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Copycat Elf on The Shelf IHOP Pancakes

This IHOP Elf on The Shelf Pancakes Recipe is a Copycat recipe you can make at home! You can whip up a batch of these fluffy green pancakes topped with cream cheese icing, whipped cream and shimmery elf sprinkles in no time!

This year, IHOP announced a new Elf on The Shelf menu that is filled with fun foods and treats for kids.

While that menu is certainly fun, eating out can be expensive and tough to do when you have a large family like we do. Trust me, taking out 3 kids isn’t easy!

So, we decided to recreate this fun elf breakfast at home and it turned out just like the real thing!

Not only is this recipe super easy to make, it is fun and kids will love making these and then having their elf make sure they finish their breakfast. Because ya know, Santa is watching!

Oh, and I have a secret for you – kids love colorful food!

I cannot tell you how many times we’ve made homemade pancakes over the years just for my kids to ask, “can we put food coloring in it?”. Yeah colorful food is just better and more fun to eat.

So, if you enjoy IHOP Pancakes, you are in for a real treat because these taste almost identical to them and you can make them over and over again right in your kitchen.

Our top secret for making them fluffy – cook them slowly.

As you can see from the photos, the pancakes are fluffy especially on the inside. Slow and steady wins the race with this recipe. Otherwise, you’ll burn the outside making them an ugly brown and they will end up crunchy and dry rather than fluffy and moist.

How do you know when your pancakes are done cooking?

Great question. As soon as the top side starts to bubble, you flip the pancake over. Once that starts to fluff up (about 3-4 minutes) you want to remove them from the pan and prepare them to eat.

Tips for Making IHOP Elf on The Shelf Pancakes:

  • If you want your pancakes to look more green and less brown, cook them slowly on a lower heat (like we did – more info on that above).
  • You can use any pre-made pancake mix and just add green food coloring if you’d like.
  • The cream cheese icing will melt on the warm pancakes so you can let them cool before adding it if you prefer.
  • This recipe will make about 4 servings depending on the size you make your pancakes. We made smaller pancakes and gave each of our kids three pancakes stacked.
  • Store any leftover pancakes in a plastic bag or airtight container and eat them later.

More Kid-Friendly Recipes:

Want another fun Elf on The Shelf Idea? Check out this Elf Isolation House!


5 from 2 votes
This IHOP Elf on The Shelf Pancakes Recipe is a Copycat recipe you can make at home! You can whip up a batch of these fluffy green pancakes topped with cream cheese icing, whipped cream and shimmery elf sprinkles in no time!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12


  • 1 ½ Cup Flour
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ½ Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Shimmery Elf Sprinkles red and green
  • Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Whipped Cream


  • Start by combining the dry ingredients into large bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt). Shift together.
  • In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (egg, buttermilk, and vanilla).Next, melt the butter in the microwave. Add wet ingredients and melted butter to the dry ingredients. Stir as you slowly add in wet ingredients and butter. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer. Just mix until the batter is slightly lumpy.
  • Now add in the green food coloring (we used about 6 drops green food coloring to get the right color) and stir to mix and change the color of the batter. You can use as much food coloring as you need in order to get the desired shade of green. 
  • Heat up a pan on the stovetop to medium-low heat (you can also use a griddle). When the pan is hot, melt some butter or use cooking spray and then add a scoop of pancake batter to pan (roughly 1/3 of a cup).
  • Be patient and let it cook on one side until you notice bubbles start to form on top of the pancake (roughly 5 to 7 minutes). Flip pancake over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Trust me, cooking these slow help make them fluffy and keep the green pancake from burning and having an ugly brownish tint to them.
  • Remove from pan and place on plate. You can keep these warm in between making them by placing a sheet of tinfoil on top of the plated pancakes.
  • Once the pancakes are done, melt a few teaspoons of cream cheese frosting in a microwave. It melts fast so only cook for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Once you are ready to serve up the pancakes, drizzle melted frosting onto the top of pancakes and top with the whipped cream and the shimmery elf sprinkles.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 763mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate only; actual values will vary based on the exact ingredients used and amount of recipe prepared.

Course Easy Recipes
Cuisine Breakfast
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