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Rainbow Lunchbox Pancakes

Rainbow Lunchbox Pancakes

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Rainbow Lunch Box Pancakes

Pancakes can be a fun and healthy alternative to sandwiches in the lunch box — and who among us can get our kids to eat cottage cheese and wheat germ at school? Now we can! All it takes is using The Sneaky Chef "Decoy" method. Make a few batches ahead and freeze for up to 3 months in sealed plastic freezer bags.


Missy Chase Lapine is the author of The Sneaky Chef series of cookbooks. Connect with her at or Facebook or Twitter.


  • 1/2 Cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 Cup low-fat milk
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup whole-grain flour
  • 1 Tablespoon multi-colored sprinkles
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Rainbow Pancakes

Rainbow pancakes are the perfect rainbow breakfast food centerpiece but can also be a great addition to St. Patrick’s Day, unicorn birthday parties, painting parties, and more! Or you can just whip a batch for your kids on the weekend to make it a bit more special!

Colored pancakes are always a hit! Learn how to make blue pancakes, green pancakes, and your favorite color with this easy recipe!

All of our recipes have a recipe card at the bottom of the post so you can skip down to it. But I highly recommend checking out our tips and tricks for making these fun pancakes!

Rainbow Pancakes

One reason I love holidays so much are the traditions. Doing something unique on special days is what makes them so significant. These traditions can be big or small, but they’re always dear. And for me, they almost always center around food.

When I was a child, my mother used to make cinnamon rolls for Valentine’s Day breakfast. She is not a yeast-baker, so she always baked canned cinnamon rolls and we loved it and looked forward to this every year. It was a sweet start to a day filled with Valentine Jello Hearts, Guava Pastelitos and other memorable practices.

As I was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day, I thought making breakfast with or for your family would be a fun way to start the day. Why wait until lunchtime (when I’m sure you’ll be making a rainbow grilled cheese!) to get the party started? And so these lucky rainbow pancakes were born.

I used Amanda’s homemade pancake mix to whip up these colorful hot cakes. All the convenience of a box mix with all the taste of homemade! As an extra mix in, I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter.

Once you’ve mixed the batter, you’ll need to evenly portion it into six bowls, about 1/3 cup per bowl. Add your food dye to each bowl creating red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Follow the formula on the dye packaging to create non-primary colors if your dyes only include red, blue and yellow. Since every brand varies, you’ll need to add a small amount at a time until a vibrant color is reached.

Ingredients you need:

  • 2 cups master mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Food dye
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Helpful tools:

You can make these rainbow pancakes any size you like, but since six pancakes equal one serving here, I like to make them dollar-sized. They’re so cute and remind me of the coins found in the pot at the end of the rainbow! Tip: cook these on a dry nonstick pan over medium-low heat so they don’t brown and ruin the colors. I served them with fluffy clouds of sweet whipped cream.

13 Best Rainbow Recipes to Brighten Up Your Day

For anyone who likes to live their life as colorfully as possible, welcome! You've come to the right place. You're probably a fellow maximalist like Ree Drummond, who loves all things bold, bright, and fun&mdashwhich is why we're sure you'll love each one of these rainbow recipes.

These rainbow foods will put a smile on anyone's face, whether you're making a snack for Pride, a St. Patrick's Day dessert, or a fun weeknight treat. Heck, the rainbow cheesecake bars or cupcakes would even make great 4th of July desserts! You could build out an entire rainbow meal with these recipes, starting with the snack board, then moving on to the pizza, and finally finishing it all off with a slice of cake. You'll also want to add the rainbow sangria to your list of easy cocktail recipes&mdashjust layer in colorful fruit and you have one delightful sip!

Whether you're looking for fun recipes to make for a party, or you just want to try your hand at a new dish, these rainbow recipes are guaranteed to brighten your day.

  • 3 cups grated russet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons grated yellow onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons potato starch
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying, or more as needed
  • Fine salt, to taste
  • 4 cups grated purple potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons grated red onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons potato starch
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying, or more as needed
  • Fine salt, to taste

For the russet pancakes, preheat vegetable oil in a skillet until it reaches 350 degrees F.

Grate potatoes and onion, set aside. Place measured amounts into a clean bar towel or cloth. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Whisk eggs and whisk in potato starch, salt, and white pepper until smooth. Quickly fold onion and potatoes into the egg mixture.

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out a potato pancake. Place into hot oil and flatten with a spatula.

Fry until golden brown and flip with a slotted spatula (about 4 minutes per side). Fry for an additional time until the second side is golden brown.

Use a slotted spatula to remove the pancake to a drain pan or rack. Sprinkle with fine salt.

Use the same directions to make the purple potato pancakes using the ingredients listed above.


