Get Your Kids Involved: Making Pancakes from Scratch

I LOVE pancakes, I mean who doesn’t?! Even just the thought of them brings a smile to my face. It’s a dish that can be attached to so many wonderful memories – boozy long weekend brunch with your friends, a plate stacked high dripping with maple syrup eaten in bed at your favourite hotel on holiday, or just flipping them and drizzling them with lemon juice and sugar with your family as you were growing up and passing that tradition down to your own family. Pancakes are so much more than just pancakes. They can be sweet or savoury, big or small (hello the mini pancake cereal TikTok trend of 2020 – insane, right?!), a thin crepe or a big fluffy American pancake and the topping choices are literally limitless. You can go crazy and let your imagination and creativity go wild. Use up any leftover fruits and vegetables or top with your favourite melted chocolate, vegan yoghurt or creamy avocado. There is literally no wrong answer when it comes to pancake toppings – I’m yet to find something that doesn’t work!!

And pancakes are super easy to make and make for a great activity for the whole family to get stuck into before they get stuck into tucking into them. I have a whole bunch of tips and tricks that are perfect for kids of all ages to help out in the kitchen so you can have the perfect pancake day – every day. 

First, you’re going to need to pick a really simple pancake batter for either a crepe style pancake, or the big fluffy American type.

Pick a Flavour:

Once you have decided on what pancakestyle you want, why not let your kids choose the flavour combinations – letting them choose and be independent will encourage them to explore new and different foods in and out of the kitchen and get them more engaged with cooking. You can go as creative or as simple as you like. Some of my favourite flavour combinations are:      

Sweet:

Spiced Caramelised Pear and Fig Buckwheat Pancakes – a warming combination of lightly spiced pear and figs for the perfect winter warmer variation. 

Activated Charcoal Pancakes with Blackberry Compote  – a striking fun and unusual take on the classic, the charcoal doesn’t change the flavours but looks amazing paired with the blackberries. 

Blood Orange & Choc Chip Pancakes – a classic combination of chocolate and orange but with a seasonal twist. 


Savoury:

Oaty Pancakes with Avocado and Mushrooms – packed full of fibre and topped with creamy avocado and mushrooms for the perfect brunch dish.

Savoury Buckwheat Pancakes with Hummus and Roast Peppers  – a brilliant lunch alternative, slathered with homemade hummus and sweetened red peppers 

Kimchi, Kimchi Pancakes & Kimchi Cashew Butter – a great family project leading up to Pancake Day is to ferment your own kimchi together and then top it on your pancakes and celebrate the delicious creation you all made happen!  


I also love including (or hiding for picky eaters) fruits and veggies inside my batter to give them bright colours and extra nutrients. Why not try mashing in some banana or sweet potato puree or grating some carrot or apple into your batter? 

Photo by Julia Zolotova

Pick Your Toppings:

Don’t forget to think about the toppings you are going to use – this will help you decide on the flavour of your batter and can help your little ones understand what food pairs well together – try and have something that is soft and something that has some crunch in too to add some extra texture and make for a fun eating experience. Lay all your different toppings out in separate bowls and once your pancakes are ready to top – let your little ones add their own toppings on! Some of my favourite toppings are:

  • Fresh Fruit – try and use seasonal or unusual fruits to expand yours and your family’s palate and understand the importance of eating seasonally. 
  • Maple Syrup – I mean, it’s really a classic topper for any type of pancake. You can use Agave Syrup instead if you can’t find any Maple Syrup. 
  • Fruit Compote – blend up your favourite soft fruits and create a deliciously bright and tasty compote that can add a touch of sweetness and bring some fun to the table as you can let your little ones drizzle it over. 
  • Peanut Butter – this is a great topper and pairs amazing with banana batter pancakes and adds a little touch of naughtiness to all the fruit to keep the little ones happy! 
  • Yoghurt – a great way to use up any left-over yoghurts and to add some creaminess is to pour some yoghurt over your pancakes, or to dip your American Pancakes into! 

Why Not Give These a Go?

Don’t waste any batter – if you have a lot of batter why not go all out and create a Crepe Cake or Batch-Cook American Pancakes for quick and easy Toaster Pancakes throughout the week – make loads of flat crepe’s and then get your helper to layer their favourite toppings from above (or feel free to add in your own) in between each layer and keep going till you have a deliciously stacked crepe cake that looks amazing, is fun to make and even better to eat! Just slice like a cake and enjoy.

If you are making American Style Pancakes and have any batter left over, just cook them like normal but avoid putting any toppings on them. Let them cool completely, then wrap them together and pop in the freezer – just place in the toaster, on defrost setting for instant pancakes any time. Or even keep them in an air-tight container and in the fridge for up to 3 days for a grab-and-go snack, you could even use add peanut butter and jam (jelly) inside and have a pancake-sandwich! There are so many options – I’m pretty sure you could have a different pancake every day for a full year and never get bored. 

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