Judgement Time: IHOP’s Holiday Hotcakes

I. Love. Pancakes.

Doesn’t everybody? I know there has been an ongoing waffles vs. pancakes debate, but for me, pancakes will always take the cake. They’re fluffy, floppy, fun, and delicious. Nothing gives me such child-like glee as to inundate a stack of these golden cakes in rich maple syrup then stick my fork straight through the fluffy interior. Pancakes and syrup may be a simple thing, but MAN, are they good!

You can imagine how a place like IHOP might just be heaven for me. True, I have often contemplated moving in and spending the rest of my life in a pancake utopia where all of my maple syrup-covered dreams come true. I decided to go to college instead, but if the whole “higher education” thing doesn’t work out, at least I’ve got that as a back up plan.

When I heard IHOP had released a line of new Holiday Hotcakes, I HOPPED right on over (I’m sorry, I had to). It was once of those situations that, from the moment I learned of the Holiday Hotcakes’ existence, it consumed my every waking thought. I counted down the hours until I may go to IHOP and try some for myself.

Now, The Holiday Hotcakes come in three flavors: Pumpkin Praline (which consists of pumpkin pancakes topped with caramel sauce and candied pecans), Eggnog (regular pancakes layered with an eggnog-flavored cream and topped with butter rum sauce), and White Chocolate Chip Mint (regular pancakes with white chocolate chips and topped with peppermint pieces). I tried the first two, as I’m not a huge fan of mint (sorry mint-lovers).

First up was the Pumpkin Praline. A little disclosure before I begin: if you order these as the combo you will get significantly smaller pancakes then if you order the pancakes alone, and you only get 2 as opposed to 3. Note the size difference between the pumpkin ones (which were a combo) and the eggnog (which was only pancakes). No one warned me of this, and I was rather upset. If you aren’t aware, I have a stomach roughly the size of Asia, and that puny pancake stack didn’t cut it!

Back to the pumpkin hotcakes. Overall, they were pretty darn tasty. They could’ve been a little more pumpkin-y, but pumpkin was definitely present. I really liked the caramel sauce, which seemed to have some pumpkin pie spices incorporated. The pecan topping was nice and crunchy with a sweet coating. I only wish there had been a bit more of it. It’s hard for me to judge the texture of these pancakes though. IHOP p-cakes are typically nice and fluffy, but as I said, these pancakes were very skimpy. These would’ve been so much better if they had been of the proper size and thickness. I believe if I had ordered the full-sized ones as opposed to the combo, they would’ve been properly thick and fluffy. How do I know? Well just look at the Eggnog Pancakes!

These were the size that pancakes should be, a substantial tower of 3 thick pancakes layered with Eggnog Cream. I really enjoyed this filling; it was not overly Eggnog-y, but just flavorful enough. Moreover, it was light and creamy. I was worried it might be too thick and rich, but that was not at all the case. The buttered rum sauce was a nice idea in theory, but I very much dislike that artificial alcohol flavor. I would’ve preferred just plain old syrup. The good news is that it’s only a light drizzle of butter rum, and therefore, it is not too overbearing.

I would’ve been more impressed if the pancakes themselves had been eggnog-flavored. And although they are very good, it’s not something you can eat a lot of at once.

So, how do these pancakes STACK up on the Smart Cookie Scale?

Pumpkin Praline:

4.5 stars out of 5


4.5 stars out of 5

Are these pancakes worth trying? Definitely. Just make sure you get the full order & not the combo if you want big, fluffy p-cakes! Also, you should do what my mother & I did: she got the Eggnog and I got the Pumpkin Praline, and we shared with each other. This eliminates the issue off not being able to eat a lot of the Eggnog at once and you get to try each kind!
Have you tried IHOP’s Holiday Hotcakes? What did you think?
Posted in Breakfast, Holiday, Judgement Time, The Smart Cookie Cook, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


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