Introduction: Designer Pancakes

About: I'm a thrift shopper // amateur photographer // wannabe chef // professional teacher // super crafter!

Have you seen Mickey Mouse pancakes? Olympics pancakes? Mega, pan-sized pancakes? Circle shapes, sure, but have you ever seen pancakes that look like....

- a ninja?
- a shamrock?
- the number 30?
- downward facing dog?

Here's how to fry pancakes in {most} any shape you please. This has long been a favorite of the kids in my life, and something that brings me great joy to share. Eat and enjoy! 

Step 1: Choose a Pancake Batter.

Chose a pancake batter. You want to use a recipe that is light and fluffy with a high rise potential. I suggest a recipe such as this vegan recipe that uses baking powder as a leavening agent.

Step 2: Select Your Filling.

Center your pancake craving and select your option add-ins. Are you feeling chocolate chips, or a fruity sweet? Is this the day you go savory with bacon or corn? Mmm.

One you have your filling identified, set it to the side. You will add this to your batter once the batter is in the pan, almost ready to flip. Resist the urge to add to your batter!

Step 3: Assemble Your Batter.

Assemble your batter according to your recipe or packaged instructions, remembering to leave any add-ins to the side.

Step 4: Pre-heat Cook Space.

I recommend a non-stick space or one that's proven easy to grease + flip. This is not a time to risk your food sticking to the pan!

Step 5: Prep Your Design.

Pancake design:

By now you probably have some idea of a fancy design for your pancakes: dragons, dinosaurs, ninjas. Take a minute to sketch out our designs or google them. Ask yourself:

  • are there any skinny parts of your design?
  • if this picture expands a bit, would it look like a blob?

If you can answer "yes" to these questions, look at your pan size - is there enough room to do a large enough image so that skinny parts won't tear, and that you can space out your details without the picture all running together.

Pick yourself a final image, and estimate your brush size:

  • if you were painting this design with a brush, would you need fine or wide point. If you were drawing it, would you use a fat or skinny marker?

Step 6: Prep Your Pastry Bag.

What did you answer - a fat or skinny brush size? This will be the tip size you need for your fancy pastry bag. And by that I mean, a zip-top bag.

Pour your batter into the zip-top bag, pinching off the tip so that no batter touches this area. With scissors or a very sharp knife, cut off the tip of the bag so that a small hole remains. You need a hole large enough for your gorgeous fluffy batter, but remember: you never need a tip as large as your think you do. Cut it too big, and all the filling will run out. All over your pan {= no designer pancakes}.

Step 7: Fry Your Pancakes!

Grease your pan with spray grease or my favorite {butter + oil combo}. Slowly and carefully pipe your design into your pan. Make sure you have enough room for your shapey pancake to expand, a bit.

Follow the cooking directions according to the recipe for your batter or mix. If you are adding in some extra flavor, wait until right before your flip; these add-ins can weigh down your batter, causing your designer 'cake to stick and tear.

Flip when you need to.

To judge for doneness, fry for 30-60 seconds then touch lightly. If it springs right back, pancake is done. If not, fry for 30 more seconds. Continue checking each 30 seconds to make sure not to overcook. 

Step 8: Fry the Rest!

Cool your pancakes on a wire rack or on a plate in the microwave. Fry one at a time for best results if making all designer pancakes. If making regular circle pancakes, fry as many as will fit on your cook top without touching. 

Step 9: Eat + Enjoy!

Serve with your favorite toppings.