DAY 22: (Pan)cake cake cake cake cake cake

Growing up, weekends meant one thing: cartoons. But if I managed to convince my parents to wake up at 7am on one of their precious sleep-in days, it also meant pancakes.

I would do my best to help my parents cook, which usually consisted of me retrieving the ingredients and then staring at the skillet longingly until my pancakes were ready.

In the twenty years since, a few things have changed. I'm 28 and like to sleep in on the weekends, so cartoons got chopped. I now cook the pancakes for myself. And finally, everything I eat apparently needs to include pumpkin.

DAY 22: (Pan)cake cake cake cake cake cake

Item: Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix
Cost: $2.99
Purchase Location: Trader Joe's
Crisp autumn mornings are the mornings for which pancakes were invented (that's a fact; we read it somewhere), and we think this mix makes the perfect pancakes for autumn breakfasts and brunches. Crafted into waffles, this mix even tackles dessert duty with aplomb.

In case you're wondering, today's title is an ode to Rihanna's 2011 classic "Birthday Cake".

As I rolled out of bed this morning, hair askew and eyes only 25% open, I began to brush my teeth and contemplate what pumpkin to prepare for the day.

Alexa, headlines!
Here are the headlines for Sunday, October 22nd...

And then it hit me. It’s the weekend. It’s time for pumpkin pancakes.

I finished brushing my teeth and made my way to the kitchen. A flurry of questions raced through my mind. Should I use chocolate chips or eat them plain? Would syrup overwhelm the pumpkin? Should I just throw caution to the wind and just put the batter in a waffle iron?

I focused myself and realized for the initial taste testing, I should go simple. I chose plain and with chocolate chips as my two options, no syrup.

Opening the package of mix, the smell of pumpkin spice is strong. It does contain real pumpkin, and there didn't appear to be any sweetness added to the batter, which I prefer. The mix is easy to prepare, and in just five minutes it was ready to be cooked.
Off the bat, I’ll take responsibility for trying to fit 3 pancakes onto one pan. It didn’t look great and they came out in odd shapes. I added some chocolate chips to one of the pancakes, and soon enough, they were ready for consumption.
Before biting in, I took a minute to appreciate the smell of these pancakes. The pumpkin/ pumpkin spices are so fragrant, and the cooking added to their warmth. At first bite, the pumpkin and spices all come through right away, but the spices overpower (mostly the cinnamon).

On the positive side, the flavor held throughout the whole pancake, and it didn’t dry out during cooking. The lack of sweetness was a plus because it would have dampened the other tastes.

The chips were fine in the batter, but I’ll admit I kind of messed up on this one. I used the Cookies N’ Creme chips from the Rice Krispies, and they don’t work in pancakes. While the white chocolate melted, the cookie part just got soggy. I’ll re-try with some regular semi-sweet chocolate pieces and review again another day.

Overall, this mix is decent. I could go for a reduction in the pumpkin spice seasoning, but they it’s otherwise good. I might also try it in waffle form because, let’s be honest, everything is better as a waffle.

Final Rating 3 /5 pumpkins.



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