The Spatula Pancake Hack That Had TikTok Mesmerized

The TikTok video starts predictably enough, with the camera focused on a bowl of prepared pancake batter. Quickly, though, the cook's hands begin doing something unexpected with a pot of hot oil and a metal spatula. Warning: When you try this pancake hack at home, your griddle might experience mild FOMO.

Popular TikTok account Chefclub Network, which frequently shares interesting ways to turn a common recipe on its head, took the social media platform by storm last October when it showed 12.4 million viewers a creative way to upgrade boxed pancake mix. Followers were both repulsed and fascinated by the clever, yet labor-intensive, hack. Their comments included, "Why do I feel like he's making this up as he goes along? I'd eat it tho," and "I can't stop watching." Several simply asked, "Why?" 

In the 49-second video, the cook demonstrates what happens if you dip a metal spatula into thick pancake batter, then into a pot of hot oil. As is the case with many TikTok food hacks, something is sacrificed — such as time, effort, and a clean kitchen — in exchange for photo-worthy originality. For this pancake trick, though, the novelty just might be worth it.

Voila! A pancake pocket

The result of Chefclub Network's spatula pancake hack is a pancake pocket — imagine a Hot Pocket with a sweet, funnel cake-like exterior. To make it, simply dip a batter-laden metal spatula in hot frying oil. "You'll start getting these cool little bubbles," says the chef in the video. The dipped batter becomes a crust, clinging to the spatula. It's then drained, dipped again into the pancake batter, and goes back into the hot oil.

How to tell when it's done? In magical TikTok land, the pancake popsicle becomes browned and ready almost instantly. In reality, look for a golden color, then pat the spatula onto a towel to drain off the excess grease, and use a smaller spatula to slide the pancake pocket off the kitchen tool onto a plate. "Is that not awesome?" Some commenters seemed to think so, chiming in with ideas for how to fill it. One suggested ice cream and chocolate syrup, another voted for Bavarian cream and strawberry jam, and a third suggested filling the "breakfast ravioli" with eggs, bacon, and maple syrup.

In another video on the Chefclub website, the pancake pockets are stuffed with a pretty elaborate filling of mashed bananas and homemade white chocolate bark. If you now want stuffed pancakes — minus the effort of deep-frying batter on a spatula — Ree Drummond's pancake pockets are a little simpler and can be made using the more traditional skillet method.