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The best pancake recipes: 12 easy ways to celebrate Pancake Day

A hot stack of pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup, is the quintessential American breakfast, but it’s time to give this morning meal a makeover. For Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day, why not jazz up the old classic with something new?

Whether you enjoy pancakes for a breakfast, lunch or dinner feast, these 12 ideas will certainly give you a reason to feast well today.

Each recipe serves four and most can be made using your favorite pancake recipe as a base. A few of the recipes involve stirring an ingredient or two into the pancake batter, while the rest are simple toppings to add to your finished flapjacks.

While it’s not essential, maple syrup makes an excellent addition to any of the options included here.

To keep things easy, place your pancakes in a 200°F oven as you make them. This allows everyone to eat together and gives you a chance to quickly make your toppings without worrying about your meal getting cold.

1. Perfect Classic Pancakes

Kelly Senyei

Start with your favorite pancake mix or this lovely classic recipe. No judgment if you prefer to stop at this point.

2. Healthy Banana and Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Joy Bauer uses whole wheat flour, low-fat cottage cheese and a banana for a boost of healthy sweetness in these delicious pancakes. The end result is a tasty flapjack that's loaded with protein and fiber. Top it with fresh fruit for an extra dose of nutrition, then dig in!

3. Cream Cheese and Orange Zest Pancakes

Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions, and keep warm in a 200°F oven. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup skim milk, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar), zest of 1 orange, 2 tablespoons orange juice and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Heat the mixture, whisking occasionally, until smooth and syrup-like. Serve with pancakes.

4. Pear and pecan pancakes

Lauren Salkeld

Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions, and keep warm in a 200°F oven. Peel, core, and thinly slice 2 pears. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the pears, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon and sauté until the pears are soft but not falling apart, 5-7 minutes. Top the pancakes with pears and chopped, toasted pecans.

5. Blueberry pancakes

TODAY

Thaw 1/2 cup frozen blueberries. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions. Once you pour the batter into the pan, sprinkle each pancake with blueberries before flipping.

6. Butternut squash, yogurt and hazelnut pancakes

Lauren Salkeld

In a baking dish, drizzle 2 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash with olive oil and salt to taste, then roast in a 400°F oven until tender, 30 minutes. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions and top with squash (reheated with 1 tablespoon butter on the stove, if necessary), Greek yogurt, honey and chopped, toasted hazelnuts.

7. Cinnamon and raisin pancakes

Make pancake batter per the recipe or mix instructions, adding 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions and sprinkle with raisins.

8. Ricotta and lemon zest pancakes

Lauren Salkeld

Make pancake batter per the recipe or mix instructions, adding 1/2 cup ricotta and the zest of 1-2 lemons. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions.

9. Rolled oats pancakes

Make pancake batter per the recipe or mix instructions, adding 1/2 cup rolled oats. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions.

10. Mango and toasted coconut pancakes

Lauren Salkeld

Toast 1/2 cup shredded coconut until golden brown. Peel and pit 1 large mango and cut it into very small pieces. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions and top with mango and toasted coconut.

RELATED: The best way to peel a mango

11. Peanut butter and banana pancakes

Peel 2 bananas and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Make pancake batter per the recipe or mix instructions, adding 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter. If the batter is too thick, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen it. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions. Once you pour the batter into the pan, add 3-4 banana rounds to each pancake before flipping.

12. Pumpkin and mini chocolate chips pancakes

Lauren Salkeld

Make pancake batter per the recipe or mix instructions, adding 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips. If the batter is too thick, add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen it. Make pancakes per the recipe or mix instructions.

This article was originally published on April 8, 2017.

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