Rainbow Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday! Plus Two More Delicious Options.

Here’s one for those of you who want to make some super-special pancakes for Pancake Tuesday. 


I originally wrote this post in 2012 and I remember thinking at the time that this photograph was SPECTACULAR.  Oh how my standards have changed.  And my camera. That changed too.

This extra special pancake post is in honour of Shrove/Pancake/Fat Tuesday.  Whatever you want to call it the meaning is the same … YOU DON’T HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE HAVING FOR DINNER TONIGHT! Because you’re having pancakes.

You can throw in some bacon or mini-sizzlers too, or some fruit if you’re feeling fruity.

For these rainbow pancakes I used genuine old fashioned food colouring because there was NO way I was going to start boiling beets and turmeric to come up with natural food colouring for a stack of pancakes.

I also used my favourite pancake recipe, which comes in a box, and it ain’t a recipe box.

Just kidding.   Boxed pancakes are actually fine, but I used a classic  Buttermilk Pancakes recipe.

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Classic buttermilk pancakes that stack high to the sky.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 , 5" pancakes
Author: Karen


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 cups buttermilk if you don't have buttermilk just add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla optional
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil


  • Sift together dry ingredients.
  • In separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (not including vegetable oil)
  • Make well in centre of dry ingredients and gently whisk in wet mixture until just barely incorporated. You want lumps to remain. Lumps are good!
  • Heat pan to on medium. Brush with vegetable oil once hot.
  • Drop 1/4 - 1/2 cup onto griddle or non stick pan. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form on top. Flip, cook another 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.


Keep finished pancakes warm in 200 F oven.

That right there is just a delicious pancake recipe for you for Shrove Tuesday.  If you want to really make an impression here’s how to turn those classic, fluffy pancakes into Rainbow Pancakes.

I personally think that Rainbow Pancakes are the most Mardi Gras-ish of all the pancake variations for the day.

Rainbow Pancake Instructions

  • Measure out a half cup or so of your prepared pancake batter into a smaller bowl. (whatever amount you would use for  2 pancakes)
  • Add 2-3 drops of food colouring. GENTLY mix so you don’t knock all the air out of the pancakes.
  • No matter how hard you try, they’re going to end up being flatter than an “non rainbow” pancake.  That’s the price you pay to have a stack of pancakes that look like something Katy Perry would wear to an awards show.
 If you have kids, grandchildren, or a colour loving spouse (double points if you’re gay) I suggest you make these.
If none of these things apply to you but you still want to have pancake fun, I say go with these easy Pancakes with Faces.


And if NONE of these ideas appeal to you you can always just make regular, boring, plain old pancakes.  But if that’s the case then why even make pancakes at all?
Make French toast.

French toast

Easy French Toast
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 303kcal
Author: Karen


  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • Whisk egg, milk, cinnamon (if using) and vanilla together.
  • Dip each slice of bread into mixture and let it soak until the mixture is absorbed.  The heartier the bread, the longer this takes. 30 seconds or so on each side.
  • Heat non stick pan over medium/low heat then add 1 Tablespoon of butter.
  • Fry soaked bread until golden on both sides.  Place in 200 degree oven to keep warm.
  • Repeat until all your bread is fried.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 436mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Either way you’re having breakfast for dinner tonight and that right there is reason to be excited.

Rainbow Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday!  Plus Two More Delicious Options.


  1. VJ says:

    Thank you for the fun pancake recipe. My husband and I are in our 60’s and to really spice things up this Pancake Tuesday, we’ll be having rainbow pancakes for the first time, tonight! lol

  2. Alena says:

    The thought of having bacon or sausage with pancakes makes me wanna throw up. Literally.
    I don’t celebrate Easter so I will pass. I do like Buttermilk Pancakes and I am happy with the boxed variety (I think mine are President’s Choice). But I like them thin, like crepes.
    And I am having gulash for dinner tonight. I has a piece of beef that had been sitting in the fridge almost a bit longer than it should have and I was really lazy to get off my behind last night to do anything about it. But I did. I didn’t start until 8 pm but I made, completely accidentally, one of the best gulashes I have ever made. So that’s for dinner tonight.

