43 Sweet and Savory Pancake Toppings to Try Today

Stack of pancakes with strawberries, blueberries, and chocolate sauce on a wooden board, next to a jar of sauce and small flowers.

Golden, fluffy pancakes are a breakfast staple often enjoyed stacked high with a pat of melting butter and dripping with warm maple syrup. But there are so many other ways to enjoy hotcakes! From sweet and citrusy to savory and unexpected, this list of pancake toppings ranges from good to gourmet, delivering deliciousness with every bite.

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

Remember those Saturday mornings when the aroma of delicious pancakes wafting through the house instantly made you smile? Yeah, me too. But what really takes pancakes from good to great are the fabulous toppings! They’re the finishing touch, the sprinkle of magic that transforms a simple breakfast into a delicious celebration.

We all know and love the classics — butter, maple syrup, and a sprinkle of fresh berries. But there’s a whole world of possibilities out there, just waiting to be explored! Whether you add them to these protein-packed tofu pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, or another favorite recipe, here are my favorite toppings to try the next time you whip up a batch of flapjacks.

Collage of various pancake toppings including chocolate chips, blueberries, syrup, honey, nuts, eggs, and salmon, with the title "sweet and savory pancake toppings to try today.


In This Article

A person pours syrup on pancakes topped with butter, focusing on the syrup's smooth stream and the pancakes' texture.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Classic Pancake Toppings

Let’s start with the classics! Because sometimes, you just can’t beat the tried and true. When it comes to pancakes, a few popular toppings reign supreme.


There’s a reason that butter is a breakfast staple. That first pat melting on a hot pancake is pure magic. It adds a richness that takes your pancakes from good to great. Just be sure to use plant-based butter if you are an alpha gal who avoids dairy.

Sage Advice: Feeling fancy? Use a hand mixer to whip a few teaspoons of honey into a softened stick of butter for a classic pancake topping that’s next level.

Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup is like the Caitlin Clark of pancake toppings, earning an extra point with every touch. Unlike artificial syrups, this iconic pancake topping has a depth of flavor — think a hint of caramel and a whisper of vanilla. Drizzle the golden syrup over a stack of hotcakes for a sticky, dreamy glaze that delights with every bite.

A stack of pancakes topped with fresh blueberries and a sprig of mint on a white plate, with a fork on the side.
Photo Credit: YayImages.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is another common classic topping for pancakes after a few pats of butter and real maple syrup. Add a handful of fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries, or diced bananas for a burst of sweetness and a pop of color. Can’t choose just one? No worries! Combine your favorite seasonal fruits to keep things exciting and enjoy the freshest flavors.

Fruit Syrup

Beyond maple syrup lies a rainbow of fruit syrups waiting to slide down the side of a stack of pancakes. Classic flavors include blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry pancake syrup. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, try something more exotic, like açaí or pomegranate syrup drizzled over your golden stack.

A person reaching for a plate with a pancake topped with chocolate spread, banana slices, and pecans, beside a small pitcher of syrup.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Indulgent Pancake Toppings

Classic toppings are like a black cocktail dress — their timeless flavors are perpetually in style. But sometimes you want a little bling or a lot of sequins for moments that really stand out — and that’s where these indulgent toppings come in.


Forget eating it straight out of the jar with a spoon — Nutella belongs on warm pancakes. If you’re an alpha gal who avoids dairy, or someone who doesn’t want the 21 grams of sugar per serving in the store-bought original, you can whip up a batch of this dairy-free hazelnut chocolate spread in minutes. Want to add a little bling to your Nutella-topped pancakes? Add sliced bananas, mini chocolate chips, and whipped cream for a truly over-the-top treat.

Chocolate Chips

Another tasty way to add chocolate to your morning is by sprinkling chocolate chips or cacao nibs over your pancakes. Cacao nibs, the less-processed cousin of chocolate chips, add a deeper, richer chocolate flavor with a satisfying crunch. This alternative to chocolate chips also offers a touch of bitterness that perfectly balances the sweetness of the pancakes.

Sage Advice: Before selecting chocolate chips to top your pancakes, be sure to read this article about alpha-gal syndrome and chocolate.


Want a Willy Wonka-style start to your day? Crush your favorite alpha-gal friendly candy and sprinkle it over your pancakes for a whimsically decadent topping. Candy toppings can be a fun way to embrace the holidays with kids. Try heart-shaped sprinkles for Valentine’s Day, kosher-certified Jelly Belly jelly beans on Easter, and alpha-gal friendly candy corn at Halloween. You can also finely crush candy canes or peppermint candy to sprinkle over pancakes at Christmastime.

Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce is pure magic on pancakes, adding a creamy, silky luxury to each bite. Whether you choose classic caramel or its trendy cousin, salted caramel, your tongue will thank you. Add sliced apples, chopped nuts, and whipped cream to take your caramel-covered pancakes from delicious to decadent.

Sage Advice: If you are an alpha gal who avoids dairy, purchase or make a vegan caramel sauce.

A stack of pancakes topped with raspberries and powdered sugar, served on a white plate surrounded by scattered pink petals, with a fork and knife on the side.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Powdered Sugar

Lightly dusting powdered sugar over pancakes is a simple but sophisticated topping. That was how I devoured the light and fluffy, silver dollar-sized, buttery pancakes known as poffertjes when I was a kid in the Netherlands. When faced with a stack of full-sized pancakes, add fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, or bananas for a pop of color.

