Monday, September 12, 2022

Protein-packed pumpkin pancakes

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I had such a hard time photographing this blog post because I couldn't stop eating the pancakes. They're thick and fluffy and so full of flavor. They're perfect for autumn, but also, I would eat these any time of year. And even better—they're actually pretty healthy. One pancake has nearly 9 grams of protein (8.6 grams, to be exact) and no added sugar. Let me break down the ingredients.

Cottage cheese: This is probably a shock to most people, but cottage cheese is the secret to tender, fluffy pancakes that are packed with protein. I recommend using full-fat cottage cheese for the best flavor. You can use small curd or large curd cottage cheese, but the benefit of using small curd is that the curds will mostly melt into the pancake when cooked. But if you use a blender, it doesn't matter. I recently discovered whipped cottage cheese at Kroger, which is perfect for this recipe because the curds aren't really visible at all.

Eggs: Eggs are pretty standard in pancake recipes, and in this case, they contribute to the structure and the protein content.

Pumpkin puree: We can't have pumpkin pancakes without pumpkin puree. I'm so glad it's finally back in stock at stores. I've never tested this, but I imagine you could use mashed sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin if you're trying to recreate this recipe when pumpkin isn't in season.

Vanilla extract: Necessary for additional flavor.

Oat flour: Oat flour is simply ground up rolled oats. I have oat flour on hand almost all the time now because oats are great for lactating moms like myself. But you can make it yourself by grinding rolled oats or old fashioned oats in your food processor or blender. Also, if you use gluten-free oats, this is now a gluten-free pancake recipe. Also, oat flour has more protein than all-purpose flour. If you don't want to be bothered with oat flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour.

Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice: Essential for flavoring! I didn't include pumpkin pie spice in the first batch I made, and its absence was notable. If you don't have it, substitute an additional 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. 

Baking powder: Contributes to the lift and fluffiness of the pancakes.

Challenge Salted Caramel Snack Spread: The best way to top these pancakes is with Challenge Salted Caramel Snack Spread. The extra caramel flavor combined with butter is absolutely delicious.

I recommend making a big batch of these pancakes so you have leftovers for breakfast throughout the week. They last 3 days in the refrigerator. Or you can freeze them and store them for up to 3 months.

Protein-packed pumpkin pancakes

Yield: 8 pancakes

Time: About 30 minutes


  • 1 cup cottage cheese, small curd, full fat 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Challenge Salted Caramel Snack Spread
  • Optional toppings: Maple syrup, pecans


  1. Whisk together cottage cheese and eggs.
  2. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk oat flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until smooth with some lumps.
  5. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil (my preference is coconut oil).
  6. Once oil is hot, use scoop to place pancake batter into pan.
  7. Cook until pancakes are set around edges and golden-brown on bottom, about 3 minutes.
  8. Flip pancakes and cook until second side is golden-brown, about 2 more minutes. If you're not sure if the pancake is done, you can check the internal temperature. It should register between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Serve pancakes with Challenge Salted Caramel Snack Spread, maple syrup, and pecans if desired.


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