I'm not the stuffing police, but you should still listen to me

By Stacey Ballis
October 15, 2018
Photo by Stacey Ballis

I am solidly in the camp that believes that stuffing is the primary reason Thanksgiving exists. What is there to be more thankful for than a pile of toasted bread soaked in broth and butter and seasoned with thyme and sage and onion and celery? It doesn’t matter if you make yours out of a red box, or from homemade bread croutons. I don’t care if you keep it super plain or fancy it up with things like chestnuts and dried figs. Personally I am pro-sausage or bacon and not-so-pro oyster, but I don’t eat oysters in anything, so if you are an oyster stuffing person, I’m not here to be the stuffing police.

I have used all kinds of carbs in my stuffing: sourdough, old hot dog buns, brioche, leftover biscuits, focaccia. Mostly when I get to the end of a loaf, I chop it up and store it in the freezer, so often my stuffing has about six different kinds of bread in it. But I never really make cornbread stuffing, since my family tends to prefer a regular bread version.

But I am married to a man from Kentucky, who loves my stuffing, but sometimes misses the cornbread stuffing of his youth. I developed these cornbread stuffing pancakes to have an easy way to get him that flavor. And to keep things festive, a cranberry syrup, which I like the teensiest bit better for these than maple, the tartness is just a great match, but maple works totally fine.

If you are a convert to my stuffing butter recipe, it's the perfect pairing for these cakes.

Cornbread Stuffing Pancakes

Makes 9 large or 18 small pancakes


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup coarse cornmeal
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning mix
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
More butter or oil for cooking


In a large bowl whisk the flour, bouillon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. Add the seasoning and whisk again until well-distributed. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk and butter until well blended. Pour the buttermilk mix into the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Set aside the batter to rest at room temp for 10-15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200°F.

Heat your griddle or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot enough for a drop of water to skitter across the surface and evaporate, brush a thin layer of olive oil on the surface. Drop 1/2 cup scoops for large cakes or 1/4 cup scoops for small on the skillet, leaving plenty of room for them to spread. I usually coax them along with the back of the scoop, since the thick batter will only spread so far on its own. Cook on the first side until bubbles appear on the tops of the pancakes, and the edges look dry, about 2 minutes. Flip over. DON’T PRESS DOWN! I mean it. You want to, but resist. These are extra-fluffy cakes, and if you press on them they get rubbery. Cook on the second side about 1-2 minutes till golden brown and cooked through.

Transfer cooked cakes to a rack over a sheet pan and hold in the oven while you make the rest.

Serve hot with butter, cranberry syrup or maple syrup.

Cranberry Syrup


½ cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
½ cup sugar
½ cup chopped dried cranberries
½ cup water


Cook all over medium high heat until the fresh berries have popped and the syrup has thickened slightly. Strain for a true syrup or leave it chunky if you prefer.