Cinnamon Sugar

Enjoy the sweet and slightly smoky flavors of cinnamon toast in pancake form by topping your pancake stack with cinnamon sugar. Just like making a piece of cinnamon toast, this topping works best on top of a layer of melted butter that acts like a cinnamon sugar “glue.” To ensure that the sugar does not contain bone char, make a batch of cinnamon sugar at home using a 1:4 ratio (one part cinnamon to four parts organic sugar).

Whipped Cream

What’s more decadent than a dollop of whipped cream on a warm pancake? No wonder this delicious pancake topping is a guaranteed crowd pleaser! For alpha gals who avoid dairy, I recommend whipping Country Crock plant cream or Silk dairy-free heavy whipping cream alternative with a touch of your favorite sweetener, like maple syrup or honey.

A stack of pancakes topped with sliced bananas and drizzled with caramel sauce, served on a white plate.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Unique Flavors to Add as Pancake Toppings

For those who like to walk on the wild side at breakfast, here are some unique pancake toppings to consider. Let these new flavors and textures add an unexpected delight to your breakfast table.

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is like a ray of sunshine on a plate, adding a burst of citrusy goodness to every bite. This sweet and tangy spread wakes up your taste buds with a refreshing contrast to the pancakes. Build upon each delicious bite by adding a handful of fresh blueberries and a dollop of creamy ricotta or mascarpone cheese, or add a sprinkle of shredded coconut or slivered almonds for an extra pop of taste and a delightful crunch.

Peanut Butter

This creamy spread adds a delightful layer of salty-sweet flavor to your pancakes.  Slightly warm the peanut butter in the microwave, then stir in a bit of honey to make it super easy to drizzle over your fluffy stack. You can also use another nut butter, like almond butter, or sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. Top off whatever nut or seed spread you select with banana slices or a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.

A stack of pancakes topped with cream and pecans on a white plate, with a milk jug in the background.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Chopped or Sliced Nuts

Sprinkling nuts on your pancakes adds a touch of sophistication, extra protein, and a bit of crunch. Toasted pecans are one of my favorite choices, adding a rich buttery taste. But there are so many options. Walnut pieces, sliced almonds, and chopped pistachios all add a nutty flavor to your pancakes. To take this topping to the next level, substitute spiced or candied pecans instead of basic toasted nuts.

Other Fruit Flavors

For those who want to go beyond a basic topping of sliced strawberries, diced bananas, or a handful of blueberries, there are several other fruit toppings to consider. Create a simple fruit compote by stewing fresh or frozen fruit with sugar, water, and a squeeze of lemon. Or peel, thinly slice, and fry apples as another fruit-forward pancake topping. If you’re seeking even easier options, top pancakes with your favorite alpha-gal friendly jam, jelly, apple butter, or applesauce.

A fried egg on avocado toast, sprinkled with pepper, served on a blue-patterned plate with a slice of cake in the background.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Savory Pancake Toppings

Although sweet toppings are most common, pancakes aren’t just for butter and syrup anymore! Embrace the unexpected with these mouthwatering, alpha-gal friendly savory toppings that redefine breakfast.


At first glance, you might think, “Are you crazy, Sage?!? Bacon is an absolute no-no for all alpha gals!” But that’s just traditional pork bacon. You can still add crispy, crumbled turkey or duck bacon for a salty, smoky touch to your pancakes. Add a drizzle of real maple syrup to your stack of flapjacks for a classic sweet and savory combination, or top it with shredded cheese and scallions for a touch of sophistication.

Fried Egg

When topping your pancakes with an over-easy or over-medium fried egg, the runny yolk creates a delightful alpha-gal friendly sauce. I like to top the crispy bacon creation listed above with a fried egg and finish it with a bit of grated cheese.

Smoked Salmon

Instead of a bagel, top a stack of pancakes with smoked salmon or lox for a savory start to your day. Add a dollop of cream cheese or crème fraiche, a sprinkle of fresh dill, and a squeeze of lemon for a symphony of flavors to make your taste buds sing.

Fried Chicken

There’s no reason that waffles should have all the fun! For a soul-satisfying twist, top your pancakes with crispy fried chicken. Whether you use chicken tenders or a whole breast, the contrasting textures and bold flavors make this combo a memorable breakfast, brunch, or even dinner. Drizzle the stack with sweet maple syrup for an extra decadent touch.

A stack of pancakes topped with assorted fruits, nuts, and a drizzle of chocolate and honey, served on a green plate.
Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Mix and Match Pancake Toppings

Like toast or waffles, pancakes are a beloved breakfast base that you can customize with a variety of sweet and savory toppings. By experimenting with the flavors that you love, you can evolve your stack of fluffy pancakes from a classic morning treat to a culinary masterpiece.

What are Your Favorite Pancake Toppings?

Got a pancake topping combo that’s a bit out there but tastes like heaven? Or maybe you’ve tried one of my suggestions above and now think, “Sage, you’re onto something!” Either way, I want to hear from you. Share your favorite pancake toppings and other thoughts in the comments section below. 

Thank you for sharing!

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