Apple Oatmeal Pancakes with Caramel Buttermilk Syrup

I love this time of year.

The days are cooler, and the sky is big and blue and sunshiny…perfect for brisk morning walks, end of season yard work and garden clean up, and plenty of baking with the windows open.

And I’m in a total apple kick right now.

While we were eating buttermilk pancakes recently, I couldn’t help but wonder what they’d be like filled with apple. So I played around with the recipe and came up with these Apple Oatmeal Pancakes. They’re hearty, yet not heavy, with sweet little apple bits throughout. Our girls think they’re awesome!

And then, not really in the mood for maple syrup, I started thinking about something more caramel-like to top these cakes. I came across a syrup recipe calling for all the ingredients of a caramel sauce I already make, with the addition of buttermilk. Buttermilk? Really? My curiosity was definitely piqued.

This Caramel Buttermilk Syrup is creamy, sweet, and buttery…and begs you to slurp it straight-up with a spoon. It’s a great alternative to maple syrup on your breakfast goodies. And a pretty awesome dessert topper, too, as I can also attest to how wonderful it is drizzled over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. ;) What a fun discovery!

Apple Oatmeal Pancakes with Caramel Buttermilk Syrup

Yield: about 12 pancakes (4 in. diameter) and 2-1/2 cups syrup


    for the apple oatmeal pancakes:
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing the heated griddle
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. small diced apple (I use Haralson or Granny Smith)
  • for the caramel buttermilk syrup:
  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 T. corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


for the apple oatmeal pancakes:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the buttermilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla, and fold to combine. Fold in the apple. Do not over mix. The batter should appear a bit lumpy. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften the oatmeal.

Preheat an electric griddle to 300°, or place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Spread a 1/2 tablespoon of butter around the surface. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup (I like my pancakes on the smaller side...easier to flip, easier to have "just one more"!), pour the batter in pools, leaving an inch or two of space between each pancake. When the pancakes have bubbles on the surface, about 3 to 4 minutes, flip them. Cook until they are lofty and golden, another minute or 2. Serve with warm caramel buttermilk syrup.

for the caramel buttermilk syrup:

In a large saucepan (make sure it's large, this will bubble up!) over medium-high heat, combine the butter, sugar, buttermilk, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda, stirring to combine. The syrup will bubble up and look very foamy. Stir in the vanilla. The bubbles will settle and the syrup will thicken as it cools. Be sure to make the syrup before you start the pancakes, so it has time to thicken. If the syrup starts to separate, simply give it a brisk whisking.

Syrup can also be served with buttermilk pancakes, waffles, French toast...and ice cream!


Apple Oatmeal Pancakes adapted from my family's favorite buttermilk pancakes. Caramel Buttermilk Syrup adapted just slightly from Gracious Rain.

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27 Responses to “Apple Oatmeal Pancakes with Caramel Buttermilk Syrup”

  1. #
    Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box — September 21, 2012 at 7:29 am

    These sound amazing! Absolutely perfect for fall. Pinning :)

  2. #
    Jocelyn — September 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

    These sound like the perfect Fall breakfast…and I am down with slurping that awesome syrup straight from the spoon:-)

  3. #
    Candace Hill — September 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Oatmeal (as in already made) or oats, which are two different things.

    • Brenda replied on September 21st, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Oats! Thanks for catching my wording, Candace – I made the change.

  4. #
    Carol | a cup of mascarpone — September 21, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I know what I’m making for breakfast this weekend! These look absolutely wonderful!

  5. #
    cassie — September 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I love oatmeal pancakes, Brenda. The apples are perfect for fall, too. I just ate my first Honeycrisp apple of the season yesterday and I can’t wait for another. These look perfectly seasonal!

  6. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — September 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Oh I love these pancakes! I want a stack for my Saturday breakfast :).

  7. #
    Cathy @ Noble Pig — September 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    It sounds fantastic…bring on Fall!!

  8. #
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — September 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I would like to drink the caramel syrup on it’s own. HEY…it’s a Farmgirl Pancake Friday. :) Love this recipe Brenda and I am so excited I get to see your face in a couple of weeks!! WOOT. Have a super weekend darlin!


  9. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — September 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I love oatmeal pancakes and the addition of apples sounds perfect. . .as does that syrup!!

  10. #
    SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen — September 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Your pancakes just keep getting better & better!!! Love this idea — the oats & cinnamon are my favorite. And, with apples, even better.

  11. #
    Paula — September 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    You are killing me with your pancake recipes! My recipe for apple cinnamon pancakes says that you can freeze them and reheat in the toaster. I have and they are just as good as when fresh. I wonder if these would do the same. I love that there is oatmeal in them.

    • Brenda replied on September 24th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      I need to try your freeze & toast method, Paula – what a great quick (and WARM, now that we’re thinking about the cold months ahead) breakfast to get the girls going before school!

  12. #
    Mercedes — September 22, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Caramel Buttermilk Syrup??? These sound insanely delicious!

  13. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — September 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Ooo, that caramel buttermilk syrup sounds heavenly!

  14. #
    Amy @ Spin The Meal — September 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Sounds absolutely delish! I just made some banana oat pancakes this weekend, and my boys gobbled them right up. Your syrup sounds unbelievably good!!!

  15. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — September 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I adore oatmeal pancakes and the addition of apple in these sounds wonderful! I see these in my very near future!

  16. #
    Ashley - Baker by Nature — September 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I’m sitting here wondering how I’ve never thought to put oatmeal in pancakes before…! Must try this.

    Happy to have found your lovely blog!

  17. #
    Launi — September 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Ooooh–so glad you loved the Buttermilk Syrup. Your apple pancakes sound positively scrumptious! What a good combination too. Thanks so much for the link. :}

    • Brenda replied on September 24th, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Ahhhh…so nice to hear from you, Launi! I’m planning to make another batch of pancakes this week and use up the remaining syrup – yum!

  18. #
    Good Food Good Friends — September 25, 2012 at 6:15 am

    These look delightful! Love the addition of oatmeal.

  19. #
    Katie (The Muffin Myth) — September 26, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Mmmm, I’m on a major apple kick right now too! Those pancakes look amazing, but the sauce! Wow! Thanks so much for sharing the recipes.

  20. #
    Barb Schneider — October 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    My husband went absolutely mental when he ate these. I was surprised by how dense the batter was so i cooked them awhile to make sure they were done in the middle. They turned out great and the syrup is to die for. The left overs went into the freezer and were reheated in the toaster. it will definitely be made again soon! YUM!!!

  21. #
    Amy @ Spin The Meal — October 16, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Great recipe! I love using oats in pancakes…what a perfect way to add some whole grain. Here’s a tip that I use to easily incorporate the oats in mine: put them in the blender and pulse a few times to break them down into smaller bits –

  22. #
    Carleen Malone — October 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Could you use Almond milk in place of buttermilk?


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