In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Stir until just combined and moistened. Add melted and cooled butter and mix thoroughly. Finally, stir in (optional) chocolate chips. Set aside while griddle preheats over medium heat.
Coat griddle with butter, coconut oil, or cooking spray. Drop ¼ cup of batter onto hot skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until top starts to bubble and bottoms are set enough to flip. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
Transfer to a cooling rack or to a plate loosely covered with aluminum foil to keep warm. Serve with suggested toppings.
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Tips for Making Chocolate Pancakes
Make sure the butter has completely cooled before adding to the mix. Otherwise the butter will solidify once it hits the cold milk and thicken the batter.
Mix chocolate chips in with the batter or sprinkle them on top before flipping to the other side to cook.
Cooled pancakes can be placed in a freezer ziplock bag and frozen up to 3 months.
Gluten Free Chocolate Pancakes
I've tested this recipe with several different gluten free all purpose flour blends. Overall, Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour had the best combination of taste, texture, and consistency of batter.Use the following suggestions when substituting gluten free flour.
If using Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour, batter will be very thick because of the cornstarch in the flour blend. You may want to add up to 1/2 cup extra milk to the batter. The batter will have to be spread on the griddle, but after cooking the taste and texture is great.
Using gluten free flours will make a slightly thicker pancake batter than traditional pourable batters.
Avoid thinning the batter out with too much milk or the pancakes will be become dense and "gummy."
Dairy Free Chocolate Pancakes
Make dairy free chocolate chocolate pancakes by substituting coconut oil or vegetable oil for the melted butter. In place of the milk, use your preferred non-dairy milk.Read labels carefully if adding chocolate chips to the pancakes. Some brands contain milk or whey.