Introduction: How to Make Pancake Art

Growing up, my Dad made pancakes every Sunday. He made silver dollar sized ones, animal ones, huge ones, anything to keep breakfast fun and fresh. (Thanks Dad!!) These colored pancakes offer another way to take anyone's pancake game to the next level. And they are surprisingly simple to make considering the fancy results.

In honor of back to school kids everywhere AND in celebration of National Pancake Day which is Sept. 26th, here's how to make school themed colored pancake art!

*Special thanks to my buddy Jett Arp who introduced me to this delicious and super fun technique!

Step 1: Supply List

The Pancakes


Shape Inspiration

  • Do a google image search for the theme of pancake shapes you want to make. For example, I searched "back to school". It also helps to add the terms "icon" or "illustration" to get more simplified drawings to try and recreate with your pancake colors.
  • Print out your favorites and write all the colors down that you'll need have to recreate those objects/pictures.

Step 2: Mix the Pancake Batter

Follow the instructions on your pancake mix box/bag to mix up a double batch of pancake batter.

NOTE: Add an extra 1/4 cup of milk so that it is slightly runnier than normal. This will help it come out of the fine tipped squeeze bottles easier.

Step 3: Label, Mix, & Fill

1. Using the masking tape and pen, label all the bottles you'll need with a corresponding color. Use the bigger bottles for the colors you'll need most of (usually what you'll be 'filling in' with), and the smaller bottles for the finer lines and colors you need less of.

2. Fill a small mixing bowl with some batter and use the gel food coloring to match one of the colors you'll need for your shape(s). Repeat this for all the colors.

3. Fill the bottles with their corresponding colored batters.

Step 4: Pencil Pancakes

To give you a clear idea of the process, I'm going to show you how to make pencil shaped pancakes.

If you want to try this specific one, the colors you'll need are:

dark orange
white (uncolored batter)
dark grey
light grey
eraser pink

Turn the burners on 'LOW' to heat up the pan and give the surface a wipe with some vegetable oil on a paper towel. This is to guarantee that you're working on a non-stick surface which will make it easier to flip long or complicated shapes.

Step 5: Get Your Draw On

**The key to getting good results with any shape is outlining each color area before filling it in. This offers you the most control of where the batter goes by forming a little containment wall.

Starting with the dark grey, draw the pencil lead, which will be a small triangle, in the lower part of the griddle. (like pictured)

Then using the white batter, draw the wood tip of the pencil. It will have two angled sides that follow the angle of the lead, with three dipped down scallops along the top. (like pictured) And fill it in.

Step 6: Into the Woods

Now we're going to draw the yellow painted wood part of the handle. Using three different colors (but in the same tone) helps create 'shadow' giving the pencil a simplified three dimensional quality.

Start with the dark orange and draw a thin rectangle on the left side that will be 1/3 off the pencil shaft. Fill it in.

Repeat this with the orange and then yellow, working your way to the right. IMPORTANT: Make sure that all colors are running into each other so the finished pancake will be one solid pancake instead of lots of small individual shapes. The final yellow lines should line up with the width of the pencil tip.

Step 7: A Metal Band

Now use the light grey to draw the metal band that holds the eraser.

Step 8: Pretty in Pink

Finish it off with a rounded pink eraser.

If any of your outer lines got a bit wonky, you can use the spatula to cut off and clean up the edge.

Step 9: Bubble and Flip

Let the pancake cook until all the colors are bubbling. Then gently use the spatula to flip it over.

Step 10: The Big Reveal

And voila!! You have an edible work of art!! Let it cook on the other side for a minute or so and then serve.

In the pictures above, I've shown some other fun examples of what you can make with colored pancake batter to help the kiddies celebrate (tolerate) going back to school.

This technique of coloring pancake batter can be used to create ANYTHING so let your imaginations run wild. I'd love to see what you all come up with, so be sure to post pictures of your masterpieces in the comments section below and click the 'I Made It' button!

Happy fun making!


SarahM448 made it! (author)2017-02-23

Pancake day is February 28th not September 26th

jeanwhilsye made it! (author)2017-02-02

I think it will be easier with this printer

mar9en made it! (author)2015-10-21

These are so cool! I'm definitely going to try them! But how do you keep the pancake from browning? I expected with all the bubbles that the flip side would be pretty browned. Maybe I use a different heat setting or batter than you do?

I also wish I knew a way to keep the pancakes warm/fresh for a bit to bring to a breakfast potluck, but pancakes tend to be serve-immediately. Anyone ever tried transporting them?

cupcakepopcorn234 made it! (author)cupcakepopcorn2342016-08-01

you should turn the heat on a low setting but u have to wait longer. I tell you, it's worth it.

Silvermist12345 made it! (author)2015-10-29

This is so awesome. But how can you do this properly and what do you do when things go wrong? ?

CobyUnger made it! (author)2015-10-17

Those look YUMazing.

CharlieA10 made it! (author)2015-10-05

This is AMAZING! You should enter it in a contest

ClareBS made it! (author)2015-09-29

Very cute and clear instructions, I voted for your pancake art instructable.

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-10-02

Thanks Clare. :)

trademarck made it! (author)2015-09-29

Great job!
I make pancake art at the diner I work at for kids all the time. We dont go into details like this with all the different colors because we are very busy but we do use a chocolate batter to create details. Check out some I've made on my Instagram.

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-10-02

The chocolate works so well! Those are some pretty lucky kids. :)

jdc2450 made it! (author)2015-09-22

This rules!!

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-10-02

:) Thanks!

Coolloom made it! (author)2015-09-22

awesome job

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-10-02

Thanks. :)

Bhawya made it! (author)2015-09-22

creative and very pretty

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-10-02

Thank you!

billie.nenninger made it! (author)2015-09-29

Sounds like so much fun, will have to try this for the grandkids. Thanks, Billie

asepetys made it! (author)2015-09-26

Is there a way stop the dough from bubbling?
As it creates an empty space in the pancake drawings :)

mrshinkydink made it! (author) mrshinkydink2015-09-29

The bubbles are caused by the baking soda in the mix creating CO2. Less baking soda - if you are making batter from scratch - or let the batter stand for a while before frying to allow the soda to do its thing first.

Rachael K made it! (author)2015-09-26

Very creative! Great job. :)

Fission_Chips made it! (author)2015-09-26

Looks delicious, and really cool as well!

S_Alex77 made it! (author)2015-09-26


gymno pro made it! (author)2015-09-26

This is amazing!!!!

patsheldon made it! (author)2015-09-26

This is so great! I've always wanted to learn how to do this! :3

sunshiine made it! (author)2015-09-24

Page these are adorable~


randofo made it! (author)2015-09-22

Best pancakes ever!

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-09-23

Aw shucks randofo. :)

Babybg made it! (author)2015-09-23

These are way cooler then normal pancakes!!

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-09-23

And easy to make! Who knew breakfast food could be so fun?

jessyratfink made it! (author)2015-09-23

This is amazing! Great job, lady!! They're beautiful. :)

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-09-23

Thanks Jessy! :)

Matt2 Silver made it! (author)2015-09-23

Very cool, thanks for sharing! Good luck in the contest, you have my vote.

fituro made it! (author)2015-09-22

Fantastic. I love it!

Sunbutt_Shimmer made it! (author)2015-09-22

Looks delicious! Yum!

goldlego made it! (author)2015-09-22

This is incredibly clever! Well done!

Carleyy made it! (author)2015-09-22

This is just so much craziness and awesomeness all in one pancakestructable!!!

Paige Russell made it! (author)Paige Russell2015-09-22

Thanks Carleyy! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design ... More »
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