posted in Breakfast & Brunch

Whole Wheat- Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When I was little, I had a best friend in the neighborhood by the name of Karen. She was strikingly pretty for a little girl. I wanted her perfect, shiny, thick hair, she was always one to attract the boys, and she had eyebrows like Brooke Shields. I always thought Karen’s family was a bit exotic and interesting too. Her Mom was an interior designer and was always dressed very fashionably, her Dad was a Tom Selleck look-alike with the perfect mustache, and her older brother was seemingly obsessed with Elton John and the piano. Karen’s house was the place to be, and what I remember most about hanging out at her house was eating Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

Every time I spent the night at Karen’s place, her Mom had Chocolate Chip Pancakes waiting for us in the morning. This chocolate-inside-pancakes thing was such a foreign concept to me. Sure, my Mom made pancakes on weekends, but certainly never with chocolate chips. It was a real treat. Here’s my version of Mrs. E’s pancakes πŸ™‚

I decided on a whole wheat pancake base… trying to balance a little bit of healthy along with the chocolate. The pancake batter is thick- don’t worry about it, since this will help you create a nice, fluffy, thick pancake that is able to hold those chips.

I like to use BIG chocolate chips- like these Ghirardelli Bittersweet ones. Flip your pancake when the edges kind of curl under and look dry. Medium-low heat is perfect.

How can anyone not crack a smile when they’re making breakfast with a happy-face spatula?

Here’s what happens if you get too anxious and try to flip your pancake before it’s ready to be flipped. Too gooey.

Karen’s family was always very kind to me and got me through some tough times in those younger years. I moved away from the neighborhood when I was about 9 years old, and- strangely enough- Karen and I have kept in touch ever since. I’ve only seen her a few times since we were teenagers, and we’re friends on Facebook… she still reminds me of Brooke Shields. And I’ve always wondered if her Mom is still making chocolate chip pancakes. Maybe for her grandchildren now? So these pancakes, Mrs. E., are for you πŸ™‚

Yield: 8 to 10 (6-inch) pancakes

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Whole Wheat- Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Our family loves these thick, whole wheat pancakes with melted chocolate chips tucked inside.


1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 Tablespoons canola oil
chocolate chips


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk and oil. Stir in dry ingredients and mix just until moistened (lumpy batter is what you're looking for). The batter will be pretty thick, but if it seems a little too thick for your taste, you can mix in a couple more Tablespoonfuls of buttermilk.

3. Heat large skillet or griddle and spray with nonstick spray. Scoop batter onto heated surface (I like to use an ice cream scoop), spread into a circle and position a few chocolate chips on top. Cook over medium-low heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, until edges begin to curl under a bit and appear dry when you place the spatula underneath. Flip and cook the other side for a minute or two. Your pancakes should be golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately with syrup.


48 Responses to “Whole Wheat- Chocolate Chip Pancakes”

  1. postedMar 26, 2011 5:23 AM

    This story is so sweet Lori! I love nostalgic food.

  2. postedMar 26, 2011 5:28 AM

    Aww love this story Lori! My family was always the chocolate chip pancake family on my street. I loved my mom for that. These look so awesome. Great recipe!

  3. postedMar 26, 2011 5:52 AM

    LOL! I love that spatula. A reunion between you and Karen would be awesome. Sweet story.

  4. postedMar 26, 2011 6:11 AM

    Ghirardelli chips are the BEST! I use them in all my cookie and pancake recipes, too.

  5. postedMar 26, 2011 6:49 AM

    These look delicious, Lori! And I just love that spatula.

  6. postedMar 26, 2011 7:56 AM

    Ha! I just bought that very same spat for my hubby (the pancake maker) last Christmas. And it does make us smile. We only do whole wheat pancakes here, and he grinds the wheat. Very hearty, very yummy! Love the story and connection of good food with sweet memories.

  7. postedMar 26, 2011 9:39 AM

    These look sensational with fun photos too!

