I Made Chrissy Teigen's Blueberry Cream Cheese Pancakes (and They Were Glorious)
Just gonna say it: I’m a Chrissy Teigen super-fan. You could even call her my celeb crush. I met her IRL a couple years ago at an event for a vodka she was promoting, and she was every bit as down to earth as she lets on. Tossing back vod sods, she even took a glam shot with me and my co-worker like we were all best friends.
So, naturally, I was first in line to nab a copy of Chrissy Teigen’s second cookbook Cravings: Hungry for More. And after flipping through the gorgeous recipe photos, I fell in love with Chrissy all over again. Shake and Bake Chicken with Hot Honey? Creamy Tomato Soup with Peppery Parmesan Crisps? Tom Yum Noodles? Swoon, one thousand times over.
Needless to say, I was very excited to see if her recipes taste as incredible as they look. I decided to test out her blueberry cream cheese pancakes recipe because I’ve cooked a lot of flapjacks in my time and because, well, I really wanted to lick the page. Here, I walk you through my maple-syrup-filled journey.
Measure the Ingredients
1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese (not in the tub of spread), cold
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2⅓ cups buttermilk
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted and slightly cooled (½ cup)
¼ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 cup juicy blueberries, plus more for servings
Butter and pancake syrup (Aunt Jemima preferred! But pure maple syrup if you insist), for serving
1½ sheets (3 squares) graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
Make the Batter
First things first, Chrissy has you cut the cream cheese into ¼-inch cubes and put it in the freezer while you make the rest of the batter. The rationale? The cubes will hold their shape and add pockets of sour creaminess to the pancakes—“cream cheese bombs,” if you will. Y-U-M. I got a little held up at this step, because my block of cream cheese crumbled when I tried cutting it, instead of slicing into neat cubes. Clearly, my cream cheese was too warm. I decided that Chrissy probably wouldn’t worry about this too much, so neither did I.
Next, whisk the dry ingredients together in one large bowl and the wet ingredients plus half the butter together in another large bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and let the batter sit around for five minutes. According to some quick research, this little break allows the distilled white vinegar to react with the other ingredients and create magically fluffy batter. Intriguing.
Finally, you stir in the cream cheese cubes (or in my case, crumbles) and ready thy skillet.
Cook the Pancakes
Chrissy spends a lot of time making sure the griddle is ready to be graced by her pancakes. Smart lady. She has you heat your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to medium. This ensures that the pancakes ripple with golden brown veins as soon as they hit the skillet (which, indeed they did—more on that later).
Next, you brush the griddle with some of the remaining butter. To be honest, because the skillet was so hot, my butter immediately turned brown. Which I have zero problem with because brown butter is delicious, but I’d just like to point it out.
Now’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle with a ⅓-cup measure. Dot each pancake with blueberries and cook until tiny bubbles push up through the pancakes and the edges are lacy and brown.
Get Ready For the Flip
“Flip and cook until the underside is cooked and lacy, another 1 to 2 minutes,” Chrissy’s instructions read. I’d like to add that you should definitely dig up the largest, sturdiest spatula you can possibly find, because these pancakes are enormous. Like, four-inches-in-diameter enormous.
As you can see, I had a little difficulty flipping my pancakes the first time I tried, because the blueberries and cream-cheese chunks made them really heavy. Everything seemed like it was going smoothly until mid-flip, when several blueberries shot out of the batter. Man down! But the beautiful golden ripples almost made up for it.
After a few more flips, I learned a trick: Tilting the skillet so the pancakes slid fully over the spatula was the best way to fully support my fluffy, fully loaded pancakes.
At long last (40 minutes after I’d started, to be precise), I’d cooked all of the batter. Now, I slathered the pancakes with real maple syrup (because come on, no one likes Aunt Jemima, Chrissy), graham cracker crumbs and even more butter. I took my first bite…and cursed John Legend for marrying her first.
I’ve eaten a lot of really good pancakes and a lot of really crappy, rubbery ones. These obviously fell on the really good spectrum, but they were unlike any pancakes I’ve had before. A bite of gooey cream cheese plus juicy blueberry plus airy batter equaled sweet (but not too sweet) perfection. Yep, perfection—a word I rarely use. They tasted like what I wished every Sunday morning could be: soft, golden, warming and a tad bit extra. These struck me as the type of pancakes that would really confuse my parents, but send my friends into ecstasy if I were the type of person who had people over for brunch.
Were the extra steps and ingredients worth it? Definitely. Was the recipe impeccable? 1,000percent. Did I feel closer to Chrissy Teigen? Glad you asked.