I’ve tried several varieties of pancakes, but the standard buttermilk pancake remains one of my favorites. There’s something about adding chocolate to breakfast which is irresistible. Chocolate chip pancakes are a bit of overkill for me, but chocolate pancakes seem more natural to me. It’s like a chocolate cake for breakfast. The path chosen by most online is simply to add cocoa powder to a typical pancake batter. So that’s what I did. I used a white whole wheat base for this particular recipe.

Ingredients

  • 130 g white whole wheat flour
  • 25 g sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 10 g cocoa powder (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 145 g buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly
  • mix liquid ingredients well and add into dry ingredients, taking care not to overmix (less of an issue with a whole wheat base)
  • allow to rest for 5-10 minutes
  • cook pancakes for about 3 minutes per side on a 300 °F griddle

I made a few changes to my whole wheat pancake base for this recipe. I decreased the flour to 130 g to accommodate the cocoa powder, doubled the sugar, and just melted the butter instead of browning it (since I suspected the flavor would be masked by the cocoa).

I have two kinds of cocoa powder at home: regular Hershey’s unsweetened and Droste Dutch-processed. Which one to use? Why not experiment: I split the batter and half with each type. The Hershey box says that 5g is one tablespoon and Droste says that the equivalent is 1 teaspoon. I suspect one is wrong, but I just went with 5 g of each. In the dry state, the Droste (left) yielded a darker mix:

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Interestingly, once I added the liquid, the Hershey’s batter (below) ended up darker.

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On the griddle, they were almost indistinguishable. The Droste pancakes (left in the image below and at the top of the post) rose a bit higher. I suspect this was because it’s more alkaline and reacted more with the acidic buttermilk.

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The pancakes were (of course) quite good, but next time I’ll probably increase the cocoa to boost the chocolate flavor or add some instant espresso. I couldn’t really detect much difference between the two cocoas, so it doesn’t matter which one you use. The Droste yielded slightly fluffier pancakes, but I suspect the same could be achieved by increasing the baking soda.

 

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