Ginger Pancakes with Lemon Sauce

With Thanksgiving in two days, and Christmas just around the corner, I want to share with you all one of my favorite recipes from my childhood to give you some inspiration for your holiday menus. This is a special, old, old Betty Crocker recipe that my mom used to make when I was a kid, always one of my favorites. It seems to have all but vanished from the food world, but I think it deserves to be pulled from obscurity and enjoy a moment in the spotlight…sweet and spicy ginger pancakes with a decadent cream cheese filling and a luscious, warm, buttery lemon sauce.


Now, this is uncharted territory for me, the first recipe here on the blog, because, to be honest, I’m really not a very good cook. I do love to bake, but my cooking skills leave a bit to be desired…just ask my kids. Well, actually, they’ll tell you I’m a great cook because I can cook a mean box of Kraft macaroni and cheese…their favorite. But this recipe is fairly simple, and so worth stepping a little out of my comfort zone for.

Also, side note, have you ever tried taking pictures while you’re cooking? Try it sometime. It will give you a whole new respect for food bloggers!

Here is the original recipe from Betty Crocker, worth checking out just for the not-so-appetizing retro photo, but I’ll be modifying the recipe just a tad.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: Bisquick mix, butter, lemons, milk, sugar, powdered sugar, cream cheese, molasses, vanilla, water, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger. Pretty standard ingredients…the only “specialty ingredient” that I didn’t have on hand was the molasses, which I found in the syrup aisle. I’ll include the full recipe at the bottom so you can see the full list of ingredients.


I started with the lemon sauce, which is the scene-stealer, in my humble opinion, the best part of the recipe. I mixed one cup of sugar with 1 stick of butter (and definitely use real butter!), 1/4 cup of water, 1 egg, well beaten (very important!), a tablespoon of grated lemon peel, and 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice in a saucepan.


I even got a little help from my 4 year old.


Over medium heat, I brought these ingredients to a low boil while stirring constantly with a wire whisk.


Very important to keep stirring; I didn’t and had little flecks of cooked eggs. If this happens to you, though, just toss the sauce through a strainer, and it will be fine.


Once your sauce is finished, keep it over very low heat while you finish the pancakes and frosting, and it will thicken up a little as it sits.

For your pancakes, in a medium sized bowl, mix 2 cups Bisquick mix, 1 1/3 cups of milk, 1/4 cup of molasses, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon  of ground cloves, and 1 egg with a wire whisk or beater until it is well mixed.

I like to pour my pancake mix into a large measuring cup just to make it easier to pour. I’m a pretty messy person, so I need anything I can think of to curtail the mess. Heat your skillet to medium heat; I used my cast iron skillet, but of course, use whatever surface you feel comfortable with. The recipe says to use roughly 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Flip your pancake once it starts to bubble.

Once you have a nice stack of pancakes going, you can start on your cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, I whisked together a half of an 8 oz package of softened cream cheese, 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and just a tablespoon or two of milk to get it to the consistency I wanted.

Lastly, I just started stacking. Pancake on the bottom, layer of cream cheese filling, pancake, cream cheese filling…and topped all that off with a generous serving of the lemon sauce.

Might I suggest this recipe for a Thanksgiving breakfast or brunch? The buttery warmth of the lemon sauce and sweet spiciness of the pancakes make it a great fallish (or winterish) recipe. It deserves a special occasion, too, because it is rich and good. So good that I may have wrecked my Whole 30 diet while making it. Maybe. Make it and thank me later (just not when you’re on a Whole 30)!

Here is the full recipe:

Ginger Pancakes with Cream Cheese Filling and Lemon Sauce

Lemon Sauce

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (or 1 Stick) Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Egg, WELL Beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Peel
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Ginger Pancakes

  • 2 Cups Bisquick Mix
  • 1 1/3 Cups Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1/2 package (4 oz) of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (may vary)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk (to desired consistency)


  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine all ingredients. Over medium heat, stir ingredients constantly with wire whisk until the sauce comes to a boil. Leave the sauce on lowest heat (sauce will thicken as it sits).
  2. In medium sized bowl, mix all pancake ingredients with whisk or beaters until well blended. Spray desired cooking surface with oil spray, heat to medium (may vary depending on surface), and pour 1/4 cup of batter mix per pancake. Flip pancake once it starts to bubble, and cook the other side for about a minute.
  3. In another bowl, combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat with whisk or blender. Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until filling reaches desired consistency (should still be pretty thick).
  4. Layer pancakes with cream cheese filling, and top with lemon sauce. Garnish with lemon slice (optional).
  5. Enjoy!

I hope all of you, dear readers, have a fantastic Thanksgiving full of way more food than you can possibly eat and making memories with the people you love!