Brownie Batter Pancakes

Some people love having breakfast for dinner (count me among them), but how about breakfast for dessert? Brownie batter pancakes – with a name like that, you’d probably think you have to have them for dessert, but actually, these aren’t super unhealthy. In fact, if you make them following the original recipe exactly, it’s under 150 calories for the entire stack. So feel free to load them up with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a cherry if you’re calling them dessert 🙂 The pancakes are small – probably the size of your palm, and fairly thin. In other words, if you’re feeding more than one person, double or triple the recipe!


I’ve made these brownie batter pancakes a few times now, and have tried different variations so I can tell you what I’ve liked best. As written, the recipe called for spelt flour, but I never have that on hand, so I’ve used all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour. I really couldn’t tell much of a difference between those batches. I’ve only made them with dairy milk (1% I think), but a friend used nondairy and had good results. For me, the one big distinction was in using applesauce versus oil. It’s only 1 1/2 tablespoons so I didn’t expect the difference, but I definitely preferred the pancakes made with oil. That’s not to say the ones made with applesauce were bad, I just found the texture on the gummy side. No worries – I loaded that batch up with chocolate sauce and called them dessert. When I used oil, I didn’t think these needed anything else, I just threw on the few raspberries you see in the picture for color.

Brownie Batter Pancakes
adapted just slightly from Chocolate-Covered Katie

1/4 cup all-purpose (or whole wheat pastry) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola (or vegetable) oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons milk (dairy or nondairy both work)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add the oil, vanilla and milk and beat just until combined.

Spray a medium skillet (I strongly recommend using a nonstick pan for this recipe) with cooking spray and set it over medium-low heat. When the pan is warm, ladle about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into the pan for each pancake. Spread gently into a circle. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface. Use a spatula to gently flip the pancakes and cook on the second side until cooked through. Repeat until you’ve used all the batter.

Makes about 5 small pancakes

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