There are myriad ways to wish someone a happy birthday. You can buy a gift. You can send flowers. You can message them a heartfelt greeting. But wouldn't the latter be so much more significant—not to mention inarguably delicious—if it was scrawled across a heaping stack of pancakes? In her new cookbook, Over Easy ($14; amazon.com), chef Joy Wilson of the food blog Joy the Baker and the cult Instagram account Drake on Cake presents her most festive recipe yet, the aptly named Happy Birthday Pancakes, which feature rainbow sprinkles and come topped with a healthy dollop of whipped cream.
"In my mind, you would give these pancakes to the birthday boy or girl at their brunch party," Wilson recently said in a live broadcast on InStyle's Facebook page, where she gave the dish the Drake treatment by writing the name of his new album, More Life, on top in chocolate frosting (naturally). The most elaborate lyric she's ever written on a baked good, she said, is "my only wish is I die real" from the 2011 album Take Care. "But we put it on a big sheet cake, so it fit pretty well."
Read on for Wilson's full how-to, and put it in your back pocket for the next big birthday on your calendar.
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Generous pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon clarified butter, for the pan
2 tablespoons multicolored jimmies, plus more for the topping
How to Make It
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Pour the whole mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until the wet and dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Let rest for 10 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream by hand or with a hand mixer for about 5 minutes, until it holds very soft peaks. Add the confectioners’ sugar and a dash of vanilla and beat for about 3 more minutes, until it forms slightly firmer but still spoonable soft peaks.
4. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt about half of the clarified butter.
5. Just before cooking the pancakes, fold 2 tablespoons of jimmies into the batter. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoonfuls of batter into the skillet. Cook until browned around the edges, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter, adding the rest of the butter to the pan to cook (you should have 6 small pancakes).
6. Stack all of the pancakes on a plate. Top with the whipped cream, sprinkle with more jimmies, light a candle, and sing "Happy Birthday"!