Strawberry-Mascarpone Pancakes With Balsamic Syrup Recipe

If you want to elevate your Saturday morning pancake breakfast without putting in much more effort, then these strawberry-mascarpone pancakes with balsamic syrup will definitely do the trick. As the name suggests, these pancakes feature mascarpone in the batter, then they're topped off with a mascarpone whipped cream and a strawberry balsamic syrup that truly tastes as impressive as it sounds. While this recipe is a bit more involved than a basic stack of pancakes topped with bottled syrup, we can guarantee that the results are well worth any extra effort.

Recipe developer Katie Rosenhouse has crafted this elevated brunch recipe and says, "It's always nice to come up with a new spin on a classic, and it's impossible to not love these pancakes!" She goes on to describe how "the sharp acidity of balsamic vinegar is rounded out by fresh strawberries, sweet maple syrup, and grounded by the rich pancakes and creamy whipped mascarpone," and as a final quip, she adds, "It's a flavor explosion!" Sure, you could make a simple stack of box mix pancakes in a pinch, or you could go the extra mile and whip up a truly impressive stack that excites both the eyes and the taste buds.

Gather the ingredients for strawberry-mascarpone pancakes with balsamic syrup

For a recipe that features three distinct components, the ingredients list really isn't all too extensive. For the strawberry balsamic syrup, you'll need balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and hulled and sliced strawberries. 

As for the mascarpone whipped cream, you'll need heavy whipping cream, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and of course, mascarpone cheese, which happens to play double-duty with the pancakes, too. "Mascarpone is the star of the show here, and one 8-ounce container will be used up perfectly between the pancakes and whipped topping," Rosenhouse says. The other pancake ingredients include whole milk, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, more salt, and melted butter, plus some more butter (or oil) to grease the pan. 

Finally, you may want some confectioners' sugar on hand for garnish. Speaking of garnishes, Rosenhouse also recommends a particularly bright addition: "If you have a lemon on hand, add a bit of zest to the pancakes for even more punch."

Make the strawberry balsamic syrup

Kick off this recipe by making the strawberry balsamic syrup — but don't be overwhelmed by the inclusion of straight vinegar here. The first step calls for reducing the vinegar, and you'll do so by simmering it in a saucepan over low heat until it reduces to about ¼ cup. Reducing the vinegar brings out its natural sweetness and also helps thicken it up, both of which factors bode well for a syrup. Once the balsamic has reduced, put it into a bowl and set aside.

Next up, add the maple syrup to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer, then add in the strawberries. Turn the heat up and cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until the strawberries soften and begin to release their juices. Remove the strawberry syrup from the heat then stir in the balsamic, then set the whole syrup mixture aside until you're ready to use it. 

Whip up some mascarpone whipped cream

To make the mascarpone whipped cream, begin by beating the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add in the mascarpone — you'll need half of the container or 4 ounces for this part — along with the sugar and salt then beat again, this time to medium peaks. Refrigerate the whipped cream until you're ready to use it, and if it loosens up a bit when it comes time for serving, simply re-whip until those medium peaks return.

Mix up the pancake batter

Add the remaining mascarpone, milk, eggs, and vanilla to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Then add in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and melted butter, then fold until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, and note that your batter should still have some lumps in it. 

So, why add mascarpone to a pancake batter? "Similar to buttermilk in buttermilk pancakes, the mascarpone cheese reacts with the baking soda in this recipe to lift and lighten the pancakes," Rosenhouse explains. "Its richness also gives the pancakes a melt-in-your-mouth texture, along with a subtle tang that balances the subtle sweetness of the recipe."

Cook the pancakes

Place a medium-sized pan on the stovetop over low heat and add a bit of butter or oil. Once the pan feels hot when you hover your hand over it, scoop about ½ cup's worth of batter in, forming a roughly 6-inch pancake. Cook the pancake for an initial 2 to 3 minutes, or until it starts to bubble on top. Flip the pancake (it should be golden brown on the cooked side) and let it cook for 1 minute more. Remove the pancake from the pan and repeat the cooking steps — the batter should yield enough for six large pancakes.

Adorn the pancakes and serve

With all of your pancakes cooked, go ahead and stack a few onto a plate and optionally dust them with confectioners' sugar. Pile on a generous serving of strawberry balsamic syrup, and a hearty dollop of mascarpone whipped cream, then dive right in. 

Because these pancakes err more toward the sweet side, you may be so inclined to serve them with more savory brunch classics like hash browns or some crispy bacon. As for Rosenhouse, she likes to let the pancakes shine and says that they "would be best paired with a strong espresso or coffee."

Strawberry-Mascarpone Pancakes With Balsamic Syrup Recipe
5 from 35 ratings
Treat your family to an elevated breakfast by making these fluffy pancakes made with mascarpone and strawberries.
Prep Time
Cook Time
stack of strawberry balsamic pancakes
Total time: 45 minutes
  • For the strawberry balsamic syrup
  • ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups hulled & sliced strawberries
  • For the whipped mascarpone
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • For the mascarpone pancakes
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil, for greasing the pan
Optional Ingredients
  • confectioners' sugar, for garnish
  1. Bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small pot. Cook over low heat until reduced to ¼ cup. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Bring the maple syrup to a simmer. Add the sliced strawberries and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes until the strawberries begin to soften and release their juices. Remove from heat and stir in reduced balsamic then set aside.
  3. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone, sugar, and salt. Whip to medium peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use. Whip again to stiffen before using if making ahead.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the mascarpone, milk, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and melted butter. Fold lightly just combined, but lumpy. Don't overmix.
  5. Heat a small pat of butter or drizzle of oil in a medium pan over low heat until the pan feels warm when you hover your hand over, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a ½ cup measure or 4-ounce scoop to portion a mound of pancake batter into the center of the pan. Spread to a 6-inch circle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes over low heat until bubbles begin to surface and the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook for 1 minute on the remaining side. Repeat with remaining batter for 6 large pancakes.
  6. Stack the pancakes and serve warm dusted with confectioners' sugar, a generous spoonful of strawberries and syrup, and a dollop of whipped mascarpone.
Calories per Serving 2,002
Total Fat 116.2 g
Saturated Fat 69.0 g
Trans Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 505.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 205.8 g
Dietary Fiber 6.7 g
Total Sugars 97.6 g
Sodium 2,077.1 mg
Protein 34.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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