Kid-friendly Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti + Super Simple Syrup + Simple Syrup Soda Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti + Super Simple Syrup + Simple Syrup Soda

Family Meal Plan: Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti + Super Simple Syrup + Simple Syrup Soda

Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti + Super Simple Syrup + Simple Syrup Soda

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
20 minutes
cook time
25 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti

If you've ever watched the movie Elf, especially with kids, you remember the scene where Buddy the Elf makes his favorite breakfast—spaghetti loaded with heaps and heaps of candy! When I watched this scene with my own kids, they went wild, and I knew we had to create a recipe to bring that same magic into the kitchen.  

Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti is less about replicating Buddy's exact dish and more about tapping into its fun and imaginative spirit. With that, I invite you to gather your ingredients and prepare your own "spaghetti" with pancake batter and embellish it with cookie crumbles, sprinkles, berries, bananas, Super Simple Syrup, and your creative add-ons. 

By guiding kids but not dictating their every move, we empower them to trust their instincts, make decisions, and learn from mistakes. See where it leads!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Shopping List

  • See optional add-ons
  • EGGS
  • 2 eggs **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 3/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 C sparkling water
  • 3 1/2 C water
  • squeeze bottle (can also use ladle, but results will be different)
  • chocolate chips **(see allergy subs below)**
  • ground cinnamon
  • crumbled nut-free cookies **(see allergy subs below)**
  • sprinkles **(see allergy subs below)**
  • honey
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • strawberries
  • bananas

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • drizzle :

    to trickle a thin stream of a liquid ingredient, like icing or sauce, over food.

  • fry :

    to fry in a pan in a small amount of fat.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Pitcher
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Wooden spoon
  • Skillet
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Squeeze bottle (or ladle—results will be different)
  • Tongs
  • Small saucepan


Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti

  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 C water
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil **, divided, + more during cooking if needed
  • 2 eggs **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 2 T flax seed + 1/4 C warm water—more info below)**
  • Add-ons inspired by Buddy’s four major food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup. Pick as many as you want:
  • chocolate chips **(Omit for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY or sub carob chips. Omit for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY or use Enjoy Life chocolate chips.)**
  • cinnamon
  • crumbled nut-free cookies **(Omit for GLUTEN ALLERGY or use gluten-free/nut-free cookies)**
  • sprinkles **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free sprinkles)**
  • honey
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • strawberries
  • bananas

Super Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 to 1 C brown sugar
  • 3/4 to 1 1/2 C water

Simple Syrup Soda

  • 3/4 C cooled Super Simple Syrup (1/2 C brown sugar + 3/4 C water)
  • 2 C sparkling water

Food Allergen Substitutions

Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour. Substitute gluten-free/nut-free cookies for optional topping. Use certified gluten-free sprinkles for optional topping.
  • Soy: Substitute canola oil or other nut-free high-smoking point oil for vegetable oil, which usually contains soy.
  • Eggs: For 2 eggs, substitute 2 T flaxseeds + 1/4 C warm water. Stir and soak flaxseeds in warm water for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed and thickened.
  • Chocolate: Omit chocolate chips for optional topping or sub carob chips.
  • Dairy/Nut/Soy: Omit chocolate chips for optional topping or use Enjoy Life chocolate chips.


Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti


This week's recipe will fill you with cheer and make you want to "sing loudly for all to hear!" Growing up, I loved the movie "Elf," and I always thought the idea of eating spaghetti for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was genius. So, let's make it real, and instead of combining spaghetti with an elf's four major food groups (candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup), let's make our spaghetti out of pancake batter and top it off with fruits, syrup, or even cookie crumbles if you're feeling a little wild! Don't take yourself too seriously with this recipe, and remember to have a blast making some wacky and delicious Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti.

measure + crack + whisk

Have your kids measure 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 cups water, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil into a large mixing bowl. Then, crack 2 eggs into the same bowl and start whisking until smooth.

pour + preheat

Preheat a skillet to medium heat. Measure and carefully pour in 1/4 cup oil. Meanwhile, pour the batter into a squeeze bottle.

recipe note

This dish requires a squeeze bottle to drizzle the batter thinly. Without one, you can use a ladle, but it will be difficult to make the correct shape. Also, make sure to have a small amount of oil on hand. You might need to add more as you cook. If the pan is dry, your pancake spaghetti will also be dry, making it difficult to twirl.

fry + twirl

Hold the squeeze bottle over another mixing bowl to catch any spills while pouring the batter into the squeeze bottle. Squeeze the batter into the hot oil in long strips. While doing this step, try to drizzle the batter in the pan as thinly as possible. This way the pancake batter will look like long spaghetti noodles. The pancake batter will only take about 1 minute to cook on the first side. Using tongs, gently twirl the pancake spaghetti around the pan. Cook for another 1 minute while twirled, and then remove the pancake spaghetti from the pan and place in a bowl to serve. Repeat this process until everyone has a serving of the pancake spaghetti. Take a look at our TikTok visual guide.

chop + sprinkle + garnish

Decide which of the toppings you will be using and sprinkle, chop, and decorate the pancake spaghetti. Finally, drizzle with some Super Simple Syrup (see recipe) and enjoy! With a belly full of these tasty pancake noodles, you will surely be ready for any snowball fights and snowman builds that come your way.

