Chocolate Chip Pancakes Recipe | Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Breakfast | Chocolate

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

November 23rd, 2021
4.86 from 7 votes
4.86 from 7 votes

These homemade Chocolate Chip Pancakes are light and fluffy, crispy at the edges, and loaded with gooey chocolate chips. This recipe is so simple to make and is sure to be a hit with your family at breakfast time!

Yield: 12 pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like a chocolate chip cookie in pancake form! Texture: Fluffy on the inside with crispy edges and bits of gooey chocolate chips throughout. Ease: Super easy, no need to use a box mix. Appearance: The first couple of pancakes are always a bit wonky... then you get the hang of it ;) Pros: One of my favorite Sunday morning breakfast treats. Cons: None!!

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Is there anything more nostalgic than a stack of chocolate chip pancakes?

Homemade pancakes are already a treat on their own… but throw chocolate chips in the mix and I’m in heaven.

Swap in some brown sugar to the pancake ingredients for that perfect amount of butterscotch sweetness, and these pancakes honestly don’t even need toppings.

But that’s not going to stop me from getting in there with maple syrup and a few pats of butter for good measure. And of course, enjoying with some fresh eggs, bacon or sausage, or a bowl of fruit. This is my ideal Sunday morning treat!

How to Make Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

  • All-purpose flour: measured accurately.
  • Baking powder: this reacts in part to the heat of the skillet for fluffy pancakes!
  • Baking soda: this helps elevate the pH level for golden brown pancakes, my favorite. If you want to know more about the science of baking soda & powder, click here!
  • Salt: just enough to balance out the flavors.
  • Brown sugar: the butterscotch flavor in brown sugar gives this recipe a nod to classic chocolate chip cookies.
  • Buttermilk: 2 cups buttermilk helps achieve the fluffiest, most flavorful pancakes. More on this ingredient below!
  • Eggs: this is what helps to emulsify the batter and make for rich pancakes.
  • Butter: for melting and for frying.
  • Chocolate chips: the star ingredient! I used regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you could also use mini chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips.

Do I Have to Use Buttermilk for this Chocolate Chip Pancake Recipe?

For the best results, yes. I’ve done extensive side-by-side testing on buttermilk vs. buttermilk substitutes or vs. regular milk. You can read about my experiments here: Buttermilk 101.

At the end of the day, I find nothing quite compares to the taste and thick texture of the real thing. So if you can, I’d recommend using real buttermilk. It functions differently on a chemical level than milk or cream, or even a DIY buttermilk swap.

If you absolutely can’t, you can use this substitute: 2 scant cups whole milk + 1 tablespoon distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Just note that you won’t yield quite the same results for flavor and texture.

When to Add Chocolate Chips to Pancakes?

I stand firmly in the camp of adding chocolate chips to the batter as a final step before cooking your pancakes. I think dotting the batter with chocolate chips while it’s cooking leads to burnt chocolate when you go to flip them. You just want to make sure you fold in the chocolate chips in just before you plan to cook the batter so they don’t sink to the bottom of the bowl.

How to Make FLUFFY Pancakes:

  1. There are two keys to get fluffy pancakes that rise high. First, make sure your baking powder and baking soda are FRESH. You can learn more about chemical leaveners and how to test if they’re fresh here.
  2. Second, don’t overmix the batter! There must be some lumps and even streaks of flour remaining in the batter. Be gentle here! Even a little bit of overmixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together can produce pancakes that are rubbery and tough instead of tender and fluffy.

How to Make Pancakes with Crispy Edges:

The key to those crisp browned edges is to make sure the pan is hot but also that the butter is hot before you pour any batter into the pan. However, you only want the pan or griddle heated to medium heat. This will help you get golden edges with pancakes that are perfectly cooked through in the center.

If the pan is too cold, you’ll get flabby pancakes. If it’s too hot, it’ll scorch on the outside before the insides have cooked through.

