Meatless Monday Challenge

Easy Baked Christmas Pancakes

on December 8, 2023
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These Christmas Pancakes are naturally dyed green from spinach, baked in the oven, and shaped to resemble a Christmas tree for an easy, fun, and festive way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Only 20 minutes required, and no need for frying and flipping your pancakes makes this an easy, hands-off recipe!
Christmas pancakes cut into rectangles and shaped on a plate like a Christmas tree.

Looking for a cheerful breakfast to make the whole family smile on Christmas morning? These Christmas Pancakes are easy to make, deliciously buttery, and festive and fun!

Dyed green naturally from spinach, these pancakes are easily baked on a sheet pan for a hands-off cooking experience, cut into rectangles and then stacked on a plate to resemble a Christmas tree. This fun breakfast idea is an annual tradition in our house!

Christmas Tree Pancakes adorned with raspberry ornaments and a star anise tree topper.

Christmas Tree Pancakes Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Spinach. I love blending spinach into these pancakes to sneak in extra vegetables and naturally dye them green. It does subtly change the taste of your pancakes. If you would prefer not to add spinach, simply omit the spinach and use green food coloring instead. I’ve tested both ways and both turn out vibrant and delicious. I used 15 drops of green food coloring and got very vibrant Christmas pancakes!
  • Milk. Any unsweetened, unflavored milk works—dairy or not.
  • Eggs.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Unsalted butter.
  • All-purpose flour.
  • Light brown sugar. You can swap dark brown sugar in a pinch.
  • Baking powder.
  • Salt.
  • Cooking spray to grease your sheet pan.
  • Optional- pretzel rod, raspberries, powdered sugar, and star anise.
all ingredients for Easy Baked Christmas Pancakes - baby spinach, salt, butter, eggs, cooking spray, milk, vanilla extract, flour, brown sugar, baking powder

Sheet Pan Christmas Pancakes Tips and Tricks


Start by Blending the Spinach

Using spinach to turn your pancakes green is a natural way to achieve a fun Christmas tree color while also sneaking in some vegetables. It does change the taste very subtly. In my opinion, once you add the maple syrup, you can barely detect it.

Add the spinach and the milk to a blender and blend on high until the spinach completely breaks down. combines with the milk, and turns it green.

If, however, the idea of adding spinach to your pancakes is not appealing, you can use green food coloring instead. Use it in place of the spinach—just enough to turn the milk a vibrant green.

Blending spinach into milk to naturally dye pancake batter green.

Melt the Butter in the Microwave

Arguably the best part of pancakes is the fact that they’re fried in butter. So when we are taking the pan-frying out of the equation, we still want that buttery taste! Solution? Add butter to the pancake batter!

Put your butter in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 30 seconds to melt it. Stir with a fork after 30 seconds, and if it’s still not completely melted, continue to heat in 10-second intervals, stirring in between until completely liquefied.

Once melted, add the butter, eggs, and vanilla extract and blend again until just combined.

Green tip: Look for organic and palm oil-free butter if you can. Buying organic means you are supporting farms that do not use damaging pesticides and fertilizers, and palm oil production is a huge driver behind deforestation.

Add the Dry Ingredients Last

To finish up your pancake batter, add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend one last time to form your batter, ensuring there are no lumps of dry ingredients left behind.

You can expect a very thin batter (much thinner than typical pancake batter that you fry in a pan).

Make sure to spray your sheet pan with cooking spray or coat with a thin layer of butter so your pancakes peel away easily.

Pour the green pancake batter from the blender into the center of the prepped sheet pan. The batter will likely spread across the sheet pan on its own, but, if need be, tip the pan subtly back and forth so the batter is in an even layer on the baking sheet.

Adding flour to blender with green pancake batter.

Bake Your Pancakes Until the Edges Start to Brown

Place the sheet pan on the top rack of a preheated 400°F oven and bake for 15 minutes. The very outer edges will start to turn golden brown.

Remove them from the oven and allow it to cool until it’s safe to handle.

Adding green pancake batter to a sheet pan to bake Christmas pancakes.

Slice Your Green Pancakes into Rectangles

We’re looking for roughly equal-sized rectangles for your Christmas tree pancakes. I find the easiest way to slice them is with a pizza cutter.

Start by slicing the sheet pan pancakes into 5 segments lengthwise. Then, slice widthwise into roughly 4 segments, so you’re left with 20 rectangular pancakes.

Slicing Christmas Sheet Pan Pancakes with a pizza cutter.

How to Assemble your Pancakes for Christmas


The most fun part of making these pancakes is assembling and decorating them!