Super Simple Syrup

measure + boil

Measure 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup water. (If making Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti and Simple Syrup Soda (see recipes), double the amounts to serve with the pancakes and the soda.) Pour them both into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. The brown sugar and water will combine, creating a simple syrup. After 5 minutes, the hot syrup won't be super thick yet. If you wish to continue cooking the syrup to make it thicker, keep the syrup on medium heat until it reaches the desired thickness.


Carefully, pour the syrup into a bowl or measuring cup and let it cool down for a few moments before drizzling it over pancakes or Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti (see recipe) and adding to Simple Syrup Soda (see recipe). The longer the syrup cools, the thicker it will become.

Simple Syrup Soda


For this recipe, you will use cooled Super Simple Syrup (see recipe). This soda will simply be made by combining more of the same syrup you may have drizzled over Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti (see recipe) with sparkling water.

measure + pour

Combine 2 cups sparkling water with roughly 3/4 cup of the cooled Super Simple Syrup. That’s it! Stir the mixture a few times and pour it into cups. Cheers!

Surprise Ingredient: Sugar!

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Photo by Regreto/ (raw sugar and sugarcane)

Hi! I'm Sugar!

"I'm very sweet and can sweeten lots of foods, especially candy and desserts. I also provide a lot of energy! You can find me in powdered, granular, and liquid form, and I am either white or brown. You don't want too much of me—well, you may, but too much wouldn't be healthy!"

  • The New Oxford American Dictionary defines sugar as "a sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants, especially sugar cane and sugar beet, consisting essentially of sucrose, and used as a sweetener in food and drink."
  • Sugar cane has grown in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia since 4,000 BCE. People initially extracted its juicy sweetness by chewing on the raw sugar cane. India learned how to get sugar crystals from the juice and refine the sugar, and eventually, those methods spread to other countries, like China. Before and during this time, honey had been used around the world as a natural sweetener. 
  • Today, Brazil produces the most sugar worldwide, followed by India and China.
  • Sugar cane comes from the genus Saccharum and is considered a species of giant grasses! The plants grow from 6 to 20 feet tall. Their fibrous stalks are rich in sucrose, a sugar composed of glucose and fructose. 
  • Sugar is made in plants by photosynthesis, the process that turns sunlight into energy. 
  • The plants are grown primarily in tropical climates. The first sugar cane to be planted in the United States was in 1751 by French Jesuit priests in New Orleans, Louisiana. Today, sugar cane is grown in the US states of Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.
  • Sugar cane was introduced to Hawaii in about 600 CE. It was produced commercially from 1802 until the last sugar mill closed in 2016. 
  • Sugar cane is harvested by chopping down the stalks but leaving the roots so that they regrow in time for the next crop. At the sugar mill, they wash, shred, and press the stalks to extract the juice. The juice is boiled until it thickens and then crystallizes. The crystals are then spun in a centrifuge to remove the liquid, producing raw sugar. 
  • The raw sugar is sent to a refinery to be melted into sugar syrup and purified, which also produces molasses. The sugar is crystallized again from the syrup, and the crystals are dried and packaged. 
  • Sugar beets were first identified as a source of sugar in the 16th century by French author and scientist Olivier de Serres, who found that boiling a red beet produced sugar syrup. Since cane sugar was readily available and tasted better, his process did not become widespread.
  • Later, in 1747, a German science professor from Berlin, Andreas Sigismund Marggraf, used a white beet to make sugar similar to cane sugar; however, his method was never commercially produced. 
  • Marggraf's student, Franz Karl Achard, experimented with different beet varieties and selected a strain that would become the precursor of the modern sugar beet. Achard opened the first sugar beet factory in 1801 in what is now Poland.
  • The beets are harvested in the fall and early winter by digging them out of the ground. They are sliced and boiled to extract the sugar.
  • The white sugars include granulated, powdered (or confectioners'), fruit (or fructose), superfine (or caster), baker's special (superfine and quick-dissolving), coarse, and sanding. 
  • The brown sugars include light and dark brown, granulated brown, turbinado or raw, and muscovado (or Barbados). The sugars are brown due to molasses. The amount of molasses in commercial brown sugar based on volume is three and a half percent for light brown sugar and six and a half percent for dark brown sugar.
  • Liquid sugar is white granulated sugar dissolved in water or sugar syrup. However, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, and honey are also liquid and considered sugar.
  • Sugar adds sweetness to foods but can also aid in browning, rising, and tenderizing dough and other foods. Although sugar is added to desserts, it can also be added to savory dishes to enhance flavor and balance the acid and salt in a dish.
  • When heated, sugar is caramelized, creating a brown and sweet nutty flavor for making candy and a delicious sauce for ice cream and other desserts. Cooking fruit and vegetables long enough for the sugars in them to caramelize helps them to develop a rich, nutty flavor. 
  • Sugar by itself is a source of carbohydrates and energy; however, its calories are considered empty calories, as it has no other nutrients or health benefits. None of the sugar varieties are more nutritious than others. 
  • Not only can too much sugar make you way too active and keep you awake at night, but excessive consumption of sugar in any form contributes to the possibility of damaging health effects, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and tooth decay.