  1. Start by heating the pan, preferably nonstick or cast iron, over medium until it feels hot. This will take a few minutes. Place pats of butter on the pan where you will pour out the batter. Don’t cook more than 3 pancakes at once if you’re using a 12-inch pan.
  2. Allow the butter to melt completely and get hot before ladling the batter by the 1/4 cup into the pan. This will make sure you get those golden crispy edges. However, if you don’t like those edges, you may want to cook a little lower and slower.
  3. Allow the pancakes to cook without touching until large bubbles appear all over the surface of the batter, about 3 minutes (less time for a paler or smaller pancake). Using a thin, wide plastic spatula, flip the pancakes with confidence through the wrist and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until done. I find the first one or two pancakes are always the ugliest, and they make great chef’s samples.

Topping Ideas for Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

  • Maple syrup (obviously!)
  • Butter
  • Whipped cream or coconut whip
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella
  • Powdered sugar

Can You Make Pancake Batter Ahead of Time?

Pancake batter can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. Keep covered in the refrigerator.

How to Keep Pancakes Warm Before Serving:

If you’re making a big batch, keep the oven warm at 200°F and transfer the cooked pancakes to a cooling rack set over a rimmed sheet pan. The cooling rack helps prevent the pancakes from getting soggy. Only keep the pancakes warm for about a half hour using this method.

How to Freeze Pancakes:

Place a sheet of parchment paper between layers of pancakes and place in an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat in the microwave uncovered for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat pancakes in the toaster.

More Breakfast Recipes You’ll Love:

P.S. Check out ALL my breakfast recipes HERE!

4.86 from 7 votes

How to make
Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Yield: 12 pancakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
These homemade Chocolate Chip Pancakes are light and fluffy, crispy at the edges, and loaded with gooey chocolate chips. This recipe is so simple to make and is sure to be a hit with your family at breakfast time!


For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, melted, plus more for frying
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

For serving:

  • Maple syrup


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir until combined with several streaks of flour remaining. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Don’t overmix. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.

  3. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add a generous pat of butter and allow to melt and become hot. Ladle batter by the 1/4 cup into the skillet then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the bubbles form all across the top of the pancakes, then flip and continue to cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter.

  4. If not serving the pancakes immediately, keep warm on a cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet in a 200°F oven. Only keep the pancakes warm for about a half hour using this method. Serve with maple syrup and extra butter, if desired.

Course : Breakfast
Cuisine : American
Keyword : chocolate chip pancakes, pancakes

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Rachel C — June 4, 2023 at 10:09 am

    These were delicious!! I only put chocolate chips in 1/2 of them. This is such a great base recipe. I’d never added brown sugar to the dry ingredients like this and it was perfect!!

  2. #
    Susan — April 30, 2023 at 2:50 am

    One of the best pancakes I have ever made. Highly recommend if you like chocolate chip pancakes!

  3. #
    MamaTash — February 24, 2023 at 10:54 am

    These were a hit!! I wanted to make my sissy something special for her birthday and these pancakes did just that! Even with the edits because I didn’t have buttermilk, brown sugar, and ran out of butter for this recipe. This is also toddler approved as one of my 2 yr old twins helped with the ENTIRE recipe! Thanks for sharing this one!

  4. #
    Susan Rubin — May 4, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    The pancakes came out quite doughy in the center. They weren’t fluffy at all. What did I do wrong?

    • #
      Emily — May 9, 2022 at 8:26 am

      Hi Susan! How long did you cook your pancakes on each side for? We always recommend following the sensory indications over the timing suggested. So making sure to cook until the bubbles form all across the pancakes before flipping, then cooking until golden brown. I wonder if your pancakes just weren’t cooked enough? Please let me know if I can help troubleshoot further, but I hope you give this recipe another try!

  5. #
    Danny — January 2, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    Incredible recipe, best from scratch pancakes I’ve made out of many many different recipes I’ve tried over the years!

    • #
      Emily — January 3, 2022 at 10:25 am

      So happy to hear how much you love this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to write such a rave review 🙂

  6. #
    Carla — December 25, 2021 at 9:03 am

    These were super easy and came out exactly like the pictures! Will make again!

    • #
      Emily — December 27, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Perfect! So happy you loved them 🙂

  7. #
    Marcel — December 8, 2021 at 6:24 am

    A nice and sweet start at the morning. Soft texture and a little cross at the outside.

  8. #
    Diane — December 4, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Excellent pancake recipe! Super fluffy and moist.

  9. #
    Cali — November 26, 2021 at 9:17 am

    These look scrumptious! Will definitely be making these as soon as possible! 🙂

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