These healthy chocolate pancakes are whole wheat, naturally sweetened and made without butter or oil. They're great for a fun and special breakfast!
Sometimes you just need chocolate for breakfast.
I work as a health and nutrition editor and I certainly have absorbed quite a bit of knowledge and know-how over the years about proper nutrition and good health.
But I still like chocolate for breakfast.
And when it’s as clean as this recipe, it doesn’t even make me pause.
Healthy chocolate pancakes
We've got chocolate goodness and it's also whole wheat and naturally sweetened. Such a lovely way to start the day!
These come together pretty quickly so you can certainly have them any day of the week, but I usually save pancakes for the weekends when we’re not in such a rush to get the kids fed, dressed and out the door for preschool (all while I’m already on deadline for work).
(They save, reheat and freeze great though, so make a big batch to have on hand later in the week!)
M, who is 4 years old, had 4 of these big chocolate pancakes last Sunday. 😳
She of course prefers the ones with the mini chocolate chips folded in. That version definitely doesn’t need any maple syrup on top, though you certainly could.
If you make these without chocolate chips, you may want to use a little drizzle of maple syrup to go with them to add a touch of sweetness.
You can also add any fruit you want - I happen to think strawberries go very well with chocolate, but bananas or blueberries would be delicious, too.
And of course, feel free to sprinkle these pancakes with some powdered sugar for some extra fun.
(We don't need extra
fun sugar in our house. Particularly in the mornings. Those little kids ping pong off the walls at is is and I marvel at their energy level while still clearing cobwebs out of my eyes.)
I think you should also definitely plan to make these chocolate pancakes for Valentine’s Day. They are festive, fun and will make for a beautiful start to the day. ❤️
Healthy chocolate pancakes
These healthy chocolate pancakes are whole wheat, naturally sweetened and made without butter or oil. They’re great for a fun and special breakfast!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat flour), sifted
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups milk (whole, skim, soy - all are fine)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
- Serving options: chopped fresh strawberries, additional mini chocolate chips, maple syrup, sprinkle of powdered sugar
- Mix together the sifted flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t overmix.
- Add the mini chocolate chips, if using, and stir gently to incorporate them.
- Heat a griddle or large saute pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and pour about ¼ cup of the batter at a time. You’ll be able to get 4-5 on a two-burner griddle and 3 in a large skillet at a time.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side, until the edges are cooked through and the middle of each pancake is bubbling. (If your stove cooks unevenly, you may want to turn your pan during the cooking time.)
- Carefully flip each pancake (it will release from the pan easily if it’s ready to flip) and cook an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side, until cooked through.
- Remove cooked pancakes to a plate or place in the oven to keep warm while you repeat. Note: I spray the pan/griddle with cooking spray in between each batch. I also find I need to reduce the heat a little as I continue to cook the pancakes so as not to burn them.
- Serve with strawberries, mini chocolate chips, maple syrup or powdered sugar, as desired. Enjoy!
Yes, you can skip sifting the flour and cocoa. I usually do because I’m lazy. However, it will cause the pancake batter to be a bit more lumpy.
If you use the mini chocolate chips, you don’t really need any maple syrup on top of these pancakes - they are sweet enough on their own. If you make these without chocolate chips, you may want to use a little drizzle of maple syrup to add a bit of sweetness.
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Chocolate should be eaten every day for breakfast!! I love having chocolate for breakfast because it make me very happy and that's a great way to start the day. To heck with my no flour diet, I'm eating these pancakes for breakfast tomorrow! (1 cup of wheat flour isn't so bad, right?) Also, love the fresh strawberries on top. Perfect combo 🙂
Love that we agree on this 🙂 It really is a happy way to start the day - everything else seems more manageable after a little chocolate at breakfast! And it's whole wheat flour, so it's totally OK! XO
Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry
Love your no-regrets attitude to chocolate for breakfast, Kathryn! I can see why, too, considering how healthy these are! They look so yummy! 🙂 I've been a big fan of chocolate-themed breakfasts lately too, and have been making oatmeal with grated zucchini and stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips for the last week or so. Strange, but delicious! I've pinned these for Valentine's Day or a lazy Sunday breakfast 😀
Thanks Lisa, I'm so glad you're with me on this 😉 I love your chocolate-zucchini oatmeal idea, too! We eat oatmeal ALL the time here, and I have a chocolate oatmeal that I love but adding zucchini is great!
