Pancake art – Five things I learnt from my first attempt

For a while now I’ve been wanting to have a go at pancake art, and this week I finally did it.

Here’s my first attempt – a reindeer pancake. I think that perhaps calling it “art” is a bit generous, I doubt I’ll be winning the turner prize any time soon. Although judging by some of the previous winners maybe I’ll be in with a chance 🙂

Reindeer pancake art

OK, I’ll admit it, it’s not actually my first attempt, it was my third. Here’s the first…

Reindeer pancake art

Erm…… I’m not entirely sure what happened with this one. The parts I did first ended up lighter than the parts I did at the end – not what’s supposed to happen.

The positive thing is that if I can improve so much after three attempts then just think what’ll I’ll be drawing after a bit more practice.

If anyone has any suggestions for what I should try next, please challenge me in the comments.

Five lessons I learnt from my first attempt at pancake art

I’m definitely no expert and I need a lot more practice, but I’ve learnt a lot just from my first couple of attempts.

1) Make sure the pan is hot before you start

If it’s not you’ll end up with a strange inverted picture like I had in my first attempt.

2) Don’t touch the pan with the bottle.

I used small plastic icing bottles, which have a tiny nozzles and were perfect for drawing the outline. However, if you touch the pan with the top of the bottle (as I did) it cooks the batter at the end and clogs it.

3) Fill the large areas as quickly as possible

I used the icing bottle for the entire pancake. However, you can clearly see lines across the face showing where I squirted in the batter. In future I’d use a small jug for these areas so that they fill more quickly and you get a more even colour.

4) Wear long sleeves.

I completely underestimated how hot it would be holding my arm over the pan. By the time I’d finished the first pancake my entire forearm was bright red.

5) I can’t make videos

I thought it would be a great idea to make a video of my first attempt at pancake art to share with you all, but it wasn’t great.

I set up the camera to give a great view of the pan. Unfortunately pretty much all you can see throughout the entire video is my arm, and it isn’t even in focus.

My voice also sounded funny. I know that happens when you listen to yourself back, I have made plenty of home videos in the past and I’ve got used to what I sound like. This was different, oddly fake-posh like a bad audition for Downton Abbey. Something I’ll have to work on if I want to try again.

Fortunately I did have a few moments when I moved my fuzzy arm out of the way and you can see what I’m doing (I think I was trying to stop my arm burning too much!) and I managed to get these screen shots showing my progress.

Reindeer pancake art

If you’ve ever tried pancake art or you want to give it a go I’d love to see a picture of your attempts. You can tweet them to me at @Charlotte’s Lively KitchenUK

Pancake art – Five things I learnt from my first attempt has been linked to…

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  1. I’ve made similar pancakes recently, it was quite a fun

  2. Wow, looks great! Not sure I have the ‘talent’ for it though, hehe 🙂 #tastytuesdays

  3. Somehow it seems to be tough to find a good pan. Rarely I meet someone who is truly happy with his/her pan, haha.

    I always use butter, but I have to admit my pancakes don’t always come out great 😉

    Thx for the tips!

    • Frying pan happiness isn’t something I tend to talk about all that much. perhaps I should bring it up more often in conversation to see if I can find a great one 🙂

      I usually use butter when I make regular pancakes, it was only for these that I switched.

  4. Wow the deer looks great! What kind of pan are you using? Do you add butter?

    • Thanks Howie.

      The pan is a Jamie Oliver by Tefal hard anodised frying pan. I’ve got a few different pans from that range but to be honest I’ve not been impressed with them as they haven’t worn well. If you need a large frying pan I’d suggest you get something different (I certainly wouldn’t buy another).

      I used a thin coating of vegetable oil (spread with a bit of kitchen paper) instead of butter. Butter gives the pancakes a better flavour but it can burn which would have ruined the appearance of the reindeer.

  5. So cute! Very festive and I think your steps give clear instructions without the need for a video (still trying to figure those out too). Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

  6. These are awesome!! Love the tips too. I find videoing anything by the stove really hard as it always seems to be an odd angle and always looks a funny colour in my house as there’s no decent light there. There must be some trick to it?! Thanks for linking these to #festivefoodfriday 🙂

    • Thanks,

      I don’t think my light is too bad, I just had a complete lack of forethought when it came to camera position. I’m going to try and record my next attempt so fingers crossed it’ll go a bit better.

  7. Genius! I’m not surprised it took a few goes, but such a fun result. #Tastytuesday

  8. how clever, i’ve only ever done standard round(ish) pancakes #TastyTuesdays

  9. Wow these are so clever! Well done you! Even your first attempt is better than what I could achieve! Art was never my thing! Although pancakes are 😉 #tastytuesday

    • Thank you.

      If I had the time I’d eat pancakes every day (always in a rush in the morning so it doesn’t happen). What’s you favourite pancake/topping?

  10. I love these! I am not so sure that mine would be as successful, but I am going to attempt them on Christmas morning.

  11. It looks brilliant! I would never have thought of doing anything like it. Great tips, there, too. I am rubbish at making videos. In fact, I have never tried filming anything other than the kids doing something cute or silly. We could go to a class together!

    • Sounds fun, although I really need to sort out my still photography first before I branch out onto anything moving!!

      Do you go along to any of the blogger events? It would be lovely to say hi if we’re ever in the same place 🙂

  12. These are amazing chick, thanks for all the tips, want to make these now x

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