A morning without coffee pancakes is like a morning without a cup of coffee and a breakfast treat that also contains coffee. It’s a double dose of caffeine, and it’s exactly what we need on Mondays! Tender pancakes studded with mini chocolate chips and a rich, potent coffee glaze instead of maple syrup are welcome at brunch or a lazy weekend morning.
I made these coffee pancakes for your Monday mornings. It’s not that I think we should whip up pancakes from scratch on a Monday before work; make these on the weekend and save the leftovers for Monday. Nothing gets me out of bed faster than the promise of a warm cup of coffee and a breakfast treat that also contains coffee.
Pancakes are what we make often on Shrove Tuesday, also known as the day before Lent starts. This Tuesday is typically filled with sweets and other things we might deny ourselves during the season of Lent. Pancakes are very popular on Shrove Tuesday, and I used to make my lemon pancakes or my banana oat pancakes on that day. However, now that I typically give up coffee for Lent, I decided to celebrate with coffee pancakes!
While pancake mixes are effortless, I promise you homemade pancakes reward you in tenderness and fluffiness, and with a freshness unattainable by a box. Pancakes are the most forgiving of baked goods, welcoming under-mixing of ingredients and improper measurements. Plus, they are cooked immediately so your results are evident much faster than a cake in the oven.
My coffee pancakes take just two bowls to whip up, and if you want to take the optional step of making the coffee glaze, one additional small bowl. As with most of my recipes, you can double or triple this recipe easily. See below for storage information.
How to make coffee pancakes
We’re using instant coffee to make these pancakes. I love instant espresso powder and instant coffee so much, that I often add it to most of my chocolate desserts. I believe my espresso chocolate chip cookies are a favorite because the strong bitterness of the espresso heightens the sweetness and depth of the chocolate. Chocolate and coffee are soul mates, you cannot convince me this is not true. Try my mini chocolate cake for unbelievable chocolate flavor!
Use a griddle or nonstick skillet for these coffee pancakes. Let them cool on wire racks if you’ll be storing them for future breakfasts.
- Butter. The best pancakes have melted butter inside the batter, and they are also cooked in additional butter on a griddle or in a skillet. You can use unsalted or salted butter for this recipe.
- Flour. All-purpose flour without any leavening agents.
- Baking Powder. We get all the lift, rise and fluff for these coffee pancakes by using baking powder. No baking soda in this recipe.
- Powdered Sugar. We’ll sweeten our pancakes with powdered sugar, plus use extra to make the coffee glaze on top.
- Instant Espresso PowderThis is the brand. All of our coffee flavor comes from this concentrated coffee powder. It’s finely ground and dissolves so easily. You can use instant coffee instead of instant espresso. of instant espresso that I prefer.
- Salt. Just a small amount to balance the flavors.
- Buttermilk. This recipe uses 2 cups of buttermilk for the pancake batter, and a small splash for the coffee glaze.
- Eggs. Two large eggs.
- Mini Chocolate Chips. The best way to get the most chocolate flavor in a pancake is to use mini chocolate chips. You can substitute a chopped chocolate bar, if you prefer, but know that it will melt quite a bit while cooking.
- First, gather all ingredients and preheat a griddle or small nonstick pan over medium low heat for cooking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan or griddle, and let it melt while you make the pancakes.
- First, begin by whisking all of the dry ingredients together (the flour, baking powder, instant espresso, powdered sugar, and salt).
- Next, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and the other tablespoon of the butter (melted) in a separate dish. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and gently stir. The thing about pancakes is that it’s okay if there are some lumps in the batter. Everything cooks out in the end.
- Whisk the batter until mostly smooth, and it turns a golden coffee color. Yum! We’re not adding the mini chocolate chips just yet–we’ll sprinkle them on the uncooked side of the pancake before flipping, so that they stay in the middle of the pancake.
- Ladle out heaping 1/4 cups of pancake batter into the awaiting skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook the pancakes on the first side until bubbles appear.
- Just before flipping, sprinkle over a few teaspoons of mini chocolate chips. Flip, and cook the pancakes on the other side until nice and golden brown and fluffy. Move the pancakes to a wire rack to cool while you make the coffee glaze.
- Whisk 2 cups of powdered sugar, an additional tablespoon of instant coffee powder, and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk together until smooth.
- Add any extra buttermilk needed, to make it free-flowing and dripping. Ladle over the pancakes when you serve.
How to store pancakes:
To save these pancakes for a future date, let them cool on a wire rack until completely room temperature. Then, place the rack in the freezer so they freeze individually. After a few hours, the pancakes will be firm enough to remove from the rack and store stacked in freezer-safe bags. They will keep for up to 2 months.
How to reheat pancakes:
I like to pop frozen pancakes (right from the freezer) into the toaster oven to defrost and warm through, about 2 toaster cycles. Or, you can microwave for 12-15 seconds per side until warm throughout.
More fancy breakfast recipes:
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided use
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
For the espresso glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of buttermilk, as needed
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- Gather ingredients, and heat a griddle or large skillet over medium low heat with one tablespoon of the butter. Let melt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, espresso powder and salt.
- In a small cup, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Pour this liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined, do not over-mix. Lumps are fine.
- Check the griddle for heat: you should be able to hold your hand a few inches from the surface for 5 seconds. Ladle heaping 1/4 cups of pancake batter on the griddle. Immediately sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
- 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.
- 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.
- To serve, divide the pancakes between two plates and drizzle with espresso glaze. Dig in.
Butter: The best pancakes have melted butter inside the batter, and they are also cooked in additional butter on a griddle or in a skillet. You can use unsalted or salted butter for this recipe.
Instant Espresso Powder: You can use instant coffee granules or instant espresso powder for this recipe, your choice.
Buttermilk: This recipe uses 2 cups of buttermilk for the pancake batter, and a small splash for the coffee glaze.
Mini Chocolate Chips: I use mini chooclate chips so that each bite of pancake has some chocolate in it. You could use a chopped chocolate bar, if you prefer, but know that it will melt quite a bit during the cooking process.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 464mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 6g