Whole Wheat- Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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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 🙂

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 🙂

Whole Wheat- Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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

Yield: 8 to 10 (6-inch) pancakes

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min


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.

Source: RecipeGirl.com

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Cynthia wrote:

    Oh my, these are out of this world good!

  • Courtney wrote:

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

  • charlotte wrote:

    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!

  • Peggy wrote:

    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)

  • Liz wrote:

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

  • Kat @ Cupcake Kat wrote:

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

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      @Kat @ Cupcake Kat, The spatula was a free gift in a swag bag at a food conference 🙂

  • Pattyann wrote:

    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.

  • Misty wrote:

    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.

  • Jennifer wrote:

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

  • Joanne wrote:

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

  • Loribee wrote:

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

  • skip to malou wrote:

    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

  • Jenny Flake wrote:

    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 🙂 Have a great weekend Lori!! xoxo

  • nancy@skinnykitchen. wrote:

    These look sensational with fun photos too!

  • Kim wrote:

    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.

  • Duchess of Fork wrote:

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

  • brandi@BranAppetit wrote:

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

  • Maris (In Good Taste wrote:

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

  • Katrina wrote:

    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!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet wrote:

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