Make breakfast much more fun for everyone in the family with these healthy Chocolate Pancakes. They’re easy to stir together, simple to make in festive shapes (if you want!) in minutes and even delicious as leftovers. And they have just enough chocolate flavor to satisfy!

chocolate pancakes on pink plate

Chocolate Pancakes

One thing that I’ve tried to do since having kids to start and maintain food traditions. For most of my parenting years, we’ve lived far away from family (though that just changed which is exciting!), so we always had to make our own holiday fun.

These Chocolate Pancakes are my favorite Valentine’s Day breakfast to share with my family.

These healthy chocolate pancakes have fiber, protein, and complex carbs, and aren’t too sweet. They do have a hefty dose of cocoa flavor, so they tend to make everyone happy.

They walk the line between nutritious and indulgent and are a favorite weekend breakfast in our house…whether we make them as heart shapes or just as regular circles.

ingredients in chocolate pancakes

Ingredients You Need

To make these pancakes you’ll need:

  • Whole-wheat flour: This provides a nutritious base for the batter.
  • Cocoa powder, sifted: I usually sift the cocoa powder before making these to remove any little lumps of cocoa powder.
  • Baking powder
  • Milk: You can use dairy or unsweetened plain nondairy.
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Melted butter or neutral oil for the batter and for cooking

TIP: Swap in nondairy milk and oil to make these dairy-free. Use gluten-free flour blend to make them without gluten.

how to make chocolate pancakes step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making this breakfast recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

  1. Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate medium bowl.
  3. Whisk the two mixtures together.
  4. Heat your pan. Place a small amount of batter on the pan and cook until the edges are set and you see small bubbles.
  5. Flip carefully and cook through on the other side.
  6. You can also cook these in heart shapes.

TIP: Serve with maple syrup, fruit, or another favorite dip or topping.

healthy chocolate pancakes

How to Make Heart-Shaped Pancakes

Sure, you simply make a “V” shape with the batter, then spread it out to fill in a heart. Be a little more gentle when flipping these, but otherwise cook them like typical pancakes.

Can I add chocolate chips to these pancakes?

You can and they’re really yummy that way! Add 1/4-⅓ cup to the batter and cook as directed. You could also add blueberries or sliced banana as a fruit addition option!

chocolate-pancakes-on-purple-plate

Can I make these pancakes gluten-free and/or dairy-free?

Sure thing. Just use gluten-free flour blend in place of the whole wheat flour. To make them dairy-free, use oil instead of butter and a favorite nondairy milk.

Why do I have to sift the cocoa powder?

It has a tendency to be lumpy and those lumps are a little hard to get out without overworking the batter. By placing the cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve, you can get the lumps out to make a better overall batter.

What toppings are good with these chocolate pancakes?

We like the traditional butter and maple syrup, or warmed frozen blueberries to make a quick fruit sauce, diced fresh fruit, or another fruit sauce.

You could also do nut or seed butter if that sounds good to you, or a fruit yogurt.

chocolate pancakes with raspberries on plate

How to Store

Let any leftovers cool fully on a wire rack and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in 15 second increments in the microwave.

Sometimes we sandwich nut butter between two pancakes for a fun pancakes sandwich!

Best Tips for Success

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it so please comment below with feedback!

This post was first published February 2018.

chocolate-pancakes-on-pink-plate

Favorite Chocolate Pancakes

These pancakes are both easy and flavorful, with just a hint of cocoa flavor. The optional Berry Yogurt Spread is a delicious (and protein-packed) alternative to maple syrup. Make it the day before or start it before you start the pancakes so the berries have a chance to cool. You can also simplify and just serve the pancakes with a side of berries.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 251kcal
Servings 4

Ingredients

Chocolate Pancakes

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (sifted to remove lumps)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened plain nondairy)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or neutral oil
  • Neutral oil or butter (as needed for cooking)
  • Berry Yogurt Spread recipe below, optional

