Gulab jamun pancakes, Indian fusion food at its finest! One of the most popular Indian desserts gets a breakfast spin.
I am so excited about it! Gulab jamun is a very popular Indian dessert, served at weddings, festivals, etc. They are deep-fried “donuts” which are then soaked in a cardamom, saffron sugar syrup. The syrup often has a hint of rose in it as well. Pancakes soak in syrup much the same way so it is an easy way to get the flavors and feel of gulab jamun in a non-fried form. It is a healthier alternative to the traditional deep fried, sugar syrup soaked dessert. Very easy to whip up and could be a fun idea for Diwali brunch!
I have a recipe for gulab jamun pancakes from scratch. It is different than my regular pancake recipe. But, you could also use a ready made pancake mix and tweak it for a yummy twist. More on both options are outlined below.
What does the process entail?
Start with one of two options:
- From scratch: Make delicious from scratch gulab jamun pancakes using my recipe (different from regular pancakes) OR
- From mix: Add cardamom and rose water to the pancake mix batter then make pancakes as usual per box directions
Then make a sugar syrup like you would for gulab jamun which consists of sugar, water, saffron, cardamom. Once cooled, add in an equal portion of maple syrup to help give a thicker consistency.
Top with gulab jamun if you’re feeling extra and eat!
Ingredients to make gulab jamun pancakes
You just need a few simple ingredients to make these! First, pictured below is the ingredients for the syrup:
Then, the ingredients for the pancakes are pictured below:
How to make gulab jamun pancakes
You can easily make the pancakes at home from scratch. Gulab jamun base is made with similar ingredients as pancakes. The difference is the addition of milk powder. So, these pancakes incorporate whole milk powder to give that familiar mawa/milky like taste of gulab jamun. This is my preferred way of making it.
You can also make the pancakes by using your favorite ready made pancake mix. I used Madhava brand pancake mix. Use your favorite type. I would just taste a little bit of the batter to make sure you can taste the rose and cardamom. Different mixes may change the amount needed.
I’ve noted both methods from scratch and using ready made mix.
Why not use gulab jamun mix?
I don’t recommend using ready made gulab jamun mix to make the pancakes as they won’t rise and be fluffy. As a result, it feels like a waste of gulab jamun mix to me. Use it to make real gulab jamuns one day!
Making the syrup
Let’s be real, the syrup is what gives the taste of gulab jamun. The syrup is sugar infused with flavors mixed with maple syrup to give it a thicker consistency. Usually gulab jamun is soaked in chaasni which is just sugar syrup infused with flavors. I don’t like the idea of drowning my pancakes in just sugar syrup so the maple syrup addition makes it healthier and gives the syrup a thicker consistency.
Making gulab jamun pancakes from scratch
First, you make the flavor infused syrup
Then, make the gulab jamun pancakes!
Tips for fluffy pancakes
- Use a non-stick pan
- Don’t over mix the pancake batter
- Use thicker batter. You can add a little more milk to this batter, but if you add too much it will not fluff up.
- Give pan time to heat up and keep on medium to low (dependent on your stove)
- Make sure to use finely ground cardamom. Use a sieve to get out the bigger chunks if needed, they don’t taste so great in a bite!
- I always use milk instead of water in the pancake mix (used whole milk in this recipe for gulab jamun pancakes)
- I used Nielsen Massey rose water and it is strong! That is why I only used 1/8 tsp of the rose water. I did not want it to overpower the pancakes. Too much rose water can make anything taste like you are eating a bar of soap so be careful!
- A little saffron goes a long way. Make sure to grind it before putting it into the sugar/water mixture. If you really love saffron sprinkle a small amount on top of the pancakes/sauce. It’s really all personal preference!
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Gulab Jamun Pancakes
- Mixing bowl
- Non stick pan
For the syrup:
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup water
- 2-3 pinches of saffron crushed with mortar/pestle or just crush with fingers
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ½ tsp rose water Nielssen Masey rose water
Gulab jamun pancakes from scratch
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup whole milk powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ tsp rose water I used Nielsen Massey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- oil to coat nonstick pan for cooking pancake
Or for gulab jamun pancake with boxed, pre-made pancake mix
- 8 oz pancake mix
- ½ tsp finely ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp rose water
- 1 cup milk of choice dependent on your preference for pancakes
- Bring water, cardamom, sugar, saffron to a boil. Once boiling reduces to low-medium heat for a few minutes ensuring sugar has dissolved. Add maple syrup and bring to boil then turn off stove. Take off heat. It will slightly thicken as it cools.
Option 1: Make gulab jamun pancakes from scratch
- Mix milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside. Measure dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
- Add vanilla and rose water to mix. Mix in buttermilk (milk and apple cider vinegar). Let sit 5 minutes.
- Batter will be bubbly after 5 minutes. Heat pan and coat lightly with oil.
- Pour batter (it will be thick) and lightly move to shape. Let cook 2-3 minutes on medium. Bubbles will form.
- Flip and cook 2-3 more minutes on other side.
- Serve with syrup and enjoy!
Option 2: Make gulab jamun pancakes from boxed, pre-made pancake mix
- Pancakes: Add in cardamom, milk/water, cardamom and rose water to pancake mix and combine.
- Serve: Make pancakes and pour gulab jamun maple syrup all over them!