Stir vanilla into pancake batter. Divide batter evenly into 4 bowls. Tint each bowl a different color. Stir 20 drops (about 1/4 teaspoon) red food color into one bowl. Stir 15 drops green food color into second bowl. Stir 15 drops blue food color into third bowl. Stir 10 drops yellow food color into last bowl.

Pour 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake onto preheated lightly greased griddle or skillet. Cook 1 minute per side, turning when pancakes begin to bubble.

Serve rainbow pancakes with butter and maple syrup or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, as desired.

These Banana Oat Pancakes Are Packed With Rainbow Sprinkles, So Feel Free to Make a Huge Stack

What if we told you that you could have your cake and eat it, too . . . for breakfast? These thick and decadent "Funfetti"-inspired banana oat pancakes taste as though you are starting your day with a slice of birthday cake, all while being chock-full of nutritious whole ingredients without the additional fillers.

Without the sprinkles, the base recipe for these pancakes calls for only five ingredients: oats, eggs, a banana, a splash of dairy-free milk, and vanilla (optional) — making them versatile, gluten-free, and naturally sweet. While there are a variety of different ways you could flavor these pancakes, my favorite way to enjoy them, by far, is by adding a generous amount of vegan, dye-free rainbow sprinkles to the batter — and a bit more on top while they cook.

First, gather your ingredients.

If using whole oats, blend oats until they've reached a powdery consistency.

Combine all ingredients except the sprinkles in a blender. For optimal blending, we recommend adding the wet ingredients (eggs, banana, milk, and vanilla) to the blender first, then adding the oat flour on top.

Transfer the pancake batter from the blender to a large measuring cup and fold in half of the sprinkles.

Warm a clean skillet until it is very hot, then spray it with nonstick cooking spray right before you pour your first pancake. The hotter your skillet is, the more golden brown and evenly cooked your first pancake will be.

Sprinkle on additional rainbow sprinkles.

Carefully run a spoon or a flat rubber spatula across the uncooked surface of the pancake before flipping to ensure a more even texture on the bottom of the pancake after flipping.

Cook until both sides are golden brown. Stack and top with light whipped cream or your favorite syrup.

Banana Pancakes

The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

Kids will enjoy finding the fruity surprise inside these banana pancakes. The batter includes sour cream and cottage cheese and most of it is mixed in the blender. When cooking the pancakes, you'll add one floured banana slice to each for a fun twist.

  • 1 small sweet potato, shredded
  • 1 small Yukon Gold potato, shredded
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup Nordica 2% or 4% Cottage Cheese
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Gay Lea Spreadables, or as needed
  • ¼ cup Gay Lea Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C). Toss sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes with zucchini, carrot and green onion. Stir cottage cheese with flour, eggs, salt and pepper until well blended pour over vegetables and stir to combine.

Melt a little Spreadables in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Scoop 1/4 cup (50 mL) portions of vegetable mixture into skillet flatten using back of measure. Cook for 5 minutes per side or until browned and cooked through. Transfer pancakes to a baking sheet in oven to hold warm. Repeat with remaining vegetable mixture, adding additional Spreadables to the skillet as needed. Serve pancakes with sour cream and cheese (if using).

Use a box grater or a food processor to shred the vegetables.

Leave the skin on all the vegetables for added fiber and nutrients.

Freeze extra patties on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to warm gently in a skillet or the oven for a quick lunch or side dish.

Dr. Seuss is one of our favorite authors of all-time and so we look forward to Dr. Seuss Day all year long! Of course, it's also Read Across America Week at school so we are starting the week out with some fun lunches to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday! Keep reading to find out how to make them for your own family!

Lorax Lunch
Ingredients: Rainbow pasta (see video below to make them), orange and white cheese, nori, yellow sweet pepper, goldfish crackers, dried mango, Babybel cheese.

1. Place rainbow noodles in main compartment. Cut The Lorax body, arms, eyelids, nose, and mouth from cheddar cheese. Cut his mustache and eyebrows from sweet pepper. Cut the middle of his eyes from nori. Assemble as shown on top of noodles.

2. Pour goldfish crackers (1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) into side compartment.

3. Place mango in second side compartment. Cut two Babybel cheese in half and create the Cat in the Hat's hat out of it as shown.

Dr. Seuss Lunch
Ingredients: Rainbow noodles (see video below to make them), swirl pancakes, red apples, white string cheese, strawberries, goldfish crackers.

1. Place rainbow noodles and goldfish crackers into side compartments.

2. Make two different colors of pancake batter and place in squirt bottles. Make a swirl with one color. Let cook for two minutes. Make another swirl inside the first one with the second color. Cook all the way through and let cool. Place in main compartment and surround with strawberries.

3. Cut red apple into long pieces. Do the same with string cheese. Place on top of pancakes alternating apple and cheese to make the Cat in the Hat.