Discontinued IHOP Pancakes We'll Probably Never Eat Again

Back in 1958, a tiny restaurant opened in a Los Angeles suburb and dubbed itself the "International House of Pancakes." It's a tall claim for a new diner, but one that's served it well in the decades since. Today, the International House of Pancakes — which officially rebranded itself as IHOP in 1973 — is truly a worldwide phenomenon, plating up delicious pancakes at over 1,600 restaurants in the United States, and hundreds more in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, and beyond.

Unsurprisingly, IHOP has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the iconic blue A-frame roofs and the sole focus on pancakes. Since the 1980s, the chain has branched out into other breakfast dishes, as well as adding the likes of burgers, chicken, steaks, and more to its menu. But that's not to say that its pancake offerings have remained totally stagnant. During this time, IHOP has also experimented with a weird and wonderful variety of pancake flavors — some more successful than others. For every Cinn-A-Stack Pancake, there's a pancake whose time on the IHOP menu was, quite literally, short and sweet. Sometimes this is intentional, with IHOP purposely introducing limited time novelty flapjacks that were always destined for discontinuation. Other times, it's pure customer disinterest that puts certain flavors on the chopping block. Regardless of why they left, here are 10 discontinued IHOP pancakes that are most likely gone for good.

1. Harvest Grain 'N Nut Pancakes

One of the more recent victims to discontinuation, Harvest Grain 'N Nut Pancakes had a divisive reputation. The batter was stuffed with oats, almonds, and walnuts, creating the illusion that this was the wholesome, healthy choice for anyone looking to place a lighter order. In reality, each stack of four Harvest Grain 'N Nut Pancakes contained 800 calories, 42 grams of fat, 1,730 milligrams of sodium, and 83 grams of carbs — making them less healthy than IHOP's World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes.

Of course, if you're dining at IHOP, calories and fat content probably aren't your biggest concerns. The deciding factor is flavor, which Harvest Grain 'N Nut Pancakes sadly also lacked. A MegaMenu survey found that 32.02% of U.S. consumers thought it was the worst pancake on the IHOP menu, with the biggest complaints being that the pancakes were dry and the texture off-putting (via Business Insider). With public opinion low (and, we'd assume, sales reflecting this negative sentiment), IHOP axed Harvest Grain 'N Nut Pancakes for good in 2022. Surprisingly, there's still a small minority rooting for their return, with several copycat recipes popping up in the years since from those still longing for a dry, mealy flapjack.

2. Red Velvet Pancakes

As the red velvet craze took hold of the food industry in the early 2010s, IHOP decided to introduce its take on the trend. In 2012, Red Velvet Pancakes were introduced as a part of IHOP's summer limited edition flavors. Unlike its companions — Sweet Strawberry Pancakes and Whole Wheat Pancakes with Banana — they ended up returning on multiple occasions, with reviewers frequenting hailing the red-hued, cream cheese-drizzled flapjacks as a highlight on the likes of Tripadvisor and Yelp (although some pointed out that they tasted the same as the regular World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes option).

Ultimately, their time on the menu did prove to be limited — even if that run did last longer than originally anticipated. The Red Velvet Pancakes have been absent from the IHOP menu for a while now, despite a pretty emotional petition that was set up in 2020 to beg IHOP to reintroduce them back into the fold. "I can personally say I was devastated when I sat down in an IHOP booth, and realized they no longer served the red velvet pancakes," the petition's creator, Hannah Sacco, wrote (via Change.org). "It is IHOP's rightful duty to bring these pancakes back." Duty or not, there's no sign of Red Velvet Pancakes on the horizon just yet, but we do have a recipe to tide you over in the meantime.

3. Grinch Pancakes

Unless it's a vegetable or tea, a bright green hue tends to be a warning sign that something should definitely not be put in your mouth. The exception was the creatively-named Grinch's Green Pancakes, a limited edition phenomenon that launched at IHOP restaurants nationwide in 2018 to celebrate the release of "The Grinch." The pancakes themselves were pretty standard, with green food coloring the only factor that distinguished them from regular World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes. On top, you could find sweet cream cheese icing, red heart sprinkles, and green whipped cream.

Like a lot of OTT dishes, these were better in theory than they were in practice. Multiple customers took to social media during the pancake's short stint on the menu to share their grievances that these green hotcakes were actually pretty ugly. As one Reddit user put it — in response to a particularly unattractive serving with a horrifying dollop of green cream — "That does not look like it should go in one's body." While we may never get to dig into Whoville's finest breakfast again, we'd argue that this isn't the biggest loss.

4. Cereal Pancakes

Just before the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, IHOP debuted something special: Cereal Pancakes. True to their name, these were World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes stacked with either Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries, or Fruity Lucky Charms, plus appropriately flavored cereal milk mousse, sauce, and whipped cream. In other words, sugar overload.

Sadly, these pancakes never really got a chance to shine. Billed as a limited-time offering, they were only on offer from March 2 through April 12, 2020 — most of which was spent in total lockdown. Those who did get to try them were split on whether combining two breakfast staples actually worked. "You're not missing out on much," said one Reddit user at the time, while lifestyle blogger Airing My Laundry praised the cereal milk mousse (which apparently "did taste like the sweet milk you'd find after finishing off sugary cereal"). Perhaps one day IHOP will deign to give its Cereal Pancakes a second shot at success, but for now we'll have to settle for dumping a handful of Lucky Charms onto homemade pancakes to create a DIY copycat.

5. Wonka's Perfectly Purple Pancakes

If you want to push a new film with a colorful yet edible promotion, IHOP's the only way to go. In late 2023, "Wonka" — which saw Timothée Chalamet portray the chocolatier of the same name in his early years — was celebrated with Wonka's Perfectly Purple Pancakes.

