Sometimes the nicest gifts are the little things we do for people to show how much we care about them. Starting a child’s birthday with a special breakfast doesn’t take much extra effort, but it can leave an indelibly good childhood memory. There’s always something fun and a little bit special about pancakes, whether it’s dinner or breakfast, and the variations are endless, so you can personalize pancakes to suit your birthday boy or girl’s love of blackberries, oranges, or chocolate chips.
We have an old plate that says “You are Special Today,” which we used on birthdays, even mailing it off with a homemade cake when the girls were away at school on their birthdays. These plates are still easy to find on Etsy.
It seemed like a fun idea to make the pancakes in several different sizes, to mimic the look of a big multi-layered cake. I added orange and lemon zest to the batter, sliced oranges for garnish, a little syrup and the first birthday candle of the day, to officially begin the holiday proceedings. Breakfast in bed is nice, but it’s a lot to ask of a young child to contain themselves in bed when they’ve just awakened to their birthday, so I used to set a special place setting at the breakfast table instead. From here, you can add balloons, flowers, a little gift or a message about what’s planned for the rest of the day. It’s a great way to start a special day, and here’s a little secret: you may think you’re doing this for your child, but who’s having more fun right now? That’s right, so enjoy yourself and the lovely thing you’re doing!
Birthday Breakfast Pancakes
Serves: one special person
Prep time: 15 minutes
(You can also use a pancake mix if you’re short on time.)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, or whole milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- zest of one orange and one lemon
- segments of fresh orange for garnish
- birthday candle
- Whisk ingredients together until batter is smooth. Heat a large frying or griddle to medium-high heat, and pour batter on to hot surface. When bubbles fill the top of the pancake, flip, and allow other side to bake until golden brown.
- To make graduated-size pancakes for the ‘layer cake’ look, make 3 or 4 pancakes that are about 6 inches in diameter, 3 or 4 pancakes that are about 4 inches in diameter, and three small pancakes that are 2 inches in diameter. (There’s no need to sweat this – just eye it up as best you can.)
- Stack the pancakes up in graduated sizes, garnish with oranges or other fruit, add syrup, light the candle. Serve and sing. (“Happy Birthday,” of course.)