Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes with Butter Pecan Sauce for Mardi Gras from Cleo Coyle

Print Friendly and PDF

Making pancakes for Mardi Gras is an old tradition, which is why I'm sharing one of my favorite pancake recipes with you this week: Pumpkin PancakesThe pumpkin brings nutrition, fiber, and great taste to these pancakes. You can top them with my Warm Butter Pecan Sauce or try the healthier topping idea I've also included in the recipe.

To download this recipe right now click here. Or read my entire blog post by scrolling down or clicking here and...

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Let Them Eat Pancakes!

This week marks the celebration of Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday. Why "Fat" Tuesday? Because it's the last day to party and eat before Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of Lent.

For those who observe these traditions, Lent begins forty days of modified fasting, which precedes the celebration of Easter.

Making and eating pancakes is an old tradition that came from people wanting to use up their lard (fat) and rich ingredients before Lent began, which is why doughnuts and fried pastries are also popular foods to eat on this day.

Mardi Gras is also referred to as Shrove Tuesday. Have you ever wondered why? Well, shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for sins via confessing and penance. (And please don't ask me to use it in a sentence. Oh, all right. When I burned the pancakes, I cleaned the pan, made a fresh batch, and asked my hungry husband to shrive me. See, I told you not to ask.) 

And so begins today's feasting before the fast...

May you flip with joy!
 ~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle’s
Perfect Pumpkin

Makes 8 – 10 pancakes, depending on size


4 tablespoons butter, melted

4 eggs 

½ cup pureed pumpkin (I use canned)

1-½ cups milk
(low fat is fine)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (double if you like spice)

(optional) ½ teaspoon orange zest (grated orange peel)

¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed

¼ teaspoon salt 

2 cups all-purpose flour 

2 teaspoons baking powder 


Step 1 - Make batter: Melt butter and set aside to cool a bit. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, pureed pumpkin, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and (optional) orange zest. Add brown sugar, salt, and the melted butter that you set aside. Finally mix in the flour and baking powder. Do not over-mix the batter at this point or your pancakes will be tough instead of tender. You can make the pancakes immediately or cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow batter to sit in the refrigerator (and hydrate) for 30 minutes to an hour (or even overnight). 

Step 2 – Cooking the perfect pancake: 

(a) Pre-heat: Pre-heat a nonstick griddle or skillet. If you have a good quality nonstick griddle or pan (and there is absolutely no residue on the surface), you will see prettier results without using grease. Butter, cooking spray, and oil all produce mottled surfaces on your pancakes. If you do have an older pan or it does not have a nonstick surface, lightly grease with butter, oil, or cooking spray.

(b) Pour: Using a measuring cup, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pre-heated pan or griddle; immediately pour ¼ cup more right on top of the first pour. The pancake batter should spread into a perfect circle, about five inches in diameter. 

(c) Flip and finish: When you see bubbles begin to form on pancake’s top, it’s ready to flip. Cook lightly on the other side and serve with my Warm Butter Pecan Sauce or my Healthier Topping Option, both are below.

Cleo's Warm 
Butter Pecan

Full of buttery sweet caramel flavor, this sauce is delicious served warm over ice cream or pancakes...

Makes 2/3 cup sauce


½ cup butter (1 stick)

¼ cup half-and-half or heavy cream

½ cup dark brown sugar, packed

¼ cup chopped pecans


Quick warning: Do not melt butter first in this recipe. If you do, the butter may separate and your sauce will not thicken properly unless you boil it down. Instead, use this method: In a saucepan, over low heat, combine solid butter, half-and-half (or cream), brown sugar, and chopped pecans. Stir immediately and continually. Mixture should not boil. When butter is fully melted, remove from heat, cover and keep warm to serve over pancakes or ice cream.

Cleo's Healthier
Topping Option

Instead of using butter and syrup on your pancakes or the sauce described above, try this healthier method...

Squeeze juice from the wedge of an orange over the top of your warm pumpkin pancakes and dust with powdered sugar. 

This is a much lower calorie option than butter and syrup and it tastes delicious—almost like a carnival funnel cake, one of my favorite treats from childhood. The orange flavor also pairs beautifully with the light pumpkin taste in the pancakes.


Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend or follow me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

5 Best of Year Lists!

Learn more or buy at:

 Amazon * B&N

Indie * 


culinary mystery with a
menu of delicious recipes!


Now in paperback!

Amazon * B&N

IndieBound * BAM

"A gripping and entertaining mystery"
--Library Journal (Starred Review) 
"Penetrating insights" --Kirkus Reviews 
"Sure to delight" --Publishers Weekly


Our culinary mystery includes
25 delicious recipes! To get the
Free Recipe Guide, 
click here.

Click for Free Recipe Guide
to Shot in the Dark.

A "Best Book of 2018!"

~ Suspense Magazine

"A magnificent cold case 
mystery." ~ Fresh Fiction 

Amazon * B&N

IndieBound * BAM


"He is hardboiled in the tradition
of Philip Marlowe, and she is a genteel
Miss Marple; yet the two opposites
make an explosive combination..."

—Midwest Book Review

To learn more, visit our
Haunted Bookshop
clicking here.

Our bestselling hardcover is 
now a bestseller in paperback...

3 Best of Year Lists 
Top 10 Mysteries for Book Clubs 2017
Mystery Guild "Most Wanted" Selection

Amazon * B&N

BAM * IndieBound


This culinary mystery includes
more than 25 delicious recipes!
To get the Free Recipe Guide:

Click Here.

Clare Goes to Washington!

Dead to the Last Drop

Amazon  * B&N 

For the Free Recipe
 click here!

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the 18 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

See mini plot summaries 
for every title and news on
 Cleo's next release!


If you'd like to be entered in our upcoming giveaways
and receive special 
bonus recipes, sign up for
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter...


Simply write an email with the
"Sign me up!" and send it to:

When you sign up, you will receive
to past newsletters,
including the one above. 

*  *  *

Comments and

Join Cleo on
Facebook here.

Or leave a comment on Cleo's
"Coffee Talk" Message Board
at her online coffeehouse