birthday pancakes!

growing up, one of my best friend's parents always made us this wild breakfast the morning of her birthday.  we would spend the night at their house the night before, and come morning we were sure to find this colorful display of sugary goodness waiting for us at the table.  it was pretty much the best thing that could happen to a kid and we looked forward to it every single year.

flash forward to one week ago, and that long-time friend of mine gave birth to her first baby the night before her own birthday.  he is such a precious peach; she might even love him more than these delicious pancakes ;)

on her actual birthday, april 4th, we went back to the hospital to visit.  her sweet parents brought a huge cake there to celebrate her big day.  it was the exact same group of people eating cake in her hospital room that shared this pancake breakfast together at their house every year of her life.  in a way, it made me feel really grown up and old to be celebrating her birthday in the hospital next to her newborn baby, but at the same time i think i was just as excited about making these pancakes today as i was when i was 8! :)  i just thought it was a really special moment to be there with alex, her parents, and my best friend katie, just as we had done so many times before.  

i couldn't stop thinking about these chocolate pancakes after that.   so to celebrate alex & baby finn's birthdays, here is an ode to the most magical birthday breakfast, inspired by alex's awesome parents who always, always, always found the simplest ways to excite us kids out of our little minds.

did you see the movie, 'the little princess' circa 1995?  well for me, coming to the table to see stacks of chocolate pancakes and every color sprinkles and fruit and bacon and sausage and whipped cream and all these fun toppings pretty much made me feel just like

the scene where the girls have a mysterious feast waiting for them in their bedroom

when they wake up and the food is steaming hot and the sheer orange curtains are letting the most gorgeous morning light in on all these amazing flowers and they have new robes and surprise slippers and there's this mystical foggy glow and there are chimes and sitar music coming from nowhere and its like in slow motion kind of and there is also a cute monkey and its truly magical.  yep so take that actual beautiful visual and picture me and my two friends and her little brother at a table shoving chocolate chips and reddi-whip and sausage links in our mouths until we couldn't move.  it was way less glamorous, but that's honestly how cool i thought this breakfast was.

an elementary school kid's dream.

ice cream toppings for breakfast?!? sign us up!

and we'd each probably only be able to eat one pancake with all the toppings before we were totally gut-bombed.  bless those parents for going above and beyond and then probably throwing away ten pounds of food.

then we'd probably go watch a disney movie or run around in a field or put our sleeping bags on our heads and walk around the house.  those were the simpler times.

happy birthday to alex, and welcome to earth, baby finneon! :)

Chocolate Pancakes

Makes 10-12 medium sized pancakes


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 TB. sugar
  • 1 cup + 1 TB milk
  • 1 egg white, 1 egg yolk (separated)


  • sliced banana
  • sliced strawberries
  • sprinkles
  • chocolate chips
  • whipped cream
  • maple syrup
  • chocolate syrup
  • cherries
  • Whatever you want!
  • Choose your own adventure! 
  • Go nuts! Its ya birfday.


In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.  Add the milk.  Crack the egg and carefully separate the egg white from the yolk, placing the egg white in a small bowl, and the yolk into the bowl with the dry ingredients and milk.

Heat a large pan to medium heat and brush with a light layer of butter or cooking spray.

Beat the egg white until fluffy and almost firm.  Set aside.  Mix the dry ingredients, milk, and yolk until there are no lumps.  Add the whipped egg white on top and fold in gently with a large spoon to maintain fluffiness.

Once the pan is hot enough, drop about a 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan with the large spoon.  You can do 2-4 pancakes at once, as long as they don't touch each other and blend together.  When bubbles begin to pop, carefully flip the pancake over and let cook for about one more minute.

Remove from heat and serve immediately with all your delectable toppings!!! Yummerz!