  3. TucsonPatty says:

    I barely cook for myself anymore, and pancakes (and eggs) for Sunday morning out with my pals has become a great tradition. I’ll have to get to iHop tonight after work at 8 or so. That will work, they have decent enough pancakes for me. People tell me to “Just use Bisquick.” Icky tasting to me, having grown up to homemade buttermilk pancakes for breakfast on Sunday mornings. Bacon also, but only if we had company, but always with eggs – pancake sandwich for the win!! Double rainbow indeed! LOL

  4. Eileen says:

    ahh…that explains all the pancake recipes popping up today. As one who never pays attention to such things, and with an impeccable sense of timing, I had pancakes all last week as part of an attempt to use up a half gallon of milk that had gone off. I also had the largest pot of bechamel sauce you have ever seen outside a restaurant kitchen! This actually lead to some decent dinners, sort of Eastern European in flavor: 100% whole wheat pancakes (that’s the only flour I had) which had a slight bitterness to them, covered in sautéed cremini mushrooms and kale and the bechamel sauce. Tons of pepper in the sauce. Most delish! But…no more pancakes today, nope.

  5. Marna says:

    Love pancakes, and french toast! Thanks for reminding me it was pancake day! :)

  6. Mary says:

    The pancake and French toast recipes sound great. I had never heard of pancake day before. I’m in Tallahassee, Florida. We celebrate with King Cakes. I think the tradition started in New Orleans. I’ve ordered one for the first time, it has pineapple and cream cheese filling. Happy Fat Tuesday!

  7. Tina says:

    Oh! That’s right! I always forget it’s pancake day, simply because I’m not religious. But I’ll be religious for pancakes! And bacon! So thanks, that’s dinner settled for tonight!

  8. Mrs B says:

    My Grandkids love sprinkle pancakes. I put rainbow sprinkles in the batter. AS soon as the batter starts to wet the sprinkles, you get ribbons of colour through the mix. Or I add cocoa powder to the batter for chocolate ones, just 2-4 tbsps, enough to colour but not dry out the taste.

  9. Sherry says:

    Well, this has been my first visit to your site, via pinterest, and I have laughed all night… and THEN… I was inspired to figure out how to fix something instead of asking YOU how to do it, I searched, found and answer and I JUST FIXED MY SHAKING PIPES ALL BY MYSELF….SO HAPPY!!!!! AND THANK YOU!!!!! WHAT AN INSPIRATION…

    • Karen says:

      LOL. You’re welcome. When people ask me how I got to be able to do all the things I do I usually tell them the only difference between me and someone else is … I tried. That’s really all it takes. :) ~ karen

  10. Sherry says:

    Best best post… loved the “double pancakes” joke… best laugh of the day

  11. kewkew says:

    We have breakfast for dinner thursdays and pancakes are quite popular. I am always looking for different ideas. I saw this on pinterest and seeing as we are doing rainbows this week I thought it was perfect. Hoping I don’t mess them up.

  12. Lucy says:

    My 8 year old daughter made these on Shrove Tuesday. Her lil brother and sister LOVED them and now request them every weekend :)

  13. estee says:

    Double Rainbow Pancakes???? That made me laugh, so hard!! You are funny..

    • Karen says:

      THANK YOU Estee! I think you’re the only one to mention the double rainbow pancakes. I actually made myself laugh with that one! ~ karen

      • estee says:

        Miss K,

        I just stumbled upon your blog this morning through apartment therapy..and I’ve been spending way too much time reading your posts..I probably should get outta bed! :)there were times I had to wipe away hysterically-laughing-tears..especially LOVED the onion soup recipe on your dollar store table entry..

        Enjoy your Sunday and thank you for making me laugh!


        • Karen says:

          Thanks Estee! I mean .. sorry you’ve wasted your morning, but at least you’ve learned how to cure a yeast infection with frozen yogourt. Or have you got to that one yet? Oh dear. Sorry if I ruined the surprise. :) If you’re so inclined … please remember to vote for me. ~ karen!

  14. Wow! What a colorful breakfast!

    • Karen says:

      You should have seen it with the fresh fruit, whipped cream and orange juice. It looked like a Saturday morning cartoon on a plate. ~ karen

  15. Celine says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing! My kids will love these!! Off to the store I go to get buttermilk!!

