Chocolate for breakfast? Yes and please! These easy chocolate pancakes are thick, fluffy and fudgy all at once – a total chocolate lover’s dream.
- Easy to make.
- Rich, indulgent chocolate flavour.
- Thick, soft and fluffy.
- The pancake mix is perfect for gifting.
- Can be made ahead and reheated.
If you’re a pancake lover and a chocolate lover then I promise you’ll love these. These indulgent chocolate pancakes / chocolate hotcakes are so chocolatey, with wonderful little bursts of gooey chocolate. Even better, they’re super easy to make and start with a simple pancake mix you can store in your pantry (or gift), then just add water and oil when you’re ready to cook them up.
This recipe was first published here on April 8th, 2020 and has been updated with more info and updated photos.
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Hotcakes vs Pancakes vs Flapjacks
The names hotcakes and pancakes and even flapjacks are interchangeable in the US and refer to a thick fluffy cake cooked in a pan. Look outside the US, though and they have some different meanings.
My family is English so, growing up, what I knew as pancakes were in fact English Pancakes. These are thin and much wider – think crepes but thicker. You sprinkle them with granulated sugar and lemon juice, roll them up and eat them with a spoon. Still my favourite version of pancakes.
To differentiate between what I knew as pancakes and the US style, I would always call the latter hotcakes (just like McDonalds). UK-style flapjacks are something entirely different to the US flapjack. They are a baked bar consisting largely of oats and golden syrup.
How to make chocolate pancakes
These chocolate pancakes are simple to make. Since there are no eggs, I’ve added a little cornflour (cornstarch) to help with binding and keep them soft and fluffy.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl and transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and a wide opening.
- To turn it into pancake batter, just add the wet ingredients – oil and water – and give it a good shake.
- Use a ¼ cup measure to place batter into a hot, lightly oiled pan
I like to use a non-stick frying pan for cooking pancakes – I just always get the best results that way. You can use a regular pan, skillet or griddle but you may need to add a little more oil to the surface to stop them sticking.
How to cook pancakes
Making the pancake batter is just half the process. Over the years of making pancakes I’ve developed a simple system that works perfectly every time, even overcoming that idea that the first pancake of a batch never works. It does and here’s how;
- Use a non-stick pan and oil: The combination of non-stick and a little oil (maybe a teaspoon for each lot of 3 pancakes in the pan) makes it easy to flip the pancakes.
- Preheat the pan over high heat ONCE only: Preheat over high with the oil in the pan. Turn it down to medium-low heat before adding your first pancakes. There is no need to preheat it again between removing and adding new pancakes.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: I cook 3 pancakes at a time in a 30cm / 12 inch pan.
- Use a ¼ cup measure and silicone spatula: The ¼ cup measure will give you 11 perfect pancakes in this recipe. Scoop with the measure, scrape the excess off the outside of the cup with the spatula, then scrape the whole lot into the pan with the spatula.
- Nudge, don’t spread: After placing the batter into the pan, use the spatula to gently swirl and nudge the batter out into a 10cm / 4 inch circle. Don’t spread it too much or press down or you’ll end up with flatter pancakes.
- Cook all the way one side: I timed this to about 3-4 minutes until bubbles appear and pop and the top looks dry. Once you hit this point you can flip them. For regular pancakes you’ll see a lovely golden hue at this point but with chocolate you won’t really see anything.
- Seal the other side: By this point the pancakes are basically cooked through so just seal them about 1 minute on the other side. With regular pancakes you can let them cook to get a little more golden on the second side if you like but I prefer to just serve them golden side up and perfectly cooked.
Tips for perfect chocolate pancakes
Stored properly, this chocolate pancake mix will keep well for 6-8 months in the pantry – maybe longer in the fridge. Go on! Make up a few batches and have them stored and at the ready for when a sweet breakfast craving hits. You could even gift this homemade pancake mix – what a perfect Easter or Christmas gift.
- Airtight jars: It’s important to use airtight jars. Use jars that are at least 1L / ¼ gallon in capacity to give you plenty of room to add the oil and water and shake.
