When you’re looking for camping breakfast ideas that’ll please kids and adults, look no further than your big griddle and get ready to cook pancakes. These Sweet Cream Pancakes are homemade, fluffy and simple. It’s the only pancake recipe you’ll ever need!
Black Bear Diner Pancake Recipe Inspiration
The Black Bear Diner restaurant chain has some of the best breakfast food. It’s the first place many people experience amazing melt in your mouth sweet cream pancakes for the first time. It’s one of the most popular items on their Sunday morning breakfast menu.
I don’t have their secret recipe but I do have my own copy cat version of those pancakes which I’ve made easy for campsite cooking.
What Is A Sweet Cream?
The simple explanation is that butterfat rises to the top of unhomogenized milk … that butterfat is also called cream.
Cream can be sweet or sour.
- Sweet cream has a mild, naturally sweet (no sugar is added) flavor of milk.
- Sour cream is a cultured cream with some acidity.
You’ve probably noticed a “sweet cream butter” label on the package when you buy butter at your local grocery store. That means it is produced from fresh sweet cream which is different than butter made with cultured or soured cream. Most butter produced in the United States is sweet cream butter.
Regular vs. Sweet Cream Pancake Recipes
The main difference between sweet cream and standard pancakes is the dairy product used in the wet ingredients. With the exception of the liquid ingredient, the basic pancake recipe is virtually identical.
Traditional pancakes use regular milk (or buttermilk for buttermilk pancakes) while sweet cream pancakes recipes call for heavy cream, which is also referred to as heavy whipping cream.
So, they’re basically pancakes with heavy cream instead of milk … there is no extra sugar added. That’s why they’re also called heavy cream pancakes or pancakes with whipping cream.
Why Are Restaurant Pancakes So Fluffy?
Leavening agents are the secret ingredients to make fluffy pancakes. As soon as the baking soda comes in contact with the wet ingredients, the chemical reaction begins. The longer you wait to cook your hot cakes, the less fluffy and more dense they become.
Many campers mix their pancake batter at home, store in the fridge and transport to the campsite in a squeezable container. Then, just squirt a quarter cup of pancake batter on a hot griddle and call it a day. That’s super handy BUT you’ll end up with dense pancakes instead of light, fluffy cakes. If you’re going for ease, by all means, do it.
The whole reason to make homemade pancake batter is to enjoy fluffy, golden pancakes. If you’re going for perfect pancakes, make this easy homemade batter and follow a few simple rules for best results.
To prep-ahead, combine the dry ingredients at home to create your homemade sweet cream pancake mix but leave the rest of the process until the day you’ll be eating, here’s why.
Camp Cooking Tips For The Best Pancakes
- A great way to save time and make things easy at camp is to measure and mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar at home and transport to camp in a tightly sealed food storage container.
- DON’T let your wet ingredients get to room temperature, keep them cold until you’re ready to cook.
- Heat griddle first, then, combine the wet ingredients.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until they are combined. Lumps are fine. Overworking the batter causes the gluten to develop creating tough, dense cakes instead of light fluffy pancakes.
- Cook the cakes as soon as the batter is mixed.
Cooking Methods & Equipment
If you are making this as one of our easy campfire recipes, start your fire early so it has time to burn down and create hot coals for cooking. I prefer using a cast iron griddle when I’m making pancakes over a campfire.
Making this as one of our camp stove recipes is a great option too. You’ll want to make sure your stove is on a level surface. If your stove is large enough with even heat, you can use a cast iron griddle, if you prefer a non-stick skillet, that works too.
Step 1. Prepare your ingredients, heat source and equipment as directed. Heat griddle (or skillet) over medium heat of campfire, camp stove or RV stove (you may need a medium-high heat if you are cooking in windy conditions.)
Step 2. Combine dry ingredients. Measure and whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. (I recommend measuring and mixing at home so you don’t have to carry all the individual ingredients to the campsite. Then, transfer to your mixing bowl when ready to cook.)