    • Karen says:

      Celine – Whenever I make them I just add the lemon juice to the milk. Works fine. Ya know … if you can’t be bothered to go to the store. ~ karen

  16. Jennifer says:

    I see you shaking your finger at me with your have to have to have to… so I will, I will make these for supper! Better get hubby to bring home some bacon…

  17. cruella says:

    Beautiful! In Sweden Fat Tuesday brings “semla” which is a sweet white bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream. Dust it all with icing sugar:-)


  18. Marti says:

    You realize that NEXT Tuesday, February 28, leap-day, is actually NATIONAL PANCAKE DAY in the U.S.A. and possibly Canada, since it is sponsored by IHOP, the International House of Pancakes.

    (Disclaimer: not having been north of the US border for some years, I cannot verify this. But you go ahead.)

    • Karen says:

      Marti – Today’s the day we Canadians are eating pancakes. I’m pretty excited for pancakes and bacon for dinner. ~ k

      • Marti says:

        Is this a “Canadians All” thing? Or a “Fella and Me Invited Mom for Dinner and We’re Serving Pancakes” thing?

        • Karen says:

          All Canadian! Wooooo. ~ karen

        • Marti says:

          Did you change the notification policy on your blog or did I inadvertently hit the “send me an email every time anyone replies to my comment” button somehow, somewhere? It’s not that it’s a bad thing… but it’s unexpected and I’m curious.

        • Karen says:

          I added a plugin so when I respond to people’s questions they get a notification of it. ~ k!

        • Marti says:

          Yeah, Wayne and Selina told me you’re a LOT better at running your site than I am at op’ing NewsGaggle. But… I think we’d all be scared if I tried to “add a plug-in” (or heaven forbid a PINTEREST BUTTON!???) to NewsGaggle.

          Scariest part of my day is logging into that dashboard! Eek! Where’s my comforting carrot soup!??

        • Karen says:

          LOL. It just takes some getting used to. You’ll get comfortable with it. Lemme know if you have any questions you don’t want to bother them with. ~ k

  19. Gknee says:

    Those are the gayest pancakes ever. Definitely making these to be served with maple syrup, fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

  20. Gayla T says:

    The ladies of Liberal Kansas challanged the ladies of Olney England to a pancake race many years ago and it’s quite the Shrove Tuesday event around here. I can’t remember which country is ahead and I’m too lazy to look it up. They make the newspapers and TV stations and every few years in a low news lull, even the national news. You have to run in an apron and flip the pancakes a time or two but I don’t think they have rainbow cakes. The Evans children send you thanks although they don’t know it yet. I’ll be making these for them tomorrow. Dang it, I’ll have to look it up anyway because they will want to know why pancakes on Strove Tuesday and I can’t say I don’t know. My rep as a smart granny would be ruined.

  21. Annie says:

    When recipes say sift….do you reeeeaaalllllyyyy HAVE to, you know, sift?
    Making these tomorrow.
    Thanks again.

    • Karen says:

      Annie – Yeah … you’re usually better to sift, but sometimes I just put the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together. So …. you can just whisk if you want. ~ karen!

      • Annie says:

        Thank you.
        I whisked. They were BRIL!

        Buttermilk at room temp may have been good…my melted butter went all coagulate-y. Didn’t seem to affect taste or aesthetic.
        Thanks again

  22. Renee says:

    Very nice, Karen! So vivid, so bright! But what does it meeaaannnn?!?


  23. brie says:

    You just made pancakes even cooler!

  24. Bonnie says:

    Hi Karen,

    This is the first I have ever heard of Mardi Gras being pancake Tuesday! Thanks for the information. I am from New Orleans, and we don’t have pancakes for breakfast on Mardi Gras; they would soak up the alcohol too quickly.

  25. martina says:

    I don’t mean to be a grammer nerd, but you are using literally wrong in the second paragraph. You mean figuratively. Unless you maybe printed out 100 copies of the recipe and did, literally, trip over the stack of them later?

  26. marika says:

    Do you think mixing the food colouring with the wet ingedients would avoid loosing pancake-puff? Oorwould it just throw off the chemistry?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marika – That’s a good idea. I think it would work. The only problem is you’d have to make a bunch of tiny batches of pancakes unless you were going to make them all one colour. Also, no matter what, when you add the food colouring (even if its in the wet ingredients) it’ll require more stirring to get the colour even than it normally would So they’re always going to be a “bit” looser than normal. ~ karen!

