GOOD OLE TRADER JOE’S. The newest obsession: PANCAKE BREAD.
They certainly know how to start a trend and the hype for all their products is real.
And what is so astounding is that they don’t do any advertising. AT ALL.
Everything is word of mouth.
Every new product of theirs that’s “viral” or has people scrambling to their local stores to seek out is all word of mouth.
From cauliflower gnocchi to everything bagel seasoning to now this pancake bread.
I was intrigued because everyone was saying how good it was but I hadn’t been able to find it at my local Trader Joe’s.
I finally tracked it down and bought two loaves of pancake bread because why not?
So, I can see why everyone is obsessed.
I got a Trader Joe’s insider pro tip at the register.
The team member told me that the pancake bread is best when it’s warm and heated up.
I popped a few slices into the toaster oven when I got home and it was epic.
It was a little toasty/crusty on the outside but still warm and tender on the inside.
There was a subtle hint of maple syrup but it wasn’t overpowering.
I wouldn’t say it tasted exactly like a pancake but I can see the resemblance.
I knew I had to recreate this.
One, because not everyone has a Trader Joe’s locally and two, I actually had a bunch of people message me on Instagram asking me if I could try to recreate it.
I must say, my pancake bread copycat is pretty similar.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Trader Joe’s in any way whatsoever. They didn’t pay me to talk about this (why would they? I feel like they would want to keep selling their pancake bread haha)
This is also not “their” recipe. I didn’t call them up and ask for it.
I developed this based on my knowledge of baking and what I’ve used in past recipes for the crumb layer.
Trader Joe’s owns the right to their name and everything associated with “Trader Joe’s.”
What is pancake bread?
As Trader Joe’s packaging says, it is a “twist on a buttermilk stack, baked into a sweet moist loaf.”
Does it taste like a pancake?
Okay, so we PERSONALLY think that it tastes like a sweet, tender, coffee cake texture with a hint of maple syrup and sweetened cornbread flavor.
So, definitely not like a stack of pancakes.
What is the batter like?
It actually resembles pancake batter.
Thick, velvetty, and ribbon-like when you hold the spatula in the air.
How do you get mile high crumb?
You literally pile it on.
The crumb mixture makes a lot but you definitely use majority of it.
You have to use majority of it because a lot of it gets ‘swallowed’ by the batter during baking.
I don’t have buttermilk, can I use regular milk?
You can make your own!
For every 1 cup of regular milk, add 1 tablespoon of regular white vinegar to it.
Stir then let it sit for 5 minutes and you’ll have buttermilk!
Why did you use malt powder?
I was reading the ingredient list on the package and it said there was malt barley flour.
It did taste a bit malty/butterscotchy so I decided it couldn’t hurt to add in the malt powder.
My crumbs got swallowed by the batter during baking
The crumb layer was too thin.
You need to pile it on at least three or four layers thick.
Why does it take so long to bake?
Because it is DENSE!
And because all that crumb mixture on top weighs down the cake so it will take a bit for it poof up and cook.
But also it bakes at a low temperature.
Why does it bake at such a low temperature?
Because I noticed that if you bake it at a high temperature, the exterior gets really dark and sometimes will have a burned taste.
The low temperature ensures it bakes through but also doesn’t scorch the exterior.
How do I prevent it from burning?
If the top of your pancake bread is getting really dark, you can tent the top of it with foil for the remainder of the baking process.
What kind of loaf pan should I use?
A 9×5″ nonstick loaf pan is best.
Glass could work too.
Just make sure you line either with parchment paper and grease it well so the loaf releases easily.
How long will this keep?
Up to five days.
How should this be eaten?
With zero self control, LOL
I 100% recommend eating the pancake bread warm and 30 minutes out of the oven.
However, for leftover slices, pop it into the toaster oven at 325 degrees for 5 minutes and it’ll be just like fresh out of the oven again!
Other copycat bread recipes that you may like:
- Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon Bread
- Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake
- Outback Copycat Honey Whole Wheat Bread
- Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls
Pin this pancake bread recipe for later:
Trader Joe's Pancake Bread Copycat Recipe
For the crumb topping:
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
For the bread batter:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup malted milk powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper overhanging on either side. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients of the topping. It will resemble coarse crumbs that are pea-shaped with various sizes (some will be powdery and some will form into balls). As long as when you take some into the palm of your hands and firmly grasp it, it holds it shape, it is all good. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, malt powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a regular bowl with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing after each addition. Add the buttermilk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix together.
- Pour half the dry mixture into the wet ingredient bowl and mix until no flour remains. Pour the remaining dry mixture into the bowl and mix until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with the crumb topping in an even, thick layer. You'll think there is far too much but there is never far too much, haha. Don't press/push it down into the batter. Just let it sit on top.Place the loaf pan on top of a large baking sheet in case the crumb mixture spills over during baking.Bake for 90-100 minutes, OR until a wooden toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Please note: ovens all vary in hotness. Some will need longer, some will need shorter. Just keep an eye on it. If you notice the edges are getting very brown, tent the pan with foil for the remainder of baking. The exterior of the bread will be slightly darker in color than normal because of the sugar and butter content in the bread :)
- Let cool for 15 minutes then run a knife around the edges then carefully lift out the loaf by the two sides of parchment paper and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
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