What is pancake cereal?
Pancake cereal is a hybridization of pancakes and cereal—more specifically, it is a variation of cereal made up of dozens (or even hundreds) of tiny pancakes drizzled with syrup. Unlike traditional breakfast cereals, however, the milk is completely optional.
This familiar, yet new concept has become the “it” food of quarantine 2020.
The (very brief) history
In early 2020, many individuals had just began their New Year’s resolutions of losing weight. Going organic, reducing sugar and dairy, or cutting out specific foods were common adjustments of those trying to eat healthier.
Not so surprisingly, however, many quickly disregarded their well-intentioned attempts at healthier eating once mass lockdowns were implemented. They turned to their old and familiar eating habits as a source of solace. Comfort foods became the go-to in quarantine diets with carbs and junk food leading way. The kitchen became a haven to help others ease their minds and fill their stomachs. From homemade banana bread and cookies to chips and ice cream, seemingly everyone had been stress baking…and, more frequently, mindlessly eating.
So how exactly was this ingenious cereal invented?
While some keyboard warriors claim that this new breakfast cereal trend derived from Dutch poffertjes, which are small pancakes, the fact that both are made from small pancakes is pure coincidence.
While everyone was baking bread and cookies, a TikToker by the name of @sydneymelhoff posted her food invention, pancake cereal, on April 20, 2020. (Figures that such a craveable food would be invented on 4/20. ?) She had also posted other unique foods she had made including: a mini stack of pancakes, mini eggs, mini bacon, mini banana pancake rings and pancake poutine, but it was her unique cereal creation that instantly “caught fire.” The comfort of eating tiny warm pancakes in a recognizable cereal form, paired with the fact that it was so easy to make, made for the perfect (food) storm. Within days, “pancake cereal” became a worldwide food craze.
As the popularity of pancake cereal gained steam, multiple versions started popping up all over the internet.
Pancake cereal flavor variations:
- rainbow pancake cereal – This variation uses pancake batter mixed with food coloring to create a multi-colored cereal.
- ube mochi pancake cereal – Instead of traditional pancake batter, ube mochi pancake mix is used to create tiny purple pancakes for this cereal.
- cookie cereal – This is another type of cereal hybrid, but rather than miniature pancakes, this cereal uses mini cookies. They can be made from any type of cookie dough (chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies, etc.)
- donut cereal – This cereal is composed of a bowl of small donuts with milk.
- brownie cereal – This cereal is made up of specially-made brownies cut into small cubes and put a bowl and covered with milk. According to its creator, the 4 ingredients used in this type of brownie (powdered sugar, cocoa powder, egg whites and chocolate chips) prevents it from getting soggy.
How do I make pancake cereal?
Making pancake cereal is very easy and straightforward. You’re simply making tiny pancakes and putting them in a cereal bowl. Here’s the recipe.
- squeeze bottle / sandwich bag (with small hole cut in corner) / spoon
- mixing bowl
- cereal bowl
- large pan
- 1-2 cups pancake mix (see pancake batter instructions for exact amount)
- milk or water (see pancake batter instructions for exact amount); additional milk for cereal (optional)
- butter (to grease pan)
- maple syrup, chocolate syrup or condensed milk
- toppings (e.g. banana slices, strawberries, blueberries, etc. – optional)
- First, make your pancake batter and put it the squeeze bottle / sandwich bag / spoon.
- Grease pan with butter and place over medium-high heat.
- Gently pour pancake batter into small dime-sized drops onto your heated pan. Allow tiny pancakes to cook 1-2 mins (or until they stop bubbling).
- Scrape tiny pancakes off pan with spatula and make sure they are cooked on both sides.
- Put tiny pancakes into your cereal bowl. Repeat steps 2-4 as necessary to fill cereal bowl.
- Add any desired toppings, drizzle maple syrup on top, then pour some milk…if you wish. Enjoy!
Tip: If you decide to pour milk on top of your pancake cereal, only pour half as much as you normally would since the tiny pancakes soak up liquid quickly.
Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.