Green Pancakes with Lime-Cilantro Butter

by Jen on December 10, 2012

While most bloggers are posting holiday goodies this time of the year, I still haven’t gotten into the spirit just yet. When most people are busy with their lists of tasks to do and gifts to buy, it has always been real simple in our family. My husband and I are past buying gifts for each other (only on birthdays), but we do give to our kids and other kids. For the rest of our family and friends, we agree on a secret santa game or some kind of gag christmas gift game with them. That way, it’s a mutual understanding that we’re not spending a whole lot of money on things people don’t need or even want.

That said, please don’t think I’m La Scrooge. In fact, this is my favourite holiday of the year. I love the spirit of the season, when families come together in celebration and joy. I love that the generosity of people really shines through at this time. I love how people seem a little bit more relaxed, open, affectionate, and jolly (seems ironic?) when the holidays are here. And I love how people get smashed at christmas parties and get crazy enough to be caught on video (hello, You Tube and America’s Funniest Home Videos)!

Kidding aside, these green pancakes are super awesome. I am so happy to have made them because I feel like I hit gold with this one (don’t be green with envy)! It’s a great way to get some leafy greens in without feeling threatened by a plant on your plate, especially for the little ones. And really, the proof is in the pudding. Look how mine gobbled them up (pun, much?).

I went for the green-and-red christmas look for this dish…thought I’d get into the holiday spirit subtly. Subtly, being the key word. I am never over-the-top with my choices for recipes anyway, so this one definitely isn’t. Make them like you would regular pancakes, add some pomegranate seeds and micro greens or sprouts, along with melted lime-cilantro butter on top… mmm… Delight in the flavours – that’s the only condition!

As a busy mom, I can attest that preparing these green pancakes is quite hassle-free. Perfect for a slow weekend or a make-ahead meal! It’s a dish that’s also very versatile: have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, or a light supper! They’re just as good as these gluten-free Yuzu Poppy Seed Quinoa Pancakes and Pea Cakes I made earlier this year. Can I convince you to try?

5.0 from 8 reviews
Green Pancakes with Lime-Cilantro Butter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 three-inch pancakes
Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Published in the U.S. by Chronicle Books LLC in 2011.
  • ~~ For the Lime-Cilantro Butter* ~~
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 115 ml) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chile flakes (optional)
  • ~~ For the Green Pancakes ~~
  • 5 cups (150 g) spinach, washed (or use any greens like kale, watercress, etc.)
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (100 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup or 60 ml) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅔ cup (150 ml) milk
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 green onions, green parts only, finely sliced
  • 1 egg white
  • grapeseed oil
  1. To make the lime-cilantro butter, put the butter in a medium bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it turns soft and creamy. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Tip onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to seal. Chill until firm.
  2. To make the green pancakes, wilt the spinach with a splash of water. Drain in a sieve, and when cool, squeeze as much excess water as you can from the spinach. Roughly chop and set aside.
  3. Put the flour, baking powder, whole egg, melted butter, salt, cumin, milk, and yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk by hand until lumps are smoothed out.
  4. Add the green onions and spinach (or any green leafy vegetable of your choice) and mix until evenly dispersed.
  5. In another bowl, whisk the egg white with an electric mixer (or by hand, but this will take longer) until foamy, soft peaks form. Gently fold it into the green batter.
  6. Pour a small amount of oil into a heavy frying pan and place on medium heat.
  7. For each pancake, ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan. The pancakes will be about 3 inches in diameter. You can do multiple pancakes at the same time. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until you get a good golden-green colour.
  8. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease. If possible, keep warm.
  9. Continue making pancakes until batter is used up, adding oil to the pan as needed.
  10. To serve, pile warm panckes in a stack, place a slice of lime-cilantro butter on top to melt, and garnish with micro greens.
*You might have leftover lime-cilantro butter, so save for other uses.


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Lora @cakeduchess December 10, 2012 at 6:44 am

This is what I want for breakfast and then late again for dinner. LOVE that butter. Your kids are so precious. I like to keep it simple here too with the holidays…but it’s a different story with the kids. Love this recipe, Jen:)


Jen @ Savory Simple December 10, 2012 at 8:06 am

What a unique recipe! These photos are just lovely and I’d love to try this.


kristy @ the wicked noodle December 10, 2012 at 8:15 am

They sound fantastic! It’s nice to swing by a food blog and not see something sugary sweet right now!


Tessa December 10, 2012 at 10:02 am

I love the idea of savory pancakes! What a delicious sounding recipe! This is a must try. Have a great Monday!


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic December 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

I love how green they look! I just had a green monster smoothie with a ton of spinach for breakfast. There’s something about eating green foods that make me feel pretty good!


amy @ fearless homemaker December 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

These look absolutely wonderful! I would love a couple of these for breakfast right now. =)


Patty December 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

Beautiful pictures Jen!!! But, the sweetest photos of all are the little ones munching on their green pancakes-just lovely and heart warming;-)


Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 10, 2012 at 11:51 am

These pancakes look fab, Jen! I love the hint of red from the pom arils, and I can never say to no lime and cilantro!


