The rhyme is often accompanied by hand-clapping between two people, a clapping game. It alternates between a normal individual clap with two-handed claps with the other person. The hands may be crossed as well. This allows for a possibly complex sequence of clapping that must be coordinated between the two. If told by a parent to a child, the "B" and "baby" in the last two lines are sometimes replaced by the child's first initial and first name.
In popular culture
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope used this rhyme in many of their Road to... pictures (1940–62) when physically threatened, distracting their attacker, and at an appropriate point would switch from patting the "cakes" to suddenly slugging their assailant. On some occasions, they made a self-referential remark that the antagonist in question had/had not seen their previous movies.
In the short film Baker's Men, by Harriette Yahr, two little girls de-construct the rhyme coming up with humorous yet poignant insights about it.
In Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Eddie Valiant takes revealing photographs of Marvin Acme inside Jessica Rabbit's dressing room where they can be heard (and later seen) literally playing "patty cake" and Jessica moaning in her characteristically sexy, sultry manner. Apparently, patty cake is considered a form of adultery in the cartoon world.
In the episode "Hammer Into Anvil" (1967) of The Prisoner, as a part of his plot to drive Number 2 into madness, Number 6 sends a message coded in morse that turns out to be the words from the song.
In several episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Mario and/or Luigi would either play patty cake or chant the rhyme to a star. Their variation was "Patty cake, Patty cake, Pasta man. Give me pasta power as fast as you can."
In an episode[which?] of LazyTown (2004–7), Stingy says the last part of the rhyme: "And mark it with an 's' and put it in the oven for me."
In the Oobi (2004–7) episode "Uma Sick", Oobi and Kako are playing pat-a-cake, pronouncing it like "pah-a-cake."
Patty-Cake is a comic book created by artist/writer Scott Roberts, which ran from 1995 to 2005. The title character, named Patty-Cake Bakerman, also appeared frequently in Nickelodeon Magazine. The series also ran under the title "Patty-Cake & Friends."
The rhyme features in the Batman series The Long Halloween, where the Scarecrow recites a disjointed version, along with other nursery rhymes. Upon reaching the final part, he sings "Mark it with 'B'. And put it in the oven for Batman and me."
^ abcI. Opie and P. Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (Oxford University Press, 1951, 2nd edn., 1997), pp. 341–2. ISBN 9780198600886.