Vegan birthday cake pancakes are a fun and festive way to celebrate someone you love on their big day! Also called funfetti pancakes or sprinkle pancakes, these birthday cake pancakes are served up with sprinkles galore and easy vanilla icing.
Funfetti pancakes are simple to prepare and serve, making it easy to wish a big happy birthday to your special someone. Let the celebrations begin!
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Vegan Birthday Cake Pancake Ingredients
You probably have all the ingredients on hand to make up a batch of birthday cake pancakes as this recipe uses primarily pantry staples. We’re tweaking our basic vegan pancake recipe to create some fun and delicious pancakes. You can serve these with butter and maple syrup or you can make a super simple vanilla icing to really get those sprinkles to pop.
Flour: All-purpose is the pancake go-to for us, but we’ve swapped in bread flour in a pinch.
Sugar: We recommend cane or white sugar to keep the flavor mild just like funfetti cake! Although brown or coconut sugar does work.
Baking Powder: The best leavener for pancakes as it’s double-acting– once when mixed with wet ingredients and twice when it hits a hot pan.
Almond & Vanilla Extract: The combination of both almond and vanilla extracts is truly what helps these pancakes hit peak Funfetti flavor.
Salt: Necessary to meld and heighten all the flavors together.
Milk: Soy or coconut are recommended however any plant-based milk or even cow’s milk will work.
Oil or Melted Butter: In the batter, these help make pancakes tender and light. In the pan, these help make pancake edges crispy and golden brown!
Sprinkles: This is what makes them festive! The long, skinny sprinkles called jimmies are the best to use here as they don’t bleed colors and turn the batter a muddy color. If you plan ahead, you can order sprinkles in the birthday person’s favorite colors if you like. We recommend these on Amazon. This company makes high-quality sprinkles that don’t bleed AND they sell a lot of different celebratory color combos!
Alternatively, you can use a pre-packaged pancake mix and simply add sprinkles to the mix. Or to prepare in advance, make a batch of our homemade pancake mix 🙂
Perfect Pancake Batter
If you’ve tried any of our other vegan pancake recipes, you know we use the lesser-common technique of wet first, then dry into the mixing bowl. We chose to add all wet ingredients to a mixing bowl and then sift in the dry so the batter is less likely to have dry pockets of flour stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
Vegan pancakes and vegan waffles are fluffiest and lightest when the batter is minimally mixed and left to bubble up and rise. Adding the dry ingredients to the wet makes it tremendously easy to combine the batter.
Pancake batter will begin to bubble up and rise immediately as you combine wet and dry ingredients. Baking powder is activated twice: 1st when it’s mixed with wet ingredients and 2nd when it is heated. For this reason, we want to minimally mix and let the baking powder work its magic!
When To Flip Sprinkle Pancakes
Knowing the right time to flip pancakes can feel like a major mystery, especially that first pancake. We do have some signs to watch for to help you feel confident that it’s time to flip.
Watch the edges: The sides of the pancake will cook up before the middle so keep a close eye here. The perimeter of the pancakes will start to set and dry out. It won’t look wet and shiny like the center of the pancake.
Watch the bottom: As the pancakes start cooking up and the edges are setting, you can use a spatula to peek and look at the bottom for deep golden brown coloring.
Look for bubbles & holes: Bubbles are a great thing and they signal that your baking powder/baking soda is doing their job! These leaveners create carbon dioxide in the batter and the heat creates steam which pushes that trapped CO2 up and out, causing bubbles. The golden rule is bubbles on the surface mean the pancake is still cooking, but holes- which are popped bubbles- mean it’s ready for a flip. Now, depending on how thick your batter is, you may not see many bubbles or holes and that’s okay.
Don’t overcrowd the pan: If using a skillet on the stovetop instead of a griddle, you may only have room for 1 large or 2-3 smaller pancakes. Pancakes are difficult to flip when they are too close together and they will spread a bit as they cook.
Variations To This Recipe
We love these pancakes for birthday breakfast treats but you can get creative and use them for so many other fun occasions all year long!
Sprinkles: Change up the colors of the sprinkles you use based on the holiday or season! Red & green for Christmas, Orange & black for Halloween, red, white, & blue for 4th of July, etc.
Icing: Add food coloring to the icing for different holidays. The flavor will remain the same but coloring the icing really makes these pancakes POP! Gel food coloring is the way to go for vibrant colors.
Any leftover birthday cake pancakes can be stored in the fridge for about 5 days. You can stack them on top of one another in a zip-top bag or storage container. They will stick together a bit here and there, but it’s minimal.
Reheat in a toaster 1-2 times on a low setting until hot. To reheat in the oven, place pancakes on a sheet pan and cover with aluminum foil. Place in a 350* oven for 5-7 minutes until hot.
Vegan Sprinkle Pancake FAQs
- Why did my sprinkles discolor the batter? Many types of sprinkles will bleed when mixed with liquids like pancake batter. For best results, we recommend jimmies, the long thin sprinkles like these.
- Can you make this recipe oil-free? You can omit the oil in the batter and cook in a dry non-stick skillet or use melted vegan butter. Oil helps give the pancakes a soft and tender texture on the interior. Cooking the pancakes in oil or melted butter results in a better texture, but it’s not required if you are avoiding oil.
Vegan birthday cake pancakes are a fun way to surprise your friends and loved ones on their big day! These pancakes cook up quickly and use minimal ingredients. Sprinkle pancakes are super festive and sure to put smiles on faces around the table!
- 1.5 cups non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 sprinkles (jimmies, the long, thin sprinkles as they won’t bleed)
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk or water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine all wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to a sieve and sift into the wet ingredients. If you don’t have a sieve you can sprinkle & spread all dry ingredients on top of the wet.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until the batter is JUST mixed– small lumps are okay.
- Let the batter rest and thicken for 5-10 minutes as you pre-heat your skillet or griddle to medium heat.
- Coat the skillet well with vegan butter or spray oil then pour the batter into the skillet using a measuring cup and spatula.
- 1/4 cup makes 8-9 silver dollar-sized pancakes.
- 1/3 cup makes 5-6 adult-sized pancakes that are easy to flip.
- 1/2 cup makes 3-4 big, restaurant-style pancakes that may be more challenging to cook & flip.
- Cook the pancakes on the first side for 3-4 minutes. When ready to flip you’ll notice a few small ‘holes’ on the surface and the edges will appear cooked, taking on a dry, matte appearance.
- Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Or place pancakes on a wire rack until ready to serve as this prevents condensation and soft undersides. Pancakes can be kept warm in a preheated 150* oven.
- To make the icing, mix sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk together to form a drizzly consistency. If the icing is too thick, add more milk to thin teaspoon by teaspoon.
Cooking pancakes in vegan butter resulted in more even browning and those delectable crispy brown rings around the pancakes in comparison to oil. You can use either or even omit entirely.
To get crispy pancakes and crispy brown rings around the edges you need a lot of butter swimming around on the skillet or griddle. The edges of the pancakes will fry in the butter.
Our general rule for cooking pancakes is 3 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second. That first pancake doesn’t always have to be a flop– adjust the cooking temperature based on the consistency of your batter and set a timer for the first few pancakes!!!
If you are using a cast iron skillet, you may need to lower the heat after your first couple of pancakes if your pancakes are cooking too fast.
Keywords: Vegan birthday cake pancakes, sprinkle pancakes, funfetti pancakes