  8. postedMar 26, 2011 10:04 AM

    What a fun story and great memories! It’s funny the things we remember as kids. These pancakes look absolutely delicious, what kid could resist them…..or any adult πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend Lori!! xoxo

  9. postedMar 26, 2011 10:25 AM

    I love the story and the pancake and the spatula too. This post made me smile… I made panceakes last week and would trade it for your chocolate chip studded ones. My stack was sad and disastrous and if you come check it out (i posted it two posts ago) you’ll know what I mean haha.

    Thanks for the SMILE

  10. postedMar 26, 2011 10:57 AM

    Those look so good! What a great way to sneak in little healthy stuff, too!

  11. postedMar 26, 2011 11:09 AM

    That spatula would make my morning. Every morning. As would having chocolate for breakfast. These look awesome!

  12. postedMar 26, 2011 12:18 PM

    These look scrumptious! And I want that happy face spatula. Wherever did you get it?

  13. postedMar 26, 2011 6:29 PM

    Very sweet story. My best friend’s mom also made chocolate chip pancakes whenever I stayed over, and topped them with cream cheese and maple syrup. Yum! I never had pancakes with chocolate chips at home either, but I make them all the time now, and think of that friend and her family fondly.

  14. postedMar 26, 2011 8:00 PM

    We totally love these and make them at least once a month. The kids prefer to eat them with a small amount of powdered sugar sprinkled on top and no syrup. However you eat them, they are definitely on my list of things to make often!! Thanks for sharing the wonderful story and memory with the rest of us.

  15. postedMar 26, 2011 9:00 PM

    I love that spatula! Where did you get it?
    These pancakes look so amazing! I love the story that goes with them

  16. postedMar 27, 2011 4:43 AM

    These look like a perfect Sunday morning breakfast, Lori! And I look forward to #chocolatechipweek πŸ™‚

  17. postedMar 27, 2011 5:43 AM

    What a cute spatula! These pancakes looks absolutely fantastic! I remember when my parents would take us to IHOP as a kid and the chocolate chip pancakes were my absolute fave (they would always fashion the chips to where it would look like a smiley face – and to a 6 year old, that’s pretty awesome, hehe)

  18. postedMar 27, 2011 6:55 AM

    I’m on a mission! The best way to have fluffy ww pancakes is to separate the eggs. Beat all the wet with the yolks, then fold in whipped egg whites at the end. Doesn’t even have to be gentle!

    BTW, I have a gingerbread man spatula!

  19. postedMar 27, 2011 7:56 AM

    Touching story, brings me back to childhood! Can’t wait to try these pancakes πŸ™‚

  20. postedMar 27, 2011 9:15 AM

    Oh my, these are out of this world good!

  21. postedMar 27, 2011 11:10 AM

    I love a recipe with a story. Funny how often food links us with the past. These pancakes look delish and your photos are amazing. Especially the one with the syrup and melted chocolate dripping down the side. That’s the photo that caught my eye on Foodgawker and brought me here.

  22. postedMar 27, 2011 1:43 PM

    Those look really good. I will have to try them. I use wheat flour whenever possible. Thanks for the great story to go with it. It makes it fun to get the background on the recipe.

  23. postedMar 27, 2011 2:16 PM

    Those look SO GOOD! I just subscribed to your blog and am seriously crushing on it already. I ADORE your happy face spatula. Where’d you get it at?

    Whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes? You’re a girl after my own heart. I will be trying those.

    • postedMar 27, 2011 8:38 PM

      @Dana, Thanks! The spatula… I got at a conference.

  24. postedMar 27, 2011 7:33 PM

    Just came across your site on foodgawker and am so glad I did! Beautiful photos, lovely recipe, and wonderful story to go along with it. Thanks for sharing!

  25. postedMar 27, 2011 9:03 PM

    I definitely like the look of these! Looking forward to chocolate chip week. πŸ™‚ I’ll be celebrating along with you later this week, I’ve got a great recipe coming!

