Pancake Dispenser Disaster

Pancake dispenser

When I saw this on Pinterest – a clever solution for easily dispensing pancake batter from a ketchup bottle without any mess by crafterholic – I thought to myself, “That is the single most ingenious breakfast idea since the invention of the toaster.” I pinned it immediately.

I then waited six months to try it.

That’s because, in order for this project to actually become reality in my house, the stars have to align – meaning I have to be making pancakes, remember that I pinned this, AND have an empty ketchup bottle available, all at the same time.

Frankly, I’m amazed I ever attempted it at all.

Of course, when I finally did try it, I made the mistake of breaking Pinterest Rule #47: Never assume you know how to do something just by looking at the picture. But I was in a hurry, and I thought, “You put the batter in the bottle, you squirt it out. How hard could it be?”

pancake dispenser fail

I’m well aware that dry pancake batter is second only to drywall dust in the category of Irritating Powders That Hang Suspended In The Air Until You Inhale An Unhealthy Amount And The Rest Settles In An Impossible To Clean Layer On Everything In Your House (yes, that’s a category of things – I looked it up); I couldn’t figure out how to shake it into the bottle without making a mess, so I mixed up the batter first.

Then I tried to spoon the batter into the bottle, but it just ran down the sides. So I got out the funnel (Why didn’t I think of using the funnel for the powder???), but the batter was too thick to drain into the bottle. I decided to push it down with a paper cupcake liner, but the batter just stuck to the paper.

Luckily, the kids had so much fun laughing at me that they didn’t even seem to mind later when I burned the pancakes.

pancake dispenser - nailed it

You can read more about my various failures on my blog, Hollow Tree Ventures – I promise I won’t make you eat any of my pancakes.

28 Responses to Pancake Dispenser Disaster

  1. You just validated all the reasons I have for not trying this. Thank you.

  2. It’s my pleasure, Paige – I fail, in order to serve the public. And also because I suck at stuff.

  3. Jessica says:

    I tried this last year for a work breakfast party. It was terrible. I even bought the 3L soda bottles from the dollar store to dispense the batter, they are wider mouthed than usual bottles. It was terrible. Took me SO long to get the batter in requiring my husbands two hands as well as mine. Glad I’m not the only one who failed at this!

  4. vwolfe says:

    Put dry ingredients in container
    mix wet add to container
    shake it up or give to energetic kid to shake
    tada all done no frickin mess

  5. Robin says:

    Why not just put the powder in the bottle, then the liquid ingredients, shake the bottle to blend…

  6. Charisse says:

    I have done this for years out of a squeeze bottle. Actually my grandma taught me how to do this. Add the dry then the wet to the bottle then hand the bottle (sealed tightly) to a small child. Let them shake to their hearts content. Then squeeze onto your griddle. It is great esp when making funky designs. For fun I will add food coloring as well before mixing so the pancakes will be colored.

  7. robyn says:

    I’ll definitely give this another try. I just couldn’t figure out how to get the dry ingredients in there first without a plume of pancake dust exploding all over the kitchen – I didn’t think of the funnel until later. Must’ve been too early for my brain to be fully functional. ;)

  8. James says:

    I’ve never understood these; if faced with:
    -Finish a bottle of ketchup
    -Remember not to throw it out
    -Wash & dry very thoroughly
    -make pancake batter
    -pour carefully into bottle, risking knocking it over and getting batter everywhere


    -use a ladle

    ….I will use a ladle. Every time.

  9. Haley says:

    why didn’t anyone just put the ingredients in the bottle and then shake the whole bottle?

  10. Lil says:

    I don’t see where ladling pancake batter into a hot pan / griddle is so complicated that it needs a more complicated “hack”.

  11. Amelia says:

    I think it’s meant for English pancakes as the batter is much thinner than American style pancakes :-) Works fine for me (from the UK) haven’t tried it with American style though :-)

  12. Suzy says:

    wipeing tears from my eyes , havent laughed this much in ages ;-)

  13. Kelly says:

    My daughter sent me this link…she said it reminded her of us…what is she trying to tell me???

  14. Abigail says:

    I actually do this with a condiment bottle which I purchased clean & empty at the dollar store. I cut the nozzle down to where it was wider. It is a slight hassle to pour the pancake batter in; I use a funnel which I also cut down to where it was wider, and ‘convince’ the batter through the hole with a chopstick. The extra minutes involved in this process are well worth the delight of my children when they see pancakes shaped like their initials. The batter squeezes out very easily; the skill lies in learning to make shapes. To avoid going crazy, I only try this once a month. Eventually I’m sure I’ll be able to make animal shapes or something else cute.

  15. Sheri says:

    I am pretty sure I just peed my self laughing at this. I’m sorry to laugh but its really quite funny if it’s not you. :)

  16. Oh, it was funny to me, too – you can tell, because otherwise the picture of the bottle would’ve been taken after I threw it out the kitchen window and backed over it twice with my car. The worst part is that I didn’t use all the batter so I put it in the fridge. Does batter go bad? I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t eat it, but I can’t stand the thought of rinsing that bottle out after I worked so hard to get it in there!

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  18. Char says:

    I am laughing soooo hard. That is hysterical.
    Thank you, I needed that.

  19. Perel says:

    When i saw this I was inspired to recycle a ketchup bottle as a paint dispenser. Well the paint went in fine but nothing comes out unless I take the cap off and stick something inside to nudge it out. :/ grrr pintrest

  20. Michelle says:

    Making pancakes for 52 students tomorrow as a science project to introduce changing states of matter. I’m scared! Glad to read your blog. Now I know this is not a good time to get creative with cooking. Thanks for helping me save face with my 5th graders. They don’t let you live anything down!

  21. Katia says:

    One thing that´s worked for me over the years is to use my blender to prepare the batter. No powdery white stuff all over the place, you can add the wet ingredients without a problem and then pour the batter onto the griddle. Presto!

  22. jess says:

    You place the powder in the bottle, then add water to the bottle, then shake the bottle.

  23. robyn says:

    Totally, @Jess – but like I said, for whatever reason I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how to get the powder into the bottle without having a plume of pancake dust explode all over my kitchen. I thought making the batter first would be easier, but my FIRST mistake was thinking ANYTHING would be easier than just skipping the ketchup bottle completely.

  24. Donna says:

    I make my pancake batter in a bowl that has a pouring spout on one side and a handle on the other. It works great! Kind of like a very large Pyrex measuring glass cup.

  25. Gloria says:

    I think I’ll put the dry ingredients in the bottle first, add the wet then shake it.

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  27. Lana says:

    Thanks for the post! Was giggling pretty hard. When I saw this on lifehacks, I was thinking how smart this is, especially since I run a cafe and we make pancakes. I also now realize how much extra work it creates. Even if it was done by adding powder and then liquid, there are too many steps in between and awkward washing to be done to make this worthwhile I think! Also, the best pancakes have batter that is not uniform. It seems like you would have to have no lumps if you want it to come out of the tiny hole. Pancakes are best when not over-mixed. Thanks for the post! :)

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