I love pancakes and chocolate, I just didn't have them together yet but they look wonderful and I am sure they are divine, so I definitely will try them 🙂 Thank you for this lovely recipe - and for the great breakfast ideas <3
You are in for a treat - chocolate pancakes are definitely a lovely way to get going for the day 😉 Hope you enjoy these!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
I wish I wasn't allergic to chocolate, because I KNOW I would love these pancakes! But maybe it's a good thing I am allergic, because I would want to eat these every day, for every meal... and I'm not sure how much I would get done if I was constantly in the kitchen flipping pancakes and stuffing my face. 🙂 I definitely need to make these for Boy!! He is going to be super stoked I am letting him have chocolate for breakfast, and I will be super stoked secretly knowing its HEALTHY chocolate for breakfast! Win Win! Pinned! Cheers, doll! <3
So sorry that you can't have these but glad not to be to blame for you being a permanent pancake flipper, chained to the stove. I suppose there are worse fates though... 😉 Hope Boy likes them and hope you have a great week! XO
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg
These look super yum and healthy, too. I'm always looking for breakfast options on the weekends. 🙂
Thanks Erin! I hope you give them a try!
Kate @ Framed Cooks
Talk about dreams coming true - chocolate for breakfast, and it's healthy! Going on my absolutely have to try this list. 🙂
Thanks Kate! I hope you LOVE them 🙂
I have never had chocolate pancakes, definitely a very interesting recipe that I know for sure that my kids and my chocoholic husband would love. And I am also astound how much energy the kids have in the morning while I just drag my feet around with a long face.
Glad I'm not the only one who feels a little behind in the mornings 😉 And yes, you've got to give these a try - I'm sure your family will love these pancakes!
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
Chocolate for breakfast? Sign me up especially in pancake form! These look amazing!
Thanks Kelly! The day can't go too wrong after starting off with these 😉
Michelle | A Dish of Daily Life
Chocolate for breakfast...yes please! These look wonderful!
Thanks Michelle! They are such a fun way to start the day 🙂
Hi, Kathryn! I love the sound of these pancakes. These look fantastic! Yum! 😀
Thank you! They're pretty fantastic 😉
This recipe looks so delicious! Hi, I'm Anita visiting from Foodie FriDIY.
I always want (need) chocolate for breakfast. These look like the perfect guilt-free way to have chocolate for breakfast. 🙂
Haha, me too 🙂 And they are!!
Sounds good!! I've been thinking of making chocolate pancakes for a while now...thanks for sharing on Throwback Thursday! 🙂
Definitely do it! Such a fun weekend treat - we love these 🙂
Healthy or not - these look soooooooooo GOOD !!
Can hardly believe they have no butter.
My husband would looooooooove them (he loves pancakes)
Thanks Winnie! I hope you give them a try 🙂
Perfect recipe. They cook up great (even though the batter's so thin) and are easy to handle, good consistency, and I inhaled them. I used regular flour, soy milk, and normal-sized chocolate chips, 1/4 c. white and 1/2 c. semisweet, cuz that's what I had. Would highly recommend throwing in the white chocolate! My batch made nine 1/4 c. pancakes, I could have lived off 2 but of course ate 3 and it was a good, normal-sized breakfast and totally worth it. I would say that both the chocolate chips and the syrup on top (but just a drizzle) are totally necessary, esp. without the chocolate chips they would have been not sweet enough at all. Of course with all that and some light butter, I'm not sure I'd call them healthy- 700 calorie breakfast right there.
I'm so glad you enjoyed these Alysia! Love the idea of adding some white chocolate chips - yum!
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These were delicious, very easy to make and turned out well. I used dark chocolate chips (not as sweet) and used half whole wheat and half A/P flour. The pancakes had just the right amount of sweetness for our taste: my daughter didn't put any syrup on hers; I put a little on mine 🙂 Served with some blueberries... perfection!
Thanks for the great recipe - I will definitely be trying out some of your other ones!!
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed these Elizabeth! Thanks so much for sharing! 😊