OMG Dinner Cakes

Posted by Katie Novak on

 Perfect Dinner for the Start of Fall

OMG Dinner Cakes

A few weeks ago Justin and I were curled up on the couch enjoying a few rare moments of uninterrupted TV time. This usually revolves around seeing what's cooking on Food Network. A featured dish on an episode of "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" was a bizarre concoction of a pancake, hotdogs and macaroni noodles covered in cheese. My first thought was some drunk collage kid had to have thought this up, and that could be the case; but I couldn't stop thinking about it, or at least the concept. 

I was in the kitchen with my mom probably before I could even walk. My original ideation for a career stemmed from the desire to be a chef (it's still not too late....right?) and so I've always been a creative and adventurous mind in the kitchen. 

For as much as I love to cook, I'm not a big one on leftovers. I have food ADHD if you will. Justin gives me crap because I won't eat the same thing two meals or even two days in a row. So I've become very big on turning leftovers into something else entirely. In this case it is leftover bratwurst, Jalapeno Cheddar Brats to be exact. They never reheat and have that same "pop" as they do fresh off the grill. Sometimes I make breakfast hash with them but sadly they often go uneaten. 

These, what I've dubbed "OMG Dinner Cakes", are seriously the best way to use up any leftover sausage, just make sure it's fully cooked prior to making these.  

 Step by Step

Ingredient List

Pancakes

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk

3 Bratwurst or Other Sausage sliced into 1/4 inch pieces

3 Cups Shredded Cheese (I used a taco blend)

Sour Cream for topping (optional)

Chopped Green Onions for Topping (optional)

 Assemble

No matter what griddle you use for pancakes, get it heating now. Med/Low heat.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. With pancakes I don't sift the dry ingredients, I rather use a whisk and combine and break up any flour lumps. 

In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, measure out the 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Add the egg and beat the egg with a fork into the oil. Add the 1 1/2 cups of milk and mix with the fork.

Combine Dry and Wet ingredients separately
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
Mix to combine, but just enough to wet all of dry ingredients. Over mixing results in a less than fluffy pancake.
Mix only until just combined

Make sure to add a little oil to the griddle, even if it's non-stick, just on the first batch. I've used every type of griddle/pan and the first ones just like to stick.

To get a dozen cakes I use 3 TBP to a 1/4 Cup of batter per cake. Make whatever size you like, just make sure you can flip it! And if you suck at flipping, make only a couple at a time to give yourself some more room. Lord knows I've had some ugly pancake flipping messes over the years.

For my cakes 3 slices of the brats fit on each. I added the brats after all 4 were poured. 

Pancakes with Brat Slices
When bubbles start to pop on the surface and their little holes remain you can add the cheese. I went heavy with 1/4 cup each (go big or go home) but you could use less...
Cheesy goodness on the cake
Now the trickiest part....flip them. Actually the batter does a good job of adhering the cheese to the cake so they flip fairly easily. 
Flipped Pancake with Cheese Crust Forming
It may seem like you're leaving the cakes on the griddle for a long time but you want the cheese to create that lacy crunchy goodness and you definitely want the pancake itself to cook through. Around the edges you'll see where some of the batter is peaking out, when that loses it's shine and the pancake feels spongy and firm to the touch they're done.
Depending the the size of your griddle you may need to separate the cheese to get your cakes off the pan individually. I generally set my oven to 200 and keep a warm plate in the oven to collect the cakes while the family anxiously awaits. You certainly can serve them ala carte. 
OMG Dinner Cakes piled high
I love the tang of sour cream on these with some chopped green onion. I contemplated adding the onion to the batter which would have infused the flavor, but not all of the children love onion. They are equally as delicious with Maple Syrup. 
OMG Dinner Cakes
Savory, sweet, crunchy, and creamy all in one. This will be a mainstay especially on the cool evenings ahead.

Until the next meal,

Love,
The Three Little Men