Pancakes are a camping breakfast staple. They’re easy to make, they last for a few days in the fridge (if you even have any leftover), and are incredibly customizable. And while basic pancake mix is a great standby, sometimes you need to mix it up a bit. And a great way to do that is by swapping out the water or milk for beer! The carbonation in the beer makes pancakes light and fluffy, and the flavor add a little extra zing to the taste.
These beer pancakes the perfect breakfast meal to eat on their own smothered in syrup, or as a side to bacon and eggs. And like all pancakes, they’re very easy to make. Simply mix together the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and the beer, mix everything together, and cook the batter in a pan or on a griddle.
Tips on Ingredients
Since this pancake recipe can be adjusted to fit your tastes, we’ve listed a few optional ingredient suggestions below.
Flour: We used all-purpose flour in this recipe to make the pancakes light and fluffy. You can also use whole wheat flour, but they’ll be denser and possibly drier. If you want to use whole wheat flour, try a 50/50 blend of all-purpose and whole wheat to keep some of the lightness.
Beer: Now, for the best part of these pancakes – the beer! The style of beer you use will impact the flavor of the pancakes, which gives you a variety of options. Lighter beers like pilsners and lagers will give a mild taste, which is what we used in this recipe. However, you can also use darker beers for a more pronounced beer flavor. Fruited or fruit infused beers are also a fantastic option. Try using a blueberry or raspberry beer with fresh berries as a topping. Or fruited citrus beers or hefeweizens are also delicious options. You can even use heavier beers like a gingerbread stout or dark porter for cozy fall tasting pancakes. Those go particularly well with chocolate chips!
Just remember these pancakes aren’t cooked long or hot enough for the alcohol in the beer to be cooked off, so keep these cakes for the adults. Root beer, 7-Up or Sprite, and cream soda all make excellent substitutes if you’re looking for a kid friendly version.
Toppings: These pancakes are fantastic with maple syrup, but you can also enjoy them with butter, honey, fruit, jam, chocolate chips, or any of your favorite pancake toppings. Pick a topping that compliments the type of beer you use!
For a delicious caramel camp waffles recipe, click here.
The Pancake Batter
If you’re looking for less prep work at your campsite you can premix the dry ingredients at home before you leave. Just throw it in a resealable bag or jar and dump it into a large bowl once you’re ready to make the pancakes. Or you can totally cheat and use a powdered pancake mix, replacing the amount of liquid in their instructions with beer instead. You can also add in berries, chocolate chips, or fruit to the batter if desired before cooking.
Make sure you use a large bowl when mixing the batter. The carbonation in the beer will start to foam as you add it to the dry ingredients, and you might end up with a volcano of batter overflowing a small mixing bowl. If you’re worried about spilling, add the beer slowly and start by only pouring in half the can. Then give everything a good stir to start mixing the liquid into the dry ingredients. Add the rest of the beer and finish mixing everything together so it’s fully combined. Don’t overmix the batter through, or you’ll dissipate all the carbonation and the pancakes won’t be as fluffy.
Now how to cook these? One of the great things about pancakes is that you can cook them over on a variety of surfaces. You can use an electric griddle, a Blackstone, or on a nonstick pan on a camp stove. You can even cook these in a cast iron skillet over the campfire, but a griddle or camp stove set up will take less time. If you’re using a stainless steel or cast iron pan, add some oil or butter to help the pancakes easily flip without sticking to the pan.
Beer Batter Campsite Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 twelve oz can of beer (or root beer)
- 1/4 cup of melted butter or vegetable/canola oil, plus more for cooking if using a cast iron pan
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. If making this recipe at home beforehand, store the mix in a resealable bag or container until needed at the campsite then dump into a large mixing bowl.
- Beat eggs in small bowl with oil or melted butter.
- Add egg mixture and beer to the dry ingredients. The beer will foam up as it’s poured, so make sure you’re using a large enough bowl and add the beer slowly.
- Mix the ingredients until just combined. You don’t want to overmix the batter, which can lose the carbonation.
- Preheat your griddle or pan to medium heat. If using a cast iron pan, add 1 tbsp butter or oil to pan.
- Ladle 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot pan or griddle for each pancake.
- When the tops of the pancakes start to bubble and the bottoms are golden brown, flip the pancakes over. This usually takes about 2-4 minutes per side.
- Cook the second side until lightly browned and remove from heat.
- Serve with syrup, berries, or your toppings of choice.
If you have any leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also store them in an airtight container in the freezer. Let the frozen pancakes thaw in the fridge, then pop them in a toaster or heat them over a pan or griddle to warm them back up.