Berry Yogurt Spread

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup whole milk plain or vanilla yogurt

Instructions

Chocolate Pancakes

  • Mix the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk in the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, and melted butter in a separate bowl. The batter should be fairly thin and should fall easily off of a spoon easily.
  • Heat a nonstick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Grease with nonstick spray or butter. Drop batter by ¼ cup portions (or bigger or smaller, depending on your preference). To make hearts, make a “V” shape with the batter and spread into a heart until about 1/4-inch thick. Cook until edges are set and you see small bubbles, about 2 minutes.
  • Flip carefully and cook through on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Serve, or place cooked pancakes onto a baking sheet and keep warm in a 225 degree oven. Cook the rest of the batter.
  • Serve warm with Berry Yogurt Spread—or maple syrup or nut butter.

Berry Yogurt Spread

  • Place the blueberries into a small saucepan. Warm on low, stirring occasionally, until thawed and starting to break down and release their juices, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Stir together with the yogurt and serve with the pancakes.

Video

Make breakfast much more fun for everyone in the family with these healthy Chocolate Pancakes.

Notes

  • To Store: Let any extras cool fully and store them in a airtight storage container or freezer bag in the fridge or freezer for later use. Warm in 15-30 second intervals in the microwave until thawed, if frozen, and warm.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free flour blend in place of the whole wheat flour.
  • Dairy-free: Use oil instead of butter and a favorite nondairy milk.
  • Cocoa powder has a tendency to be lumpy and those lumps are a little hard to get out without overworking the batter. By placing the cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve, you can get the lumps out to make a better overall batter.
  • You can also top with maple syrup, nut butter, applesauce or yogurt.

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 322mg, Potassium: 317mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Calcium: 223mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. Perhaps a silly question, but would all-purpose flour work 1:1 in this? I’ve never worked with whole wheat flour so I don’t know how it usually behaves in recipes.

    1. Hi- I would use a store bought egg replacer like the one from Bobs Red Mill. I haven’t found any other options to work well in pancakes

  2. 5 stars
    We had fun making these in heart shapes on Valentine’s Day. Served with fresh strawberries and your strawberry milk. My two year old said they were delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    We did these for breakfast this AM and they were a hit with everyone! The baby was rioting so we didn’t get to the yogurt topping but served it with some defrosted cherries from summer and yum! (I was hoping from some of the other comments I would get to skip the sifting step too but opened my cocoa powder to find what looked like gravel 😉 so we sifted lol!)

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! (Not about the sifting…I wish companies could figure out how to lessen the lumps!)

  4. 5 stars
    I make a big batch of pancakes on Sunday and then I can use them for quick breakfast for Mindy morning when we are always running late. I put them in the toaster on the lowest setting and they come out crisp and warmed perfect like they were fresh out of the pan! Just thought I’d share an alternative to the mic! Thanks for the new recipe to try!

  5. Am I supposed to add 2 tbsp of melted butter or oil into the batter? I wasnt sure if that’s a typo, and thought maybe that was for cooking?

      1. Oops, I skipped that part then, thank you! Also these didn’t have much flavor on its own, is it supposed to be like that? Mild?

  6. 5 stars
    I am moving soon and already packed my sifters, so I just whisked the flour with the cocoa. It came out great, there were very tiny lumps of chocolate in the batter. I didn’t have berries/yogurt to try that yummy sounding spread.. They are delicious with a little maple syrup. The first batch I made them small, the second I used the whole 1/4 cup. Much easier to make into the v-heart shape! (some looked like something from Dr. Seuss Ha! Will make again for sure!) Thank you Amy for another great recipe!

  7. A quick note to say these were the rare combo of easy (I took a chance on not sifting the cocoa powder and was relieved that it didn’t seem to much matter) and delicious, plus it made me feel like a Pinterest-level genius on V-Day. Many thanks.

    1. Hooray! So glad that you all enjoyed them and thanks for letting me know. (And good to know about the cocoa powder—apparently mine is lumpy:)