This is my favourite recipe for chocolate pancakes with cocoa powder. This easy to make chocolate pancake recipe is great to serve warm or cold with your choice of your toppings for a luxurious breakfast, brunch or afternoon snack!
Why make this recipe?
- Great chocolate flavour
- Budget friendly recipe with cocoa powder (rather than chocolate chips)
- Easy to make
PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER
My top tips on making chocolate pancakes successfully
Mix the dry ingredients first and then add all the wet ingredients. If the batter feels a little too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk, but only if needed.
Since the pancake batter is going to look quite dark when you are making your pancakes, it can sometimes be tricky to see when the pancakes are cooked. Keep an eye on these even more than when you are making regular pancakes.
MORE PANCAKE RECIPES
What makes this chocolate pancakes with cocoa powder recipe work
- Mixing in a tiny pinch of salt into the cocoa powder gives these pancakes an extra intense chocolate flavour
- Adding 1/4 teaspoon of instant coffee helps the chocolate flavour too (use decaffeinated coffee if making these for children or leave out)
Any specialist equipment needed to make chocolate pancakes
You don’t need specialist equipment to fry your pancakes, any large frying pan or a flat griddle will be fine to use as it’s very easy to make chocolate pancakes from scratch.
Since I make chocolate pancakes quite often, I’ve treated myself to a special pancake frying pan which, I think makes a difference in how the pancakes rise.
The pancake pan has deeper cavities, which prevents the pancake batter from spreading out and makes them rise a bit higher. This also means that they are thicker and that makes the pancakes lighter.
I think having a specialist pancake pan is totally worth it, as it also helps me to portion the pancakes better into more even rounds.
Time saving tip
You can double or triple this easy recipe for chocolate pancakes with cocoa powder and make more pancakes in one go. These chocolate pancakes are easy to freeze and they taste great when defrosted, so you can make a lot and freeze them for later.
To make these chocolate pancakes with cocoa powder evenly cooked, make sure that you heat your frying pan only to low to medium heat.
Too much heat is going to burn the pancakes and they also might be undercooked in the middle. Always use extra butter or vegetable oil to brush the frying pan to make sure that your pancakes won’t stick to the pan.
Ingredients & Possible Substitutions for chocolate pancakes with cocoa powder
I’ve used all-purpose – plain flour (cake flour) in this recipe, but you could use any low gluten type of fine flour or a mix of different flours.
To keep the pancakes still nice, light and fluffy you could use 2/3 of the total amount of all purpose – plain flour and 1/3 of different flour, such as:
Please don’t use self-raising flour for this recipe as we are going to use baking powder as a raising agent and it would be just too much rasing agent together.
A good quality cocoa powder is quite essential for this recipe, but if you don’t have any, you can melt down any milk or dark chocolate bar, use a hot chocolate drink powder, baking chocolate, chocolate chips or carob powder.
I’ve used baking powder for this no eggs pancake recipe, as it’s partly replacing the ‘raise’ you would normally get from the whipped egg whites.
This recipe will work with any white granulated or white caster of sugar. I’ve used regular caster sugar, but you can change the flavour of the pancakes by using other types of sugars.
Darker sugars, such as light brown sugar, coconut sugar or similar types of sugar will add colour and flavour to your pancakes.
If you want to use liquid sugars, such as honey, agave or maple syrup, you might need to add a little less milk to compensate for the liquid sugar syrup.
I only use one teaspoon of sugar for this recipe, which I think it’s quite low, but if you want to you can add a little more if needed.
I always add a tiny pinch of salt to my pancake batter because it helps to bring all the flavours together. I use regular fine table or cooking salt.
The traditional recipe for pancakes have regular dairy milk but you can use pretty much any type of milk with this eggless pancake recipe.
I usually use semi-skimmed milk, but whole milk would add extra creaminess if you wanted to. Lactose free or plant based milks are fine too – use the same amount as the recipe states. When I use plant based milk, I prefer to use milk with non-distinct flavours (e.g. no soya milk).
- rice milk
- oat milk
- almond milk
- hazelnut milk
- chocolate milk
- 50% water & 50% white yoghurt mix
- whole milk
- 50% cream & 50% water or milk
Instant coffee powder
This is my secret ingredient in these chocolate pancakes! The little bit of instant coffee powder enhances the chocolate flavour and adds more depth to the pancakes. I regularly use this trick when I’m baking chocolate cakes and the flavour is always so much better.
If you don’t want to use the instant coffee powder that’s fine too, but if your chocolate pancakes taste a little bland even tiny amount of the instant coffee powder will help.
SUGAR FREE PANCAKES RECIPES
- Truly sugar free pancakes >>
- Blueberry (Sugar Free) Pancakes >>
- Almond & Flax Pancakes (Sugar Free) >>
Can I make pancakes with chocolate milk?
My chocolate pancakes are great made with chocolate milk instead of the regular or plant based milk. Follow the recipe as it is and perhaps add 1/2 teaspoon less of the cocoa powder.
