Thursday, March 15, 2012

LadyBug Pancakes for Edible Book Festival


Ever since I saw this event "Edible Book Festival"  announced I wanted to take part in it. A fun way to spend a weekend with the girls I thought. But I wasn't sure what exactly to create until one fine night under the comforter we read "Pancakes, Pancakes" for Lil Sis.(by Eric Carle)

"Pancakes" it hit me. "We can do pancakes".

"We can color it", said Big Sis who always tries to find an excuse to use the tiny box of food colors we had got last year and rarely used.


I decided to go with one of Little Sis's book simply to get her interested. Big Sis is a voracious reader and needs no motivation. And it really did--got the little one all piqued. She diligently followed the steps needed to make a pancake from flour, to milk, to eggs, to butter and then promptly fell asleep. It was tedious if you started from the wheat bit and followed the long supply-chain involved in making a pancake. But it also gave the kids a good idea that even a simple food like pancake involves a complex process.

After narrowing it down to Pancakes we decided to shape it like The Very Hungry Caterpillar because, because...ummm well we thought a caterpillar would be easy to create with pancakes.


All things said and done I made this very easy and totally reliable Pancake Mix on Friday night before going to bed at 12. I like to plan my days. I am very organized that way.Not.

On Saturday morning due to my superb organization skills there was crisis. We searched high and low and could not even get a whiff of The Hungry Caterpillar-- the book. Like many of Lil Sis's belongings I am sure it is tucked away somewhere to be found 1, 5 or even 10 years later.



So then Big Sis suggested a LadyBug pancake based on "Ladybug Girl Dresses Up"(by Jacky Davis) another of Lil Sis's favorite books. She loves how Lulu dresses up as a pirate, an astronaut, a spy and then finally a ladybug. Since we had enough food color to paint the town  a ladybug with red wings and chocolate chip dots appealed immensely to both the girls. I got idea of a ladybug pancake from here (they have more lovely ideas there).The girls of course went wild with the color and added a teal blue sky, greenery around and flashy red wings with day-glo orange for the antennas.


Then they added more colors and made a caterpillar. Then they added more and made stuff I did not even recognize. Finally we ate them with a good drizzle of Maple syrup. The pancakes were soft, fluffy and just right.

The Pancake recipe was courtesy Nigella Lawson snagged from here. The Homemade Pancake mix is such a brilliant, brilliant idea that I have been gushing over it. You can make it ahead and store it in an air-tight box. I used it within two days but I think it will keep for a week. Oh and I also made some pancakes and froze them to be used during the week. My first time freezing them and I thought it was a pretty helpful thing to fall back on busy week days.

This is my entry for edible Books going over to Play By the Book.

And on the creative note do checkout the lovely Etsy store stocked with the cutest framed appliqued art work of my another favorite blogger Peppercorns in My Pocket.


Homemade Pancake Mix and Critter Pancakes

Make Pancake mix

All-purpose flour ~ 2 cups
Baking powder ~ 1.5 tbsp
Baking soda ~ 1 tsp
Salt ~ 1/2 tsp
Sugar ~ 1 tbsp + 2 tsp

Mix all of the above ingredients and store in an air-tight jar or box.

Make Pancake batter

For the batter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
to about 1&1/8 cup of the dry pancake mix. Mix gently to combine. Do not overmix.
Note: the recipe said to add 1 cup pancake mix but I wanted thicker American style pancakes and so added a little more.

Make the pancakes

Heat a flat griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Grease with little butter or oil.

Spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle and when bubbles appear on the surface of the little pancakes, flip them over to make them golden brown on both sides.

For the ladybug pancake we used
1/4cup batter mixed with cocoa powder to make the body,
1/4 cup batter with red food color for wings,
1/8 cup batter with cocoa for head,
1/8 cup batter with orange food color from which strips were cut for antenna.

Chocolate chips made the polka dots.


  1. What a fun project for the lil princesses of yours ! The lady bug and caterpillar looks pretty. I am sure you also had fun :-)searching for the tucked away books, story of my life !

  2. This is really cute. I should do something like this with my niece. The last time, I did some face painting for her and she was thrilled, kept it on through siesta and later on.

  3. My granny used to do in dosa batter to create kitten, fish but no color...That is an exciting project with kids, the lady bug and deco is very fascinating Sandeepa. A cute bug idea! Probably the leftover color will be put in great use for Easter!

  4. big hug for the mention, sandeepa!
    the artists you have at home are really inspiring me now! they absolutely nailed the bugs! super stuff :))

  5. Your budding artists have done a fanatstic job! All congrats to them.And to you for making an effort with all this.Love this color pancake idea.

  6. Cute platter :) luv this nytime

  7. What a super fun way to engage the girls in creative activities! The caterpillar is super cute. I have a question though..why add both baking soda and baking powder to the mix? Could we do with adding either that is available?

    1. Jagruti

      I just followed Nigella's recipe and I can vouch for the softness of those pancakes

  8. What an WOW!!! idea! How beautiful creations! But Sandeepa, did u need to take the pain of finding the book - u all could search the image of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle' and u cud get exactly what u needed! :D I must appreciate the efforts and end results of yours! Once again WOW!

    1. I could Aditi but I thought it might be nice to read the book again when we do the art since the book is the main factor of this event.

  9. @Sandeepa: Lovely idea! wonderful colours...reminds me of my "Holi celebration" some days back..(a "colourful" dinner on my blog)

  10. Great idea...:) The very hungry caterpillar is one of my daughter's favourite books too :) Now we'll make caterpillar cookies perhaps!!

  11. That is so darn cute and a great way to spend your Saturday morning with the kids.

  12. Aww now that is perfectly adorable! Have you seen that trick where they put pancake batter into a squeeze bottle and squeeze out designs on the pan?

    That Etsy store is adorable too- thanks for the link.

  13. eto mishti shNuyopoka jiibone prohom dekhlam Bong Mom. apnar protibhay aro ekbar mugdho holam.

  14. Such nice way of interacting with kids Sandeepa..sometimes becoming a kid makes one understands the world of kids even more.."Very Hungry Caterpillar" is an epic book here..amar meye ekto choto chilo tokhon porechilo bodhaye..did you discussed about what caterpillar or ladybug would like to eat since it was about eating n making food...khob shundor post hoyeche..hugs and smiles

  15. Very different...

  16. Reading Your blogs since past few months...quite intresting and very innovative. I'm a great fan of bengali cuisine as my mother's cooking was influenced by the same after she spent few years in bengal. Since last few days craving to have some vegeterian dish with kasundi ....could you please suggest any...
    Thanks and Regards

    1. Jayashree try this one Instead of the Mustard paste add only Kasundi.

  17. That's so creative and a great way to get the kids involved...My son loves the idea of baking, but this is so interesting, if I go by his interests and books, we will be making many cars, planes and robots !! Boys !!

  18. what a fun little project. I have to try it out with Lil A :)

  19. The patisapta picture looks just like yours.

  20. These are so seriously super cute. I have to do something during summer vacation. P is almost 11 and she still loves these books (and so do I ) and I do not think any of would mind making something so creative. never froze pancake. But will try it next time. i always have extra batter left and then i usually throw it. never even ref.ed. it.

  21. Awesome style of recipe writing... I love this


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