Okay guys, confession time. I'm totally and completely obsessed with pancake art. Have you seen it? I came across some in the past few months via Instagram, and watching the videos of how they make them are mesmerizing (for me at least, I'm easy to entertain). My favorite is Dr. Dan the Pancake Man (find him on Insta @dancakes). He is off the charts awesome!
I love making royal icing cookies, that was my obsession in 2015, and I feel like pancake art is quite similar in many ways, so I thought I'd give it a try. This was my first attempt, and I decided to make mine Valentine's Day Emoji Pancakes. I thought they turned out super adorable, and I'm sharing the process with you guys too, what worked, what didn't, and what supplies I used.
Don't worry, I'm not going to take you through some long winded instructions on how to make fancy pancake batter. I just used the good old Krusteaz brand guys, and it worked like a charm (well mostly). But here are some of the other tools that I used to create the designs that I found super helpful:
- Gel food coloring. If you've never worked with gel food coloring it's the bomb.com. However it does stain things easily because the colors are so saturated, so handle it carefully. However it doesn't take more than just a tiny squeeze to get bold, bright, beautiful colors like the ones above.
- Squeeze bottles from Wilton (or any other brand). I purchased these squeeze bottles to do my royal icing, but they work great for pancake art too!
- Metal spatula. Why is this important you ask? I find that flipping the pancakes with a metal spatula works way better than with a silicone one, especially for larger designs. This one may just be personal preference.
Make your pancake batter according to instructions. However it says "do not over mix" and that some lumps will remain in the batter. Trust me guys, You don't want lumps in your batter for this, so mix, mix, mix until your lumps are as good as gone. One problem I encountered were a few lumps, which got into the tops of my squeeze bottles and blocked the batter.
Divide your batter between several bowls for as many colors as you need. Don't forget to leave some white if you want it!
Turn your grill on low heat. It really doesn't take much heat here since you'll be creating a fairly thin layer of batter. I did a few practice runs with mine, some of them didn't turn out so pretty, but the practice helps you get better control of the squeeze bottles. Hearts are a perfect, because they're a super simple shape!
Start with your outline, then add your details, then fill in with your final color. You'll need to work in reverse layers. For example for this heart I did the black outline, the white highlight shape, then filled in pink. Cook your pancakes as you normally would, waiting til they are almost done bubbling and flip them. You don't want them on too long or the colors will start to brown.
Have fun and experiment with all kinds of designs. I had some extra batter so I decided to make some floral pancakes too. So fun, right? I really was surprised at how easy the actual process is. I think the biggest challenge is learning how to work with the batter and control your squeeze bottles to get a perfect design.
Are you going to make pancake art for your sweetie this Valentine's Day? They'd make the perfect breakfast in bed. My daughter Eleanor totally loved these (she wanted to eat one of each shape). Tag your pancake art #emmyraydesignstudio, I'd love to see what you make!
xo - Emily
Looking for more Valentine's Day ideas? Pop on over to my Valentine's Day round-up post from earlier this week.