Decadent Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pancakes

Decadent Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pancakes

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. A pot of your favorite seasonal tea steeping in its cozy. And chocolate peppermint pancakes sizzling on the griddle. Warm up a dreary winter weekend with these deliciously indulgent dark chocolate peppermint pancakes, flavored with melted candy canes and studded with gooey mint chocolate! Who says decadence is just for dessert?

Pancake Perfection

I have said it before, and I’ll say it forever: pancakes are love. Velvety lemon ricotta, hearty oatmeal banana, sweet and savory almond bacon…each style and flavor has its place in my heart and on the breakfast table.

These decadent dark chocolate peppermint pancakes are perfect for the holiday season! No matter what holiday you observe, if you like chocolate and you like peppermint, these rich, fragrant hotcakes are sure to put you in a celebratory mood.

Most any pancake recipe in the world includes milk, and these dark chocolatey cakes kick it up a notch by swapping out that milk for peppermint hot chocolate—nectar of the wintertime gods.

You can achieve that peppermint flavor in a variety of ways: infuse your milk with your favorite mint tea, (many delicious options) melt mint chocolate chips, (if you can find them) add peppermint schnapps, (for a grown-up twist) drizzle in some peppermint extract, (tried and true) or my personal favorite: melt candy canes.

Candy canes are easy to come by this time of year, and unlike peppermint extract or schnapps, people always seem to have them on hand. Melting them into your hot chocolate mix allows you to cut back on sugar elsewhere in the recipe while adding a subtle yet bracing pop of peppermint to your batter—just the right amount of flavor.

Combine that with a healthy dose of cocoa powder and a handful of dark chocolate chips, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a cup of cocoa! Whip up a little extra to enjoy while you make your pancakes—the perfect recipe for an excellent morning.

For other delicious ways to enjoy cocoa, check out this recipe for vegan hot chocolate brownies, and this post on what foods to pair with hot chocolate.

Pancake Par-tea

These dark chocolate peppermint pancakes come together as quickly as making your hot chocolate and heating your griddle. It takes a little extra prep work compared to classic pancakes, but you can’t argue with the results!

Some who tried them compared the taste more to a brownie than a pancake, but I’ve never been one to turn down dessert for breakfast. (And isn’t that what pancakes, scones, and waffles really are?) I mean, come on…“cake” is in the name.

I like to assemble the rest of my ingredients while the milk is heating, then heat my griddle as I’m combining my dry and wet ingredients. The timing works out perfectly, and the rational part of my brain can admire my efficiency as the extravagant part of my brain gears up for chocolate peppermint breakfast bliss.

While your pancakes are cooking, throw together a tea-infused simple syrup. It takes about five minutes, and it’s a perfect pairing for your pancake without being overpowering.

Try it with your any of favorite chocolate or peppermint teas. I highly recommend White Chocolate Peppermint herbal tea and Chocolate Mint “Like the Cookie” oolong tea. Or, for an extra layer of nuance, try Chocolate Hazelnut dessert tea—the hazelnut is a surprisingly delightful complement to the peppermint, and your tastebuds will thank you!

Take advantage of seasonal teas like the deeply comforting Peppermint Puerh, Mayan Chocolate Spice featuring cocoa nibs and chai spices, or the aptly named Candy Cane herbal tea with vanilla and peppermint. Perfect for your tea syrup or to sip alongside your pancake for the ultimate cozy cuppa!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pancakes

Hot Chocolate Ingredients:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (can omit, depending on sweetness preferences and number of candy canes used)
  • 10-15 (according to taste) mini candy canes, crushed*
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Ingredients for Pancakes:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup (according to taste) mint chocolate candy, roughly chopped**
  • 2 eggs (room temperature, if possible, but not required)
  • 1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter, melted
  • Additional butter for frying

*Can substitute with ½ tsp peppermint extract or swap chocolate chips for mint chocolate chips, but flavors may vary.
**Can use any type of mint chocolate available (I opted for Doves), or can substitute with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Heat milk, vanilla, sugar, and candy canes on stove over medium heat.
While milk is heating, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in large bowl.
Melt butter.
In a small bowl, add splash of heated milk mixture to cocoa powder and whisk to combine. (This prevents lumps.)
Add cocoa milk back to remaining milk mixture and whisk. Add dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir until melted.
Crack eggs into medium-size bowl. Slowly add melted butter, whisking continuously as you pour to prevent eggs from scrambling. Slowly add hot chocolate mixture into butter/egg mixture, whisking as you pour.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir gently, stopping just before ingredients are fully combined. Gently fold in your chopped mint chocolate candy or chocolate chips. Do not overmix!
Melt additional butter on frying pan, cast iron, or griddle over medium heat. Cook pancakes 3-4 minutes per side, or until firm enough to flip. (Try not to overcook, as this can dry out your pancakes.)
Serve with a drizzle of tea syrup and a generous dollop of whipped cream. (Highly recommended!)
Yield: 10-12 medium pancakes

Tea Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon tea of choice*
  • 1 cup sugar
*Any of your favorite peppermint or chocolate teas will work nicely! I especially recommend: White Chocolate Peppermint Herbal, Chocolate Mint “Like the Cookie” Oolong, Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Tea, Peppermint Pu-erh, Red Velvet Pu-erh, or Candy Cane Herbal Tea
Heat water to boiling. Add tea leaves.
Steep according to directions. Strain out tea leaves and return water to heat, reducing to medium.
Dissolve sugar in hot tea, stirring to combine. Can remove from heat immediately once dissolved, or remain on heat anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes for more concentrated syrup.
Drizzle over pancakes or use as simple syrup in tea cocktails.

Erica Jolly

Erica Jolly is a born and raised Pacific North Westerner. Rainwater flows through her veins. She is a tea drinker by day, wine drinker by night, and lover of food, yoga, and rambling conversations.
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