It’s a truth universally acknowledged that breakfast is the best meal of the day — even if you don’t actually eat it at breakfast time (or, perhaps, especially when you don’t actually eat it at breakfast time). And hey, guess what? A major fan favorite just quietly dropped a new item that will make breakfast even better: You can get Pancake Bread at Trader Joe’s now, and, well... let's just say your mornings may never be the same. Or your afternoons. Or your evenings. Heck, when is it ever not a good time for something called Pancake Bread? I’d eat that for every meal if I could.
It’s not clear exactly when TJ’s Pancake Bread was released, but it surfaced on social media on Jan. 8; food Instagrammers like The Snacks Of Life, The Sweet Life Sweet Life, and Junk Banter all began posting enthusiastically about the treat that day after finding it at their local Trader Joe’s stores. According to the packaging seen in these posts, the bread is about 15 ounces in size and “a twist on a buttermilk short stack, baked into a sweet, moist loaf.”
It’s anyone’s guess what that description actually means as far as taste goes, of course; no one seems to have given it an in-depth taste test yet, although Instagrammer wendingo138 theorized that it might go well with some maple syrup spiked with ghost peppers they’d recently acquired. But given that its appearance resembles coffee cake, many have guessed that it might taste similar to coffee cake too.
Indeed, if the bread contains buttermilk, as its label description suggests it does, I would imagine the ingredient would function similarly to how sour cream does in a coffee cake recipe. What’s more, there does appear to be some sort of streusel on top of the Pancake Bread, which is often a hallmark of a good coffee cake.
While it’s always sort of a gamble whether you own local Trader Joe’s will carry the latest viral TJ’s item, the Pancake Bread does not appear to be regionally specific — or at least, not according to the various Instagrammers who have spotted it. Pricing information doesn’t seem to be immediately available, but for whatever it’s worth, Trader Joe’s Vegan Banana Bread — a similar loaf cake/quick bread item TJ's released in their bakery section in October of 2018 — is around $3.99 for a 16-ounce loaf.
If, for some reason, your friendly neighborhood TJ’s doesn’t happen to carry Pancake Bread — or if it did, but sold out really, really quickly — don’t get too down in the dumps; the good news is that you can probably make something similar yourself: Recipes for pancake bread can be found all over the internet. Some of them involve using pancake mix as the base, while others are made totally from scratch; they all tend to be quick breads, though, which means the skill level for all of them is pretty easy — there’s no yeast, and therefore no need for rising time or kneading. All you have to do is dump your ingredients in a bowl, mix them together, pour the batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake it for a while. Voila! Homemade pancake bread.
This recipe from Oh Bite It! using Krusteaz pancake mix looks the closest to TJ’s version, although Something Swanky’s Cinnamon Toast Pancake Bread, which is made from scratch, might yield something pretty similar, too. Neither has streusel, though, so if you really want to go the extra mile, you’ll have to dig up a streusel recipe to make and sprinkle on top before you bake them. (I like the one Sally McKenney of Sally’s Baking Addiction uses on her French toast casseroles, if you need a suggestion.)
You can find your nearest Trader Joe’s location here; I’d recommend calling ahead to see if they have Pancake Bread in stock before you make the trip just for it. Happy hunting!