Level Up Brunch By Having A Toppings Bar For Pancakes

Whether you prefer a simple stack with maple syrup or something more over-the-top, like red velvet pancakes with a cream cheese topping, it's hard to deny the versatility of flapjacks. They're a great morning breakfast, and despite being one of the easiest foods to make, they often make a meal feel more luxurious. So, the next time you're hosting brunch, why not offer a pancake bar?

Everyone loves taco, pizza, nacho, and fondue bars, but these heavy, rich foods aren't necessarily ideal for early in the day. A pancake bar is the perfect way to level up your brunch, whether it's for a bunch of kids after a sleepover or for a family meal around the holidays. What better way to make it fun and memorable than with a unique selection of toppings?

Along with plain, blueberry, chocolate chip, or bacon pancakes, you can provide a variety of toppings on the side. Everyone can personalize their pancake breakfast with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, bananas, or even a cheese sauce for those who prefer savory foods. Get creative and put out some lemon curd, flavored butter, caramelized fruit, or cream cheese frosting. You can even put out different kinds of syrups, like a bourbon maple for adults and a berry fruit syrup for kids. The options can be as wild or as traditional as you like.

Keep your toppings fresh and ready to go

While you're preparing all of your toppings for your pancake bar, you might wonder how to keep everything warm, fresh, and ready to serve. Martha Stewart's hack for keeping pancakes warm is simply to pop them into the oven. Set it to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and gently place each fresh pancake on a baking sheet until all your batter is cooked — or until everyone's ready for brunch.

Many of your toppings — like fresh fruit or fruit compotes, chocolate syrup, butter, whipped cream, crème fraîche, or nuts — can stay in the refrigerator until everything else is ready. More so than anything else, the one topping you need to ensure is warm is the maple syrup.

If you happen to have a syrup warmer, this task should be easy. If you don't, there are other options. Try pouring your syrup into a saucepan and heating it on low, stirring it every once in a while to prevent a skin from forming on top. If you have a lot of syrup, you can pour it into a fondue pot, Instant Pot, or slow cooker and put a ladle on the side for guests to serve themselves. One creative idea is to pour your heated syrup into a French press and let everyone pour their own. Not only will you not have to worry about sticky spoons or ladles, but the French press will help keep your syrup warm.