Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cherry cola pancakes

I was not planning to write anything today, much less write a post about pancakes, yet here I am and look what has happened.

Tradition is quite the phenomenon. It drives us to do the same fucking thing over and over and over again, year after year, without tiring of it—much less driving ourselves batshit crazy. How human of us.

And with Easter approaching, we can expect to carry out the same traditions once again, whether we like it or not. Family gatherings, for one. Nobody really likes those, do they? Much easier to send each other tidings of joy through Facebook.

Then you have the traditions of food. There shall be honey-glazed ham; mashed potatoes; that addictive, crunchy ramen salad; and of course chocolate bunnies and goddamn jelly beans. I mean it this time: Are you there, God? It’s me, June Baby, and I’d like you to damn jelly beans to their well-deserved vomit-filled Hell. Literally.  

Because fuck you. source

With my recent ventures of the world of baking and food in general, it is increasingly difficult for me to accept that people are complacent with cooking and eating the same dishes year after year after year, particularly on these momentous occasions when dozens of people will actually be able to taste your very own food. What could possess you to believe that everyone wants to see your shitty-ass mushroom casserole again?! This is your moment! Seize it! Go forth and prove the existence of your inner domestic goddess Michelin-starred chef to all the world (and your bitchy cousins)! New recipes! New ingredients! Tradition can go fuck itself; it’s time to make something sexy and delicious.

So as my mother lurches towards the Cooking Light tiramisu, I must persuade her that no, our extended family (who always gobbles up the sweet, Kahlua-infused glop within minutes) does not want the same dessert yet again and that it would be a far better idea to make, say, a Meyer lemon crepe cake, a la Martha Stewart. Don’t you want to check another recipe off of the ever-growing To Make list?

*sighs loudly* source

Thankgodfully, my mother has actually approached me with a request: that I make a rosemary sweet potato dish…that I made last Thanksgiving. I can’t complain—I may have made the dish before, but it is probably all that my inner savory chef can handle.

So I’ll start a new tradition. Savory sweet potatoes. Suck it, so-not-vegan marshmallows.

Fat little motherfucker don't even care. source

And I’m okay with that. In fact, I like to think I am a fabulous tradition-creator, as I have already celebrated my own little food ritual a few years in a row: cherry cola on Thanksgiving. Every year, my family participates in a five-mile, notoriously hilly Turkey Trot and heads home sweaty, stinky, and ready to dig into the biggest feast of the year when it isn’t even noontime, much less turkey time.

What’s a hungry runner to do? Drink some cola. And by “cola” I obviously mean “Coca-Cola” (the only kind worth drinking, IMHO), but there is just no topping the lovely Spanish rhythm of the more antique-sounding word. Then there’s the added bonus of not being confused with an illicit drug.

Powdered sugar. source

Regular cola is too mainstream, obviously, so cherry Coke Zero it is.

*salivation intensifies* source

In drinking this Coke Zero after running a long, hard road race, I am celebrating the American way on one of the most patriotic days of the year. Cola is like our culture—filled with too many calories and too much flavor, but something you can’t help but guzzle, can after can.

And cherries. Sweet, patriotic, Washington cherries.

It is a beautiful tradition.

*wipes tear*

Not only that, but the flavors of cherry and cola do pair together remarkably well. So it was high time it was converted to pancake form.

After stumbling upon a genius cola reduction on Culinary Brodown, I thought to myself, “Weirdly peppery waffles sounds great and all, but wouldn’t that be even more fab on cherry waffles instead?”

So I sought out and found a lovely recipe for cherry waffles on Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, and cried myself to sleep after realizing I couldn’t have the waffles for breakfast because the cola reduction would take too long and so I would get rather hungry in the meantime, and ended up making the batter for dinner, and decided waffle irons were too mainstream and ate them as lame-ass pancakes instead. Whoop de doo. But they were so fab and sexy and delicious, I thought, why don’t I make another short stack and take some pictures and, you know, write a long fucking post about them like I’ve done with the past few things I’ve made?

Ominous shadow is ominous.

So here you go.


Cherry Cola Pancakes or Waffles

Makes four to six servings


Batter (adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)

316 grams • all-purpose flour • 2 cups

3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon

25 grams • granulated sugar • 2 tablespoons

14 grams • baking powder • 1 tablespoon

458 grams • soy milk • 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons

14 grams • flax meal or chia seeds • 1 tablespoon, ground

27 grams • coconut oil, melted and cooled • 2 tablespoons

30 grams • unsweetened applesauce • 2 tablespoons

1 gram • almond extract • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon

207 grams • cherries, pitted and chopped • 1 1/3 cups

Cherry cola syrup (adapted from Culinary Brodown)

3 cans • Coca-Cola Cherry (or regular Coca-Cola) • 36 ounces

14 grams • Earth Balance or other vegan butter • 1 tablespoon


The night before (or you could wake up very early), dump the cola into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about forty-five minutes, or until the cola forms a thick syrup. You may want to consult Culinary Brodown for this, as I was not successful in achieving a nice thick syrup with Cherry Coke Zero (the kind I had available).

Mix flaxseed or chia seeds with 91 grams / ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk and let stand for a few minutes.

Combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, flax egg, applesauce, almond extract, and coconut oil until combined. Combine dry and wet, then fold in cherries. You can use frozen cherries straight out of the freezer—I didn’t have any problems with bleeding or thawing in the batter.

Now, take the batter and either a) fry it on a well pre-heated frying pan, making sure to keep heat low so they cook all the way through, or b) stick it in a waffle iron and hope for the best as it cooks out of sight. Either one. Serve with whipped cream and—goddamit why didn’t I think of that? BRB, shopping.

Before you attempt this, note that while the Cherry Coke Zero did reduce, it did not thicken very well. It might have been because I did not do it correctly, or it could have been because the cola was calorie-free. I suspect the latter. Therefore, I recommend going out and buying that sugary delicious soda and attempting it that way, if you so please, as I am in the midst of negotiations with my mother to buy the full-calorie version (something unheard of in my oh-so-healthy household).

You might also have noticed the use of eeeeviiiiil all-purpose flour in these lovely pancakes. I worried the structure of the pancakes would be sacrificed if I dared substitute white whole wheat flour, so this recipe shall stick to our favorite white powder (besides coke and powdered sugar, of course).

Fluffy pancake is fluffy.

And, well, you know…#YOLO, amiright? 


  1. Not a big fan of Cherry Cola - or any soda, for that matter. I'm rather a traditionalist when it comes to pancakes - plain and simple with lots of maple syrup! BUT I will admit to making a chicken casserole dish that uses Coke as the liquid - makes for a nice, glazy (yes, that's a word) sauce to serve over rice.

    As for after run/race re-fueling - I'm all about the chocolate milk!!

    1. Yes, I agree with chocolate milk! I like the Silk dark chocolate almond milk after going for runs. Mmm, protein. :)