Lawyer Loves Lunch December 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I am so glad your kids are eating this so happily! Little man has been on a non-eating kick lately so I’m hopeful he’ll want to eat these too. They look fantastic :)


Choc Chip Uru December 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

What stunning savory pancakes :)

Choc Chip Uru


Valerie December 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Love your puns, Jen! I’m a teller of lame knock-knock jokes myself. :D

I’m not quite in the holiday spirit yet either, but looking at your festive pancakes is definitely moving me in the right direction! {eh…every time I see a phrase with the word “direction,” it makes me think of the group One Direction. It hits too close to my pre-teen days spent screaming over NKOTB stuff.} :P

Love your photos, as always!! They make me happy!


Nancy/SpicieFoodie December 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Oh wow!! I love your savory pancakes. I too haven’t gotten quite into the holiday spirit yet. But it is a nice time of the year because people are nicer and less selfish…or at least that’s how it’s suppose to be. hehe:) Your babies are gorgeous and loved their photos.


Mom-Friday December 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

This pancake is so unique! I’ve never tried “veggie” pancakes before… can you freeze and send some over here? Heehehe… T and J are soooo cute! Wish my kids would appreciate this type of pancakes.


Andi December 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I will definitely try this recipe out, yum!!! The pics are gorgeous!


Eha December 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm

What a fun recipe: am a very ‘savoury’ person and the look of this so appeals – even for main meal pour moi with a salad on the side!


Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} December 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

I am LOVE with this recipe! My mouth is watering and I wish I had all of the ingredients right NOW to make this. Anything savory is a winner in my book. Hopefully the holiday spirit will be around your house soon – just seems like it was the holidays a few days ago. Time goes too fast. Lovely photos! :-)


Julia {The Roasted Root} December 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm

These are fabulous and take pancakes to a whole new level for me! I love cooking with kale, so a kale pancake sounds marvelous! And the cilanto lime butter…sigh…I could get addicted to that stuff alone not to mention on a hearty delicious pancake! Very pretty, very healthy…so impressed!


Ashley - Baker by Nature December 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Oh my goodness, your little ones face is just too cute for words!!! Gah – those cheeeeeeeeeks! Can you tell I love babies?! Ha. I also LOVE these green pancakes, and will be trying these out very soon.


mjskit December 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm

I wish all of the kindness and joy that people share during the holidays were shared year round. Maybe if we keep holiday decoration up year round, people would be in the spirit all of the time. Sound like a plan? :) These pancakes look awesome! Definitely a pancake that could be eaten breakfast, lunch or supper! That cilantro lime butter is perfect and I can see it not only on these pancakes, but on potatoes and melted on a steak. What a beautiful meal!


suzanne Perazzini December 12, 2012 at 4:09 am

These look gorgeous and I love the Christmas colours. I would make these any time.


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts December 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

These are just gorgeous – as always! I am full on in the Christmas spirit. I just love getting presents for other people – even when we don’t always exchange presents with that many people – I always see stuff I want to get for them!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious December 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Gorgeous! I love how festive these are! Although I’d still eat this all year long :)


The Kitchen Boudoir December 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I decided this year to make homemade Christmas gifts, which means love can’t help but be inside, even if it’s something little. These pancakes look delicious and I really wish I had a stack to keep me company right now – not that they’d last long! Beautiful photos.


Jessica | Portuguese Girl Cooks December 13, 2012 at 12:15 am

These are so gorgeous, Jen! My little guy is super picky, especially right now, so this may be a good way to sneak in some greens!


Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) December 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

These are my kind of pancakes. Well any pancake is perfect for me. I adore them!


The Café Sucré Farine December 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous! And I love the idea of combining lime and cilantro with yummy pancakes. I wish I had some right now ………… but I would want to eat them off your pretty plates with those fun utensils!


Magic of Spice December 13, 2012 at 8:49 pm

These are absolutely beautiful Jen, as are the photos…all delicious and gorgeous!


Nami | Just One Cookbook December 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

One thing that amazes me about you is that you have THREE kids who are still all small. Yet you make gourmet meals and take amazing pictures in between all the chores (and have another website to run). This is incredible! I don’t know how your schedule works everyday (are you sleeping? hehee). When I saw this post, I felt like your son just grew even bigger! My gosh, kids grow up so fast. So fun to see other kids grow because looking at mine everyday doesn’t seem like much change (unless you buy clothes and surprised they’re getting bigger). Beautiful green pancakes and I know for sure your children will become gourmets!


Suzanne December 14, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Wow Jen, these pancakes look so good and I love the green and red for a subtle holiday flare. I can’t wait to give these a try, the lime cilantro butter sounds fabulous on top. Great job on this recipe.


Raymund December 16, 2012 at 2:47 am

Those pancakes looks really good with that pomegranate, makes it so Christmassy!


Sandra's Easy Cooking December 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Jen, your kids are so cute, and very photogenic just like mama. Now those pancakes, hm..if i ever make to your neck of the wood make sure to bring them on the picnic hehehe
Yummy pics and stunning styling…I Love it!!!!


Jean | Lemons and Anchovies December 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Hmmm, I could have sworn I had commented on this already. I certainly remember drooling over these pretty little pancakes and how cute your little ones are. Yum!!!


Laura January 8, 2013 at 9:12 pm

These are gorgeous and delicious. Pinning now.


Claire @ A Little Claire-ification January 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

These look DELICIOUS! Just found this Pin and re-pinned it. Looking forward to following along! – Claire :)


marla March 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

How much do I need these in my life?! Beautiful post!


organic box March 27, 2014 at 5:46 pm

These look sooooo good! I would have never thought to add lime to pancakes! I also love that they are organic!


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