As the name suggests, these were violently purple (we'd argue too purple), and topped with an equally lurid cream cheese icing, plus whipped cream and gold glitter sugar. Last orders for Wonka's Perfectly Purple Pancakes fell on January 7, 2024, but they made quite the impression during their limited run. As per Slash Film, "They [were] warm, soft, and the mousse [made] for a gooey bite."

That mousse was the highlight for most customers, with Mass Live also giving it a shoutout in its review of the entire "Wonka" menu. "The cheesecake mousse does most of the heavy lifting here, adding a tangy sweetness that makes you want to take another bite," they explained. Obviously, January 7, 2024 has come and gone, so Wonka's Perfectly Purple Pancakes are no longer with us. However, don't mind us manifesting that IHOP brings them back one day if the rumored sequel does go ahead.

Alb Media owns and operates Slash Film and MegaMenu.

6. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pancakes

Foodies know that the best part of the holiday season isn't the gifts, movies, or Mariah Carey, but the seasonal menu items that start infiltrating our favorite restaurant menus. IHOP has experimented with several holiday flavors over the years, with Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pancakes serving as a short-lived standout.

Ringing in the holiday season of 2016, these pancakes were a mix of dark chocolate, crushed peppermint, and white chocolate chips (plus the customary dollop of whipped cream). Those who did try the hotcakes were extremely complimentary about the combo. "You definitely feel like you're eating Christmas here," said YouTuber Fast Food Pit Stops at the time. He added that it was "very refreshing" thanks to the way the candy cane flavor cut through the rich chocolate. With sentiments like that, it's a mystery why they never returned to IHOP for a second year (but we'll add it to this year's Christmas list, just in case).

7. Pancizza

Is a pancake basically just a pizza? The obvious answer is "no," but IHOP decided to push the boundaries anyway in February 2019. The chain partnered with DoorDash in select cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Dallas) to mark National Pizza Day with a 7-inch pancake served up in a pizza box.

Those who ordered the aptly named "Pancizza" could choose between a giant World Famous Buttermilk Pancake, Cupcake, or Bacon and Cheddar flavor, each served with four sauces. The Pancizza didn't exactly take the world by storm. If anything, the launch of the Pancizza just caused confusion as to why IHOP thought it was a good idea in the first place. This was just a slightly bigger serving of the pancakes you could already order from IHOP (albeit with slightly more fun packaging). The stunt ultimately proved to be a limited affair that is yet to return for a subsequent National Pizza Day. All in all, not a successful experiment. As one Reddit user put it, "What person at IHOP approved this?"

8. Wednesday's Web-Cakes

Another day, another IHOP movie tie-in. In 2019, the pancake flavor of the moment was Wednesday's Web-Cakes. Inspired by the release of "The Addams Family" — to be specific, the wonderfully gothic daughter Wednesday Addams — this featured a stack of World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes with cupcake icing and a web pattern drawn in Hershey's chocolate syrup, plus purple whipped cream.

As far as themed pancakes go, these ones were relatively modest. However, that didn't mean they always met expectations. During their availability from September 16 to November 3, 2019, customers regularly shared their expectation vs reality pictures of the Wednesday's Web-Cakes, with the web pattern going wrong most often. Thanks to the sheer amount of icing it takes to cover an entire pancake, reviews also called out the flapjacks for being too sweet. "They may be the sweetest food I have ever put in my mouth," said Screen Crush in its review of the "The Addams Family" menu. "The violet topping is actually mild in flavor compared to the "cupcake icing" on the pancakes, which is sugary enough to melt tooth enamel." Yikes.

9. Ba-Ba-Banana Pudding Pancakes

Minions solidified themselves as a pop culture phenomenon upon their debut in 2010's "Despicable Me," yet somehow it took 12 years for them to receive the ultimate honor of inspiring an IHOP pancake. In 2022, the chain drew on the yellow henchmen's passion for bananas to create an entire Minions menu just in time for the release of "Minions: The Rise of Gru."

While the menu was packed with tasty gems (including the perfectly named Cold Gru Iced Coffee), the Ba-Ba-Banana Pudding Pancakes were the real showstopper. A stack of World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes filled with slices of fresh banana slices and topped with banana pudding, pieces of Nilla wafer cookies, whipped cream, blue and yellow sprinkles, and even more banana, these were truly a Minion's dream come true — at least for a few months.

These banana-ridden pancakes were strictly available from June 21 to August 21, 2022. That may be for the best, as they proved pretty polarizing. The Takeout claimed that the pancakes "tasted like construction paper," while foodie YouTuber The Southern Shack praised the banana flavor (despite it tasting "a little artificial"). File this one away under creative experiments gone awry.

10. Who-Cakes

IHOP isn't a nutritional haven at the best of times, but the infamous Who-Cakes made the bulk of its menu look like a salad. Created to promote "Horton Hears A Who" in 2008, this was essentially an edible rainbow explosion made up of World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes, boysenberry and blueberry sauces, rainbow chocolate chips, and a pink lollipop for an extra sugar rush.

In other words, if you asked a young child to draw their dream meal, it would probably look something like this. For some, that was the issue. "The Who-Cakes are something no child should eat," advised The Impulsive Buy, who also compare the multitude of colors to "clown excrete." Regardless, the Who-Cakes still behold an infamous reputation, with petitions and Facebook Groups set up for the purpose of encouraging IHOP to bring them back for a second outing (although we wouldn't hold our breath; one petition only managed 33 signatures before it closed for good). 

For something a lot more straightforward — and a dish that will never go out of style — check out The Takeout's receipe for IHOP Buttermilk Pancakes.

Alb Media owns and operates The Takeout and MegaMenu.