10 Things to Top Pancakes With—Besides Maple Syrup

Don't get stuck in a pancake rut. Try your pancakes without syrup by branching out with these exciting toppers.

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Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes with fresh blueberries and cup of coffee. toning. selective focus
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Fresh Fruits

From seasonal berries to sliced bananas, fresh fruit is a foolproof pancake addition. Cook small pieces of fruit directly in the pancake batter for a warmer, gooey fruit flavor, or top plain pancakes with butter and a shower of fresh fruits. Our best pancake recipes are perfect for Sunday morning.

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Raw Organic Sweet Light Agave Syrup in a Bowl
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Agave Syrup

Looking for a direct replacement for maple syrup? Try agave syrup. The natural sweetener is made from agave plants and has a thinner consistency and sweeter flavor than maple syrup. Learn more in this guide to sugar alternatives.

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Cherry Pear Conserve
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Jams, Preserves and Compotes

Whether homemade or store-bought, preserves add both sweetness and flavor to a pile of pancakes. You can use any preserve you fancy, from apple butter to rhubarb compote. Note that thinner preserves, like jams, will be more syrupy, while thicker ones, like jelly, can be spread on with a knife. Try these classic jams and preserves.

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Spinach pancakes with milk and organic honey in honeycombs.
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If you love a sweet drizzle, reach for honey instead of maple syrup. Slightly thicker and milder than maple syrup, honey atop pancakes is delicious served with butter, fruit and nuts. Drizzle it on the best pancakes recipe.

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Homemade Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Whipped Cream
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Chocolate Chips

If you’re set on a sweet pancake, try switching from maple syrup to chocolate chips. Sprinkle a handful over the batter before you flip the pancake, and the chocolate will get melt into deliciousness. Or try our buttermilk chocolate chip pancakes.

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Amish potato pancakes
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Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

Surprised by the idea of adding something savory to your pancakes? Don’t be! Adding a tangy dairy draws out the sweetness already in your pancakes, so it’s a good choice for people trying to cut down on sugar. Try sour cream with fruits or preserves. While you’re at it, try these savory pancake recipes.

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Pancake stack covered with honey, powdered sugar, banana and cranberries. On a wooden background in a blue plate
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Powdered Sugar

Craving a truly decadent pancake? Try a dusting of powdered sugar over your ‘cakes. The fine sugar will essentially melt in your mouth. It’s excellent with fruits, jams and chocolate chips (hey, sometimes you want to go all out). Make sure you know all the tricks to making pancakes from scratch.

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Canadian bacon spiked sweet potato pancakes
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Toasted Nuts

Another savory topper, toasted nuts enhance the sweetness of pancakes while adding a welcome crunch. Plus, toasted nuts boost the protein of your breakfast, keeping you fuller longer. Try walnuts or pecans, and add them straight to the batter. They’re especially tasty with fruit.

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Pancakes with caramel sauce
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Dulce de Leche

A Latin American specialty made from sweetened condensed milk, dulce de leche is delicious enough to eat straight out of the jar. The rich, creamy, caramel-colored sauce is extra sweet and luxurious on pancakes. A drizzle will do. Look for a jar at your grocery store or order one on Amazon.

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Fluffy banana pancakes
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Whipped Cream

A swirl of whipped cream makes a cheery, festive topper for pancakes and is perfect for special occasions. This sweet dollop pairs well with most other toppings on this list, from fruit to nuts to chocolate chips. Here’s how to make whipped cream from scratch.

Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes, cooks and travels from her home base of Chicago. After going gluten-free over a decade ago, Kelsey turned to home cooking and baking as a way to recreate her favorite foods. Her specialties include gluten-free sourdough bread, pizza and pastry. When not wrangling her toddler, she enjoys reading, watching old movies and writing. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, was published by William Morrow in 2019, and her second is forthcoming.