Once you’ve sliced the pancakes into rectangles, simply break a pretzel rod in half to be your tree trunk, and start layering the pancakes on a diagonal above the “trunk” to resemble a Christmas tree.

The images below show you a step-by-step process for how to do so:

Adding a pretzel rod to a plate to resemble a Christmas tree trunk.
Lay half of a pretzel rod vertically on your plate, centered and on the bottom.
Assembling green pancakes to resemble a Christmas tree.
Lay two pancakes on top of the pretzel rod, pointing diagonally down and out, so the bottom inner corner of the pancake forms a little “V” shape over the pretzel rod trunk.
Layering more rectangular green pancakes on a plate to shape into a tree.
Lay two more pancakes on top, mimicking the angling of the first two pancakes.
Adding final layer of pancakes to a plate to resemble a Christmas tree.
Repeat again for a third layer of tree.
Adding fresh raspberries to Christmas pancakes to represent tree ornaments.
Adorn your Christmas tree pancakes with red raspberry “ornaments”.
Topping Christmas tree pancakes with star anise.
Top your pancake Christmas tree with star anise to resemble the tree topper.

How to Store and Reheat Christmas Sheet Pan Pancakes

These Christmas Pancakes will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.

There are two easy ways to reheat your pancakes while keeping their delicious texture. You can re-fry them in a pan (no extra butter needed!) or reheat them in the oven at 350°F for about 8 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Note that when reheated, the surface of the pancakes may seem a little moist from the butter in that batter. This is nothing to be concerned about. They’ll still be absolutely delicious and won’t taste soggy.

In a pinch, you can opt to microwave the leftover pancakes on high for 10-15 seconds per pancake. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, it will make them a little bit rubbery.

Don’t stack the pancakes while you are microwaving them. Microwave them in a single layer to ensure a more even heating throughout.

If you freeze your pancakes, allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating them using one of the methods listed above. Or, if you need to reheat directly from the freezer, you can just add extra time to your re-heating.

Green tip: Of the billions of tons of food wasted annually, 50% of food waste happens at home. Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and consuming leftovers.

Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?

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If you’re loving these Christmas Tree Pancakes and want more Christmas tree shaped foods, check out these Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Tree Cookies and this Christmas Cookie Cake!

Christmas pancakes cut into rectangles and shaped on a plate like a Christmas tree.

Easy Baked Christmas Pancakes

5 from 2 votes
Marley Goldin
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These Christmas Pancakes are naturally dyed green from spinach, baked in the oven, and shaped to resemble a Christmas tree for an easy, fun, and festive way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 pancakes

Ingredients
  

Sheet Pan Christmas Pancakes

  • 2 cups milk (dairy or unsweetened non-dairy)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (tightly packed or green food coloring as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • nonstick cooking spray (as needed)

Optional Decorations

  • ½ pretzel rod (for the trunk)
  • 1 ounce fresh raspberries (to resemble ornaments)
  • 1 pod star anise (for your tree topper)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (to resemble snow)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F and prep a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray of choice. For thinner, more authentic pancakes, use a 12 x 18-inch baking sheet (preferred). For thicker, fluffier pancakes, use a 13 x 9-inch baking sheet.
  • In a small microwave-safe dish, microwave the butter on high for 30 seconds until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
  • To a high-powered blender or food processor, add the milk and spinach (or green food coloring) and blend until smooth and green.
  • Add the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract, and blend again until smooth.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and blend again, ensuring there are no lumps. You will have a very thin pancake batter.
  • Pour your batter onto your prepped baking sheet and carefully lift and tilt the pan back and forth, left and right to spread the batter around the baking sheet evenly.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until cooked through and top starts to bubble and turn golden brown.
  • Slice your pancakes into equal-sized rectangles by cutting in 5 segments lengthwise and then slicing into four equal parts widthwise.
  • Assemble your rectangles on a plate to resemble a Christmas tree, using a pretzel rod as a trunk, adorning it with raspberry "ornaments", topping it with star anise and sprinkling it with powdered sugar "snow". If you need more guidance, see above for detailed step-by-step instruction with photos.

Pro Tips

  • One of the best things about sheet pan pancakes is they are great for add-ins! After adding the batter to the pan, you can drop extras on top. You can add some to half, do two different flavors, etc. Think berries, chocolate chips, sliced bananas, etc. 
  • For more festive fun, check out these Christmas desserts!
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Easy, Family Breakfast, Pancakes, Sheet Pan, Sheet Pan Pancakes
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