Sometimes you get a recipe that you know will be doomed to failure. And then there are recipes like Dessert Pancakes, which shouldn’t be bad… but then you try making it…


Dessert Pancakes
Author: Libby’s
  • 8 small thin pancakes
  • 2 slices Libby’s Pineapple, cut into pieces
  • Filling
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. pineapple syrup
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 cup pineapple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp. butter or margarine
  1. These may be made before dinner and kept covered in a warm place until ready to serve. Sauce and filling may also be made ahead of time.
  2. For 4 people, make 8 small thin pancakes. (With prepared mix, use 1 cup mix to 1 1/4 cups water.) Place 1 tbsp. filling on each, roll up loosely, and serve with sauce.
  3. FILLING: Cream 2 tbsp. butter. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and cream together thoroughly. Gradually add 2 tbsp. pineapple syrup.
  4. SAUCE: Stir 1/2 cup pineapple syrup into 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch. Add 1 tbsp. each of lemon juice, grated lemon rind, butter or margarine. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook 3 minutes longer. Add 2 slices Libby’s Pineapple, cut into pieces.
  5. Serve hot. Serves 4.


So all I need to do is make 8 thin pancakes, some filling, and a sauce to put on top. Easy! Where’s my can of Libby’s Pineapple?

Problem #1: The only can of Libby’s available in the store was canned in pineapple juice sweetened with Splenda. This seemed neither retro nor the proper consistency, since the “heavy syrup” is an unusually important component — so instead we settled on a store brand can of pineapple in heavy syrup.

But we have to deal with ingredient problems all the time. Still easy! Where are my pancakes?


Problem #2: The pancakes. Oh those pancakes.

More accurately, the recipe seems to want me to make crepes (a thin pancake that is rolled up and filled with something). A crepe pancake is easy in theory (double the liquid in the batter, spread out when pouring), difficult in practice. Not only is it problematic to spread the batter (not too fast, not too slow), but flipping is crazy — if the pancake doesn’t tear, it crumples and folds all over itself. And of course after I’ve made the eight I need (plus a large selection of pancake wads), Buzz realizes that he knows all about making crepes, because he is very good at blintzes.

But the filling won’t be bad, because it’s just butter and sugar and syrup and I can let the stand mixer handle it!


We always pre-measure everything when cooking (which is usually a great time-saver). Problem #3: When I asked which of the bowls on the counter had the pineapple syrup, Buzz pointed out the one with lemon juice. I mixed up a delicious tart, sweet filling… only to realize it was completely wrong.

I’m sure the sauce will go better, now that we’ve gotten all these stupid mistakes out of the way.


Problem #4: This sauce was just absurd. It was orange — a rather nice pale cantaloupe color, but not something I would associate with pineapple. It smelled funky. I did get it to thicken quickly, but I held my breath the whole time I was stirring it.


There wasn’t actually a problem with filling and assembling the pancakes, but by this point I was completely sick of the entire thing, and had wasted quite a lot of time. We were late for a kid’s activity, so I stuck everything in the fridge and left the house for a while instead of tasting immediately.


Problem #5: When the pineapple sauce was chilled for a few hours, it got really thick and sticky. You could hold your plate vertically and the pancakes wouldn’t move.

serving1 serving2 serving3

Buzz doesn’t really look like much of anything here — but this is the most expressive face I saw while he was eating these.

Verdict: Mediocre.

Tasting Notes:

The first bite wasn’t bad, but they quickly got worse. It was quite a lot of sugar, and the pineapple flavors were not strong enough to compete with the sweetness. Even without all my missteps along the way, this was a lot of work for a not very impressive product. However, the neighbors would probably be pretty impressed by presentation if you served plates of these for dessert.