add half of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined then add the remaining half and beat just until smooth. Cover the glaze with plastic wrap and set it aside.

Make the pancakes:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, unsalted butter and red food coloring.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. (The batter should be lumpy. Do not overmix it or your pancakes will be flat and dense rather than fluffy and light.)
  • Heat a skillet or sauté pan over medium low heat. (If you are not using a nonstick pan, lightly grease it with vegetable oil.) Add about ¼ cup batter to the pan. Once bubbles form on the top, flip the pancake and continue cooking it until it’s no longer doughy. Serve the pancakes immediately topped with the cream cheese glaze.

Kelly’s Notes

  • Do not overmix the batter or the gluten in the flour will develop and you’ll end up with tough, dense pancakes. The batter should be a little lumpy.
  • Do not make the pancake batter hours before you plan on using it. It’s important to mix the batter then use it immediately in order to prevent the baking soda and baking powder from losing their gusto.
  •  Limit yourself to one solid flip once you see bubbles all atop the surface of each pancake. Excessive flipping flattens your ‘cakes and makes them more dense.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 730kcal, Carbohydrates: 103g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 494mg, Potassium: 475mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 67g, Vitamin A: 1130IU, Calcium: 250mg, Iron: 2.7mg

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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


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Comments

  1. Hi! I’m a HUGE fan of your blog! I’ve done several recipes and have always been a success! But these pancakes were not wow! The lacked flavor, sweetness, i don’t what but they lacked that “UMF”. I’ll try them again doing some variations to see where it goes!

    1. Hi Carlota – I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste but I’m sorry you had this experience with this recipe! I haven’t experienced the lack of sweetness before.

  2. 5 stars
    Decided to make these for a fun twist to breakfast. My family loved them! They were light and fluffy. Thank you for our new favorite pancake recipe!

  3. Oh my gosh! I’d love to have this and maybe top it with some sliced strawberries! Perfect for those times when friends are coming over for tea. I also wanted to let you know: I made your light and fluffy buttermilk pancake yesterday, and it is absolutely wonderful!