IHOP’s free pancake day is also a chance to serve critically ill children

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Primary Children’s patient, Nellie Mainor, is one of three children nationwide to be named to the 2019 IHOP Kids Chef Team. Nellie is an 8-year-old patient who receives daily kidney dialysis treatments at Primary Children’s Hospital, was selected for her pancake recipe, “PaNellie Unicorn Cakes.” She joined us today with her colorful stack of pink, blue a and green pancakes topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and a sugar-cone horn.

Cindy Cox also joined us from the Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital Foundation to remind everyone to mark your calendars for IHOP’s ‘Free Pancake Day.’ On March 12, every IHOP restaurant will “Flip it Forward for Kids” by offering customers a free short stack of Original Buttermilk Pancakes, then encouraging donations to help children battling critical illnesses at Primary Children’s and other Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

PaNellie Unicorn Cakes By Nellie Mainor, 2019 IHOP Kids Chef Team


  • Your favorite pancake batter, divided evenly into 4 bowls
  • Your favorite colors of food coloring (4 colors)
  • White frosting
  • 3 blueberries
  • 1 strawberry, halved lengthwise
  • Sprinkles
  • Aerosol whipped cream
  • Sugar cone


  1. Choose one color of food coloring. In a bowl of pancake batter, add 3 drops of the food coloring. Repeat with a different color for each the remaining three bowls of pancake batter.
  2. Cook the pancakes as directed.
  3. Stack the differently-colored pancakes, with the color you want to show most on top.
  4. On the top pancake, spread white frosting. 

To make the eyes and nose:

  1. On the top pancake, place 2 blueberries where you want the unicorn’s eyes to be, and one blueberry for the nose.
  2. Sprinkle the sprinkles evenly on top of the frosted pancake.
  3. Spray whipped cream around the edge of the top pancake, and around the edge of the bottom pancake where it meets the plate.

To make the ears:

  1. On both sides of the pancake stack (about 10 and 2 o’clock), tuck one halved strawberry between the top and second pancake.
    • Be sure to leave about half of the berry sticking out from the edge, like ears.

To make the horn:

  1. At the top center of the top pancake, gently carve a circle the same size as the opening of the sugar cone.
  2. Spread frosting around the edge of the sugar cone’s opening.
  3. Place the sugar cone in the circle carved into the pancake.
  4. Place the sugar cone in the indentation.

You can see Nellie make her “PaNellie Unicorn Cakes” with the other IHOP Kid Chefs in this video. Visit Intermountain Foundation at Primary Children’s Hospital at PrimaryChildrens.org/give.

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