There’s something comforting about pancakes. The smell of flapjacks brings us back to weekend mornings from our childhood when cartoons (not phone alarms) jolted us out of bed and we didn't care how much syrup we drizzled on our plate. But that scene becomes less frequent in adulthood. Tear.

Well, we think every day deserves to be as special as a lazy Sunday morning. And you don’t have to go to a fancy brunch—or sacrifice your health goals—to make your fluffy, carby dreams a reality. 

For grown-up versions of your childhood favorite, try these nine protein-packed pancake recipes. From classic banana to vegan tiramisu to stacks with peanut butter syrup, these pancakes will help you perk up and bulk up. (Kidding on the latter, but they will help you get healthier.)

Protein Pancakes: Lemon Chia
Photo: Muy Delish

Pancakes have a reputation for being heavy, but this recipe is anything but. Made with egg whites, vanilla protein powder, banana, chia seeds, lemon, and a few other baking add-ins, they’re an airy and refreshing counterpart to the diner classic. Tip: Use almond flour to make them gluten-free.

Protein Pancakes: Pumpkin
Photo: Willow Bird Baking

Fall is to pumpkin what weekends are to pancakes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change things up. After all, some of the best recipes come from thinking outside the box—and season. Simply combine the five simple ingredients and flip your way to the healthiest (but still decadent) breakfast yet.

Protein Pancakes: Lemon Blueberry
Photo: A Sweet Pea Chef

We used to think it was impossible to improve upon classic blueberry pancakes. But boy were we wrong. These next-level pancakes get a hefty dose of protein from egg whites, cottage cheese, and vanilla protein powder. Not to mention, they’re the perfect meal for refueling post workout—or post sleep (#doyou).

Protein Pancakes: Apple Cinnamon Vegan
Photo: Pickles & Honey

Switching to a vegan diet may seem tough, but with recipes like this, who needs all that dairy? Made with the oh-so-popular flax egg, spelt flour, Sunwarrior Blend Protein Powder, coconut oil, nondairy milk, and a few other spices and baking materials, they’re just as hearty as a traditional batch. Our favorite part: the three-ingredient vegan caramel sauce topping.

Protein Pancakes: Chocolate
Photo: Jennifer Meyering

Though they sound like a breakfast treat from childhood, these pancakes are legit healthy—and they’re dairy-free, low-fat, and gluten-free too (be sure to choose GF oats). Add a few cacao nibs for crunch. We love topping with fresh berries and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Protein Pancake: Tiramisu
Photo: A Little Rosemary and Time

One look at these pancakes was enough to make us run to the store and make them immediately. And while some of the ingredients are a little tough to find, there are plenty of ways to use what you've got on hand. Don’t have mocha protein powder? Use chocolate in its place and add extra espresso. No rum extract? Add a dash of the real liquor—it’s OK, we won’t tell anyone.

Protein Pancakes: Strawberry Greek Yogurt
Photo: I Wash You Dry

This glorious recipe only takes 15 minutes (tops) to make. Greek yogurt packs a protein-rich punch to these pancakes. Pop 'em on the stove, flip, and serve with fresh berries and honey or maple syrup. 

Protein Pancake: PB and Banana
Photo: Peanut Butter and Fitness

We love peanut butter and we cannot lie—especially when it’s mixed into pancakes and transformed into syrup. This recipe uses PB2 (a powdered, low-fat version of peanut butter), rolled oats, banana, egg whites, and protein powder as the base. And the pancakes are then topped with plenty of maple peanut sauce—which we can’t get enough of. Tip: Use Greek yogurt and honey in place of the vanilla Activia.

Protein Pancakes: Funfetti
Photo: The Coconut Diaries

Sure, rainbow sprinkles may not be the healthiest treat out there, but a little sugary topping never hurt anyone. (Not that we know of, anyway.) Made with buckwheat flour, coconut flour, and real sprinkles, this breakfast treat is the perfect way to kick off your Friday—or any day of the week.

Originally published March 2015. Updated August 2016.

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