I’m excited to bring you a fun idea today that will make you feel like a food artist in no time! 😉
This post should also come in handy for the upcoming holiday, because if you’ve got school-aged kids like me, then you know that “Thanksgiving” represents much more than a big turkey feast. It also (typically) means that your kids are home for a week!
These Southwestern Inspired Pancakes are a great way to add a creative spark to one of those vacation day mornings, and they’re surprisingly easy to make. In a nutshell, you just use tinted pancake batter, standard squeeze bottles, and a cookie cutter to cook fun designs right into your pancakes. 😍
And if you’re feeling extra-inspired, you can set a matching Southwestern style table too. Get all the details on my simple & modern Kids Thanksgiving Table below, including the cute “Pumpkin Deer” centerpiece tutorial + free printables!
SOUTHWESTERN DESIGN INSPIRED PANCAKES
- Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix
- cooking spray
- food coloring
- squeeze bottles
- cooking funnel (optional)
- large metal circle cookie cutter (around 4″)
Mix up the pancake batter and divide it into 3 separate bowls. Tint 2 of the bowls with food coloring and leave the 3rd bowl natural. Pour each of the pancake batters into its own squeeze bottle (a funnel will make this easier). Bring your pan or griddle to 375º (medium heat), and coat both the pan and the inside of the cookie cutter with cooking spray.
Use the squeeze bottles to “paint” a simple pancake batter design on the pan, as shown below. Let the design set for about half a minute, then place the cookie cutter on the pan, directly on top of the design, and flood it with the natural colored batter. Use just enough batter to fill out the circle. Let the pancake cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes (or until the top is nice and bubbly), then remove the cookie cutter and flip the pancake over.
Let the pancake cook for about a minute on the 2nd side, then remove and start a new pancake design. There’s no need to be perfect here… just play around with the designs and do what makes you happy! I really liked using chevron stripes and dots in my designs. :)
You can also do some freehand pancake shapes without the cookie cutter step – I found that hearts worked well in particular…
That’s it for the pancakes! And now for some details on the matching kids Thanksgiving table… let’s start with how to make the centerpiece:
Pumpkin Deer Centerpiece Tutorial
- Medium sized white pumpkin (real or faux)*
- Pumpkin Deer Printables
- Cardstock for printing
- Felt (orange and blue)
- Hot Glue
- Wooden bamboo skewers – 2
*I used a faux craft pumpkin here that was about 9” in diameter.
1. Print and cut out the deer elements.
2. Use hot glue to add the eyes, “face paint”, and nose/mouth to the front of the pumpkin.
3. Antlers: Make little folds about a half-inch up the bottom of each antler to create “flaps” at the bottom that will sit flat on the deer’s head. Hot glue bamboo skewers (pointy side down) to the back of the antlers to keep them sturdy. Make sure to leave a couple inches of wood skewer hanging off the bottom, as you’ll need this to insert the antlers into the pumpkin. The wood only needs to extend about halfway up the antlers. Cut off the excess wood skewer at the top.
4. Ears: Freehand-cut 2 leaf shapes from the blue felt + 2 much smaller leaf shapes from the orange felt. Put a dab of hot glue towards the bottom of each felt “leaf” and pinch together to create dimension, then glue the pinched orange pieces on top of the pinched blue pieces.
5. Hot glue the ears in front of the deer antlers. Done!
I kept things super simple here with DIY felt placemats and printable napkin rings! These are seriously the easiest DIY placemats ever… just stagger 2 sheets of felt on top of each other and hot glue them together, then hot glue small squares of a third color of felt in the corner to fill in the gaps. That’s it! I love the fun color-blocked look they have:
You don’t have to keep all of your placemats the same color, either! For this table I did one orange/aqua/beige combo and one blue/cream/beige combo. I also cut some of the extra felt into triangles to use as “confetti” around the centerpiece.
Happy Thanksgiving! :)
This project is brought to you in collaboration with Krusteaz®. As always, all thoughts, designs, and opinions are my own. THANK YOU so much for supporting the companies that make it possible for me to keep the creative inspiration & ideas coming your way!