"Buddy the Elf" and His Breakfast Spaghetti!

Photo by Africa Studio/ (candy canes, etc.) and HelenaQueen/ (elf legs)

Buddy's Beginnings!

The story of "Buddy the Elf," is from the movie "Elf," written by David Berenbaum. It is a timeless tale of discovering who you are and where you belong when you feel like you don't fit in anywhere. The story begins when a baby crawls into Santa's gift bag at an orphanage and is unknowingly transported to the North Pole. Santa's elves call the baby Buddy because that is the brand name on his diaper.

The head elf takes the baby into his home, and Papa Elf raises Buddy as his son. Buddy becomes an adult and is determined to be a good elf; however, he cannot work as quickly building toys in Santa's workshop as the real elves, and he's so much bigger than everyone else. Then he overhears that he's not really an elf—he's a human! 

Papa Elf tells Buddy about his parents, Walter and Susan, and that his dad is still alive and living in New York City. He also gives Buddy an old photo of his parents. Since his mom never told his dad she was pregnant and died soon after giving Buddy up for adoption, his dad doesn't know he has a son. 

Santa tells Buddy that his dad is on the naughty list because he has been selfish and hasn't been a nice person lately. He thinks Buddy might be able to pass on some of his abundant Christmas spirit to Walter. Buddy agrees that is a good idea, and since he no longer feels like he fits in at the North Pole, he decides to go to New York City to find his dad. Still wearing his elf clothes, Buddy walks all the way to the city. 

An Elf in New York City!

Buddy learns many things on his trip and after he arrives in the city. For example, you don't want to hug a wild raccoon in case they are angry; going around and around in a revolving door can make you dizzy and sick; and store escalators seem very scary at first, but they aren't really. One thing he didn't learn, though, is that used chewing gum left in the street is not free candy, and you probably shouldn't eat it. 

Buddy finds his dad's office in the Empire State Building and goes up to his office, but his innocent, child-like enthusiasm puts off his cynical businessman father. Walter doesn't believe Buddy is his son and thinks Buddy must be crazy since he's dressed like an elf and talks about Santa. 

Buddy shows Walter the photo of Buddy's parents when they were young. Walter gets upset and tells Buddy to leave, and when he tries to return, he is kicked out of the building. The security guards tell Buddy that Santa is at Gimbels department store. Buddy ends up in the toy department and meets Jovie, an employee dressed like an elf for Christmas. Buddy quickly falls for her.

With nowhere to go, Buddy stays the night at the store and fantastically redecorates the toy department. The next day, he tackles the store Santa for posing as the real Santa and is arrested. Walter bails Buddy out of jail and takes him to the doctor for DNA tests to determine whether Buddy is his son. The tests prove that Walter is Buddy's father, so he takes him home, where Walter's wife and young son also live.

Sweet Spaghetti for Breakfast!

Buddy's stepmom, Emily, serves spaghetti for dinner, and Buddy adds some of the syrup he has up his sleeve to the spaghetti. That's when he tells them about an elf's four major food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup. The following morning, he adds chocolate syrup, candies, marshmallows, and broken-up toaster pastries to Emily's leftover spaghetti for his breakfast! 

Buddy's half-brother, Michael, also thinks Buddy is a bit strange, but after Buddy helps him defeat some school bullies during a snowball fight, they become fast friends. 

Walter's boss blames him for a printing mistake and decreasing book sales and tells him he better have a new book ready to pitch by Christmas Eve. To meet the deadline, Walter brings in a well-known outside writer, Miles Finch, to help them write a new children's book and get them back on track. 

Miles has dwarfism and is very sensitive to jokes about his short height. After his first date with Jovie, Buddy shows up during Walter's meeting with Miles and the two staff writers to tell Walter how much he loves Jovie. Buddy unintentionally insults Miles by calling him an elf a few times. Miles attacks Buddy and leaves in anger, and a stressed-out Walter yells at Buddy that he doesn't care if Buddy is his son and to get out now.  

