PB&J Swirl Pancakes

April 19, 2021

Anytime I have leftover pancakes (if there is ever such a thing!), my favorite thing to do is toast them later and make a little PB&J sandwich. They’re basically equal to two slices of bread, plus the peanut butter and jelly combo is a fun substitute for maple syrup! In this recipe, I put a twist – literally – on a peanut butter and jelly by making strawberry swirl pancakes stacked with peanut butter and topped with a homemade strawberry sauce. They’re designed so the whole family can get involved from the mixing, to the swirling, to the easy homemade sauce. I hope your kiddos love it!

Freeze dried strawberries are basically natural food coloring in this recipe. Grind them up using a blender or a food processor, mix them with a little bit of the batter and swirl right in using a makeshift piping bag. You could absolutely use this technique with any freeze dried fruit options (blueberries! raspberries!) and also change up the homemade strawberry sauce to match the flavor. I found the freeze dried strawberries at Target and Trader Joe’s, but many grocery stores will have them, too, in the snack or produce aisle!

I decided to use store-bought pancake mix in this recipe because I wanted the whole thing to be simple enough for the kids to join right in – or even make independently and easily if they’re old enough! Plus, this helps keep the timing down and allows for a little extra time to make the special strawberry sauce. Speaking of… the sauce is sooo simple! Just berries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cornstarch and water. Even though it’s quick, it feels so extra special. Together with the stack of pancakes layered with peanut butter, this feels like the ultimate PB&J breakfast mashup. I hope the WHOLE family loves them for breakfast, brunch or even a breakfast for dinner!

PB&J Swirl Pancakes

0 from 0 votes
Difficulty: Easy


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2/3 cup freeze dried strawberries

  • Your favorite store-bought pancake mix (and any ingredients you need to mix it!) – enough to serve 4

  • Your favorite peanut butter


  • Combine strawberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a small sauce pot. Mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl until there are no lumps. Add cornstarch slurry to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the strawberries soften, release their juices and the mixture thickens. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, add the freeze dried strawberries to a mini food processor or blender and blend on high until they turn into a fine powder, about 30 seconds.
  • Mix the pancake batter (enough per the package directions to serve four) in a large bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of the batter and place in a small bowl. Add the freeze dried strawberry powder to the small bowl and mix to incorporate. Add a splash of water to the strawberry batter to thin out for easy stirring. Scoop the strawberry batter into a small plastic resealable sandwich bag to make a piping bag. Use scissors to snip 1/4” off the corner of the bag. Store the piping bag upright in a small glass until it’s time to use.
  • Heat a nonstick electric griddle or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Spoon 1/4 cup of the plain batter into the pan. Use the strawberry batter piping bag to create a swirl. Start in the middle of each pancake and pipe a swirl all the way to the edge of the pancake. Cook until bubbles appear on the edges and top of the pancake and the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook 1 minute more until the bottom is slight golden brown. Repeat with all remaining batter.
  • To plate, place one pancake swirl side up on a plate and top with a generous amount of peanut butter. Place another pancake on top. Swirl side up. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce on top. Repeat plating with remaining pancakes to serve!


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