Fluffy and piled high, these vanilla iced birthday cake buttermilk pancakes are the sweetest way to wake up in the morning. They make an extra special breakfast especially for a special occasion like a birthday, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.
Here we have birthday buttermilk pancakes piled high with smooth ‘n sweet vanilla icing.
I use my favorite buttermilk pancake recipe as the base for this funfetti-style version. I love this basic pancake recipe because it makes the fluffiest, softest, most tender buttermilk pancakes I’ve ever had. This recipe is my all-star pancake recipe and I published it (with lots of blueberries!) in my cookbook earlier this year. Have you tried them yet?
I changed the recipe ever so slightly by adding a touch more flour and sugar, a little almond extract, extra vanilla extract, and a whole lotta sprinkles. The extracts, along with the melted butter, gives these pancakes a buttery cake batter taste that will make your head spin. Paired with the sweet vanilla icing, it’s absolutely considered dessert. At breakfast time. You are welcome.
Because there are so many brightly colored sprinkles going into this pancake batter, let me take a moment to emphasize how important it is to avoid over-mixing.
Over-mixing your pancake batter will turn it a putrid purple/green/brown from all the sprinkles’ color. Not at all appetizing. You see those golden and white pancakes above? I had to use the lightest hand folding in the sprinkles. It’s possible to do, so just take your time. Stirring the sprinkles is not a race. Sloooooow and steady. Also! Over-mixing will give your pancakes a dense, tough texture. A far, far cry from the fluffy stack of rainbow pancakes you see here today. Yuck.
As you may have caught on by now, these are birthday cake buttermilk pancakes. Buttermilk is an imperative ingredient. Buttermilk’s lactic acid, as well as its quiet tangy flavor, is required in this buttermilk pancake recipe. I used low fat; full fat is just fine.
Vanilla icing is the perfect finishing touch for a tall stack of birthday cake pancakes. This addition definitely makes it feel like you are eating confetti cake for breakfast. I halved my original vanilla icing recipe because you don’t need as much for topping these pancakes. The sweet buttery pancakes are amazing even without the vanilla icing on top (and this is coming from a pancake condiment junkie). The extra sprinkles on top, however, are obviously necessary.
More Favorite Pancake Recipes:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Whole Wheat Pancakes
- Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes
- Greek Yogurt Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes
- Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Birthday Cake Pancakes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 11-12 pancakes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: American
Fluffy and piled high, these vanilla iced funfetti-style birthday cake buttermilk pancakes are the sweetest way to wake up in the morning!
- 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (plus more butter for greasing)
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (480ml) buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or to taste)
- 2/3 cup (125g) rainbow sprinkles (not nonpareils)*
- 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1–2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) milk
- extra rainbow sprinkles for serving
- Melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter first. Microwave or stovetop – either is fine. Set aside to slightly cool. You absolutely do not want it piping hot.
- In a large bowl, preferably with a pour spout, toss the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts together until combined. Whisk in the 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. Very very gently, fold in the rainbow sprinkles using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Once it’s hot, 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.
- Make the icing: Quickly whisk the icing ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Start with 1 Tablespoon of milk and add 1 more to thin out, if necessary.
- Keep pancakes warm in a preheated 200°F (93°C) oven until all pancakes are cooked. Serve pancakes immediately with icing and extra sprinkles on top. (Though I love them even without the icing!)
- Cover and store leftover pancakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Electric Griddle, Griddle Pan, or Shallow Skillet/Pan
- Buttermilk: Though I typically suggest a DIY buttermilk option using regular milk and vinegar/lemon, I highly recommend real buttermilk. I used low fat buttermilk, but full fat works too. I do not suggest any substitutions. Try using any extra buttermilk in any of these recipes.
- Sprinkles: Use rainbow sprinkles/jimmies. Do not use nonpareils (which are the little balls) – they are prone to bleeding their color no matter how lightly you fold them into batter. I typically buy my sprinkles in bulk from here if you are interested.
- Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes recipe
Keywords: sprinkle pancakes, funfetti pancakes
Reader Comments & Reviews
My husband is a waffles man BUT when I made these pancakes (without the sprinkles or icing) and served with warm Vermont maple syrup and soft, real butter, he absolutely loved them! Doesn’t care if he has another waffle in his future. Thank you Sally for a delicious recipe. The almond really tastes awesome paired with vanilla.
These were delicious! Made them for my daughters Birthday breakfast. So fun!
This recipe was great , i didnt have almond extract so i added some cinnamon and i left out the sprinkles for normal pancakes. My batter was extremely thick so i added half a cup of milk to thin it out. Other than that it was great.
I just made this this morning … exactly as the recipe written but cut in 1/2. All 3 kids thought they were AWESOME (obviously, they have sprinkles!!). While cleaning up, I shoved one in my mouth … omg so yummy!! (I grabbed a second one!)