- Store in a cool place: In the pantry is fine and it’ll keep even longer in the fridge.
- Oil or butter: While the recipe states oil, you can also use melted butter in it’s place if you prefer the flavour.
Dutched cocoa powder is cocoa that has been washed to neutralise it’s acidity. I prefer it as it has a glorious dark colour and smoother flavour. However, if you want to use regular cocoa powder in this recipe, you’ll need to swap that baking powder out and add ¾ teaspoon of baking soda instead.
I use rice bran oil in nearly all my cooking, it’s just a neutral flavoured vegetable oil that has a high heat point and doesn’t degrade so quickly as other oils. In these pancakes, you can use any vegetable oil – avocado and sunflower oil are good. You could also use melted butter or coconut oil.
Toppings for chocolate pancakes
While maple syrup is equally as lovely on chocolate pancakes as it is regular ones, this homemade chocolate sauce is a definite crowd-pleaser. Its like a rich chocolate syrup, then add some pretty berries or slices of banana.
A caramel sauce would also be fantastic and if you’re having them for dessert, why not add ice cream.
The chocolate sauce shown in these images is more of a runny ganache being ½ cup dark chocolate mixed with ½ cup hot cream and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup.
Cooked pancakes can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. They can be reheated in a pan on the stove or in the oven.
If you’re looking for a sweet breakfast or brunch idea, these chocolate pancakes have you covered. These are perfect for a celebratory breakfast like Easter, Mothers Day or even Thanksgiving.
Did you try this chocolate pancake recipe?
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FOR THE PANCAKE MIX
- 195 g plain flour (all purpose flour) (5.3oz / 1 ½ cups)
- ⅓ cup milk powder (45g / 1.6oz) (notes 3)
- ⅓ cup dutched cocoa powder (40g / 1.4oz)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (notes 1)
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) (notes 1)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar, optional (notes 3)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
TO TURN IT INTO PANCAKES
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups water (notes 3)
FOR THE CHOCOLATE PANCAKE MIX
- In a medium bowl whisk together the pancake mix ingredients (making sure the cocoa is sifted in) – this is everything but the oil and water.
- At this point you can store the pancake mix in a large jar – at least 1 litre (1 quart or ¼ gallon) – with a wide mouth and airtight lid for 6-8 months.
TO MAKE THE PANCAKES
- Add the oil and water to the pancake mix – either to the bowl and whisk together or into the jar and give it a good shake.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and drizzle ½ to 1 teaspoon of oil in.
- When the oil is hot and liquidy, turn the heat down to low-medium heat.
- Use a ¼ cup measure or medium ice cream scoop to scoop out the batter and drop into the pan (a 30cm / 12 inch pan can fit 3 pancakes at a time).
- Use the spatula to gently swirl and nudge the batter into a 10cm / 4 inch circle.
- Let the pancakes cook for 3-4 minutes until bubbles have popped on the surface and the surface looks dry, then flip over and cook a further minute on the other side to seal.
- Transfer to plate and cover the stack with a clean tea towel while you cook the rest.
- Serve your cooked pancakes with whipped cream and maple, caramel or chocolate syrup and some fresh berries.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (=4 teaspoons worldwide).
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- Gifting or not? If you aren’t gifting the pancake mixture, you can just make it all in a mixing bowl. Swap the milk powder and water for 1 ½ cups of milk and swap the vanilla sugar for vanilla extract.
- Type of pans: I like to use a non-stick frying pan for cooking pancakes – I just always get the best results that way. You can use a regular pan, skillet or griddle but you may need to add a little more oil to the surface to stop them sticking.
- Storage: Cooked pancakes can be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. They can be reheated in a pan on the stove or in the oven.
- Chocolate syrup: You can use this Homemade Chocolate Sauce or a store-bought version. The one shown in the photos is a combination of ½ cup dark chocolate (finely chopped), ½ cup cream heated in a saucepan to simmer point and 2 tablespoons golden syrup all stirred together to a thick, glossy sauce.
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