Breakfast Artistry: Pancake Creations from @saipancakes

Celebrate #NationalMapleSyrupDay with more of Nathan Shield’s flapjack art by following @saipancakes on Instagram.

Dads don’t come much cooler than Nathan Shields (@saipancakes). Not only is he an animator, he’s an expert pancake-maker, creating fluffy designs of everything from Disney princesses to puppy dogs. Turns out, breakfast artistry is in his blood. “I have fond memories of my mom making me monster pancakes as a child — the sharp teeth, the eyes, the horns,” the 35-year-old father of two and former math teacher says. Nathan began whipping up his own whimsical flapjacks when his wife, a nurse midwife, accepted a hospital job in Saipan, one of the Northern Mariana Islands, and he went on full-time daddy duty.

His family moved to Washington state, but Nathan still wields two squeeze bottles (a dash of cocoa powder equals a toasty brown color without the burnt flavor), and he’s been commissioned by Nickelodeon and AMC (“Pancaking Bad”). Still, his toughest critics are pajama-clad and prize speed over appearance. How do they top these tasty cakes? “Alice goes for Nutella and Gryphon will sometimes just use a little bit of butter. He’s really a purist,” he says. And Nathan? “I’m a staunch proponent of genuine maple syrup.”

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