Frosted Animal Cracker Pancakes
Add a little nostalgic fun to your breakfast with these frosted animal cracker pancakes! Fluffy pancakes are studded with crunchy bits of animal crackers, then finished with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkles.
Animal crackers were always a treat as a kid. If you were lucky, you’d get one of those little boxes of circus animals with the string on top for toting it around, but if you were really lucky, you’d get the animal crackers that are covered in white and pink frosting, then speckled with multicolored sprinkles.
These frosted animal cracker pancakes take the magic of that nostalgic treat and transform it into a colorful plate of breakfast pancakes. Your kids will love them, and you will too!
Make them for a birthday or celebration, or just whip them up to surprise your kids on a lazy Saturday morning. You don’t need a reason to enjoy a batch of frosted animal cracker pancakes!
About this frosted animal cracker pancakes recipe
Start with a basic batter. Just like our Almond Joy pancakes and blueberry pancakes, these kid-friendly pancakes start with a regular pancake batter. Instead of flavoring it only with vanilla, we add almond extract too, which is a common ingredient in frosted sugar cookies. It gives the pancakes some extra cookie goodness.
Fold in crushed animal crackers. Fold crushed frosted animal crackers into the batter for more flavor and crunch—the frosted coating keeps the crackers from getting soggy in the pancakes! If you’d like, you can add pink food coloring to the batter for that authentic frosted animal cracker look, or just keep them plain.
Topping ideas: Once you griddle the pancakes, all that’s left to do is top them! You can never go wrong with maple syrup or pancake syrup, but a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkles, and some extra animal crackers makes for a festive presentation.
What you need
- Wet ingredients – Egg, whole milk, melted unsalted butter, vanilla extract, almond extract
- Dry ingredients – All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, frosted animal crackers
- Optional ingredients and garnishes – Food coloring, whipped cream, sprinkles, maple syrup, frosted animal crackers
Note on the food coloring: We used Betty Crocker neon pink gel food coloring. Gel coloring allows you to achieve vibrant hues without watering down the batter, which makes it a great choice for coloring pancakes.
How to make them
Mix the wet ingredients. Whisk the egg, milk, butter, vanilla and almond extracts in a large mixing bowl until well-combined.
Add the dry ingredients. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Tip: If you want to color half the pancakes, as shown in the photos, divide the batter in half. Add the gel coloring to one bowl, and then fold in half of the animal crackers into each bowl.
Fold in the crushed animal crackers right before you’re ready to start cooking the pancakes.
Prepare. Set a griddle or skillet over medium heat and coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
Cook the pancakes. Pour the batter onto the preheated griddle in 1/4-cup portions. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface and the pancakes are dry along the edges. Flip and cook the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Tip: The batter will be quite thick. If needed, you can use the back of a spoon to spread it a bit.
The recipe for animal crackers is similar to that of graham crackers, but the added flavorings are different. Of course, the most obvious difference between the two is that animal crackers are shaped like animals!
Mother’s and Stauffer’s frosted animal crackers are available at many grocery stores, along with big box stores like Walmart and Target. You can also buy them online on Amazon. Target’s in-house Market Pantry line also makes frosted animal crackers, although they’re only white, not white and pink like the original.
How to make these frosted animal cracker pancakes your own
You’ll love these frosted animal cracker pancakes just the way they are, but if you want to switch things up a bit, here are some ideas.
- Add sprinkles. You’ll get some color in your pancakes from the sprinkles on the outside of the frosted animal crackers, but you can also add extra sprinkles to your pancakes for even more color.
- Get creative with the toppings. Add pink food coloring to the white chocolate sauce from our white chocolate pancakes, or add a cream cheese glaze for something different. Lemon whipped cream would also be delicious, as would vanilla butter.
- Make more colors. You don’t have to stick with pink! The color scheme in our unicorn pancakes would be pretty with these animal cracker pancakes too.
Refrigerate leftover pancakes for up to 4 days, or freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Reheat animal cracker pancakes on the stovetop in a dry skillet over low heat or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds on high. If you’re starting with frozen pancakes, they’ll take a bit longer to reheat.
More nostalgic breakfast recipes
Get the Recipe: Frosted Animal Cracker Pancakes
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup crushed frosted animal crackers (about 20 cookies)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Whipped cream
- Sprinkles (non-pareils)
- Maple Syrup
- Frosted Animal Crackers (whole or chopped)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg, milk, butter, vanilla and almond extracts until well combined.
- Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix. If desired, divide the batter in half and add food coloring to half of the batter.
- Fold in crushed frosted animal crackers.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and spray griddle or skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour batter onto preheated griddle or pan by using a ¼ measuring cup. Spread into an even layer if needed.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bubbles appear and pancakes look dry around the edges.
- Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.
- Makes about 8 pancakes (double batch made for photos in this post). Nutritional information does not include toppings.
- We used the “Mother’s” frosted cookie brand in this recipe.
- For the vibrant pink pancakes, we used Neon Pink gel food coloring by Betty Crocker. The food coloring should be added to the batter before folding in the animal crackers.
- The pancake batter will be quite thick. However, it needs to be like this to support the chopped cookies.
- The frosting on the animal crackers prevents them from getting soggy when they’re mixed into the pancake batter. We recommend folding the crackers into the batter shortly before you make the pancakes. The color and sprinkles from the frosted crackers will slightly bleed into the pancake batter. But, it gives the batter some fun rainbow colors.
- Storage: Store leftover pancakes in the refrigerator for up to four days. Save topping and garnishes for right before serving.
- Reheating: Reheat on the stovetop in a dry skillet on low heat or microwave for 20-30 seconds on high.