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The Best Pancakes on the IHOP Menu

IHOP, or “International House of Pancakes,” is an American breakfast chain best known for – you guessed it – its pancakes!

Sure, IHOP also offers crepes, omelets, and waffles, but we all know that pancakes are the main allure of their menu.

IHOP’s buttermilk pancakes are famous for their fluffy texture and tangy and sweet buttermilk flavor.

Diners also love IHOP for its free pancake promotions throughout the year. For example, you can get a free short stack of classic buttermilk pancakes every year on National Pancake Day.

National Pancake Day changes each year but usually takes place at the end of February or the beginning of March, so mark your calendar now!

Plus, when you sign up for IHOP’s MyHOP rewards app, you’ll receive a free stack of pancakes.

You’ll also receive free IHOP pancakes each subsequent anniversary of the day you signed up.

In addition, if you’re signed up for the rewards app, you’ll get free pancakes from IHOP on your birthday every year.

All those details stack up to an impressive number of free flapjacks!

It doesn’t get much better than free buttermilk pancakes, but IHOP has plenty of other pancake flavors on its menu.

From protein-packed to chocolate-filled, I’ve gathered all IHOP pancakes and ranked them from worst to best.

Read on to find which comes out on top and which is at the bottom of the stack!

10. Protein Power Pancakes

While IHOP is known and loved for its classic buttermilk pancakes, the chain rolled out a brand new pancake base in the spring of 2022.

Protein pancakes are made with whole grain rolled oats, barley, rye, chia, flax, and 37g protein. Pretty healthy, right?

While these ingredients are undeniably better for you than those of a classic pancake, they don’t quite measure up when it comes to flavor.

If you’re not used to the taste and texture of a protein pancake, you might be a little thrown off when you try these.

IHOP’s protein pancakes are a little grainier than your typical smooth and fluffy buttermilk pancake and have a slightly earthy taste.

I recommend loading up on butter and syrup to make these pancakes more enjoyable, but that probably defeats the purpose of these better-for-you pancakes.

They’re not bad tasting per se, but they’re definitely the IHOP pancake dish I wouldn’t order again.

Four Protein Power Pancakes contain 660 calories.

9. Strawberry Banana Protein Pancakes

The Strawberry Banana Protein Pancakes are a big step up from their regular protein pancakes.

These flapjacks are filled with fresh banana slices and topped with glazed strawberries and banana slices.

This distracts from the slightly earthy flavor of the pancakes themselves.

The fillings and toppings are so fruity and sweet that you might even forget you’re eating protein pancakes for a while, but the grainy texture is still there.

Four Strawberry Banana Protein Pancakes contain 740 calories.

8. Lemon Ricotta Mixed Berry Protein Pancakes

The Lemon Ricotta Mixed Berry flavor is the best protein pancake on the IHOP menu.

These pancakes are loaded with blueberries and topped with a seasonal mixed berry compote and a dollop of lemon ricotta.

A slice of lemon is served on the side if you want to squeeze it on top of your pancakes for an extra zing.

Just like with the Strawberry Banana Protein Pancakes, the earthy taste of the pancakes is mostly masked by the zesty and fruity toppings.

The super-sweet mixed berry compote means that there’s no need for extra syrup.

However, IHOP could add a little extra lemon ricotta to the top of the pancakes for some extra tang and creaminess.

You can still tell that these aren’t classic buttermilk pancakes, but the additional toppings and mix-ins make the dish almost as good as the classic.

Four Lemon Ricotta Mixed Berry Protein Pancakes contain 800 calories.

7. Strawberry Banana Pancakes

IHOP’s Strawberry Banana Pancakes are made with a classic buttermilk base and have fresh banana slices baked into each.

The pancakes are topped with glazed strawberries, fresh banana slices, and whipped cream.

It’s weird to describe pancakes as refreshing, but all the fruit makes them feel light and summery.

I think these pancakes would be just as good with the banana filling and topping sans strawberries.

The strawberries aren’t bad, but they overshadow those fresh banana slices, which I think are the real star of the dish.

Four Strawberry Banana Pancakes contain 680 calories.

6. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes

As their name suggests, The Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes are a chocolate lover’s paradise.

This is the only dish featuring a chocolate base, but you can substitute them for classic buttermilk if you prefer.

The pancakes are chock full of chocolate chips and topped with rich chocolate syrup and more chocolate chips.

The chips inside are melted, while the chocolate chips on top of the pancakes add an excellent textural component.

These pancakes are super rich, and it goes without saying, but if you like chocolate, you’ll love them.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there was just a little too much chocolate for me.

You might have to eat these in two sittings to avoid nausea. That being said, the first few bites are delicious!

Four Chocolate Chip Pancakes contain 770 calories.

