Jacked-Up Stacks: 7 Extreme Recipes for National Pancake Day

Ah, pancakes. A foolproof stack is the LBD of your recipe book -- strip it down, dress it up or bust it out for company, and it never seems to gets old. Just as in fashion, though, food rules were made to be broken. Celebrate National Pancake Day with our most tempting flapjack high jinks.

Barnyard Bliss

Pancakes served with bacon are nothing new, and Grandma has been frying them in leftover drippings for years. We've gone one step further -- whole hog, if you will -- and combined the two. To top it all off, put an egg on it.

Bacon Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
8 slices bacon
Pure maple syrup, (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Whisk flour mixture into buttermilk mixture just until moistened, with small to medium lumps remaining.

2. In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet or on a griddle, cook bacon over medium-high until fat is rendered and bacon is browned on one side, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook until golden and crisp on underside, 1 to 3 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels; pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use).

3. Heat skillet over medium. Pour 1/4-cupfuls batter into skillet and top each with a bacon slice. Cook until some bubbles appear on top of pancakes and a few have burst, about 2 minutes. With a spatula, carefully flip pancakes and cook until browned on underside, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter, bacon side up, and loosely tent with foil. Keep pancakes warm in oven and repeat with remaining batter, adding more bacon fat if needed. Serve with pure maple syrup if desired.

Related: 35 Beyond Delicious No-Bake Dessert Recipes

Dutch Process

International pancakes run the gamut, and this skillet-cooked egg puff is a hit on any continent.

Dutch Baby Pancake

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium cast-iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat; set aside.

2. In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar. Blend until foamy, about 1 minute. Pour batter into skillet; bake until pancake is puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

3. Working quickly, dot pancake with 1 tablespoon butter, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and lemon juice. Slice into wedges, and serve immediately.

Devilish Food

Tall, dark, and rich -- just the way we like 'em. These handsome devils may seem best suited for after-hours, but we sure wouldn't mind waking up to them the next morning.

Chocolate-Pecan Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Confectioners' sugar (optional)
Hot fudge sauce (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla; pour over flour mixture, whisking to combine. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans; let batter stand until slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until a water droplet sizzles; swirl to coat bottom of pan with oil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Spoon four small mounds (1 heaping tablespoon each) of batter into skillet. Cook until bubbles appear in center, 3 to 4 minutes. With a thin spatula, flip pancakes; continue cooking until set, 3 to 4 minutes more.

3. Transfer to a baking sheet; cover loosely with foil; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and batter in three more batches (adjust heat as necessary to avoid overbrowning).

4. Stack 4 pancakes on each plate, sprinkling each layer with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Serve immediately, drizzled with hot fudge sauce, if desired.

Related: 15 New Ideas for a Healthy, Delicious Breakfast

Cheese Puff

Buttermilk gets all the glory, but ricotta deserves its day. A tender crumb and a hint of citrus make this recipe one-of-a-kind.

If you're feeling really extreme, reduce or omit the sugar in your favorite recipe, and add a few handfuls of shredded cheddar and chives. Load 'em up like nachos, or -- you guessed it -- top with a runny egg. Your move, macaroni.

Orange-Ricotta Pancakes

1 3/4 cups (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (1 orange)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons canola oil
Confectioners' sugar or maple syrup

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, granulated sugar, eggs, and orange zest. Whisk in flour until just combined.

2. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Working in batches (and adding more oil to skillet as needed), add batter, using a scant 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Serve hot, dusted with confectioners' sugar or drizzled with maple syrup.

Market Special

Songs have been written about banana pancakes, but we're all for in-season experimentation. Stuff your stacks with the last of summer's nectarines. Sweet pancake pizzas, topped with fresh fruit and cream cheese or hazelnut-chocolate spread, make a fun weekend treat for kids.

Nectarine Pancakes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted, plus more, softened, for skillet and serving
2 tablespoons safflower oil
2 nectarines, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
Pure maple syrup, for serving

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter, and oil. Whisk egg mixture into flour mixture.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches and adding more butter as needed, pour in 1/3 cup batter per pancake. Place 2 to 3 nectarine slices on top of each pancake. Cook until small bubbles form on surfaces and undersides are golden, about 3 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve with butter and syrup.

Come and Grit It

Does the perfect pancake texture exist? If so, these pleasantly nubby cornmeal 'cakes just might redefine it. Unique and hearty, they're pancake-meets-cornbread-meets-blueberry-muffin. That's a friendship we can get behind.

Blueberry-Cornmeal Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for griddle
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (1 pint) blueberries
Orange-Maple Butter, for serving
Pure maple syrup, for serving

1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, butter, and egg. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined (mixture will be lumpy).

2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toss blueberries with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Brush griddle with melted butter. Spoon batter onto griddle 1/3 cup at a time. Sprinkle with sugared blueberries, about 2 tablespoons per pancake. Cook until edges are set, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter and blueberries, adding more butter to griddle and keeping prepared pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven. Serve with orange-maple butter and maple syrup.

Pan-Do Attitude

Ice cream + homemade chocolate hazelnut sauce = somewhere, maple syrup is hanging its head in shame. Feel free to nosh on these long past breakfast -- we suspect a pancake ice cream sandwich wouldn't be so bad, either.

Silver-Dollar Pancake Sundaes with Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce

2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups Everyday Baking Mix, spooned and leveled
1/3 cup store-bought chocolate hazelnut spread
1/2 cup pistachio or vanilla ice cream

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, egg, and 2/3 cup milk. Add baking mix; whisk just until moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).

2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place a baking sheet in oven to warm. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium; very lightly butter surface. Drop batter by 2 tablespoonfuls onto skillet; cook until surface of pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. With a thin spatula, flip pancakes, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more.

3. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet in oven; cover loosely with aluminum foil. Continue to make pancakes with remaining batter, adding more butter to skillet as necessary (you should have a total of about 12 pancakes).

4. In a small saucepan, combine chocolate hazelnut spread with remaining 1/3 cup milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low; whisk until smooth. Serve pancakes topped with chocolate hazelnut sauce and ice cream.

More from Martha Stewart:
10 New Ways to Use Leftover Bacon Grease
Quick, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family
Healthy Afternoon Snacks You'll Dream About All Day
15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook