Christmas Morning Pancakes and Strawberry Santa Hats on Coconut Milk Cake

UPDATE: I made these Strawberry Santa Hats again in 2009, and then again in 2012. Oh yes, and yet again in 2012 along with a handy how-to video.

What's Christmas without a festive Christmas morning breakfast? Morning is the best part of Christmas and there must be a special breakfast. So let's have some spinach pancakes! YAY! Spinach... WHAT?!

OK, they don't taste like spinach, but they're green and Christmasy! And they're even more Christmasy when you make Christmas Tree Pancakes using a metal cookie cutter.

Christmas Tree Pancakes

These pancakes were very fluffy and light, and a little bit of a pain to make because I only have one non-plastic tree-shaped cookie cutter. I threw some blueberries on top, but red cranberries or pomegranate seeds would look extra festive on the green trees.

Spinach-Clementine Christmas Tree Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup clementine juice
1/2 cup frozen spinach (chopped)
1/2 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
3 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp vanilla

1- Whisk dry ingredients together.
2- In a blender, combine the clementine juice and frozen spinach and blend until smooth.
3- Strain the spinach/clementine mix into a small mixing bowl and discard the solids that are left in the strainer..
4- Add the soy milk, oil, and vanilla to the spinach mix, and whisk all wet ingredients together.
5- Add the liquids to the dry mix and stir until smooth.
6- Lightly coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and preheat.
7- Spray the inside of your Christmas tree cookie cutters with cooking spray and place it on the hot skillet. From now on you should use tongs to handle the hot cookie cutters!
8- Using a large cookie scoop, pour a scoopful of batter inside the cookie cutter and cook over low-medium heat until the bottoms are barely golden.
9- Carefully and using your tongs, pull the cookie cutter up. If you didn't spray it enough, you might need to use a knife to help you separate the edges from the cookie cutter.
10- Flip the pancake over and cook until the other side turns barely golden .

This recipe makes 10 fluffy Christmas tree pancakes using a 10 inch long cookie cutter.

The next Christmas inspired recipe is called Strawberry Santa Hats, because "Santa's Berries" just doesn't seem very appropriate.

These are little cake squares with buttercream and strawberry hats. I wanted to make a dense cake using coconut milk (recipe below), but you can use any cake recipe or you can even use cupcakes or cookies instead of cake. Ooh, chocolate shortbread would be perfect!

Anyway, once your cake has cooled down to room temperature, cut it into squares and use a pastry bag to squeeze out a buttercream circle right in the middle of each square. Be generous with the buttercream. You should have a circle that is a little bigger than the base of a strawberry. The whole circle should be filled with buttercream to end up with a nice frosting base.

Place a washed and trimmed (and dry!) strawberry on top of each buttercream base and gently press it down so the buttercream spreads out all around the bottom of the strawberry. Finally, squeeze out a little "pom pom" of buttercream on the tip of each strawberry.

Coconut Milk Cake
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat)
2 tbsp oil
3/4 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tsp vanilla

1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
3- Whisk wet ingredients in a small bowl.
4- Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth.
5- Pour the cake batter into an 8 by 8 inch baking dish prepared with cooking spray.
6- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


  1. The cuteness never stops! Those little Santa hats and I'm totally using my cookie cutters to make Christmas shaped pancakes. I love your blog!

  2. I see strawberry on my google reader and immediately I salivate like Pavlov's dog!

    Very delish like always! I think I've put on 5 pounds just looking at your delicious goodies.

    You're def putting a lot of effort into weight gain so I really do hope you get heavier? OMG that sounds terrible isn't it for most ppl.

    You know what I mean:) XOXO

    Ps: love the chrismassy plates.Must bring out mine!

  3. Those trees and hats are so cute!!! I love 'em!!

    And have a good weekend yourself!!

    I'm trying to do the EXACT opposite of you!! I'm trying to LOSE weight. It sucks because its so f___ing hard. Maybe since I'm becoming a vegetarian, it won't be so hard. I won't be eating meat and all that fat so maybe that will help me! And I'll be getting a lot of fiber in my diet and all that good stuff!! Especially now since I've developed a love for black bean "burgers!!!"

    Have a GREAT & SAFE weekend!! =D

  4. Santa's Berries!

    That's gonna keep me giggling for days!
    I LOVE the Pancakes but those hats just totally do it for me River - the Cake recipe sounds yummy!

  5. OMG those santa hats are just so cute!!! I really think you need to open a bakery out of your house and have mail order specials for all the bloggies ;)
    Have a good weekend!

  6. Amaaaaazing cake and PANcakes!!

    Keep up the great work with your health goals, miss!!

  7. Those Santa hats are the cutest things I've seen since Halloweegan. You haven't lost your touch!!

  8. I knew once I saw the name of the post that it would be the cutest things ever! I love the little trees, you make me want to go get cookie cutters. And the cake sounds heavenly with the little santa hats =) So simple too.

  9. Those Santa hats are genius! And simple enough for even me to make. And they don't have faces so I can (and will) make them! Woohoo!

  10. River, I am so glad I know you, because you really understand where I'm coming from! I wouldn't wish this struggle on anyone, but still it's nice to not be alone in my battle against the scale... plus, it could be worse; how can ya complain when the "prescription" to fight our low weights is to eat as much yummy food as we want?!

    I wish I lived near you; then I could come over all the time and we could eat our body weights (and then some) in green pancakes!

  11. wahooooooooo on another pound, River! that's such awesome news! i love, love, love your pancakes - and the santa hats!!!! wow! everything is so super christmassy! i love it all! :D

  12. Aww cute Santa hats! And spinach know, they possibly sound delish!

  13. All right, you have officially won the crafty award! I didn't think anyone could top your Halloweegan posts!!! Those Santa Hats are the cutest thing ever. I totally might have to put those on top of my favorite blondie recipe for an Xmas dessert. :)

    My weight gain tip: drink extra water throughout the day, and it will soon get you used to expanding the size of your stomach. Then it's easier to fit more food in!!!

  14. aww the spinach pancakes are adorable! i wouldn't have even of thought of that.. great idea :)
    can't wait to go home and make cute christmas-y treats!

  15. too cute and yummy looking! I love anything tree shaped at xmas because my stocking from childhood had a tree on it and it was the best one.

    I never thought of strawerries for santa hats. They look perfect.

  16. I don't know how you do it, but every post is cuter than the last! Love those pancake, love those Santa hats (and LOVE the spinach ;) ).

    Congrats on the weight gain!

  17. The santa hats are such a cute idea!

  18. OMG! Those Santa hats are just adorable. But I like Santa's berries ... guess I'm naughtier than nice.

    My family Xmas meal is actually breakfast. We all gather at my Granny's for a smorgasboard of breakfasty foods...I always bring my own tofu scramble, sausage, and stuff...and Granny veganizes as much as she can.

  19. Sanat's berries?! Ha! Everything looks PHENOMENAL!! :)

  20. Some of my fondest christmas morning memories are of the big, family breakfast together! I love the idea of these pancakes - and santa's berries? I snickered out loud! Keep the cuteness coming!

  21. You are so creative! I'm always impressed with your ideas. Congratulations on your weight gain. :)

  22. Oooh, you people who can't gain weight make me soooo jealous. grrr.... My mother is one of them, but I just didn't get those good genes, instead I got the dumpy short stature of my father, plus having 4 babies in 5 years doesn't help...

    Even your "healthy" pancakes would make me gain weight! Though I make all permutations of yummy pancakes for my boys, it's just so hard to pass and say no!

    You make me wish my house were in good enough condition for a holiday party so I could slave for days in the kitchen creating an avalanche of coconut sprinkled decadent goodness--but then the reality of having kids hits me, maybe in 5 years! And maybe by then I can handle gaining a few pounds again!

  23. Adorable! you sure know how to embrace the Christmas spirit!

  24. Thank you so much for such kind words, you guys spoil me!

    CCV, it really is nice to know we're not just an isolated case of "chronic skinniness", isn't it?

    RRV, thanks for the water tip! It makes a lot of sense and my stomach needs some expansion!

    I'm glad everyone is enjoying Santa's Berries! :P

  25. You are sooo talented and creative! I looove the santa hats and the green tree pancakes. And they both look so delicious!

    I've been thinking about all the holidays we celebrate and I think they are enough to keep this blog going for a long long time, which is such a good thing!

  26. Those Santa Hats are just the most adorable little things. And easy enough to put together whenever. So cute!

  27. Your creations are so cute as always. I love the santa hats and I will have to take your word for it that those pancakes do not taste like spinach. :-)

  28. Everything you make could be in a magazine! All too cute and yummy, too.

  29. Christmas will be so much more wonderful now with memories of drooling over your creations!
    Forget visions of sugar plums dancing in my head!!

  30. oh and i will try to find a way to give you the weight I am trying to lose and you are trying to gain!!

  31. Fantastic as always - between the spinach pancakes and those strawberry santa hats, I think I might be actually be looking forward to the holidays. Thanks!

  32. Those Santa Hats look ADORABLE! And I want a Christmas tree pancake! And a Christmas tree cookie cutter.

    I am always happy to see 'Wing it vegan' pop up in Google Reader, so I can check out what awesome creative things you came up with this time!

  33. Santa's Berries are too cute! I have been out of the blogging loop for a few weeks, but am excited that I can give you more hat terminology! We call them "brims"!!! you are so clever with your treats! (Oh, and I did see that you tagged me on the 7things thing, but I've been crazy busy! I'll still get to it!)

  34. river, i love your christmas tree pancakes!! i begged my mom to buy this huge case of clementines last week and nobody has been eating them haha she will be so happy that i'm using them. i will definitely make these sometime this week. i think i'm having muffin overkill haha jk (that could never happen).

    you keep eating, girl!!! you're making great weight gain progress. if i could get away with eating cupcakes and delicious desserts all the time, i'd be in heaven. i bet your hubby loves it!

  35. oh my gosh! christmas tree pancakes! the spinach and clementine combination sounds delicious and i love the ''decor'' blueberries on top!

    i will have to make your coconut cake with my leftover coconut milk! it looks so moist. and the santa's berry and buttercream hats are too cute! :)

  36. Wow! Those pancakes and Santa hats are so cute!

    And your blog is great - I'm glad to have found it :)

  37. I know what I'm making for xmas morning brekkie - festive pancakes, love it!!

    The santa hat cakes are beyond adorable too! I'm gonna have to try out your coconut cake recipe as well, I LOVE me some coconut!

  38. Congrats on your weight gain - I hope you feel healthy and super happy.

    The coconut cake is my weekend project - it looks so amazing River! I don't think I will even have time to get the little santa hats on the cake, I am pretty sure I will gobble it up before I can attend to such details. :) Be well.

  39. I think I'm going to try and make the coconut cake with the santa hats for my husbands coworkers. They are too cute.

  40. I love this idea - spinach in pancakes. And if they're really fluffy I'm sold. Definitely will be giving these a try although mine won't be as cute as yours because I don't have metal cookie cutters.

  41. dude, you're the best.

  42. Those santa hats are too clever and cute!

  43. hey river!! you received a very prestigious award on my blog haha

  44. I love the green pancakes! They're genius. I'm not sure what my Christmas breakfast will be yet, but I can guarantee something sweet with lots of cinnamon.

  45. I love your posts! I want to make strawberry santa hat now! You are so creative!

  46. Your new banner looks great, as do your pancakes and santa hats!! Do you have any plans to make a gingerbread house? I really want to make one this year but I read on another blog that with vegan frosting it's hard to keep the walls together. Maybe some gingerbread cupcake houses?

  47. Thank you for all the lovely comments and sorry about my non-blogging and non-commenting! All this eating has made me not want to see or read about anything food-related, but I'm taking a break from weight gain until Christmas so I'm back!

    Jo, thank you so much for the award!! I am so honored, and you are the sweetest ever! I love that it's so international!

    Stacey, I've been thinking about making a shortbread house instead. We'll see how that goes! :)

  48. Thank you VeggieGirl! Everything is OK, just a little sick of food! Thank you so much for checking on me! I can't wait for your surprise video! :)

  49. Hey River! Thanks for all the sweet comments :o) :o).

    You are such a fun blogger!!! Love you!

  50. River, those santa hats are adorable and don't be discouraged by the slow weight gain - I think it's probably the same as when us big birds try to lose weight... slowly... painstakingly... s'hard however you look at it!


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