Each year, on September 26th, our country celebrates National Pancake Day. A lot of people are confused by this date because, according to IHOP, this holiday occurs on February 28th each year. However, the reality of the situation is that there are two national holidays for pancakes making it the most celebrated food in America! To make the occasion more festive, people come up with all sorts of creative variations and toppings to dress up their flapjacks. In fact, some people go as far as using sparklers for National Pancake Day to commemorate the holiday. But before we get into choosing the perfect garnish, you should understand the roots of this hallmark moment. Let’s dig into the facts.

What Is National Pancake Day?

To begin, let’s take a quick look at the origins of our beloved flapjacks. Pancakes have a long history, originating in Ancient Greece. Over the centuries, they have evolved into various forms around the world. In countries like Britain, France, and other parts of Europe, pancakes are often referred to as crepes. These are known for their thinness and are commonly paired with sweet or savory fillings. In Indonesia, “serabi” pancakes are a local favorite. They are made from rice flour and coconut milk instead of wheat flour. Meanwhile, in Uganda, pancakes take on a unique twist by incorporating bananas into the batter.

These examples represent just a fraction of the diverse pancake variations found globally. Sure, there are other food-related holidays on the calendar; but none as customizable and soulfully fulfilling as this. Each of these unique creations is a culinary delight worth savoring and celebrating on National Pancake Day!

Popular Activities to Celebrate Pancakes

When you have a large family like me, finding fun activities is always at the top of your list. I love enjoying National Pancake Day with my wife and kids, and we’ve sampled a few different activities to capture the spirit. Here are three of our family’s favorites.

Cook Them as a Family

Embrace the pancake spirit by whipping up a batch of your favorite pancakes. Whether you prefer fluffy stacks, delicate crepes, sweet treats, or savory delights, the possibilities are endless. You can make this a solo culinary adventure, a fun activity with friends, or a delightful kitchen project with your kids. No matter your choice, make sure to have a blast and indulge in a towering stack of these delectable creations!

Make Your Pancakes into Works of Art

Dive into the trendy world of pancake art, inspired by innovative creators like Nathan Shields on YouTube. While it may take a few attempts to master, you can craft your own eye-catching pancake art. Online tutorials can guide you through the process, which involves adding batter to the pan at various spots and times, resulting in colorful designs if you add food coloring. Remember to create your pancake art in mirror image so that when you flip it, it faces the right way. It might sound a bit tricky, but it’s incredibly enjoyable and rewarding!

Enjoy Your Pancakes for Dinner

Elevate your evening meal by going all out with breakfast for dinner, specifically pancakes. Don’t miss out on this tasty twist! Sweet pancakes pair wonderfully with bacon, sausage, and eggs, but don’t overlook the savory options that can make for a delightful dinner. Let your culinary creativity shine as you craft the perfect pancake dinner.

Most Popular Toppings, Mix-Ins, and Garnishes for National Pancake Day

Image of Pancakes with Fresh Fruit and Garnished with a SparklerOf course, people love to customize their griddle cakes; and the sky is the limit! Most people stick to the standards like real maple syrup or fresh fruit. However, there are other creative items that you may have never considered. Here is a shortlist to give you some delicious inspiration.


Though many people choose regular buttermilk pancakes, mix-ins are also a great option. Most people stick with blueberries or chocolate chips, but those aren’t the only choices available. To make things more interesting, consider adding in bananas, applesauce, or even candy sprinkles for a surprising twist on an old classic!

Birthday Candles

Just like a birthday cake, you can also opt to place a candle in your short stack. Gather the family around the table, place a birthday candle in each stack, and then blow them out at the same time. For a more impressive twist, you could choose sparkler birthday candles that create a more dazzling display. You don’t need to blow them out, just patiently wait while your drool over your delicious pancakes.

Strawberries and Whipped Cream

As my personal favorite, I just had to include this one on the list! To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than a short stack with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Of course, I still add butter and maple syrup; but many people prefer fruity syrup instead. However you concoct it, it’s a great way to kick off the day.


Switching it up from the edible adornments again, there can be a lot said about garnishes, too! Since this is a celebration, a lot of people consider using sparklers for National Pancake Day. Most people have used them on the 4th of July, and sparklers for weddings or New Year’s Eve are not uncommon either. However, placing them in a stack of flapjacks is something all together different! Just skewer it through, light the tip, and bask in the delicious glory that awaits you.

Fresh Fruit Compote

It’s fairly common for there to be multiple options for pancake syrup on the table at your local diner. However, you can take things even further by creating fresh fruit compote! Everything from orange marmalade to blackberries can make your cakes zestier, so there’s no wrong choice. If you don’t know what compote is, think of it as a hybrid between a fruit preserve and fruit syrup.

Are Candles and Sparklers for National Pancake Day Safe?

If you are planning to use something flammable like a candle or sparkler for your pancakes, you may have some concerns about safety. Fortunately, most people have used birthday cake candles before and are comfortable with them. However, sparklers are an entirely different story! The most important thing to think about for safety is that you need to choose smoke-free sparklers designed for indoor use no matter what. Even if you’re using them outdoors, you don’t want smoke getting in your face. Furthermore, be cautious when you are lighting them and when they are shooting out sparks. Many people take for granted just how hot sparklers can actually get, and you don’t want anyone getting injured. If you can keep those things in check, you’ll be in great shape.

In the end, there are a lot of fun activities, fruit toppings, and garnishes to improve your celebration. Overall, the main takeaway is to be creative and let your sweet tooth indulge! Additionally, if you are planning on using sparklers for National Pancake Day, you need to take the appropriate safety precautions. If you pull it off correctly, your family will start a new yearly tradition just like mine has. Good luck everyone and enjoy!