Macadamia Nut Pancakes with Pineapple Sauce and Whipped Honey-Nut Butter

I love breakfast foods. If you grew up in the Midwest you're also probably familiar with breakfast for dinner. This recipe for Macadamia Nut Pancakes inspired by Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Village Resort in Walt Disney World has super strong game in the morning or the evening. The pancakes are fluffy and packed with flavor. Topped with a sweet pineapple sauce you could skip the syrup all together if you're a pineapple lover! My favorite part is the whipped honey-nut butter on top made with more macadamia nuts. This plate immediately transports me to Hawaii and being a kid again at Waikiki with my toes in the sand or spending a special vacation at Poly with my family for the first time!

I gave my hubby a healthy serving of pineapple sauce this morning made with fresh pineapple (Del Monte since Target didn't have Dole!). I would advise using fresh pineapple for this recipe if available because it will be sweeter and softer. Your pineapple is perfect when it is golden brown all over and smells like a pineapple! To prep it, cut off the top and bottom, slice the slides off close to the flesh, then slice and chop into pieces discarding the core. You worry about cutting it perfectly, just remove the outside skin a few brown bits are safe! The sauce comes together easily on the stove top and is a great balance between sweet and tart. Options for thickeners include xanthan gum as well if you're out of corn starch.

The focus of these pancakes is the mild macadamia nuts and additional tropical flavors. If you don't have (or can't find) pineapple extract you could sub for coconut extract or use a couple tablespoons of the pineapple sauce in the pancake batter! The batter for the pancakes is made from scratch but I think you could doctor up a ready-made batter to cut down on time and ingredients - throw in a handful finely chopped macadamia nuts and shredded coconut for a quick fix.

My batter made 13 large pancakes on my counter top griddle/panini press. It would make about 15-16 medium sized pancakes at least. That's enough for a the whole family. I really love that they puff up when cooking. Tip: Don't smoosh your pancakes down with the spatula after you flip them. Let the baking powder do its magic to make them light and fluffy - smashing them down makes them dense.

One of my favorite details of breakfasts at diners or fancy breakfast places is the dollop of whipped butter atop the steaming stack of carb happiness. To recreate such an indulgent experience I used my stand mixer to mix salted butter with milk, whip it with honey and then mix in macadamia nuts to make a heavenly whipped butter. Order of operations for this recipe is definitely pineapple sauce, butter, and then pancakes. This will allow the butter to firm up a tiny bit for that perfect ice cream-like scoop.

Macadamia Nut Pancakes with Pineapple Sauce and Whipped Honey-Nut Butter

Serves 4-5


  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pineapple extract

Pineapple Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Macadamia Nut Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 TBS milk
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey


  1. Add 1 cup of macadamia nuts to food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Reserve 1/4 cup for whipped butter and 3/4 cup for pancake batter. Use remaining for topping.
  2. Add milk to room temp butter and mix in small bowl or stand mixer on low speed for 2 min with paddle attachment. Add honey and increase speed to medium and whip for 4 min with whisk attachment. Add nuts and beat together with a fork until creamy.  Serve either chilled or at room temperature, but store in the fridge.
  3. Clean food processor and add pineapple, pulse to lightly puree, still leaving some larger chunks. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the corn syrup and the pineapple. Over medium heat, bring to a boil while gently stirring constantly. Stir until mixture thickens, about 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Set aside to cool slightly. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 7 days.
  4. Sift flour into a medium bowl, then add sugar, baking powder, salt, macadamia nuts and coconut (optional).  Stir until combined.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and extracts and stir until all ingredients are moistened and the batter is smooth. 
    On a heated, slightly greased skillet or electric griddle, pour 1/4-1/3 cup per pancake onto skillet and cook until bubbles form through the pancake and the sides look cooked.  Flip and cook other side until golden brown.  Top with pineapple sauce and nut butter, if desired.  Serve warm.


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