  26. postedMar 28, 2011 2:26 AM

    Deliziosi ? ciao

  27. postedMar 28, 2011 6:20 AM

    Oh my goodness. These look delicious and I absolutely love the picture, I feel like those pancakes could be on my kitchen table.

  28. postedMar 28, 2011 11:07 AM

    Yum, those look like the perfect breakfast! Chocolate chip pancakes were always my favorite as a kid πŸ™‚

  29. postedMar 31, 2011 9:11 PM

    Love this πŸ™‚

  30. postedApr 1, 2011 9:16 AM

    I just made these this morning and they are fabulous! We didn’t even need syrup. Thanks for a great whole wheat pancake recipe!

  31. postedApr 5, 2011 7:37 AM

    I made these pancakes over the weekend and while they were good, they weren’t what I expected. Mine came out really thick, almost bread like! I’ll have to add more buttermilk next time. πŸ™‚

    • postedApr 5, 2011 2:02 PM

      @Lisa@healthy diaries, They are most definitely a thick batter, but if it’s too thick just add a little extra buttermilk.

  32. postedMay 11, 2011 5:06 AM

    I just made these this morning – but I replaced the chocolate chips with blueberries – thanks for the great recipe that I will defitnitly use again!

  33. postedAug 24, 2011 4:57 PM
    tracy Lentz

    I just made these for dinner with cherry compote. Absolutely delicious. A new staple in our house!

  34. postedOct 10, 2011 4:15 PM
    Elesha @

    These look scrumptious! Yum, now I’m hungry. πŸ™‚

  35. postedJan 27, 2012 9:12 AM

    My family and I woke up this morning in want of pancakes. My dad went to the store to pick up a few ingredients for breakfast including pancake mix. When he got back he had everything except the the pancakes smh. Needless to say, I had to turn to Pinterest for some help. I stumbled across your recipe and decided to give it a try. I thought of course that these weren’t going to be better than the box, (I had recently tried another homemade pancake recipe that was a fail) but that some pancakes would be better than none. Final results: I was wrong. These pancakes are BETTER than the box!!! Right texture, right flavor, right look. It’s a winner among my family. Moreover, I will never use the box again. Thanks for the share!

    • postedJan 27, 2012 1:11 PM

      so happy you loved these!

  36. postedFeb 5, 2012 6:03 AM

    This recipe is amazing!!! I make for my boyfriend and I about three times a week, we are on a pancake kick right now.. πŸ™‚
    sometimes we add bananas , we add two small mashed bananas in with large bowl mixture! <3
    thanks for this delicious recipe

  37. postedApr 18, 2012 8:39 AM

    i made these pancakes for my younger brother this morning, who in our house is the king of pancakes, and he LOVED them! I also added some diced strawberries to the batter, and he said they were by far the best pancakes he has ever eaten in his life πŸ™‚ Thanks for the wonderful recipe… i will definitely make these again for my entire family!

  38. postedApr 24, 2012 6:05 PM

    These are amazing and your pictures are so great! My chocolate chips came out flat and buried in the batter… how do you get them to stick out of the pancake and look so super? I put the chips on top, and then flipped them, and from the top you can’t even see the chips. They still tasted great but what is you secret to the unbelievable presentation?

    • postedApr 26, 2012 10:09 AM

      I definitely dropped a few more chips on top of the stack just before shooting the photo!

  39. postedMay 3, 2012 2:57 PM

    yumm how many calories per serving?

  40. postedNov 18, 2012 5:59 AM

    Delicious! Quite possibly the perfect pancake recipe- thank so much! πŸ™‚

  41. postedFeb 23, 2013 5:38 AM

    Your spatula makes me giggle. πŸ™‚

  42. postedMay 30, 2016 8:19 AM

    All of your pancake recipes are gtreat on and I tweek them From time to time depending on my craving of the day. Thanks! Β Please look into posting a chocolate pancakes and or chocolate gingerbread sometime for me to use and compare to mine πŸ™‚ I’m sure you’ve got oneΒ 

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