Pumpkin-Banana Pancakes with a Nutella Swirl

When I first moved to LA, I briefly dated an actor who was all into healthy, California-type things like hiking and protein scrambles.

I was, to say the least, not.

But our favorite place to go for brunch, The Griddle, presented an excellent compromise: he would order egg whites with cubed chicken breast and broccoli and an iced green tea, and I would order pumpkin pancakes with whipped cream and a mimosa.

Guess who was the big winner at brunch, every single time?

That’s right.

Anyway, these pancakes are inspired by the ones they served at The Griddle…except they’re about a quarter of the size - those things were huge - and happily served up minus the hour-and-a-half wait on the sidewalk next to some dude in an Ed Hardy shirt and his blonde, be-extensioned, script-wielding girlfriend. And they involve bananas and Nutella (the original version does not), so that’s obviously a major plus.

What you need:

1 cup pancake mix

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

1 tbsp oil

1/4 cup pureed pumpkin

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp Nutella, gently melted in the microwave (careful not to let it burn - 20 seconds should do it)

1 banana, sliced into rounds

What you do:

1. Heat your griddle over medium-low and lightly oil. The griddle is ready when you throw some drops of water on it and they sizzle.

2. In a large bowl, combine pancake mix, egg, milk, oil, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Whisk until just smooth (don’t over-whisk, or the pancakes will be tough).

3. Swirl in the melted Nutella (just a quick swirl; the point is to create a Nutella ribbon, not to blend it in).

4. Cook on griddle (my trick for knowing when to flip: wait for the moment when a ton of bubbles suddenly rise to the surface - not a second longer) and serve topped with bananas and maple syrup (Kendrick also added some peanut butter to his).

5. If you want to really go for the full Griddle experience, top each stack with a small spoonful of spiced pumpkin puree, a bit of whipped cream, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. And if you’re serving them to company, a cinnamon stick placed on an angle atop each stack makes a pretty presentation.