Step 3. Combine wet ingredients. Using a small separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and heavy cream.
Step 4. Mix wet and dry. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix.
Step 5. Prepare the pan. Coat your griddle (or skillet) with non-stick cooking spray.
Step 6. Cook the cakes & serve hot. It is easiest to use a dry measuring cup to scoop batter out of the mixing bowl. You’ll want to use about 1/4 cup of pancake batter for smaller cakes and about 1/2 cup batter if you like larger cakes. Thin with a little milk or water if the consistency is too thick. Cook till golden brown and serve hot with your favorite toppings.
Camp Cooking Tip: Little bubbles will form then they will pop and form little holes, that means it’s time to flip to cook the second side.
Some yummy topping ideas include:
- Macerated fresh fruit
- Strawberries and chocolate syrup
- Blueberries tossed with lemon juice, sugar and lemon zest
- Strawberry Banana Compote with whipped cream
- Apples with caramel sauce
- Melted butter and real maple syrup
What To Serve With This Recipe
We like to serve a side of crispy bacon with our sweet breakfast meals. If serving as one of our vegetarian camping recipes, serve a plant-based savory breakfast meat substitute on the side.
And, of course, don’t forget a nice, cold glass of milk and hot cup of camp coffee!
The next time you want to make a ridiculously fast meal, try these Camping Pancakes Just Add Water. The topping makes them yummy, it’s just fresh strawberries tossed in a small bowl with sugar and set aside to macerate a bit to soften the berries and create a simple syrup.
These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes use a just-add-water pancake mix which is nothing special until they are dotted with chocolate chips and topped with a simple topping made with milk, powdered sugar, peanut butter and vanilla extract.
This is the best pancake recipe for fall camping trips … you know … pumpkin season! This option is a little more labor intensive than our typical recipes but these Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes With Mascarpone Drizzle are totally worth the effort for the gourmet-taste.
You don’t have to make individual servings of French toast if you make my family-style casserole Dutch Oven French Toast.
This Dutch Oven Coffee Cake is one of my favorite recipes to serve for breakfast because leftovers make a great snack or dessert later in the trip.
These Campfire Dutch Oven Donuts are fast and yummy. 3 ingredients are all you need to make these fun treats.
Print This Recipe
Sweet Cream Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt*
- 1/3 cup sugar*
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups heavy cream + water or milk for thinning if necessary
- Cooking spray
- Your favorite pancake toppings as desired
- Ingredients marked with * can be measured and mixed at home.
- Heat pancake griddle or heat skillet over medium heat (you may need a medium-high heat if you are cooking in windy conditions.)
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together.
- In a smaller separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and heavy cream together. Camp Cooking Tip: Keep wet ingredients cold until you are ready to cook to create fluffy cakes.
- Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Camp Cooking Tip: Overworking the batter causes the gluten to develop creating tough, dense cakes so don't worry about the lumps.
- Spray griddle (or skillet) with nonstick cooking spray.
- Use a dry measuring cup to scoop about 1/3 cup of batter and pour on to the hot griddle. If the consistency is too thick, you can thin it with a little milk or water. Camp Cooking Tip: Little bubbles will begin to form in the batter, DON'T flip yet, you need to wait for the bubbles to burst and form little holes before you flip them to cook the second side.
- Gently turn the cakes to cook the second side until they are golden brown, total cooking time will be about 2-3 minutes/side.
- Remove from griddle, serve hot with your favorite toppings.
- Serving Suggestions: Top your favorite way. Some yummy ideas include macerated fresh fruit, strawberries and chocolate syrup, blueberries tossed with lemon juice, sugar and lemon zest, Strawberry Banana Compote with whipped cream, caramel sauce or the classic, simple combination of melted butter and real maple syrup. https://www.campingforfoodies.com/strawberry-banana-compote/
More Yummy Meal Ideas
Enjoy different foods on your next trip.