flippin’ over saipancakes

Nathan and daughter Alice

If you love pancakes, raise your hand!

Okay, just as I thought. That pretty much includes everyone.

Chances are good that if you’ve cooked pancakes for your kids (or the kid in you), you’ve probably made them with faces or in fun shapes now and again. But have you ever thought of kicking those pancakes up a notch with more intricate designs by theme?

Enter Seattle illustrator Nathan Shields, whose pancakes are not only amazing works of art but delicious teachable moments. He started making “silly pancakes” for his son Gryphon (6) and daughter Alice (3) while living in Saipan several years ago. These days all three of them “batter up” in the kitchen, creating pancakes inspired by books, movies, cartoon characters, animals, insects, and other real and imaginary creatures, with Nathan’s designs continuing to become more detailed and elaborate.

It’s fascinating to watch how quickly he can squirt out a new design — darker outlines hit the griddle first before he fills in the spaces. I love his portraits of famous people and fictional characters as much as his “scientific” sets (arthropods, marine invertebrates, cephalopods, beetles, wildflowers, reptiles, sharks, birds, human organs). If you’re into math, behold his fractals. Of course he’s also made many perennial kid faves (pirates, dinosaurs, Bad Piggies, monsters, robots, sport figures, bunnies).

They’re calling him the Pancake Genius. Who else would make human parasite pancakes? Who’s ever had a chance to actually eat them with lots of butter and maple syrup?🙂

Enjoy these sample platters and videos. Is there anything more endearing than a dad and his two adorable kids working and playing together in the kitchen? Food tastes better when you make it yourself and enjoy doing it. What a great weekend tradition — the possibilities are endless. Now I’d like to know where Nathan got that extra wide spatula.🙂

Ahoy, matey!
Marine Invertebrates

Beetle Mania

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Watch Nathan make some Beetles:

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These kids are the cutest:

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A princess and a portrait:

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Looks like fun, no? They make their batter with Bisquick mix and soy milk. Nathan says it takes practice, but the kids love eating all the mistakes.🙂

I think this is Nathan’s favorite set to date:



For lots more, visit Saipancakes.com.

You can follow Nathan on Twitter here. He’s open to suggestions for new pancake themes. I hinted that a set of bears or hats would be nice.

Don’t know about you, but I wanna go to his house for breakfast!🙂

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wkendcookingiconThis post is being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Join the fun and learn about new cookbooks, recipes, and foodie fiction, among other delicious delights.


Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

40 thoughts on “flippin’ over saipancakes

  1. They are amazing! Phil is always making pancakes and recently started doing real objects. I’ll show him these😉


    1. He actually started out using a turkey baster — then found out that the plastic condiment containers worked well. So clever!


    1. The level of detail is incredible — it must be a little tricky flipping the ones with thin/narrow parts without breaking them.


    1. He’s done some birds already (you can probably find them on his blog). He definitely should do a portrait of Colin Firth!!


  2. Wow!!! Love, love, love!!!!! And, yes, you need a big spatula. They are clearly having a ton of fun.


  3. These are so cool! I love the octopus, and the clownfish, and the reindeer….Those beetles! And the fish! My goodness, what a great way to teach kids about taxonomy!


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