  27. carey says:

    i hope you cracked open the nutella on these babies!

  28. Clare says:

    Speaking as an Australian, I know Dame Edna would totally love these, possoms!

    Fantastic idea, we will get our Dame Edna on, and have breakfast for dinner for us all on Tuesday. I even, coincidentally, have some gladdies in a vase already.

  29. Brenda j says:

    Dame Edna PanCakes… AWESOME.
    Thanks for the reminder of tomorrow being Shrove Tuesday though, I’d forgotten and although I never need an excuse to use REAL MAPLE SYRUP…pancakes are the best!

  30. Diane says:

    Oh! These look fantastic..and easy! :)
    The boyfriend works nights this week, maybe I’ll surprise him with breakfast when he gets home. That’s if I can get my sleepy head outta bed, otherwise I’ll try it for dinner. lol

    Enjoy Fat Tuesday we will! :D


  31. Nancy says:

    Round these parts we have doughnuts on Shrove Tuesday Ma’am..sorry..my fella’s watching a John Wayne movie..They are called Fastnaughts and they are yeast raised potato doughnuts..it is an old Pennsylvania Dutch tradition..and they are quite yummy..your pancakes are right pretty there partner..oops..I think he’s snoring..got to change the channel..I did that sometimes for my son when he was little..mashed potatoes too..then he sort of got hooked and wanted all of his food colored..it is fun to do and kids love it..Enjoy your pancakes Karen..and Fella..

  32. BGrigg says:

    Boxed pancake mix?

    A cup each of flour and milk, one egg, one tablespoon of baking powder, a pinch of salt and sugar to feed two people, and double or treble as needed. No boxes required, and it’s easy to remember.

    Combine different flours for various textures and flavours, or add nuts and grains for hippy cakes.

    I am SO glad my kids are too old for Rainbow pancakes, as it sounds like too much work first thing in the morning. They’re at the age that the only fancy thing you have to do to get them to eat is retract your hands from the plate.

  33. Denise says:

    Thanks! I may make these for my girls at the office! For lunch! Will definitely pack my frilly apron…

  34. Melanie says:

    So looking forward to making these for Pancake Tuesday! They are so pretty, I think I shall pin them!

  35. Rebecca says:

    I love this!

  36. Barbie says:

    My husband always likes breakfast for dinner…and I don’t, but these just might make me want to be more open to it. I will try these on Tue. My eight year old will love these….so will my 26 yr old! lol So glad for the tips…invaluable.

  37. Laura Bee says:

    So cool! I make silver dollar pancakes for my little one & I think I’ll have to do this Tuesday.

  38. marilyn says:

    love them! and i love love love pancake tuesday! but i cant do rainbow ones becuz i fill mine with blueberries..there would be a mutiny if i didnt.

  39. Hillary says:

    My dear departed daddy used to make these for breakfast when I was a little girl and had friends spend the night. Such fun!

  40. Belinda says:

    I fine using the gel food colouring helps them stay a little puffier and more vibrant.
    My kids love coloured pancakes, though I haven’t done them in awhile. You have inspired me to make them coloured pancakes on the weekend!

  41. Lucy says:

    I was away at college, living in an apartment with roommates, before I found out people ate pancakes for breakfast. I was a big treat for our family of 9 to have pancakes or waffles with bacon or sausage for dinner. I’ll make it a point to revert to my roots, not that I ever left them. Pancakes just seem to taste better in the evening. Perhaps it’s the anticipation and waiting for them all day. It’s just after midnight here. I’m starting to wonder if it’s too late for dinner.

  42. Violet says:

    I’m so hungry, I could eat a rainbow.

    Now tell us how to make rainbow syrup.

  43. Claudine says:

    Those are gorgeous! And being a tad lazy, I’ll make yellow, then green, and then wash the bowl, etc.
    Great find Karen.

  44. Whitney says:

    Thanks for this! Definitely going to try it the next time I actually get my lazy ass out of bed to make breakfast at a decent breakfast hour. Also, thanks for the double rainbow reminder, I need a good laugh, time to revisit!

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