When your friend’s first job is at a breakfast chain that serves over-the-top stacks of flapjacks, lots of high school homework gets done in those sticky booths. Every week brought a new pancake special, but my all-time favorite was chocolate chip. I still crave the combo of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, melted chocolate, cool whipped cream, and warm maple syrup, and now that I’m in charge of breakfast, I can make them any time the craving strikes.
This simple recipe will walk you through how to make the fluffiest diner-style pancakes studded with gooey chocolate chips. The tangy buttermilk batter is the perfect contrast to the rich chocolate and decadent toppings, making this the very best recipe there is. Here’s how to do it.
What’s the Secret to Light and Fluffy Pancakes?
Stacks of diner pancakes emerge picture-perfect: round, fluffy, and golden-brown. And while my homemade pancakes might be slightly misshapen, I have mastered the fluffy texture. It all comes down to two simple steps.
- Fold in the egg whites (no need to whip!). This is a tip I picked up from Kitchn’s Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes recipe. After separating the eggs, add the yolks to the wet ingredients (buttermilk and melted butter), combine the wet with the dry, then fold in the egg whites —no whipping required!
- Rest the batter. Resting the pancake batter for 10 minutes gives the leavening agents (the baking powder, baking soda, and buttermilk) a chance to activate and gives the flour time to absorb liquid from the batter. The result is a thick, bubbly batter that gives you sky-high hotcakes.
How Do You Keep Chocolate Chips from Burning in Pancakes?
If you sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the pancakes as they cook, the chocolate is sure to burn after the flip. Here are two easy ways to avoid that.
- Stir the chips into the batter. Adding the chips directly to the batter distributes them more evenly and protects them, too. The pancake batter acts as a barrier between the hot skillet and the heat-sensitive chips, keeping them from burning.
- Use moderate heat. It’s tempting to turn up the heat to get breakfast on the table faster, but cooking pancakes — especially chocolate chip pancakes — over high heat is a recipe for trouble. Cooking over medium heat is a better bet because it gives the pancakes time to brown and cook through without burning the sweet chocolate chips.
Serving Chocolate Chip Pancakes
For the true diner experience, I like to serve stacks of warm pancakes with whipped cream, more chocolate chips, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. For a less-sweet option, keep it simple with a smear of butter.
Classic buttermilk flapjacks get a sweet upgrade with chocolate chips.
YieldServes 4 to 6, Makes about 15 (4- to 5-inch wide) pancakes
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes to 20 minutes
- 1 1/4 cups
- 1 cup
semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon
- 2 teaspoons
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 4 tablespoons
unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving
- 1 1/4 cups
For serving: whipped cream, maple syrup
Heat the oven to 225°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Fit a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and place on the rack. Heat the oven to 225°F.
Mix the dry ingredients. Place 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Melt the butter. Microwave 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl in 10-second bursts until melted, 30 to 40 seconds.
Mix the wet ingredients. Add 1 1/4 cups buttermilk to the melted butter. Separate 2 large eggs, placing the egg whites in the measuring cup used for the buttermilk and the egg yolks in the bowl of melted butter. Whisk the egg yolks into the butter until combined.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until most of the flour is moistened.
Fold in egg whites and let the batter rest. Add the egg whites and fold in just until incorporated, but do not overmix. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Melt the butter in the pan. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter into 4 pieces. Heat a large nonstick or cast iron skillet to medium heat, or an electric griddle to 350°F. Add one of the pieces of butter and swirl to coat the pan in melted butter.
Add the pancake batter. Use an ice cream scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop the batter into the skillet (or use a scant 1/4 cup each), about 4 pancakes will fit in a 12-inch skillet.
Cook until bubbles pop and the edges appear dry. The batter will spread into a 4- to 5-inch-wide round. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. When the bubbles that form on the edges of the pancakes pop and the edges appear dry, use a thin spatula to gently lift one side and peek underneath.
Flip the pancakes. If the pancake is golden-brown, flip and cook until the second side is lightly browned, about 2 minutes more.
Keep the pancakes warm in the oven. Transfer the pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven. Continue cooking the remaining batter, adding more butter to the pan if it appears dry.
Serve the pancakes. Serve the pancakes as soon as possible with whipped cream and more chocolate chips or butter and maple syrup.
Make ahead: Combine the dry ingredients in an airtight container and store at cool room temperature for up to 3 months.
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 weeks.