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During my recent trip to Maui, I became obsessed with the island’s signature flavors of banana and rich, buttery macadamia nuts. At a little beach shack one morning, I had the most amazing banana-macadamia nut pancakes.

The crunchy macadamia nuts and ripe banana slices cooked right into the thick, fluffy pancake batter was absolutely heavenly. Drizzled with coconut syrup, it was the perfect tropical start to the day.

As soon as I got home, I knew I had to recreate this Hawaiian pancake experience for myself. After a few trial runs, I finally nailed down the perfect copycat recipe to get that authentic “Maui Wowie” flavor in every bite.

drizzling coconut syrup on top of Maui-inspired banana mac pancakes
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If you love the flavors of the tropics, be sure to check out my recipes for Oven Dried Pineapple, Coconut Ice Cream, Mango Pineapple Smoothie, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Banana Cake.

Why Make These Island-Inspired Pancakes?

  • These nutty banana pancakes are the perfect way to bring a taste of paradise to your breakfast table. 
  • Whip up a batch for a special occasion like Mother’s Day, or enjoy them any day as a reminder of your own tropical vacation memories.
  • Whether you’ve been to Hawaii or not, this recipe lets you savor the laid-back island vibe with every bite. It’s sure to become one of your new favorite breakfast foods for lazy weekend mornings.

Ingredients Needed

  • all purpose flour
  • sugar and a bit of salt
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • buttermilk
  • eggs
  • melted butter or coconut oil
  • pure vanilla extract
  • ripe bananas
  • chopped macadamia nuts
Banana macadamia nut pancake ingredients.

Cooking the Perfect Banana Macadamia Pancakes

Here’s how to cook up these Hawaiian-inspired banana macadamia nut pancake perfections:

Step 1: Mix the Batter

Start by gathering your dry ingredients in one bowl – the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth. That’s the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and mashed ripe bananas. You want those bananas super speckly and sweet for the best banana punch of flavor.

Pour the wet banana mixture into the dry flour mixture and gently fold everything together just until combined.

Be careful not to overmix – a few lumps are expected and wanted for those coveted fluffy pancakes! Lastly, fold in the star ingredient – the chopped macadamia nuts.

Step 2: Cook the Pancakes

Heat your griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat and grease it with a little butter or coconut oil. Once it’s hot, pour out the pancake batter a quarter cup at a time to make your pancake rounds. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and you see a few bubbles forming around the edges. That’s your cue to quickly flip them!

Cook on the other side until perfectly golden as well. Don’t press down on the pancakes – that will just squish out all those wonderful fluffy pockets.

Remove the pancakes to a baking sheet or warm plate and get ready to build your stacks! Top with extra banana slices, toasted coconut, more macadamia nuts and the crowning glory – a generous drizzle of coconut syrup to complete your tropical taste of paradise.

Light and fluffy mac nut pancakes on plate.

Recipe Tip

For the fluffiest pancakes, always be sure to let the batter rest for 5 minutes before cooking them. This allows the baking powder and soda to fully activate, creating light and airy pancake interiors to contrast with the crispy edges.


If you’re used to making pancakes from a mix instead of a homemade recipe like this, you might have some questions. Here are the most common questions I get asked about this recipe.

What can I use instead of buttermilk?

You can substitute with an equal amount of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let that mixture sit for a bit before using it in the recipe.

Do I have to use macadamia nuts?

No, you can substitute with other nuts like pecans or walnuts if needed, but the real tropical flavor comes from the macadamia nuts.

How do I toast coconut for garnish?

Spread shredded coconut on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Be sure to stir it frequently!

Can I make the batter ahead of time?

The batter is best used right away. If I want to make pancakes ahead of time, I cook them and then just reheat the cooked pancakes.

How do you store leftover pancakes?

Let cool completely then refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage.

How many pancakes does this make?

This recipe should make around 10-12 medium/large pancakes.

Can I use regular wheat flour?

Yes, all-purpose or whole wheat flour will work. For extra lightness, use cake flour.

stack of Copycat Hawaiian pancakes.

The Secret to Fluffy Banana Pancakes

The KEY to making these delicious pancakes is using super ripe bananas to get that intense bananagoat

essence. The overripe bananas add unbeatable moisture, sweetness and flavor to the pancake batter. 

Also, using buttermilk in any pancake recipe will create the most light and fluffy pancakes.

The eggs add structure but also makes them fluffy. Finally, both the baking soda and baking powder is needed for lift. Be sure your ingredients are fresh!

Hawaiian-style fluffy pancakes with coconut syrup and bite cut out.

Get the Most Out of Your Bananas

For extra rich banana flavor, use this simple trick when mashing the overripe bananas: Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice and let the bananas sit for 5-10 minutes before mashing.

The acid from the citrus helps enhance the sweet banana aroma and flavor compounds. It also helps prevent the bananas from browning too quickly before they get incorporated into the pancake batter.

You can use this tip anytime you’re baking with really ripe bananas – quick breads, cakes, smoothies, you name it! The added zest gives baked goods an incredible fresh pop of sweet banana essence.

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Banana Mac Pancakes with Coconut Syrup

Prep15 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total30 minutes
Servings 12 pancakes
Bring the tropical flavors of Hawaii to your breakfast table with these fluffy banana macadamia nut pancakes drizzled in coconut syrup. Pure island bliss!


Banana Mac Pancakes:

Top with:

  • toasted sweetened coconut flakes
  • chopped macadamia nuts
  • banana slices
  • coconut syrup
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  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and mashed banana. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in the nuts. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
  • Heat a griddle to medium low heat and grease with butter. Cook the pancakes until they are golden brown on each side, flipping only once (do not flatten with spatula).
  • Serve the pancakes with coconut syrup and chopped macadamia nuts, sliced banana, and toasted coconut flakes.


Nutritional information based on a single pancake with no toppings.


Calories: 203kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 246mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 206IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally created in July 2015 and has been updated with new recipe photos and more helpful information.

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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4.89 from 17 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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  1. 4 stars
    I think I will try these as waffles. A bit too thick for pancakes, for me. Everyone loved them but I thinned out with whipping cream
    (because I was out of buttermilk) after the test waffles.

  2. Can you can this syrup like like you can jellies. I would like to make it in quantity and give to my friends. My friend just brought my 2 bottles when he came back from filming a show with Guy fieri and I’m in love.

  3. 5 stars
    I am so excited to try this recipe! My husband and I honeymooned in Maui 20 years ago and stayed at the little condos on the beach next to The Gazebo. After waiting in line for what seemed like forever I ordered the banana-mac pancakes because the waitress told us it was their specialty. They were huge!…but absolutely amazing. I think they were also served with whipped cream. The coconut syrup, though, brought the whole thing to the next level.
    A few years ago we took our 3 teenage sons to Maui and although we stayed in a different place this time around we couldn’t wait to return to The Gazebo. The line was still long but the pancakes didn’t disappoint. The boys were in Heaven. Thanks, Krissy, for recreating this paradise on a plate.
    I’m giving this recipe 5 stars without even making it yet because you were inspired by the original. 🙂

    1. That is my absolute favorite place to visit on Maui! We like to order the fried rice at The Gazebo too because it’s HUGE. We eat what we can for breakfast and then reheat it to go alongside our poolside dinner of grilling local steak of fish. Take me back!!!

  4. This is amazing!!! I didn’t make my own syrup, but the pancakes were sooo delicious! Thank you for this recipe. They took me back to Gazebo also ? Husband loved them!

    1. I dream of breakfast at the Gazebo… like every week. My idea of heaven, for sure! Thanks for commenting! Krissy