Buttermilk pancakes with tonka bean mascarpone and pears

A perfect twist on classic American pancakes, lighter and more buttery, combined with some agave syrup to add a touch of smokiness. Perfect for a warm and satisfying autumn breakfast or brunch, the recipe is inspired by the delicious looking pancakes from Kafeteria SMK. Hopefully, we’ll have the chance to try the original version at Kafeteria SMK soon!

Tonka beans, originating from Central and South America, are unique black and wrinkly pods. When grated, these beans release a comforting aroma, reminiscent of vanilla and almonds, with undertones of spices like cinnamon and cloves. This creates an addictive flavour profile. In our specific recipe, we enhance mascarpone by infusing it with tonka beans overnight, ensuring the fullest extraction of the tonka bean’s distinctive flavour.

Note: For this recipe, a buttermilk with a slightly less dense consistency is preferred. We specifically used Ampersand Dairy‘s buttermilk.

Buttermilk pancakes with tonka bean mascarpone and pears

Course: BreakfastCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Pancake recipe adapted from Serious Eats, credits to Kenji Lopez.


  • Dry mix
  • 283g plain flour

  • 1tbsp golden caster sugar1tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • Pinch of salt

  • Wet mix
  • 2 large eggs

  • 340g buttermilk (we used Ampersand)

  • 225g sour cream

  • 4tbsp unsalted butter, melted

  • Mascarpone cream
  • 200g mascarpone

  • 3g tonka beans

  • 2tbsp icing sugar

  • Serving
  • 2 very ripe pears

  • agave syrup


  • Mascarpone cream
  • In a small bowl, mix the mascarpone, icing sugar and grated tonka bean together using a balloon whisk (or electric mixer) until homogenous.
  • Cover with cling film and let it infuse overnight in the fridge.
  • Dry mix
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix it together with a balloon whisk.
  • Wet mix
  • Separate the eggs yolks from the whites into two medium size bowls.
  • Whisk the egg whites until you achieve stiff peaks.
  • In another bowl, mix together the egg yolks, buttermilk and sour cream.
  • Drizzle in the melted butter and whisk until it’s homogenous.
  • Slowly fold in the whipped egg whites into the mixture.
  • Sieve the dry mix onto the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Don’t overmix the dough as they might become tough and rubbery. If there are any lumps, rest the batter in the fridge for 15min. The lumps will hydrate through diffusion.
  • Preheat a large pan, drizzle a little oil or butter and spread it with a paper towel. There shouldn’t be any visible fat left.
  • Using a quarter-cup (75ml) measuring cup, pour 1 portion of the batter on the pan at the time.
  • Cook until big bubbles start to appear (about 4min) and then carefully flip over the pancake.
  • Let it cook for another 2 min and then remove from the pan.
  • Repeat with the rest of the batter. Reserve the cooked pancakes under a kitchen towel to keep them warm while cooking the rest.
  • Plating
  • Place 4 pancakes on the plate and arrange finely sliced pears. Add a generous dollop of the mascarpone cream and drizzle the agave syrup.
  • Enjoy this hedonistic weekend breakfast with some nice filter coffee.


  • To obtain smoothly caramelised pancakes, a thin even layer of oil on the pan is required.

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