Who wouldn't want to wake up to a stack of Halloween Pancakes on the morning of October 31st? Or any other morning in October! Serve these orange, black, and white pancakes with some "edible blood" syrup for an extra tasty treat!

We have so much fun celebrating Halloween all month long and don't just reserve the fun & freaky foods for the 31st. Some of our other easy Halloween recipes are Mummy Dogs, Halloween Sugar Cookie Bars, and these Healthy Halloween Snacks!

Red strawberry syrup being poured over a stack of black, orange, and white pancakes for a Halloween breakfast.

I have been having so much fun experimenting with the activated charcoal powder that I used to make our Black Spider Bread Bowl that I decided to throw some into pancake batter and see how it worked there as well. Despite their charred appearance, these coal black pancakes are deliciously fluffy and moist!

So forget about Count Chocula or Boo Berry cereal for your Halloween breakfast this year and make short stacks of orange, black, and white pancakes instead! Serving them with plastic spiders or skeleton hands is optional but makes for an extra creepy effect.

A plastic spider sitting on top of a stack of pancakes dyed with food dye and activated charcoal powder for Halloween.

Ingredient Notes

  • Activated charcoal powder: This ingredient is food-safe and gives an intensely black color without affecting the flavor of the pancakes or staining your teeth! It can be easily ordered online through Amazon or other specialty grocery retailers.
  • Homemade buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can use the approach I use in this recipe by combining vinegar and regular milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes to curdle. It works great for these Halloween pancakes!
  • Pumpkin pie spice: In keeping with the flavors of the season, I added a little pumpkin pie spice to the pancake batter to boost the warmth of these pancakes so the taste of Fall!
Ingredients for making homemade pancakes for Halloween.

How to Make This Recipe

Start by making your buttermilk substitute by combining the vinegar and milk in a large measuring cup or bowl and letting them sit for 5 minutes. While they sit, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. You will make one large batch of pancake batter, then divide it into thirds to create the different colors.

Add the curdled milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and stir just until they are combined. It's okay if there are still lumps in the batter. For the lightest, fluffiest pancakes, you never want to overmix the batter or work it too hard.

Divide the batter evenly between 3 bowls (it's okay to just eyeball it) and dye one of the bowls orange using some orange gel food dye. It won't take a whole lot of dye to get that nice orange color.

In another bowl of batter, add the activated charcoal powder and gently whisk or stir until combined. You will see it colors the batter beautifully and you can achieve a nice, dark black color without using tons of food dye that tends to stain teeth.

On a hot griddle or buttered frying pan, cook the pancakes until bubbles start to appear on their tops, then flip to cook on the other side. I tend to keep these small using only about ¼ to ⅓ cup of batter per pancake so I can build tall stacks on the plates. It doesn't take long for the pancakes to cook through on the second side.

Serve the pancakes while they are still warm with butter and syrup or your favorite pancake toppings.

To make the edible blood, you can either just add red food coloring (affiliate link) to regular maple syrup or use strawberry syrup or some strawberry or raspberry jam that has been warmed up and thinned out a little bit of apple juice or water, if needed. If it's not red enough, just add a couple extra drops of red food coloring (affiliate link). The strawberry syrup approach is my personal favorite.

A stack of black, orange, and white pancakes with plastic skeleton hands next to it.

Recipe FAQ's

Can I use regular buttermilk?

Absolutely! If you have regular buttermilk on hand, just leave out the milk and vinegar and replace them with buttermilk.

Is activated charcoal powder safe to eat?

Yes, it is a food-safe product and is totally fine to eat in small amounts like in these pancakes. You won't be able to taste it and it doesn't add anything by way of nutritional value really, but it does give a lovely black color to these Halloween pancakes!

How do I know when pancakes are done?

The best way to make sure your pancakes are cooked through is to watch the tops of them for bubbles to form. Once those bubbles start to pop, use a spatula to flip the pancakes, then cook for another 30-60 seconds on the second side until the pancakes are no longer doughy inside.

Recipe Tips

  • Make smaller pancakes so you can stack them up to show off the different Halloween colors.
  • Serve them with two fried eggs and slices of bacon arranged on a plate to look like two eyes and cross bones!
  • Pancakes freeze great so go ahead and double the batch! We usually just pop them in the toaster straight from the freezer to warm them up before eating the leftovers.
A fork with bites of Halloween black and orange pancakes on it.

More Halloween Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Halloween Pancakes

5 from 4 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Halloween
Cuisine American
Servings 4 -6 servings
Who wouldn't want to wake up to a stack of Halloween Pancakes on the morning of October 31st? Or any other morning in October! Serve these orange, black, and white pancakes with some "edible blood" syrup for an extra tasty treat!


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons activated charcoal powder
  • Orange food coloring (affiliate link)


  • In a bowl or measuring cup, stir the milk and apple cider vinegar together to combine. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to evenly combine everything so you don't end up with lumps of baking powder or baking soda anywhere in the pancakes.
  • Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients along with the oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir just until combined but do not overmix the pancake batter.
  • Divide the batter into three bowls. Set one of the bowls aside to stay plain. In another bowl, add one to two tablespoons of activated charcoal (add additional if needed to reach the color you desire) and mix until combined. In the third bowl, add orange food coloring (affiliate link) and mix until combined
  • Heat a skillet or large griddle to medium low heat and rub with a little butter or spray with a little cooking spray. Pour about ¼ to ⅓ cup of pancake batter onto the hot surface for each pancake.
  • Let the pancakes cook for a couple of minutes until the bubbles that begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes start to burst. Once the bubbles start to pop, use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook for another 30-60 seconds until the pancakes are done and no longer doughy in the middle. Repeat until all of the pancake batter has been used up. The finished pancakes can be kept warm in a warm oven (about 200 degrees F) until they are all ready to serve.
  • Serve immediately.


  • Buttermilk substitute: Combining milk and vinegar together makes a very good buttermilk substitute. You can use the same amount of real buttermilk instead if you happen to have some on hand.
  • "Bloody syrup": To make the "blood syrup" we recommend using strawberry pancake syrup mixed with a little extra red food coloring (affiliate link). Or mix strawberry or raspberry jam with a little apple juice or water to thin it out slightly and add a bit of red food coloring (affiliate link) as  needed! You can also use regular maple syrup and add food coloring (affiliate link), although it will turn out a darker red than what you see in the pictures.
  • Storage & freezing: Leftover pancakes freeze well for up to 3 months. We reheat them in the toaster straight from frozen without thawing, which works well.


Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 289mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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