Walter's writers find Miles' notebook in the conference room and realize their own book idea is similar to Mile's, so they decide to go with that. It's Christmas Eve, and Walter's boss arrives to hear about the new book. Michael runs into the meeting to tell Walter that Buddy has left for good, and Walter realizes he made a mistake and didn't mean what he said to Buddy in anger. When the boss yells at Michael for interrupting the meeting, Walter quits his job, and they leave to find Buddy.

Buddy Saves Christmas!

In the meantime, Buddy dejectedly walks around the city when he sees Santa's sleigh fall out of the sky. He runs to Central Park to find Santa. He finds Santa and the sleigh, but the engine has fallen out, so he searches for it. Walter and Michael find Buddy, who introduces them to Santa. Buddy gets the engine back in the sleigh, but Michael's and Walter's growing Christmas spirit after they meet Santa is what really begins to increase the sleigh's power. 

A crowd has gathered near the park where news reporters are reporting the sightings of a very large elf and Santa's sleigh. Michael and Walter join them, and Michael begins reading Santa's Christmas gift list in front of the television cameras. People at home listening to the news hear their names and the gifts they asked Santa for, confirming their belief in Santa, which powers Santa's sleigh even more. 

Jovie sees the story on TV and runs down to the park. She overhears Michael saying that Santa needs more Christmas cheer to power his sleigh and remembers Buddy telling her, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear," so she starts singing, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." A few others begin to sing with her, and then, when everyone there, including Walter and the people listening on TV at home, join Jovie in singing, the sleigh reaches full power. Santa and Buddy take off to deliver presents to all the children in the world. 

The end of the story takes place the following Christmas. Buddy is reading a book to young elves that he wrote about his life. The book was produced by the publishing company Walter started after leaving Greenway Press. Buddy and Jovie are married and are visiting Papa Elf at the North Pole with their baby daughter, Susie, named after Buddy's mom.

The End and Pancake Spaghetti!

The story of "Buddy the Elf" is endearing, and his take on spaghetti is undoubtedly an interesting, if overly sweet, recipe! The Sticky Fingers Cooking version, "Buddy's Breakfast Pancake Spaghetti," may not be sweet enough for Buddy but will be delicious and fun for kids!

Let's Learn About the North Pole!

Photo by Yanik Chauvin/
  • The Geographic North Pole is in the center of the Northern Hemisphere, the northernmost point on Earth. From the North Pole, all directions point South. All longitudinal lines meet there. 

  • It is the geographic opposite of the South Pole and is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean rather than on a continental land mass. Being in the ocean and at sea level makes the North Pole's climate warmer than the South Pole and its continent, Antarctica, a land mass with an altitude of 9,200 feet. 

  • However, it is still freezing at the North Pole and mainly consists of sea ice floating on top of the Arctic Ocean. According to NASA, due to cold winds, cold temperatures, and the darkness in winter, the sea ice is 5.4 to 6.2 million square miles each year by March. It shrinks to about 2.7 million square miles at the end of summer. Due to warming temperatures, the polar ice cap has been shrinking more than usual in summer in the last few years.

  • Since the sun only rises and sets once a year at the North Pole, and all time zones, like longitudes, converge there, it does not have its own time zone. No one lives there permanently, so explorers generally use Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or the local time of the country's region from where they departed. 

  • The North Pole does not belong to any country, but the countries surrounding it and the Arctic Ocean are Canada, Denmark (via Greenland), Norway, Russia, and the United States (Alaska). 
  • Polar bears and Arctic foxes come close to the North Pole, and a few fish and birds are spotted at or near it.
  • There are various cultural associations with the North Pole. One, of course, is that the North Pole is the home of Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and Santa's workshop. That is where he and his elf employees make toys and gifts for millions of children around the world, and from where Santa and his reindeer fly away in a sleigh to deliver those gifts on Christmas Eve.
  • Canada's postal service has assigned the postal code H0H 0H0 (Ho! Ho! Ho!) to the North Pole for all the Canadian children who write letters to Santa each year.

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a doctor who drinks a lot of soda?

A fizz-ician!

THYME for a Laugh

Did you hear about the angry pancake?

He just flipped.

That's Berry Funny

What did the cup of flour say to the tablespoon of sugar?

You sweeten me!

That's Berry Funny

How do you make a pancake smile? 

Butter him up!

Lettuce Joke Around

What's the best pancake topping? 

More pancakes!

That's Berry Funny

How does carbon dioxide make soda so bubbly?

By obeying the laws of fizz-ics!

Lettuce Joke Around

What dinosaur loves pancakes? 

A tri-syrup-tops!

The Yolk's On You

How do you get up on a horse made of pancakes?

Use the syrups! (stirrups)

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