You don’t have to be an artist or expert food stylist to turn out the prettiest pancakes ever, thanks to the availability of pancake molds in all sorts of whimsical shapes, from circus animals to flowers and butterflies, to planes, trucks and trains. You can even find molds to celebrate many holidays, so you can wow the kids by serving bunny-shaped pancakes at an Easter brunch, or start a new annual tradition by serving Santas and snowflakes on Christmas morning. Check out our entire collection here.
The molds are easy to use, but you might need to practice a few times to get Instagram-worthy results. Here are a few tips from our Test Kitchen for pancake success.
- Grease the inner surface of each mold with vegetable oil, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. This well help the pancakes release easily from the molds.
- Place the molds on the griddle, with the handle facing up, and preheat the molds until very hot.This is one of the most common mistakes that rookies make. Molds that aren’t preheated will be much more likely to stick.
- Spoon or squirt about 1/3 cup batter into each mold. Don’t overfill the molds; the batter should come no more than two-thirds of the way up the sides. If you use too much batter you risk the batter spilling over, because the it will expand slightly as the pancakes cook.
- Using a pancake pen makes filling the molds easier. A squeeze bottle with two tips of different size, a pancake pen gives you maximum control over where you place the batter, and it prevents untidy drips, A removable bottom makes it easy to refill the pen as needed. Alternatively, you can repurpose a plain squeeze bottle, like one used to dispense condiments, to squirt the batter into the molds.
- Using a spoon to fill the molds also works fine; it just takes a little more care and patience to fill more intricate molds.
- Cook the pancakes until bubbles form on the surface and the batter begins to pull away from the molds, about 2 minutes, then carefully lift the molds away from the pancakes and set aside. If you try to remove the molds too soon, the pancakes won’t hold their shape.
- Using a spatula, carefully flip the pancakes over. Continue cooking until the undersides are golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a warmed plate or a low oven to keep warm while you finish the remaining pancakes.
- Wipe the molds clean, grease them again, and preheat again before making more pancakes with the remaining batter.