Chocolate Chip Pancakes
These chocolate chip pancakes are so soft and fluffy! They’ll rise sky-high, with lots of melty chocolate chips in every delicious bite.
I’ve talked before about what a chocoholic my youngest is. If it were up to him, he’d have chocolate at every meal!
A lot of times, I’ll make him a batch of something chocolate-y for breakfast. I know it’s a little indulgent, but I feel better knowing that at least it’s homemade and quality, wholesome ingredients have gone into it, and not a bunch of artificial nonsense, trans-fats, or preservatives.
I make a big batch, he’ll eat his fill, and then whatever’s leftover gets frozen on sheet trays. Once they’re frozen solid, I slip them into zip-top bags and he can pop them into the microwave for a few seconds, and have a hot, homemade breakfast whenever the craving strikes.
These cook up sky-high, fluffy, and there’s plenty of yummy melty chocolate in every bite. What’s not to love?!
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
Pancakes belong to the quick bread family, which means they’re easy to make and are leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda (rather than yeast). It also means that the recipe follows this simple formula:
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl.
- Mix all the liquid ingredients together in another bowl.
- Combine the 2 together to form the batter.
Simple as can be!
But I do include one extra step- which is optional but really easy, and it really makes this chocolate chip pancake recipe extra airy and light.
So, start with the dry ingredients. Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt all get dumped into a big bowl, then give it a quick whisk just to make sure everything’s incorporated.
Throw in the chocolate chips as well. I like to use mini chocolate chips because they disperse so nicely throughout and you get a little bit of chocolate in every bite. But regular chocolate chips work just fine too!
Next, melt some butter in a large, liquid measuring cup.
Add the buttermilk, egg yolks, and vanilla, and whisk it all together until it’s smooth.
MIX THE BATTER
Next, pour the liquid over the dry ingredients + chocolate chips.
Fold it all together just a little bit. Be sure to leave a lot of lumps and white streaks because we’re going to fold again and we don’t want to overdo it.
Once that batter is just partway combined, whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Then add them to the bowl.
And then fold everything together the rest of the way.
Be really gentle when you fold. You don’t want to pop all those lovely air bubbles you created when you whipped the egg whites. The batter wants to be sort of foamy and mousse-like. This will translate into pancakes that are light, airy, and so fluffy!
You also want to fold as little as possible. It’s ok for quick bread batter to be a little lumpy. In fact, you really kind of want that. It will ensure that your pancakes are tender and soft, not rubbery or tough.
HOW TO COOK CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
I have learned that it’s really helpful to start preheating the pan early on in the pancake-making process. It takes a long time to come up to the right temperature, and if it’s not quite there yet when you start spooning on the pancake batter, those first several pancakes won’t be all that great.
It’s not a bad idea to set the pan over low to medium-low heat before you even start making the batter.
Grease the pan lightly with butter or non-stick spray, then wipe any excess out with a paper towel.
I like to use an anodized non-stick pan for making pancakes- the biggest one I can find, so I can make several pancakes at once. Here is a link to the kind of pan I have: Calphalon Anodized 12-inch Pan. It works very well for me, but you could also use cast iron, or a griddle, or whatever you have on hand.
These pancakes are a little on the petite side, at around 4-inches in diameter. For my son, it’s the perfect size. He’ll have 2 or 3 and then his tummy’s full. I use a 1/4-cup cookie scoop to spoon the batter into the hot pan, so every pancake is the same size.
They’ll need to cook for anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes on the first side, depending on how hot your stove is.
Finding the right temperature is key. If the pan is too hot, the bottoms of the pancakes will burn before the middles are cooked. So err on the side of a lower temperature because at least they’ll cook through properly. If it’s taking way too long for them to brown, turn the heat up just a little bit, until you hit that sweet spot.
On my stove, my pancakes cook perfectly at just a millimeter or two above the lowest setting.
You’ll know it’s time to flip your pancakes when the edges are starting to look less wet and there are bubbles starting to pop in the centers.
Slide the spatula all the way underneath, and turn the pancakes over with a quick flick of the wrist. They’ll probably need another minute and a half to 2 minutes on the other side. You’ll know they’re done when they look golden brown on both sides and the middles feel springy and not squishy.
“WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE BUTTERMILK?”
These pancakes come out best if you use real buttermilk, because of the thicker consistency. Buttermilk also has a slight tanginess which gives a really nice flavor. And the natural acidity also helps activate the leavening to make the pancakes rise.
But if you don’t have any on hand, you can make a reasonable facsimile by stirring 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar into 2 cups of regular milk. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes, or until thickened and slightly curdled.
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
To make gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes, look for a gluten-free flour blend that subs 1:1 for regular flour.
HOW TO REHEAT CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
As I mentioned at the top of the post, these chocolate chip pancakes are really good reheated!
I typically freeze them and pull out a few at a time. Pop them on a plate and microwave (uncovered) on 100% power for 20 seconds on one side, then flip them over and give them another 15 seconds on the other side. Piping hot and delicious!
If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a microwave, just cover them lightly with foil and place them in a warm oven (170 degrees F) until heated through.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST RECIPES:
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These chocolate chip pancakes are so soft and fluffy! They'll rise sky-high, with lots of melty chocolate chips in every delicious bite.
Lightly grease a large skillet or griddle with butter or non-stick spray, wipe out any excess with a paper towel, and set over low heat to preheat.
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the mini chocolate chips.
Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, egg yolks, and vanilla together, then add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Fold together (just a few strokes) until a few streaks of flour remain.
Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks,* then fold them gently into the batter until just barely combined (do not overmix).
Drop the batter by the 1/4-cupful, onto the greased, preheated skillet.
Cook until the edges look set and small bubbles are beginning to pop towards the center of the pancakes.
Flip the pancakes and continue to cook until they are golden brown on both sides.
*Whipping the egg whites is an optional step but it will ensure that the pancakes are extra light, airy, and fluffy. If you prefer, you can omit this step and just whisk both the egg yolks and egg whites into the liquid ingredients before folding the batter together.