You’ll still need to add some cocoa powder (or other types of chocolate) to flavour your pancakes as I’m afraid it won’t be quite enough to make it as a strong chocolate flavour.
How to make a chocolate pancakes with cocoa powder recipe
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking powder, sugar and salt using a whisk or spatula.
Add the rest of the ingredients – milk, egg – and use a hand whisk to combine until smooth.
Heat your frying pan (or pancake pan) on low to medium heat and lightly grease it with butter to make sure your pancakes won’t stick.
Spoon or pour your pancake batter on the frying pan either using a large spoon or ladle to measure your batter depending on how large you wan’t your pancakes to be. If using a regular frying pan, leave a space between the pancakes so that they can cook properly.
Cook your pancakes for about 1 minute or until you see bubbles form on the pancake surface and the pancake batter starts to look dry. Gently lift the bottom of one pancake – it should look dry and firm. If it is, flip or turn the pancake using a non-stick spatula and cook on the other side for another minute or so.
Serve the pancakes hot or cold with your choice of pancake toppings. Bananas, yoghurt, honey or melted chocolate on top of whipped cream make a great toppings, but these pancakes are also delicious on their own with perhaps just a dusting of icing sugar.
Can I use pancake mix to make chocolate pancakes?
Yes, you can! Most pancake mixes have the dry ingredients already pre-mixed in, so all you need is to add egg and milk or water and cocoa powder.
Pancake mixes are great to have in the kitchen cupboard as they are very easy to use and have a very good shelf-life.
For every cup of pancake mix add 1 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa powder. I usually find that this is a strong enough flavour, but you can add more cocoa powder if you like. You will also need to add about 2 teaspoons of milk extra to make sure that your pancake batter is not too thick (because of the cocoa powder).
How else you can make this chocolate pancakes recipe? Allergies, dietary requirements
This chocolate pancake recipe (as it is) is not suitable for a gluten or dairy free diet. It’s also not suitable for vegan diet, although it’s fine for vegetarian diet. Here is how you can make a few tweaks to this recipe to make it suit your diet:
Swap the plain flour for gluten-free plain flour mix and either add 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum or use it as it is if your gluten-free flour already has a xantham gum mixed in.
Dairy Free Version
Swap the regular milk for your favourite plant based milk, bearing in mind that something like coconut milk will affect the flavour of the pancakes. I usually use rice or oat milk to keep the flavour the same.
Use vegetable oil instead of butter to grease the frying pan.
Use 1 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 1 1/2 teaspoon of water to replace the egg. Use vegetable oil instead of butter to grease the frying pan. Swap the dairy milk for dairy free – plant based milk. You can find more about making eggless pancakes in my other recipe.
GLUTEN FREE PANCAKES RECIPES
This recipe makes approximately 8-12 medium sized pancakes, and the quantity is suitable for 2-3 people.
However, if I was serving chocolate pancakes for a dessert after dinner, I’d probably use stack of 3 pancakes with lots of toppings and fresh fruit and easily made this batch to feel 4 people.
Can I scale up or down this recipe?
Yes, absolutely – you are welcome to half the recipe by halving all the ingredients. This would make it a perfect portion (4 pancakes) for one person.
This recipe is also perfect for making in large quantities – double or triple. Again double or triple all the recipe ingredients as required. You can just toggle the measurements of the ingredients on the recipe below, and it will show you exactly what you need.
How to serve chocolate pancakes
These chocolate pancakes are great hot or warm straight from the frying pan served with a icing sugar dusting and a little bit of melted chocolate.
These pancakes are also perfectly fine cold (I often take them – with no topping – with me as a snack for day trips out or countryside hikes).
You can always warm them up in the microwave again (before you add your toppings, yoghurt, sauces or fruit).
What to serve with chocolate pancakes
Since these pancakes have a lovely chocolate flavour, you either want to slightly enhance it, neutralise it or add something contrasting when it comes to choosing your toppings. So far, my favourite combination include:
Cream Cheese or Greek yoghurt – mix the cream cheese with icing sugar and vanilla essence for extra special luxury version of cream cheese
Fresh Raspberry – the slightly tart raspberry flavour is a great contrast to the chocolate
Lemon or Lime Curd – delicious zesty flavour as a contrast to the chocolate
Salted Caramel Sauce – the salt helps to lower down the sweetness flavour and goes well with chocolate
Greek yoghurt + salted caramel sauce + chopped walnuts
Soft Cream Cheese + Fresh Raspberries or Blackcurrants
Cherries or Morello Cherries – think pancakes with Black Forest Cake twist and add some whipped cream and drizzling of melted chocolate on the top
Yoghurt + Chocolate sauce – the tart flavour of yogurt or greek yoghurt works great with the chocolate pancake base and adding dark chocolate sauce helps to keep the flavours in balance
Orange Marmalade – orange flavour compliments chocolate well
Vanilla Ice Cream
Biscoff Spread – or another biscuit type of spread
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Vanilla Marshmallow Fluff – or melted marshmallows
Fresh Figs + melted chocolate
HOMEMADE TOPPINGS & SYRUPS RECIPES FOR CHOCOLATE PANCAKES
- Orange Marmalade (reduced sugar) >>
- Grapefruit Marmalade >>
- Banana & Honey Curd >>
- Lime Curd >>
- Brown Sugar Syrup >>
- Vanilla Ice-Cream >>
- Chocolate & Peanut Butter Ice-Cream >>
This is a pretty straightforward recipe, so you shouldn’t come across many problems.
