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How to make pancake shapes that come alive but don’t bite back

Next time you wake up in the morning so hungry you could eat a dinosaur, you can.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone waking up in the morning and saying they were so hungry they could eat a dinosaur. Or a giraffe. And especially not a ladybug. That wouldn’t be very appetizing and certainly wouldn’t fill you up.


But this ladybug pancake is a lot tastier than the real thing, and it’s even on the sweet side (when smothered with delicious syrup, that is). And the dinosaur and giraffe are equally delicious.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

To make these yummy critter pancakes, start off by adding nonstick cooking spray to a large griddle or skillet (this may not be needed if using a nonstick pan). When outlining the giraffe, start with the neck, and work up to the head and ears, filling in the areas with batter. Then draw the body, and leave some empty spaces to resemble spots. Draw a happy wagging tail, and also fill it in.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Lastly, draw 4 legs, with the “inner” 2 legs being slightly shorter. And add some little feet too if you like. This poor guy has some wobbly knees, but he still gets around just fine.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

For the dinosaur, start by outlining the tail, and work your way down to the “belly” and then up to the head and back. Add 2 small squares for feet, and fill in the area with batter.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Add those scary, spiky things on the dino’s back, and fill them in.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Next, for the ladybug, ladle batter on the pan to form a circle.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Then draw a little head and 2 antennae. Try not to make the antennae too narrow, or they could break when flipping the pancakes over.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Using a small squeeze bottle or ladle, form a circle about the same size as the body of the ladybug. The red circle will be the wings, and it’s just fine if the size is a little bit larger than the ladybug’s body.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Let the pancakes cook on low to medium heat.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Then being super, ultra, extremely careful, gently turn the pancakes over slowly so as not to snap off their head, leg, ear or tail. Or even an antenna, for that matter.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

My favorite side of the pancake is the rougher-looking side because of the blotchy colors.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Cut the red pancake in half.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Put the red wings on the ladybug, and add chocolate chips to look like “black spots.”


Add 1 candy eyeball to each dinosaur and 2 to each giraffe.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Cut the chocolate chips in half to look like sharp teeth, and add them to the dinosaur for a pretty smile.

Serve warm with butter and syrup, or just admire them for a while if they’re too cute to eat.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

How to make pancake shapes

Serves 2

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Nonstick cooking spray (may not need this if using a nonstick pan)
  • 6 candy eyeballs
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 4 drops red food coloring
  • 1 large squeeze bottle with narrow spout


  1. To a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, egg, milk and canola oil.
  2. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. To a separate small bowl, transfer just 1 small ladle of batter, and add the red food coloring. Set aside.
  4. Put a funnel in the top of a squeeze bottle. Ladle the remaining batter into the funnel until the bottle is almost full. Leave about 1 inch of empty space at the top of the bottle to make room for the batter to rise a little from the baking powder.
  5. Spray a large griddle or skillet with nonstick cooking spray (skip this step if using a nonstick pan). Heat the pan on low to medium heat.
  6. For the giraffe: On the left side of the griddle, outline the giraffe’s long neck with the batter. At the top of the neck, add an oblong shape for the head, and add 2 pointed ears. Add the giraffe’s body by making a larger-size oblong shape, and add a tail and 4 legs. Fill in the head, ears, neck and legs with batter. In the body area, leave some small empty spaces to resemble spots, and fill in the rest of the body area with batter.
  7. For the dinosaur: In the middle of the griddle, outline the shape of the dinosaur’s tail, body, neck and head. At the bottom of the “belly,” add 2 small squares for the legs. On the back of the neck, add some triangle shapes (pointed side up). Fill in all areas with batter.
  8. For the ladybug: On the bottom right side of the griddle, ladle batter to form a circle. Use the squeeze bottle to add a small circle for the head, and attach 2 antennae. On the top right side of the griddle, ladle the red batter to form a circle (for the wings).
  9. Using a long spatula, very carefully turn each pancake over when the bottom side turns a light golden color.
  10. Serve the pancakes with the same side facing up as when the shapes were drawn.
  11. Cut the red pancake in half, and add it to the top of the ladybug pancake to form the wings. Top with chocolate chips to form “black spots.”
  12. Add 2 candy eyeballs to each giraffe pancake and 1 candy eyeball to each dinosaur pancake. Cut some chocolate chips in half, and use them, pointed side up, to make the dinosaur’s smile.
  13. Serve warm with butter and syrup.

More fun pancake recipes

Red, white and blue star pancake skewers
DIY Strawberry pancake hearts
Rudolph pancakes

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