These vegan pancakes are buttery, sweet, and so, so gooey and warm! They are made with birch beer and cardamom spiced sugar and topped with a decadent downpour of cold brew coffee syrup. Mornings have never tasted so good!
Truth be told, I’m NOT a morning person. Even when I wake up early in the morning during the week, it’s hard for me to stomach food firs thing. On a typical morning, I brew myself a cup of coffee and call it quits. It takes me roughly an hour or two after rising before I can even consider eating. Buuuut weekends are a different story. Two things: sleeping in and brunch. If you sleep in, you can have brunch (which is arguably the best meal!) One of my favorite brunch items are pancakes. So, this week I have teamed up with Califia Farms to bring you my version of vegan pancakes that are made with their Toasted Oats N’ Almond Almondmilk and some homemade birch beer & cardamom spiced sugar. Then these fluffy layers of goodness are soaked in a cold brew coffee syrup that is incredibly easy to make and even easier to devour!
What is birch beer? – I found this soda while perusing the shelves of the Homer Soda Company store a few weeks back. I had never heard of birch beer before, so I was instantly intrigued. After consulting the all-knowing internet, I learned that birch beer is made from the bark of the birch tree, more specifically the black birch (Nosowitz, 2014). In the olden days, they would start by boiling the bark in water for a long time, softening it and releasing the barks essential oils (Nosowitz, 2014). The solids are then strained out and the solution is fermented with yeast, which results in the creation of “small beer,” meaning a beer with only 2-3% alcohol (Nosowitz, 2014).
Birch beer is the fancier, more complex version of root beer, but soo much better! It has an herbal, earthiness to it. Slightly minty with a hint of vanilla to give it that smooth, subtle finish.
Spiced sugar – I stumbled across a blog post from Linda of Call Me Cupcake where she made a variety of flavored sugars. I was instantly intrigued. I knew I HAD to try my hand at it. I first attempted strawberry sugar, which turned out delicious. I used it in my strawberry milk cake recipe. For these pancakes, I knew I wanted to add the birch beer in a different and unique way. I had recently tested a spiced sugar recipe with orange soda for some orange soda crème Brulee I made for the Homer Soda Fest. I simply tweaked the original recipe and decided to add ground cardamom for a deeper depth of flavor. The verdict: sweet perfection.
Birch Beer & Cardamom Sugar Pancakes
with Cold Brew Coffee Maple Syrup (Vegan)
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup birch beer & cardamom sugar* or ½ cup regular granulated sugar
6 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 vegan eggs (I used these here)
1 ½ cups almond milk
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cold Brew Coffee Syrup
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoons cold brew coffee
1 cup organic sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons birch beer
For the sugar. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cardamom, vanilla, and birch beer. Spread sugar on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Dry the sugar in the oven for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the sugar is dried. Allow to sugar to cool completely and store sugar in an airtight container. When you are ready to use the sugar, transfer some to a mortar & pestle to break the sugar down into smaller granules.
For the pancakes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spiced sugar, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the prepared vegan eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
Grease up a griddle or cast-iron skillet with vegetable oil. (Tip: Test if the oil is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water. If the bubbles skitter around, the heat is just right. With every new batch of pancakes, you want to add a quarter-size worth of oil to the pan to keep the pancakes from sticking to the skillet.)
Take a 1/3 measuring cup and carefully pour batter onto the hot griddle or pan. Cook pancakes until golden brown around the edges and tiny little bubbles begin forming on top. Carefully flip pancakes with a spatula and cook until the other side is golden brown as well, about one minute or so. Keep warm by layering them on a plate in between paper towels. Serve immediately.
For the syrup. In a microwave safe bowl, add the maple syrup and cold brew coffee. Place bowl in the microwave and heat for 15 seconds, stirring, and heating for another 15 seconds. Serve with the pancakes.