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Denny’s Pancake Puppies

Pancake Puppies are like sweet hush puppies but made from pancake mix that are fried and dipped into a sweet icing. A super fun, delicious dessert!

SWEET LITTLE PANCAKE POPPERS

This recipe was inspired by a meal at Denny’s several years ago. 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. I knew after we tasted them up that I wanted to try to make these marvelous little fried dough balls at home.

pancake puppies stacked on brown parchment paper with glasses of milk in the background.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can these be baked or air fried?

Honestly I have never experimented with making these in the oven or in an air fryer. This is the only way I have made it so I just can’t say. If you give it a try, please let me know!

What is the best pancake mix to use?

Use your favorite brand here. Just make sure it is the kind where you only add water. I tend to use Bisquick or Hungry Jack. We aren’t using water but it is the consistency we need for this recipe.

What is the best way to serve pancake puppies?

There are so many options! They are amazing all by themselves but I show them served here with a vanilla sauce. You could dip them in maple syrup or chocolate syrup or any kind of warmed up jam.

How do I store leftovers?

These can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a sealed container or zip top bag. To keep the crispy exterior when reheating, heat up in the oven or air fryer. These are wonderful for freezing. Place pancake puppies in a freezer safe bag (removing the air) then store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

pancake puppies shown stacked on a plate with chocolate sauce being drizzled on top.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • pancake mix
  • sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • eggs
  • milk
  • oil 
  • cinnamon sugar
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla or maple extract
pancake mix sugar ground cinnamon ground nutmeg eggs milk oil  powdered sugar vanilla extract.

HOW TO MAKE PANCAKE PUPPIES:

Pour several inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Begin heating it up to 375F 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, eggs and 2 tablespoons of oil.

pancake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs and milk in a white bowl.

Give it a good stir.

pancake puppies batter in a white bowl being stirred with a green spoon.

Scoop batter up using a spoon or one of these small cookie scoopers and drop into the hot oil. DON’T OVERFILL THE SCOOPER.

spring loaded scooper with pancake puppy batter being scooped from a bowl of batter.

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. 

pancake puppies being shown frying in oil in a pot.

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.

pancake puppies drying on a paper towel.

To make the icing, stir together powdered sugar, milk and extract in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.

powdered sugar and milk in a bowl to make icing.

Then dig in!

pancake puppy shown being dipped in vanilla icing in a bowl.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Originally published: January 2013
Updated and republished: August 2021

Denny's Pancake Puppies recipe

Denny’s Pancake Puppies

Pancake Puppies are like sweet hush puppies made from pancake mix, then fried and dipped into a sweet icing. A super fun and easy dessert!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the pancake puppies:

  • 3 cups pancake mix (don’t pack into measuring cup – just scoop and scrape off excess)
  • cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp oil, plus more for frying
  • cinnamon sugar

For dipping icing:

Instructions

  • Pour several inches of oil into a deep saucepan. Begin heating it up to 375F 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, milk, beaten eggs and 2 tbsp. oil.
  • Scoop batter up using a spoon or a small cookie scooper and drop into the hot oil. A generous teaspoon of the batter is enough.
  • Don't make them too big and don't let your oil get out of control hot and don't try to cook too many at one time.
  • Drop about 3-4 puppies at a time into the oil.
  • Flip them over once during cooking so the get evenly brown on all sides.
  • 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. They will be golden brown when done.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar as soon as they come out of oil.
  • To make the icing, stir together powdered sugar, milk and extract in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. Then serve!

Notes

  • Pancake mix should be the kind where only water is added. We aren’t using any water in this recipe but we need the consistency of that type of pancake mix. 
  • These can be frozen. See above for details.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 364mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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

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Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It’s really good! The only thing I found is that there wasn’t quite enough liquid when stirring the wet into the dry so I drizzled in a little more milk to make the batter smoother.

    I added Pumpkin Pie Spice to the dry ingredients and chopped up about 1/4 of dried blueberries; stirred those into the dry ingredients. Before measuring the milk I drizzled enough vanilla into the bottom of the measuring glass, just enough to cover the bottom and then measured my milk.

    I used a deep fryer that holds 1 gallon of oil; fried them at 325 degrees until they were brown all over and then dusted them with cinnamon sugar.

    Got about 30 pancake puppies out of this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    Made them they were fantastic my son begs for them almost every morning so quick and easy too deffinately worth the try…

  3. Looks so good gonna add them as layers with fruit and some powder sugar glaze and see what happens I’m going to culinary school in the fall so I love these sites to try new and innovative recipes thanks for helping them become a regular thing on the net

  4. Pingback: Pancake Puppies | Real Mom Kitchen
  5. 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 🙂

    1. 5 stars
      I just made them this morning, it made 30. I used the smallest scoop I have which is 1 1/2 TBSP but I didn’t fill it up all the way, so about a TBSP of batter each.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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 soon……as well as some others I see that look so good. Much love to you. Barbara in Arlington, Tx.

  10. 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!!

    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!

    2. 5 stars
      My theory is that if you can fry it, you can bake it. Give it a try and come back to update everyone else that was wondering too. If it works, I might just buy a cake pop maker!

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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"

  14. 5 stars
    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?

  15. 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. 🙂