How To Make Heart-Shaped Valentine's Day Pancakes Without A Cutter

On Valentine's Day, a stack of heart-shaped pancakes with syrup and a melty pat of butter can make your special someone's heart melt, as well. While you might assume you need a cookie cutter or mold to make these treats, that's actually not the case. You can make your Valentine's pancakes into cute heart shapes by using items you probably already have. You can choose from different methods according to your skill level, so that making breakfast doesn't end in tears (those should be reserved for when you receive a romantic gesture, as well).

If you're confident about going freehand-style, try pouring the batter into your pan into three circles, two at the top right next to each other and one directly below. You can then form the blobs into a neater shape by using a spatula to spread the batter around. Flip each pancake over, and your flapjacks should be all set. If you'd rather have a bigger helping hand, then you can try using a squeeze bottle, a pastry bag, or a strip of foil to make the hearts more precise.

Use a squeeze bottle to draw heart-shaped pancakes

If you have a steady hand, use a standard squeeze bottle to make heart-shaped pancakes. Just fill it with batter, and use it to draw the outline of a heart shape on a hot, greased griddle or pan. Cutting a little of the tip off will give you a wider nozzle, which can help you draw hearts faster. Once you've drawn your border, fill it in with batter using the same squeeze bottle or a ladle. Flip the pancakes once they start to bubble on top and are firm enough around the edges to lift.

To speed things up, try using two squeeze bottles. Cut the tip off one, but not the other. This gives you a thinner nozzle to draw heart outlines, but a thicker one to fill the centers more quickly. You can use our squeeze bottle pancakes recipe to create other shapes and designs, too. How about a rose, or even your partner's name, if you have excellent handwriting skills?

If you don't have a squeeze bottle, add the pancake batter to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ inch plain round tip, securing the tip with a rubber band, if necessary. The bag can then be used to pipe out and fill the heart shapes, just like with a squeeze bottle. A plastic bag with the corner cut off could work in place of a pastry bag, in a pinch.

Make a Valentine's pancake mold with aluminum foil

If your drawing skills leave a little to be desired, it's easy to make your own heart-shaped molds using plain old aluminum foil. Just fold a sheet of foil longways to create a long strip, about an inch wide. Then, fold it in half to create a V-shaped point at the bottom, before rolling the two ends inwards to make the curved top of the heart. Folding the foil around a wine bottle or can of food can help you achieve a nice, rounded shape on the heart's top. 

To ensure the mold holds its shape while cooking, use a paper clip or short strip of foil to secure the two loose ends at the top, so they stay together. Then, place the foil mold on a hot griddle, pour in the batter, and let the edges of each pancake set before lifting the foil away and flipping the flapjacks over.

One of the advantages of making your own mold, or drawing freestyle, is that you can make the pancakes in whatever size you like, whether you'd rather serve a few larger pancakes or many smaller ones. To embrace the Valentine's theme, try making slices of strawberries into heart shapes by cutting a V-shape out of the tops, then top with a heart-shaped pat of butter and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Or, take a look at these delicious ingredients to upgrade pancakes and tailor your treats to your partner's tastes.