The only thing here to remember is that depending on what type of flour and milk you use you might need to adjust the amount of milk to get the right thickness of the pancake batter.
Can this recipe be made in advance?
Yes, you can make your chocolate pancakes with cocoa powder in advance and then either keep them in the fridge in an airtight container (perhaps stored with baking parchment in between each pancake, so that they don’t stick to each other) for 2-3 days.
How to store chocolate pancakes if you have any leftovers
If you do have some leftovers, cover your pancakes with another plate (or place them into an airtight container) and keep them in the fridge for 1-2 days or freeze them on the same day. I’ve never had them in the freezer for more than 1-3 months, but I’m sure they will probably last a bit longer if needed.
Can you freeze chocolate pancakes ?
Chocolate pancakes are suitable for freezing as it is very little that can go off in these and the texture will also stay the same when they are defrosted (and warmed up again).
If you make far too many pancakes or you can’t finish them in a few days, I’d recommend freezing them.
Freeze the pancakes straight away after they have cooled down, leaving them on a flat tray (placed in the freezer) and then stack them up with baking or greaseproof paper in between. That way you can easily take them out one by one and have them for breakfast any time you want.
To defrost your pancakes, just take them out the night before you want to use them and defrost them overnight in the fridge. You can also leave them out on a kitchen counter to defrost a room temperature (don’t worry they won’t go off but make sure you eat them on the same day).
You can also defrost pancakes over a saucepan of simmering water or using a microwave or oven (see my notes about heating up your pancakes).
How to re-heat chocolate pancakes
I would always heat pancakes up in the microwave or oven (180 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit for 5 minutes – depending on the quantity) and serve them warm.
Simply microwave the pancakes for 10-20 seconds depending on the quantity. Check after 10 sec and add more time if needed. You can keep them stacked in a 3-4 to prevent them from overheating or burning.
You can also use the oven to re-heat your chocolate pancakes by heating the oven to about 180C (350F) for 5 minutes – depending on the quantity and leaving the pancakes to warm through.
If you don’t have access to microwave or oven, you can also warm up pancakes over a saucepan of hot water. I’ve successfully done this when out microwave burned out and I didn’t want to switch the whole oven on to just warm up a couple of pancakes.
To warm up pancakes over hot water, first add some water (1 inch – 3 cm) to a medium size saucepan and place it on a medium heat.
You can get the water boiling if you want, but then lower the heat down to let the water simmer only. Add the pancakes – ideally spaced out) to a bowl or plate and place it on top of the saucepan. If you have something suitable, like a large lid or another light plastic bowl, cover the pancakes to make them warm up quicker.
Let the water to simmer for 5 minutes, by which time the pancakes should be nice and hot. This method will keep the pancakes nice and soft (and not dried out like if you heat them up in the oven).
Chocolate Pancakes with Cocoa Powder
- mixing bowl
- pancake pan or any suitable frying pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plain (cake) flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar white granulated or caster sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder or unsweetened cocoa, drinking chocolate powder
- 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee – optional (to enhance the chocolate flavour)
- large pinch salt
- 1 cup milk dairy or plant based milk (oat, almonds, rice milk) or chocolate milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter or more vegetable oil melted to use for frying your pancakes
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking powder, sugar and salt using a whisk or spatula.
- Add the rest of the ingredients – milk, egg – and use a hand whisk to combine until smooth.
- Heat your frying pan (or pancake pan) on low to medium heat and lightly grease it with butter to make sure your pancakes won't stick.
- Spoon or pour your pancake batter on the frying pan either using a large spoon or ladle to measure your batter depending on how large you wan't your pancakes to be. If using a regular frying pan, leave a space between the pancakes so that they can cook properly.
- Cook your pancakes for about 1 minute or until you see bubbles form on the pancake surface and the pancake batter starts to look dry. Gently lift the bottom of one pancake – it should look dry and firm. If it is, flip or turn the pancake using a non-stick spatula and cook on the other side for another minute or so.
- Serve the pancakes hot or cold with your choice of pancake toppings. Bananas, yoghurt, honey or melted chocolate on top of whipped cream make a great toppings, but these pancakes are also delicious on their own with perhaps just a dusting of icing sugar.
This blog post was originally written on 18 February 2023 and last updated on 19 February 2023