What do people most likely remember?—beginnings and endings. It’s no different when it comes to mealtimes, so we turned to Maple Grove’s Dan Greer, who has a decade of professional cooking under his belt, to come up with some easy-to-make and quick-to-serve breakfast and dessert options. (Readers likely remember being introduced to Greer in the March 2019 issue of our magazine.)
With family home for the holidays or company coming to visit, serving a warm breakfast starts the day on a festive note. Greer shows us how to shave some time off morning kitchen duty by giving pancakes an “edgier” look.
Pumpkin-Cranberry Sheet Pan Pancakes
- 2½ cup Flour
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ¼ cup Brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Baking powder
- 2 tsp. Baking soda
- 2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1 ¼ cup Milk
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 3/4 cup Pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup Sweetened apple sauce
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
- ½ cup Canola oil
- 10 oz. Frozen cranberries
Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice mix and salt. In another bowl, whisk the milk, lemon juice, pumpkin puree, apple sauce, egg, vanilla and oil until blended. While stirring, slowly add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until blended; don’t over mix the batter. As soon as the large clumps of flour disappear, stop stirring. Pour the batter into a greased 13x18 inch sheet pan. Using a spatula, evenly spread the batter. Evenly place frozen cranberries over the batter, and bake for 18–20 minutes or until the middle is baked through. Cut into 12 equal squares, and serve with maple syrup.
Mix Master Q & A
Maple Grove Magazine: Do you often bake with sheet pans?
Dan Greer: I bake with sheet pans quite often … Besides baking desserts and other treats, sheet pans are great to make a full dinner in one pan. Sheet pans are one of the most versatile cooking pan.
MPG: In terms of ease, how you think our readers will find baking pancakes in this way?
DG: [There is the] ease of not having the stove or griddle at the right temperature and not having to worry about flipping the pancakes over. It’s a pour and level and let the oven do all the hard work.
MPG: How did the pancakes turn out in terms of texture (fluffiness)?
DG: This recipe is very fluffy, moist and airy, all qualities everyone tends to enjoy in pancakes.
MPG: How does the flavor hold up?
DG: The main change in flavor is from the loss of caramelization on the outside that you get from the pan as it cooks quickly. [With the sheet pan recipe], the addition of the sugars helps bring the sweetness you would get from that caramelization.
MPG: Did you make any special adjustments to the process?
DG: I added applesauce to help keep the pancakes moist as they bake and help add a bit more sweetness. The apple-sauce can be substituted for unsweetened if you are looking for less sugar intake. I also added more leavening agent [baking powder/soda] than normal to help get the whole batch to rise, versus when you are using a fraction to get the same result.
MPG: Is it just a matter of pouring regular batter onto the sheet pan, or should readers be sure to use a sheet pan recipe?
DG: The recipe for baking versus traditional pan cooking is not much different. You will need more baking powder and baking soda [about an additional 1-2 teaspoons] than a traditional recipe.
MPG: Do you have tips for readers about baking pancakes in a sheet pan?
DG: The key is to have a well-greased pan and leave the oven door closed for at least the first 10 minutes. I know people like to open up the [oven] to check on it, but just let the oven do its work. The last thing you want is to have the pancake lose the fluffiness as it collapses. Make sure you use fresh baking powder and baking soda; it will make a big difference on how the pancakes will turn out.
Desserts, while usually a treat, are practically a requirement this time of year. (But who else is cookied and pied out?) Greer shows us how to bake a cake that is short on effort and long on flavor.
Apple Streusel Sheet Pan Cake
- 5 ½ cups All-purpose flour, divided
- 2 cups Butter, divided and softened
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 Large egg
- 5 Apples (about 2 pounds)
- 1 ¼ cup Unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup Rolled oats
- 1 tsp. Lemon zest, freshly grated
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar
Lightly grease a 13x18-inch sheet pan, and preheat oven to 350 F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add half of the butter, sugar, vanilla, 3 cups of flour and the egg. Beat until everything is incorporated. Spread the dough onto the sheet pan. Refrigerate the dough while you make the apple and crumble layer. Peel and core the apples and chop them into 1/2–3/4-inch chunks. Mix the apple chunks with the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and applesauce. Set aside. For the crumb topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the remaining butter with 2 1/2 cups of flour, brown sugar and oats. The mixture will be crumbly. Spread the apple mixture onto the dough layer. Then use your fingers to crumble the crumbs on top. Press some crumbs together to form bigger crumbs. Bake for 40–45 minutes until the crumbs are lightly golden. Let the cake cool completely before serving.