Espresso Chip Pancakes


Hey, Monday.  Let’s ease into this, mmk?

Heidi has a line in her first cookbook about how some people need more than just coffee to get out of bed each morning.  She suggests adding chocolate to her espresso banana muffins.  That line really stuck with me, and I add chocolate to almost all of our weekend breakfasts because, well, w-e-e-k-e-n-d.  It’s the time for relaxing and indulging.

Lately, I have needed more than coffee to get out of bed.  It’s so darn cold here that I can barely stand it.  I’m not saying that I’m checking flights to Hawaii or anything, but I might have an Expedia alert set in case free tickets become available.  Just in case.  You never know.


When it’s cold outside, fashion goes out the window for me.  Don’t you love how Nordstrom displays their mannequins wearing loose, flowy shirts, like the long-sleeves as thin as tissue paper are enough for winter?  Don’t forget the ultra-thin leggings they pair with the outfit, too.  But hey, at least you can wear Uggs with it.

Let’s compare a woman’s winter outfit to a man’s winter outfit:  My husband wears an undershirt, a long sleeve flannel and a sweater.  He also gets to wear super warm corduroy pants.  Plus, puffy coats look cute on him.  Me?  Not so much.  Let’s go even deeper:  men’s underwear keep them warmer than women’s underoos.  What was Victoria thinking with the invention of tiny knickers?  I think Victoria’s secret is that she’s so cold, she requires a man to keep her warm.

So, I will be dressing like a man until further notice.  If you see me and I look a little thick, well, that’s the leggings underneath my jeans.  Who knew how warm an undershirt could make you?  I’m newly obsessed with layering undershirts.  I almost don’t need ear muffs, because dressing like a man is keeping me so warm.

I’ll be the first one to peel off the layers when spring rolls around and frolic.  Yes, frolic.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen my toes.  But until then, it’s pancakes studded with mini chocolate chips and espresso syrup for me.  And extra hot coffee.  Enjoy.

My favorite instant espresso powder is Medaglia D’Oro.  You can buy it here.

Espresso Chip Pancakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 4 large pancakes to serve two
Serves: 2
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (low-fat is fine)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
For the espresso glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-4 teaspoons of buttermilk as needed
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  1. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of butter. Let melt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, espresso powder and salt. In a small cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour this liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, do not over-mix. Lumps are fine.
  3. Check the griddle for heat: you should be able to hold your hand a few inches from the surface for 5 seconds. Ladle heaping ¼ cups of pancake batter on the griddle. Immediately sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
  4. Let pancakes cook on one side until bubbles form around the edges, and the underside is brown when you peek at it. Flip the pancakes, and cook another few minutes until done.
  5. While the pancakes cook, make the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar and buttermilk until a runny sweet sauce perfect for drizzling over pancakes forms. Just before serving, stir in the espresso powder. I wait to stir in the powder before serving so that the espresso granules stay crispy. I love the bite. But, if you would prefer a smoother sauce, stir the espresso powder in with the sugar.
  6. To serve, divide the pancakes between two plates and drizzle with espresso glaze. Dig in.



  1. Wild Child says

    Chocolate and expresso in pancakes? You’re a genius!!! I’m having breakfast with my mom this morning and these are perfect. Do I need baking soda or powder? In the ingredients it lists soda, but the directions say powder. Thank you for another delicious recipe – I love your site!

    • says

      Hi! So sorry for the confusion! The recipe calls for baking powder. When I was typing up the ingredient list, my fingers must have automatically typed baking soda out of habit. Two teaspoons baking powder. Sorry again. I hope you and your mom love them :)

  2. Julie says

    Yeah, these cold winters stink. Camis are the way to go for a layer. I found some pretty-ish ones at Kohl’s, and they are my every day wear. I HATE SHOES, though. Once it’s above 60, those shoes are off and my bare feet emerge. The cold winters is why my grandmother insisted that we not bury her in the “God-forsaken north”. Oh, my. Hang in there. Spring is coming, and it’s gorgeous (most years). Meanwhile, eat that chocolate, because it helps.

  3. says

    Christina, warm layers of espresso pancakes drizzled with that glaze look like the perfect consolation for having to wear layers of clothing. Hope it warms up for you soon!

  4. says

    Men’s clothing truly is more practical. I love me some leggings, but brrrrr! These pancakes are my new coffee fix in the morning. Yes, I will be caffeinated via pancake. Done!

  5. says

    Oooh, these sound so good! And I know exactly what you mean… in fact, I’ve taken it a step further, and rather than just dressing like I man, I’m actually wearing my husband’s clothes over my own for extra comfy coziness. I’ve pretty much confiscated all of his big comfy sweaters (which is fine by him — the man is like a furnace!). I keep hoping that if I do it long enough, it’ll become stylish. I can hope, right?

  6. says These pancakes look divine! I am living in my snugly winter booties all day and night at home and I could stay in and eat these pancakes until Spring comes! Seriously. It’s freezing but I’m still drinking my mocha fraps – I’m hooked on that chocolate-coffee combination.

  7. says

    “What was Victoria thinking with the invention of tiny knickers? I think Victoria’s secret is that she’s so cold, she requires a man to keep her warm.” <– I snorted. Loudly.

    Oh, honey. I'm so sorry. I was so excited about you moving closer to me that I decided to not tell you that freezing your buns of was your future. (This winter is especially bad, if that helps at all. It doesn't.) We'll come visit you soon (if we can find our way out of these snow storms we've been having) and we can sit by the fire in our man-leggings and gripe. Mmk?

  8. says

    Uh, yeah, getting out of bed has been TOUGH. But chocolate incentive would definitely help. Especially with an extra dose of coffee mixed in there.

    I’ve totally done the leggings/undershirt thing this year, more than in the past five years I’ve been in NYC! It’s crazy.

  9. becca-cookie jar treats says

    I’m from Colorado, so I’m sorta used to the cold. However, I still get cold just like the rest of the human population. Not to mention I also run cold (My hand has been used as an ice pack before – true story). But it has been FREEZING in South Carolina lately. My hair froze on my way to class today, and yes my hair was dry. How is that possible? I don’t know.

    I do like the look of these pancakes though! Yum, yum!

  10. says

    I find myself drinking coffee throughout the day just to make it through. Adding it to delicious pancakes sounds so much more appealing. I want to reach through and swipe some of that cream.

  11. says

    I love my fashion, but these days in CT, I’m staying tucked at home when I can in my husband’s oversized orange sweatshirt…style be darned! ;)
    I love coffee, pancakes, and chocolate…do you know me?! It’s like you made these for me. I want breakfast for dinner tonight. :)


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