Lemon Basil Pancakes with Mixed Berry Basil Compote

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These lemon basil pancakes are a fresh, filling and flavorful breakfast to start your day off right.

Birds eye view of a stack of lemon basil pancakes topped with butter and basil berry compote and surrounded by berries and basil leaves

While the recipe is fairly easy to make, it does involve a fair number of steps, which is why I file these under “weekend” in my brain’s filing system.

One thing I love about these pancakes is they are packed with flavor, but use ingredients you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in pancakes, but all work with the basil and the pancake delivery system!

I’m talking about freshly grated lemon zest, lemonade, and basil, along with more normal pancake ingredients like berries and butter.

A stack of lemon basil pancakes topped with butter

The result is a pancake that’s filling, fresh, and moist. The tartness of the lemon and blueberries just works with the basil, you know?

Because they’re best topped with a basil berry compote, you don’t need to drench them in syrup to enjoy them. In fact, you don’t need to use syrup at all, and we’ve included an option for lemon butter which you can spread or melt completely, and drizzle.

Side view of a stack of lemon basil pancakes topped with butter and basil berry compote

Ingredients for these Lemon Basil Pancakes with Berry Basil Compote

For the Pancakes

Ingredients for lemon basil and berry pancakes
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  tablespoon sugar
  • 2  T. oil
  • 1  cup raspberry lemonade
  • 1  large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 10 basil leaves (chiffonade them)
  • Mixture of fresh blueberries and raspberries to add while cooking (about a cup).
  • Butter (for the pan)

For the Berry Compote

Ingredients for basil berry compote
  • 1 cup of mixed fresh raspberries and blueberries (about 1/2 and 1/2 proportions)
  • 5 to 10 large sweet basil leaves, chiffonaded
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup raspberry lemonade

For the Lemon butter

Ingredients for homemade lemon butter
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Instructions for these Lemon Basil Pancakes with Berry Basil Compote

How to Make the Mixed Berry and Basil Compote

  • In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to low and simmer until you get the desired thickness, up to about 15 minutes.
  • Check regularly while simmering, stirring to prevent clumping and burning from the fruit.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool while stirring/mashing every once in a while. 
Spoon filled with basil berry compote over top of a pot filled with the compote being made

Instructions for Making the Lemon Basil Pancakes:

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Add in the egg, lemon zest, and oil.
  • Add raspberry lemonade in slowly, stirring as you add until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Fold in the basil ribbons (chiffonade).
pancake batter in a dish next to fresh berries
  • Heat a skillet or medium frying pan on medium to high heat, and melt butter. If using a skillet you can wipe vegetable oil across the surface with a paper towel. 
  • Scoop pancake batter into the skillet, one at a time, placing a mixture of fresh raspberries and blueberries onto the surface of the uncooked batter. Watch for the pancakes to bubble, and when they do, flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. 
  • Serve immediately with lemon butter, berry basil compote, and fresh basil leaves on top.
  • Heat a skillet or medium frying pan on medium to high heat, and melt butter. If using a skillet you can wipe vegetable oil across the surface with a paper towel. 
  • Scoop pancake batter into the skillet, one at a time, placing a mixture of fresh raspberries and blueberries onto the surface of the uncooked batter. Watch for the pancakes to bubble, and when they do, flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. 
  • Serve immediately with lemon butter, berry basil compote, and fresh basil leaves on top.
Birds eye view of a stack of lemon basil pancakes topped with butter and basil berry compote

For the Lemon Butter

homemade lemon butter in a dish
  • Soften butter in the microwave in a small dish, and then stir in the sugar and lemon zest, mashing with the back of a fork until it’s mixed. 
  • If you prefer liquid butter, you can melt the butter completely and then stir in the lemon zest and sugar, before pouring over the pancakes. For liquid butter, do this step last, just before serving.

Notes and Subs

If you have lemon basil on hand, you could try subbing it in, but you’ll want to adjust the amount of actual lemon you add to the recipe in this case. I haven’t tried this yet, so can’t comment about how it will turn out! Lime basil could also be a fun twist if you have it and are feeling adventurous!

(This article was originally published on January 18, 2021 and was last updated on July 21, 2022)

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