5. New York Cheesecake Pancakes

IHOP’s New York Cheesecake Pancakes start with a classic buttermilk base and are filled with little bites of cheesecake and topped with glazed strawberries (and whipped cream, of course).

For starters, the amount of cheesecake in each pancake can be a little inconsistent.

Some diners say their pancakes were packed with cheesecake bites, while others say they could’ve used more. But, in my experience, there was just the right amount.

Since cheesecake is usually eaten cold or at room temperature, it was interesting to have it inside warm pancakes.

The cheesecake bites melt in your mouth and provide a creamy tang to otherwise basic flavors.

The glazed strawberries on top are super sweet and syrupy, so there’s no reason to add extra syrup or butter to these.

These pancakes might sound like they’d be nauseatingly sweet, but the tang from the buttermilk base and cream cheese offsets any excess sweetness.

Four New York Cheesecake Pancakes contain 890 calories.

4. Original Buttermilk Pancakes

IHOP’s iconic Buttermilk Pancakes are here to prove that you simply can’t beat the original.

The simple, fluffy buttermilk pancakes that made IHOP one of the best breakfast chains aren’t the most exciting on the menu, but they are delicious.

IHOP’s pancakes get their fluffiness and tenderness from the buttermilk. They also have the slightest tang from that same ingredient.

These pancakes are sweet enough to eat with just some butter and syrup but not so sweet that you can’t stack on all the extra toppings.

Your stack of pancakes will come topped with whipped butter, and I definitely recommend using syrup with these, as they sometimes can be on the dry side.

Five Buttermilk Pancakes contain 690 calories, and a short stack of three pancakes contains 450 calories.

3. Double Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberries are among the top three most popular pancake mix-ins, right? IHOP seems to agree, which is why they go all-in on their blueberry pancakes.

Classic buttermilk pancakes are filled with fresh blueberries and then topped with a syrupy blueberry compote for an extra fruity kick.

All that is, of course, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

The blueberry compote acts like syrup, soaking into the pancakes to make them extra sweet and moist.

The blueberries within the pancakes taste fresh, and a good amount of them are added to the batter.

These pancakes are reminiscent of a classic blueberry pie filling.

So if you’re looking for blueberry pancakes that are heavy on the blueberry, IHOP won’t disappoint.

The Double Blueberry Pancakes contain 620 calories.

2. Cupcake Pancakes

By far the most Instagram-friendly of the IHOP pancake menu, the Cupcake Pancakes are colorful and perfect for the young and the young at heart.

IHOP’s famous buttermilk pancakes act as a base for the dish. In addition, each pancake is filled with bright rainbow sprinkles, adding a *slight* crunch to each bite.

And trust me, IHOP doesn’t skimp on the sprinkle filling!

The Cupcake Pancakes come topped with thin vanilla icing and whipped cream.

While these pancakes might sound like a sugar overload, they aren’t cloyingly sweet.

The buttermilk pancake base isn’t overly sweet, and the sprinkles, while plentiful, don’t add too much noticeable flavor.

The icing on top is sweet, but when spread between all four pancakes, it’s significantly less sweet than the usual maple syrup topping.

Four Cupcakes Pancakes contain 820 calories.

1. Mexican Tres Leches Pancakes

The best pancake at IHOP is hands down, the Mexican Tres Leches Pancakes.

Tres Leches is a sponge cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk.

IHOP’s take on this traditional Mexican dessert starts with four of its classic buttermilk pancakes.

Between each layer, you’ll find creamy vanilla bean sauce and a dulce de leche caramel sauce.

Your stack will also be topped with whipped cream.

The vanilla and caramel sauces are fairly thin, so they soak into the first layer of pancakes a bit, making them even more similar to real tres leches cake.

The vanilla sauce has flecks of vanilla bean in it, lending to the overall indulgent and fancy feeling of the dish.

No need for butter or syrup with these bad boys – they’re the richest, gooiest pancakes on the IHOP menu.

Overall, these are a must-try for lovers of a dessert-breakfast mashup!

Four Mexican Tres Leches Pancakes contain 690 calories.


A good pancake should be fluffy, sweet, and moist. Almost every IHOP pancake fits these criteria, so it’s hard to go wrong no matter which one you order.

Each signature stack is fruit-based, cream-based, or both, in the case of the NY Cheesecake pancakes.

Plus, with rotating special and seasonal flavors, there’s always a new pancake to try at your local IHOP.

So which one will you try first?

For more information about IHOP, check out the articles below.

About the Author

Samantha Jenkins is a food writer and digital marketing manager with a passion for storytelling, perusing grocery store aisles, reading menus, and eating really good food.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, performing in musicals, and cohosting the East Coast Haunts podcast.

March 31, 2023