A couple of weeks ago, I watched a friend eating “pancake bread” from Trader Joe’s. She was raving about how delicious and addicting it was. I had to try it. I took one bite and was sold. Moist, not too sweet with just the right amount of maple syrup, this bread actually did remind me of pancakes. But how did they achieve such madness? I was determined to find out. Fast forward weeks later and here we are making our very own pancake bread at home! If you don’t live in California or even if you do, give this recipe a try for an easy to prepare but surprisingly very delicious pancake bread.

pancake bread

pancake bread

pancake bread


Pancake Bread

1 hrTotal Time

Yields 1 9-inch loaf

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    Crumb topping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut into small chunks
  • Pancake bread
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the crumb topping. Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar with 6 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 3 tbsp butter. Blend with a pastry cutter or a fork until the butter is well incorporated. The crumb topping should have the texture of coarse sand.
  3. Make the pancake bread. Cream together softened butter with brown sugar until softened and whipped, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the next egg.
  4. Combine maple syrup with buttermilk, vanilla and Greek yogurt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix together flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add a third of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture followed by half of the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, then add another third of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining wet ingredients. Finish with the remaining third of the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Pour batter into prepared baking loaf pan. Sprinkle crumb topping on top in an even layer.
  6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve pancake bread warm.


**Helpful tips and common mistakes

The last several desserts I prepared, I was fortunate in that the recipe can out perfectly the first time I made them. This was not the case for this pancake bread. It took several times to get the right amount of buttermilk and maple syrup while still producing a bread that was…edible. Needless to say, I ate a lot of cake for a month. What exactly is so special about Trader Joe’s pancake bread? It’s all about the maple syrup in my opinion. From the outside, the bread looks like a regular coffee cake and it almost is except for the fact that you can taste maple syrup. The interior is moist and a thin crumble coats the top. Seems easy enough to replicate right?

crumb topping

Start by making the crumb topping. Use a pastry cutter or fork to blend together the brown sugar with flour, cinnamon, and butter. Since the butter is cold, it’s easier to combine using a tool of some sort. Once it’s well mixed, it should resemble coarse sand. This crumble is on the drier side to replicate the original bread. Trader Joe’s pancake bread has a crumble that falls apart when cut into so we’re cutting down on the butter in order to replicate that texture.

cake batter

Next, make the pancake bread. Cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one a time, fully incorporating the first egg before adding the second. Then, combine your wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another. Add both to the creamed mixture, alternating between the dry and wet. You want to start and end with the dry mixture.

pancake bread

Pour the batter into the loaf pan, top with the crumble and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. This recipe is pretty standard as far as these types of bread are prepared (is this really a bread or cake? I always wonder). Slice into the pancake bread and go to town! If you’re feeling crazy, serve with a dollop of butter and even more maple syrup. I thoroughly enjoyed this pancake bread with the subtle flavors of maple syrup. The greek yogurt helps produce a moist loaf while the buttermilk adds a slight tang. Call it a fancy coffee cake but it sure is a tasty one!

pancake bread


Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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