If you are anything like my husband, food is the way to your heart. If you are anything like me, you know Valentine’s Day is an excellent excuse to have fun making—and eating—your favorite brunch food. Obviously, we are talking about heart-shaped pancakes. Sorry, waffle lovers.

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There are countless recipes for easy and delicious homemade pancakes, and this is not strictly a cooking blog, so please use your go-to recipe. I will, however, suggest a few bonus ingredients below. Alternatively, you can use a boxed mix, but come on—it’s Valentine’s Day and you’re trying to impress someone!

You will need…

  • Ingredients/utensils to make your favorite pancake recipe*
  • Metal** heart-shaped^ cookie cutters
  • Cast iron^^ pan or griddle

Chef’s notes

* Add cinnamon and fresh cranberries to taste. I add cinnamon to pretty much everything I bake. It’s kind of my signature ingredient, and it is neither rare nor expensive, which may be the best part. Cranberries add a beautiful and tasty pop of Valentine’s red to this wintery brunch. I will advise caution with adding too much of any fresh berry because they add water to the batter, which changes the consistency and cook time.

Cinnamon-sugar dusted cranberries

** It is important to use a metal cookie cutter—like these ones made by Wilton—because the cooking surface will be too hot for plastic to withstand.

From The Heart Nesting Cookie Cutter Set

^ Hearts are classic, but you can use any shape that would be admired by your significant other. This could be a cookie cutter shaped like a dog, a football, Gritty, etc.

All together now: ingredients, cookie cutter, griddle

^^ Cast iron is perfect for this application because it is a stick-resistant and durable surface. Be careful if you are using pans with a non-stick coating, as the metal cookie cutter may scratch the surface. Generally, I am not a fan of anything you cannot put in the dishwasher, but sometimes amazing pancakes are worth the extra effort. In return, hopefully, your significant other will appreciate the pancakes enough to wash the dishes. Our stove at home has a handy double-burner in the middle with an interchangeable griddle insert. It is large enough to cook about two to three pancakes at a time. It is also great for making homemade tortillas, which we will cover in a blog post about the magic of a midsummer taco party later in the year.

Pour batter, wait… remove cookie cutter, flip, wait some more…

Let’s do it!

Preheat the pan and prepare the batter. Using an oven mitt, hold the cookie cutter in place as you pour the batter into the center. I use a ¼ cup measuring cup for consistent portions. Remove the cookie cutter from the griddle immediately before you flip the pancake. The pancake will hold its shape once you flip it unless there was too much batter for the heat to cook throughout. For this reason, I prefer larger cookie cutters. They distribute the batter more evenly without expanding too high for the pancakes to hold their shape. Otherwise, the result is cute but small pancakes. Finally, dust the pancakes with powdered sugar, fry up the bacon, and pour the mimosas. That’s it! These pancakes are a simple, tasty, and customizable way to 1) win someone’s heart, and/or 2) eat your heart out this Valentine’s Day.

Finished product, ready to eat!

Additions

You already know our favorite pancake addition is cinnamon, and the cranberries were great, as well. Other suggestions for adorable Valentine’s pancakes include colored sprinkles and a drop of red food coloring for a light pink tint. Although I love chocolate, I personally dislike too much sweetness in addition to the cake batter and syrup, so I am not a big fan of chocolate chip pancakes. I would rather add chopped walnuts, which have greater nutritional value and contribute to a more balanced flavor profile. Regardless of which ingredients you add, remember to gently fold additions into the batter, rather than disintegrating them with an electric mixer.

A little messy looking once the berries burst, but they taste so good!

I add cinnamon to pretty much everything I bake. It’s kind of my signature ingredient.

What are your favorite additions or toppings? Where did you find your go-to pancake recipe? Let us know in the comments below!