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stack of birthday cake funfetti pancakes with icing dripping down the sides, whipped cream on top, and a lit gold candle on top.

Birthday Cake Pancakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 16 reviews
  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pancakes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Packed with rainbow sprinkles and topped with vanilla icing, these buttermilk birthday cake pancakes are the sweetest way to wake up in the morning. Let the batter sit for a few minutes to thicken as you heat the stove.


Ingredients

Pancakes

  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (480ml) buttermilk*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract*
  • 1/2 cup (85g) rainbow sprinkles (not nonpareils)*
  • for cooking: butter or nonstick spray

Icing

  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 Tablespoons milk
  • for serving: whipped cream and more rainbow sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter first. Microwave or stovetop—either is fine. Set aside to slightly cool. You do not want it piping hot.
  2. In a large bowl preferably with a pour spout, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and almond extract together until combined, and then whisk in the cooled melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine. Make sure there are no patches of dry flour at the bottom of the bowl. The batter is thick and a few lumps are fine.
  4. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes as you heat the stove in the next step. This gives the batter a chance to thicken. You will fold in the sprinkles right before cooking.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Once it’s hot, fold the sprinkles into the batter.
  6. Drop/pour a heaping 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look set and you notice holes in the pancake’s surface around the border, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until cooked through, about 1–2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet with butter or nonstick spray again, if needed, for each batch of pancakes.
  7. Keep pancakes warm in a preheated 200°F (93°C) oven until all pancakes are cooked.
  8. Make the icing: Whisk the icing ingredients together and pour over pancakes before serving. Feel free to add whipped cream and more sprinkles on top, too.
  9. Serve pancakes immediately. Cover and store leftover pancakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Pancakes freeze well up to 3 months. Reheat frozen pancakes in the microwave. Or you can reheat frozen pancakes in a 350°F (177°C) oven. Place pancakes on a lined baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 6–8 minutes or until defrosted and warm.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Mixing Bowls (preferably with a pour spout) | Rainbow Whisk | Silicone Spatula | Electric Griddle, Griddle Pan, or Shallow Skillet/Pan | Pancake Turner
  3. Can I make the batter the night before? No, I don’t recommend it. Baking powder is activated once wet. You can, however, mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together and keep them separate and covered in the refrigerator until the morning. (But do not add the melted butter until ready to cook, because that will solidify in the refrigerator.)
  4. Can I make waffles instead? Absolutely. Use today’s batter and follow the same cooking instructions as these gingerbread waffles.
  5. Can I use whole wheat flour? I recommend making my whole wheat pancakes instead, and using 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and adding the almond extract and sprinkles.
  6. Buttermilk: Though I typically suggest a DIY buttermilk option using regular milk and vinegar/lemon, I highly recommend real buttermilk for these pancakes. I use low-fat buttermilk, but full fat works too. I do not suggest any substitutions. If you have leftover buttermilk, you can use it in any of these recipes.
  7. Almond Extract: This flavor addition is what makes these pancakes taste like cake batter. It doesn’t really taste like almonds. I also really like this cake & cookie bakery emulsion flavoring. You can use this flavoring to replace the almond or vanilla extracts.
  8. Sprinkles: Use rainbow sprinkles/jimmies. Do not use nonpareils (the tiny balls), which are prone to bleeding their color no matter how lightly you fold them into batter. In the photos, I used these rainbow sprinkles in the pancake batter, and these round confetti sprinkles on top of the cooked pancakes for serving.
  9. Update in 2023: This recipe used to call for 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and 2/3 cup rainbow sprinkles.
  10. Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes recipe.