Cool Dad Award: Father Makes Pancakes Worth Framing

Illustrator and stay-at-home dad Nathan Shields blogs about the incredible pancakes he makes for his two kids. His designs, which range from sea creatures to Einstein, have attracted fans from around the world

With a whisk in one hand and a turkey baster in the other, stay-at-home dad Nathan Shields is the Pablo Picasso of pancakes. Since his website,, launched in early May, he’s attracted 800,000 visitors and multiple features on sites such as Wired, The Huffington Post and The Daily Mail.

A former high school math teacher, Shields and his family uprooted from Portland, Oregon so his wife could gain experience as a nurse midwife in Saipan, a United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Now a self-proclaimed “professional dad,” Shields stays at home with his two children, 19-month-old daughter Alice and 4-year-old son Gryphon, works as a freelance illustrator and creates works of vegan pancake art. While his designs are fancy, the pancakes aren’t -- Shields uses pancake store-bought mix and soy milk.

“The pancakes began earlier this year as a way to entertain [my] audience of two,” explains Shields. By using a small air pump nozzle attached to a baster (for better control), Shields creates color variations in the pancakes by starting with the areas he wants darkest as they cook the longest. Some of his impressive works include Star Wars characters, dinosaurs, insects and his favorite, marine invertebrates.

Whether he’s wielding his homemade pancake “paintbrush” or chasing after his kids, Shields is one dad we’re proud to pay homage to this Father’s Day.

Check out Nathan as he creates a Wild Thing pancake with daughter Alice:

And click here to see even more amazing pancakes!

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