For the topping: Heat the heavy cream, maple syrup, cream cheese, vanilla and kosher salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking frequently to break up and smooth out the cream cheese, until the mixture just begins to bubble, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover and keep warm.
For the pancakes: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and fine salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Add the milk mixture and sprinkles to the flour mixture, and fold until just incorporated (it's okay if there are some lumps).
Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat, add about 1/2 tablespoon butter and let melt. Pour 1/4-cupfuls of batter onto the hot skillet, and cook until the pancakes are lightly golden on the bottom and bubbly on the top, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the pancakes, and cook until lightly golden on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to serving plates, stacking them on top of each other if desired, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Pour the topping over the stacks, and top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkles. Add a birthday candle if you like, and serve the remaining topping on the side.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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