Fabulously Lazy Lemon & Vanilla Bean Pancakes

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I may love making just about everything from scratch, but I am not above “just add water” pancake mix. However, I rarely “just add water”…I almost always add something amazing to it so that I’m actually enjoying my dusty box of pancake mix. This is a great recipe for those days when you’re out of everything you need to make homemade pancake batter — like I usually am…

These pancakes are everything.

oh my goodness

Do you hear me?


The lemon, cinnamon and vanilla work so harmoniously well together, it will make you want to hug yourself like Ray Charles. It’s truly something you have to experience. The vanilla beans add such a subtle sweetness, making these pancakes truly decadent. These are stupid easy to make, by the way. If you already have a box of pancake mix in your pantry, and I bet you do, you can make these. They’re called “lazy” for a reason. I will say this though, if you’re going to make these pancakes do yourself a favor and get the real maple syrup — not the fake stuff. It will compliment your pancakes and make you a better person lol.

all the kids get in the pool

mixin up the medicine

fry my buttery lovely


oh my goodness

oh my gaaaaahhhhh

Fabulously Lazy Lemon & Vanilla Bean Pancakes
Serves: makes 4-6 medium pancakes
  • 1 cup pancake mix (the "just add water" kind)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp lemon zest (or the zest from a half a lemon, you can use the whole lemon, it's up to you)
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • water (how much or how little is totally up to you)
  • butter
  • maple syrup
  1. Heat your electric griddle to the highest setting. If you're using a skillet, set the heat to medium.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, cinnamon and lemon zest.
  3. Take one vanilla bean and split it down the middle with a small, sharp knife. Use the back edge of the knife to scrape the beans out in one smooth stroke motion. vanilla beans are a little sticky so take your time with this if it's your first time working w/ them. A tip: don't throw away the scraped up stalk because you can flavor stuff with it, such as liquors and sugars, etc.
  4. Add the water and vanilla extract and mix until all the ingredients come together. Don't over mix because it will toughen your pancakes, and you want light, fluffy pancakes, right?
  5. Take 1 stick of butter, and peel back the paper about an inch. Draw a circle on your hot griddle and immediately pour the pancake batter on top of it. This gives the pancakes a beautiful golden, buttery color and flavor. I like this method better than just adding butter to the pan because you end up wasting butter and it starts to burn.
  6. Repeat this with every pancake and flip each pancake when you see bubbles. About 2 to 3 minutes. Try to resist the urge to flip it again and again. Unless of course you like a rubbery ass pancake, don't over-handle them. Once they're flipped on their other side, allow it to cook an additional minute or two and bring to a plate.
  7. Stack, add a little more butter if you're about that Paula Deen life, and drizzle warm maple syrup on top and control your emotions because these are THAT good ;)

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  1. Tiera says

    Just made these for my family…the words “restaurant quality” were thrown around quite a bit! Absolutely delicious.

  2. Sarah says

    Okay so last night I made your Chicken Canzanese and polenta which was FABULOUS. But here I am the next morning needing a sweet recovery to that food coma of last night. So I searched in desperation for a recipe from you that would not require me to go out and get ingredients. Lo and behold I find this gem. But of course since I still didn’t have everything I made some adjustments. I had no vanilla bean so I increased the vanilla extract by a half teaspoon. Then instead of using regular water for the mix, I took my favorite loose leaf chai and brewed a cup. I also took a pinch of the loose tea and added that to the pancake mix. Lastly while the pancakes were cooking, I knew I only had the inferior fake maple syrup on hand. So I juiced the half lemon I had zested earlier, added a splash of vanilla extract, and a couple squeezes of the fake syrup, then added enough powdered sugar to pull it all together to make a glaze. I am eating the fruit of my labors now and holy hell is this good.

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