The Country Cook: Pancake Puppies

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pancake Puppies

This recipe was inspired by a recent meal at Denny's. They make some pretty darn good hamburgers at our local one and kids eat free Tuesdays and Saturdays - woot woot! On this particular occasion, we spotted something new on the menu, Pancake Puppies. Say what?
That name had my attention. It tastes like a pancake but the texture is a bit thicker like a hushpuppy.  And you dip it in icing! It is truly an indulgence. And I knew after we gobbled them up that I wanted to try to make these marvelous little fried dough balls at home. Now, I always have a disclaimer with recipes like this that I can never get anything exactly like the restaurant recipe. I can come close but never exact. And that is true for this one. It is close, not exactly the same, but still super yummy! And hey, I will never turn down a fried dough ball.
3 cups pancake mix (don't pack into measuring cup, just scoop and scrape off excess)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. oil (plus more for frying)
cinnamon sugar, icing, or maple syrup for dipping

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla or maple extract
Pour several inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Begin heating it up to 375 degrees over medium-high heat. It's important to use a cooking thermometer to get it to the right temperature and not overheat the oil. In a large bowl, combine pancake mix, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add in milk.
 Then add in beaten eggs and 2 tablespoons of oil.
 Give it a good stir.
Scoop batter up using a spoon or one of these small cookie scoopers and drop into the hot oil. Don't over fill your scooper.
Two things to really remember when making these. Don't make them too big and don't let your oil get out of control hot. No one wants to eat a "Burned on the outside, raw batter on the inside" Pancake Puppy. A generous teaspoon of the batter is enough. Keep an eye on your oil temperature by using a cooking thermometer.
Drop those puppies into the oil.  See how much they puff up? That's why you don't want to scoop a lot of batter in. They cook fairly quickly. Flip them over once during cooking so the get evenly brown on all sides. Don't try to cook too many at one time. Small batches work best so you have a chance to flip them around as they cook. Continue with this process until they are all done. When they are finished frying, place them onto a paper towel lined tray to drain excess grease. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar as soon as they come out of oil. Or make icing to dip them in.
To make the icing, stir together powdered sugar, milk and extract in a small bowl. Stir until smooth - then serve.

Cook's Notes: There are a few ways you can serve these. You can just sprinkle them with a bit of Cinnamon Sugar and gobble them up. Or serve with some maple syrup or icing to dip them in (or both!) I think a maple flavored icing would be outstanding with these. Hmm...I might have to make up another batch now that I think about it.

Pancake Puppies is a registered trademark of Denny's restaurant.


  1. Oooo these sound yummy. Which type of pancake mix? The complete type that you just add water or the type you need to add other stuff like oil etc?

  2. K - I am so glad you asked the question because I realized I forgot to put the picture in of the ingredients. I use the complete type. Just use your favorite. :)

  3. I absolutely love breakfast sweets like this..Im saving to make soon!

  4. These look great! Mr. Picky Eater has been hounding me to make something called Pepper Puppies that have been served at a local BBQ place for about 20 years. I've been putting him off - your post reminded me to get that done...I'm pinning yours so we can have "pancakes on the go"

  5. These look great, but my ass would grow if I make them. Because I would eat them.

  6. The family enjoyed the honey bun cake recipe, especially the second and third day. They are also enjoying your poke cake suggestions as well. Thank you for taking the time to post your recipes and pictures.
    Doris Lechler

  7. Thank you so very much Doris! I really do appreciate you taking the time to let me know how the recipes have turned out for you! I'm so happy to hear you've had success with them. I appreciate you being here! ~Brandie

  8. i JUST bought a cake pop machine. Could you cook the pancake puppies in it. no grease to mess with?

    1. Has anyone tried this? Curious on how well it works for this! :) The family would love these pancake pups but we don't do fried!

  9. I've been there and wondered if we could make them at home, but never tried. But we had them with mini chocolate chips inside with warmed up peanut butter.... it's heavenly!!

  10. Love your blog! Just returned from a late breafast at Dennies and had my first experience with the pancake puppies. I see you posted this recipe a year ago . But so happy to find it while searching for a similar recipe for these cute little bites. You are officially my new best friend of this year. Thank you for going to the trouble of figuring this out for me last year. I am trying it well as some others I see that look so good. Much love to you. Barbara in Arlington, Tx.

  11. YUMM-O!!! I made these this morning for a couple of giggly girls. They were just perfect and the girls decided they should be called 'hush cakes' because they were so good no one said a word when they were eating. Thanks so much for another hit recipe Brandie!

  12. Angie, that made me SO happy to hear!! Thank you so much. Actually, I think I like that name better!! From now on, when I make these, I'll call them Hush Cakes :)

  13. Do you think these would travel well?

  14. What's the cook time on these and a previous commenter asked about using the cake pop machine...I'm curious is its been tried and if so did it work? These look delicious and can't wait to try them on my mini humans

  15. Hey there Christina-I am not sure on the cake pop maker but these do not take long to cook, just until brown and golden. Hope this helps and your little ones love these like my little man does.

  16. How many puppies does it make

  17. I had the exact thought when I saw these at Denny's haha. I was thinking of making a gram cracker crust and a marshmallow dipping sauce :)


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