“Tank”, the pancake turtle

Turtle shaped pancake
By popular demand- I made a turtle. For some reason I thought I was going to be able to mold the shell into a lifelike three-dimensional shape, and then reality set it. Pancakes like to stay flat I guess. Undeterred, I decided to use brute force and just squished the pancake into the shape I wanted. I need to figure out some sort of semi-hemispherical cast-iron dome shape to make subsequent turtle shells. I take pancakes seriously.

Here’s the video of Allie and I making the turtle- enjoy! PS- I wasn’t letting Ryan cry in the background by himself, Erin was with him :)

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23 Responses to “Tank”, the pancake turtle

  1. Abie April 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    I’m wondering if you would care to give your recipe for the pancake batter…
    Your pancakes look amazingly yummy, and I am still looking for the perfect pancake recipe !

  2. Heather April 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    I love the turtle!! I can’t see the video right now, but I would have made the shell 3D by making a short stack of pancakes in decreasing size (like your volcano) to go under the turtle shell. Smallest on the bottom (counter-intuitive) would give a better “slope” and “curve”.

  3. Adam April 21, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Inspirational Jim! I’m going to have to try my hand at coloured pancakes for my little girl.

  4. Erica April 22, 2010 at 2:50 am #

    These are great. I tried making letters for my nephews when they visited but now I can see I was doing it all wrong. How many figure pancakes have you made and how long before you made the ones you have posted?
    Thanks for the inspiration for my next Sunday breakfast.

  5. Jonathan April 22, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    need to figure out some sort of semi-hemispherical cast-iron dome shape

    Have you tried a wok?

  6. Angel May 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    soooo sweet! Love this idea.

    I also love it when your daughter said “oh my goodness” heheheh too cute!

  7. chrissy May 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    i just found your site, but i totally love it. you are definitely the best dad ever, wish my dad would have constructed engineering marvels and my favorite animals out of pancakes for me! haha

    in regards to the dome, have you ever thought of an aebleskiver pan? http://www.chefscatalog.com/img/products/285×285/24431_285.jpg
    you wouldn’t be able to make a very big turtle shell, but you could make a bunch of smaller ones :)

    not to mention pancake balls are pretty cool (and could come in very handy to you as a tool) all by themselves!

  8. Max May 9, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    Second on the Aebleskiver pan recommendation. With your flap jackin’ skills, you should be able to master them and then start making cool treats in no time.

  9. lindsey* May 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    the aebleskiver is cool, but maybe easier, if you have one of those single egg cooking pans (the mini skillet) flip that over and lay the pancake on top so that the pan gets hot and keeps the pancakes warm, but it also molds to the shape of the pan.


  10. Ronda C. May 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    The “As seen on TV” pancake puff maker would be good for the turtle shell.

  11. nina May 15, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    have you tried- low heat, cook the pancake partially, then add another layer, let it cook partially, then another and another like so? i mean it would have to be ridiculously low heat, and the top may end up less cooked than the bottom (unless you turned it over and let it wobble a bit green side down)

  12. Amber.Seg May 16, 2010 at 5:08 am #


    I wish my dad was this cool.

    They look pretty amazing. You’re family is very lucky to have you.

    I think you should tryyyy something Australian like a boomerang or the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the Sydney Opera House .. then us Aussie fans would be happy :)

  13. Jim May 18, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    True! But that would be cheating… :)

  14. Guillermo May 18, 2010 at 10:49 pm #


  15. Maria May 22, 2010 at 2:38 am #


    Your pancakes are AMAZING!!! Thanks so much for making the video…I made a turtle for my kids and they loved it!!

    Check it out in my blog.


  16. Julia June 3, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    I made this for my little sister and husband. They loved them. You are so creative. I bet your daughter feels so special and will remember her dad’s pancakes for the rest of her life!

  17. trixerelixer June 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    need to figure out some sort of semi-hemispherical cast-iron dome shape

    have you thought about layering “shells” say you start with a 2.5 in green circle then a 2in, 1.5in, etc…a pyramid effect but circular for a 3d shell effect?

  18. Tabitha October 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    I watched Rachel Ray yesterday and you had said that you use strawberry, blueberry and cocoa for the colors but what do you use for the green color?

  19. Jill November 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Very cool pancake art! Love it!
    I have to ask if Erin asks, “uh, honey, can you stop making pancakes for just a minute and help me in here?”?? :)

    P.S. I love it when Allie tells you that shoot is a bad word and that “fat” is bad and you explain that bacon fat is different.


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