We learned a lot from Buddy the Elf. About the power of Christmas spirit and the importance of family, sure. But also solid information about the route from the North Pole to New York City, which apparently passes “through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest, through the Sea of Swirly Twirly Gum Drops,” and then through the Lincoln Tunnel. To commemorate Buddy’s journey, I made this candy cane breakfast forest, both because it’s a nice holiday splurge and because a candy Lincoln Tunnel would be weird.
Making your own batch of Candy Cane Forest Pancakes is a cinch — you’ll need basic pancakes, a few extra mini candy canes, and some whipped cream. Because the pancakes are topped with sweetened whipped cream and actual candy, I added just a drizzle of maple syrup. I’ve included my own go-to pancake recipe below, but feel free to swap in your favorite recipe instead.
Candy Cane Forest Pancakes
Makes: 4 servings
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, and cooled, plus more for frying pancakes
- 15 mini candy canes
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- maple syrup for serving
- Slide a large baking sheet into the oven and turn heat to 200 F.
- Set a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and sea salt. In a small bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, drizzle with melted butter, and stir just until combined.
- Drop a tablespoon of oil into preheated skillet. Add 3 tablespoons of batter per pancake and cook 2-3 minutes per side. Place cooked pancakes on preheated cookie sheet in warm oven.
- While pancakes are cooking, set 3 candy canes in a sealed bag and smash candy with a mallet or roll over with a rolling pin until you have a sandy candy cane powder. Beat whipped cream to soft peaks then beat in 2 tablespoons sugar.
- To serve, drizzle a stack of 3-4 pancakes with just a bit of maple syrup, add a dollop of whipped cream, a dusting of candy cane powder, and finally, push 3 candy can “trees” into the pancakes. Serve immediately.
Watch Elf as part of ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas airing Dec. 1-25.