Rainbow Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday




Yeah, I know!  They’re pretty spectacular in a Dame Edna kind of way.  These … are Rainbow Pancakes.


I was Googling around the Internet last week trying to figure out something fun to do with pancakes for Shrove/Pancake/Fat Tuesday.  This is not at ALL what I was looking for and literally stumbled upon the idea of Rainbow Pancakes.  I immediately halted all former pancake production to try this to see if it was really possible.

Sometimes, as I’ve discussed before, the Internet is a big fat liar, so I wanted to make sure this was do-able.  It is indeed, but there are a few tricks to it.

I 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 this recipe for my Buttermilk Pancakes.

Rainbow Pancake Instructions

  • Put on a frilly apron, some 40’s music and mix up a big ole bowl of pancake batter.
  • Measure out a half cup or so of pancake batter into a smaller bowl. (whatever amount you would use for  2 pancakes)
  • Add 2-3 drops of food colouring.  Red, Blue, Green, yellow … whatever you want.  Stir food colouring in gently so you don’t knock all the air out of your batter. No matter how hard you try, they’re going to end up being flatter than an “uncoloured” 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.
  • Cook your pancakes in a pan or griddle in 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil.  Make sure your heat is medium/low otherwise your pancakes will BROWN.  You don’t want the pancakes to BROWN like a regular pancake would brown a bit.  Once the pancake browns, you can’t see any of the colour anymore.  So watch them closely and don’t overcook them.
  • Stick your pancakes in the oven at 210° F to keep warm.
  • Clean out your bowl, add more pancake mix, a different colour of food colouring and cook like the first batch.
  • Once you’ve cooked all your pancakes, stack them all up on a plate, put em in the centre of the table and watch their eyes light up.


 If you have kids you HAVE TO make these.  HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO.  Have to.  I used regular old food colouring, but you can also use natural food colouring if you can find it.  Natural food colouring has the added bonus of not giving mice thyroid cancer.  Regular food colouring has the added bonus of already being in your kitchen cupboard.


And yeah.  I’ll be whipping this rainbow pancake post out again come Gay Pride week where I’ll be fashioning these tasty treats into a squirt gun bikini.


I probably won’t be having Rainbow Pancakes tomorrow for dinner.  I’ll be having the one and only thing BETTER than Rainbow Pancakes.
Double Rainbow Pancakes

The thing I love most about Pancake Tuesday?  It’s one day I don’t have to decide and think about what we’re having for dinner.  Enjoy.


  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Violet says:

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

    Now tell us how to make rainbow syrup.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. Laura Bee says:

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

  9. 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.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I love this!

  11. Melanie says:

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

  12. Denise says:

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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..

  15. 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! 😀


  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. carey says:

    i hope you cracked open the nutella on these babies!

  19. 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!

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. brie says:

    You just made pancakes even cooler!

  23. Renee says:

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


  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. Gknee says:

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

  27. 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

  28. 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:-)


  29. 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…

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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!

  33. 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 🙂

  34. 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.

  35. Sherry says:

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

  36. 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

  37. 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.

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