These super cute jack-o’-lantern pancakes are super easy to make and are as festive as it gets for a fun Halloween breakfast! They’re made with your pancake mix of choice so they’re versatile, and the kids will gobble them up faster than you can say “Trick or treat!”
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Jack-o-lantern pancakes taste better than regular pancakes. It’s true! Don’t ask me how it works, but somehow, taking regular pancake batter, making it bright orange and bright green, and then shaping it into a pumpkin makes it taste 100x better than just… making a pancake. And then you put chocolate chips in it?! Magic.
- This recipe is almost as much fun to make as it is to eat! Jack-o-lantern pancakes are SUPER easy, and you can totally get your kids to help you out in the kitchen with this one. Good food AND good memories!
- They fully embrace the spoopy season. If you’ve never heard that term before, then allow me to introduce you. “Spoopy” is fairly common around social media this time of year, for the last few years. According to Merriam-Webster, the technical definition is “amusing internet slang describing cute, comical, or silly versions of typically spooky subject matter such as ghosts and skeletons”. So bright orange jack-o-lantern pancakes with chocolate chip eyes and teeth? Totally spoopy.
Pancake Batter – The great thing about this recipe is that it’s 100% customizable. The type of pancake mix (or recipe) you use is up to you. Your jack-o-lantern pancakes could be gluten free, dairy free, vegan, keto, low carb, paleo, fluffy and thick, crisp and thin – whatever you like!
Food Coloring – For a super vibrant color without using a ton of food coloring, use gel or gel paste colors. They’re thicker and more concentrated than the regular liquid ones, so you get a better color with less work.
Chocolate Chips – You’ve probably had chocolate chips mixed into your pancake batter before. Delicious, right?! Well, I’m giving you permission to play with your food right now, so instead of mixing them straight into the batter, we’ll be using chocolate chips to make our jack-o-lantern pancake face! Use whatever you like best – dark chocolate, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate all work.
Note: To make this recipe even more festive and seasonal, add a little pumpkin pie spice to the pancake batter! If you don’t like the taste of pumpkin, don’t worry – there’s no pumpkin in it. Pumpkin pie spice is generally a blend of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, clove, and nutmeg.
- A little tip for filling your sandwich bag with batter! Grab a cup (like a plastic drinking cup) out of the cabinet or wherever you keep them. Take your plastic sandwich bag. Put your hand in the bag, into one of the bottom corners. Now, stick that corner (with your hand still in the bag) in the cup. Use your other hand to fold the top of the plastic bag down around the edge of the cup (the inside of the top of the bag will face out now). Take your hand out of the bag. Voila! Now you can transfer batter right into the bag! The cup will hold the sandwich bag up and open so you’re not fumbling with it or making a huge mess. When you’ve got all the jack o lantern pancake batter you need in the bag, just unfold the top of the bag from around the cup’s edge, twist it closed, and snip the bottom corner off so you have an opening for piping.
- If you want to get more precise (or artistic) with your jack-o-lantern shapes, use squeeze bottles! Like those plastic ketchup and mustard bottles. They’ll give you a little more control than a cookie scoop or a plastic bag/piping bag.
- Make sure the jack-o-lantern pancakes are mostly cooked through on the first side before you flip them over. If the second side cooks for too long, the jack-o-lantern face will be brown instead of orange and you’ll probably have a melty mess instead of facial features.
You’ll Love These Kid-Friendly Recipes, Too!
- Frozen Yogurt-Covered Grapes
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chick-Fil-A Style)
- Peanut Butter Pancakes
- Instant Pot Applesauce
- Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls (Cinnabon Copycat)
- Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt Bark
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Easy Jack-O-Lantern Pancakes
- Large bowl
- Small bowl
- Cookie scoop with release handle (or measuring cup)
- Plastic sandwich bag (or piping bag)
- Kitchen scissors
- Large skillet
- Non-stick cooking spray
- pancake batter made from mix or recipe of choice
- orange food coloring or red + yellow food coloring
- green food coloring
- chocolate chips 9 per pancake
- In large bowl, prepare pancake mix of choice as instructed in pancake recipe or on pancake mix box.
- Remove approximately ⅕ of the prepared batter and transfer it to small bowl.
- Add very small amount of orange food coloring (or red + yellow food coloring) to remaining batter in large bowl. Stir thoroughly to tint batter, adding additional food color in very small increments as needed to achieve desired shade of orange.
- Repeat above step using green food coloring for pancake batter in small bowl.
- Transfer green pancake batter from small bowl into plastic sandwich bag (or piping bag). Work batter down into one corner of sandwich bag and snip off corner tip, leaving small hole (approximately ⅕-inch wide). Prop cut corner of bag up when not actively in use to prevent batter leaking everywhere.
- Preheat large skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Use cookie scoop or measuring cup to ladle approximately ⅓ cup of orange pancake batter into hot skillet. Let orange batter set.
- "Pipe" green pancake batter into skillet, "drawing" a square/rectangle at top of orange circle to make stem. Fill in shape with additional green batter. Make sure green better actually touches orange batter, or stem won't stay connected to pumpkin.
- Let pumpkin-shaped pancake cook until set on sides (it'll be more matte rather than glossy) and bubbles appear on side of pancake facing up. When bubbles appear, press chocolate chips onto orange circle to form jack-o-lantern face, with pointy ends of chocolate chips pointing toward green stem to resemble triangular cut-outs.
- Once chocolate chips are placed, very carefully flip pancake over with spatula (pancake should be mostly cooked through before flipping). Cook approximately 15 seconds on second side. Be careful not to overcook this side or the jack-o-lantern face will be brown and the chocolate chips melted.
- Transfer finished jack-o-lantern pancake to plate and keep warm. Repeat process with remaining batters. Serve warm as-is or with desired toppings.
- Don’t forget any ingredients you’ll need to prepare the pancake mix – eggs, milk, etc.!
- Make it Gluten Free: Use a gluten-free pancake mix or recipe.
- Make it Low Carb/Keto: Use a keto pancake mix or recipe and use keto-friendly chocolate chips.
- Make it Vegan: Use a vegan pancake mix or recipe and vegan chocolate chips.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use a dairy-free pancake mix or recipe and dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Make it Paleo: Use a paleo pancake recipe, paleo chocolate chips, and natural food colorings (or make your own).
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.