Friends, I hope you’re here because you want to make some chocolate pancakes. And not only is the batter chocolate, but it’s also raised with yeast and has chocolate chips. Pancakes for the true chocolate lover!
Yeast raised pancakes are a bit heartier and chewier than their baking powder-raised cousins, but they also have so much flavor and are not really that much harder to make. You just have to wait for a little while for the yeast to perk up.
And if you’re not up for a little yeast-raised action, try my scalable recipe for Pancakes for One made without eggs. Still one of my favorite ways to get an easy pancake fix!
Different Types of Pancakes
A pancake is a type of flatbread typically cooked on a griddle on the stove top. While I think of them generally as sweet, that’s mostly because of the syrup we pour on them.
Pancakes can be sweet or savory and be topped with syrup or jam. Or not.
Almost every culture has a kind of pancake, whether they’re Mexican tortillas, Ethiopian Injera, Russian blini, French crepes, etc.
From an American perspective, I think there are 3 basic types of pancakes:
- pancakes raised with a chemical leavener, such as my pancakes for one, linked above or these Vegan Vanilla Chai pancakes
- pancakes raised with steam, like a Dutch Baby/German Pancakes
- pancakes raised with either wild yeast (sourdough pancakes) or commercial yeast like these chocolate pancakes
Why Make Chocolate Pancakes with Yeast?
The smart alecky part of me wants to respond to this with “why not?” But aside from just doing it because you can, there are some other perks to making yeast pancakes:
- using yeast in pancakes is common to Russian blini, English crumpets, and some Welsh pancakes. So, yeah, there is precedent.
- it’s kind of cool to use yeast to raise pancakes because it’s not something everyone is doing. So get in on the ground floor and let’s bring yeast pancakes back
- Using yeast forces you to slow down a little so the yeast can work their magic. Make these for a fun breakfast for dinner or for an indulgent brunch on a lazy weekend
- you will feel a little like a prospector. Those guys used to make pancakes and bread with their sourdough starters. You won’t have to worry about feeding a starter though. These chocolate chocolate chip beauties are made with commercial yeast and don’t have that sour tang.
Yeast raised chocolate chocolate chip pancakes are delightful! Seriously. We enjoyed these so much.
What’s the Best Way to Get the Chocolate Chips Evenly Distributed in the Pancakes?
After some trial and error–it took me a good 4-5 pancakes to get the heat regulated and to get my chip-adding process down–here’s how I finally made it work.
- Ladle 1/4 cup pancake batter onto your griddle or hot pan
- Allow to cook for about 30 seconds.
- Evenly distribute 8-10 chocolate chips across the surface of the pancake, staying at least 1/2″ from the edges all the way around. (If you plop one too close to the edge, it will mess with the pretty round shape of your pancakes by making a rivulet of the batter run out onto the pan.)
- Grab a bit more batter in a tablespoon and drip just enough batter on each chip to cover it. (The chips need a little insulation so they don’t burn when you flip the pancakes.)
- Cook until the pancakes are set all along the edges and about 1/4″ in from the edge all the way around, about 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully flip once and cook for another 1-1 1/2 minutes.
Why Not Just Mix the Chips into the Batter?
- The chips would all sink, making it nearly impossible to get the same amount of chips in each pancake.
- The chips sort of clump together, so it’s hard to get an even distribution for chocolate chip goodness in every bite.
- The batter doesn’t pour out into perfectly round pancakes when the chips are in it.
So, while it sounds a bit fussy to do it my way, it results in really pretty, beautifully shaped pancakes with a nice even distribution of chips.
Do Yeast Pancakes Taste Good?
You’ll want to make these, seriously.
They’re not too sweet, plenty chocolate-y with a pleasant, slightly chewy texture that sort of reminded The Beloved and me of injera.
And with the coffee maple syrup I made, they’re pretty much perfect.
You can guild the lily with whipped cream, sprinkles, more chocolate chips on top–even a scoop of ice cream, but I ask that you don’t, at least for a couple of bites. You’ll love the flavor.
Are These Harder to Make Than “Regular” Pancakes?
Not at all. The mixing method–The Muffin Method–is exactly the same:
- whisk dry ingredients together
- whisk wet ingredients together’
- stir wet into dry just until moistened
The only difference is that you will need to let the batter rest in a warm place for about an hour before making the pancakes. This will give the yeast time to activate and start bubbling enough to raise the pancakes when you cook them.
Plenty of time to whip up some beaten coffee and read the paper or catch an episode of your favorite Netflix guilty pleasure.
A Note About Measurements
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.
Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
I really hope you love these chocolate pancakes, you guys! If you make some, please share a photo with me, either in the PCO Facebook Group or on instagram by tagging @onlinepastrychef and using hashtag #pcorecipe. Thanks, and enjoy!
For the Batter
- 6.75 oz all purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cup, whisked, spooned, and leveled)
- 1.25 oz cocoa powder, sifted (about 1/4 cup)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 Tablespoons brown sugar, , packed
- 8 oz whole milk, , barely warm
- 8 oz water, , barely warm
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 large egg, , beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- softened butter
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Syrup
- 1 cup real maple syrup, cold from the fridge
- 3 Tablespoons cool butter
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, (more if you like)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Batter
- In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk all the dry ingredients together. (flour, cocoa powder, salt, yeast, brown sugar)
- In another bowl, thoroughly whisk all the wet ingredients together (milk, water, melted butter, egg, vanilla).
- Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and whisk very well until you have a smooth batter. (Note with regular pancakes, you don't want to whisk a ton. But in this case, we want to develop some gluten to hold onto the bubbles from the yeast)
- Cover and set in a warm place to rise until about doubled, an hour or so. The batter will increase in volume and become very light and bubbly.
- When the batter is ready, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for a good ten minutes or so.
- Smear a small amount of butter over the cooking surface (I used a wadded up paper towel) and then pour in 1/4 cup of batter.
- Allow to cook for 30 seconds or so and then evenly distribute 8-10 chips over the surface, staying at least 1/2" away from the edges of the pancake.
- With a measuring spoon, scoop up another teaspoon or teaspoon and a half of batter and drip it on top of each chip to cover them. It seems fussy, but this is the best way to get an even distribution of chips, lovely round pancakes and no burned chocolate.
- Let the pancake cook until set up to about 1/4" in from the edge, a total of about 3-4 minutes.
- Flip carefully and allow to cook an additional 1-1 1/2 minutes until done. Place on the prepared rack in the oven to keep warm.
- Wipe out the pan, add another small smear of butter, and repeat with the rest of the batter. If you have a preferred pancake griddle, by all means use that instead.
For the Syrup
- Place the maple syrup, butter, espresso powder, vanilla and salt into your blender jar and blend on high speed until thickened and well-emulsified. If you have a high-speed blender, this should also warm the syrup to about room temperature. Don't start with warm syrup or melted butter or it will be harder to form an emulsion.
- Serve the pancakes hot with syrup and enjoy.
The yield is approximate and will serve 3 or 4 people. Nutritionals are based on 4 servings of 3 4" pancakes each and 1/4 of the syrup.
Cook time is of course for one pancake. I only cooked one at a time since I was trying to figure out the best way to do it. If you're fancy and there is enough room in your pan, you can make 2-3 at a time.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 3 pancakes
Amount Per Serving Calories 761Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 106mgSodium 814mgCarbohydrates 118gFiber 4gSugar 69gProtein 12g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today.
Enjoy the pancakes, and have a lovely day.