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These chocolate chai spiced pancakes are a delicious and easy-to-make breakfast. Made with a combination of cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips and chai spice mix. Then drizzled in a rich chocolate pancake sauce.
Pancakes are a breakfast & brunch staple. There are so many different ways to make them.
What is Chai?
Chai tea is a black tea infused with spices that originates from India. “Chai” is the Hindi word for “tea”.
Chai tea is typically brewed with a combination of cinnamon, star anise, peppercorn, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom seeds, ginger root, and fennel seeds.
These chai pancakes are not made with chai tea, but they are made with a chai spice mix, which is a combination of the same spices used to make chai tea.
- The chocolate & chai combination is a tasty balance between sweet, chocolate flavor and rich, chai spice.
- Although they look fancy, these pancakes are quick and easy to make, even on busy mornings.
- For an extra treat, these chai pancakes can be made even more decadent by drizzling them with this rich, homemade chocolate pancake sauce.
- Chai Spice Mix: This is the most important ingredient because it is what gives these pancakes their spiced flavor. Chai spice mix is made with a combination of several spices. It is much faster to use a chai spice mix than to measure out all the individual spices for these pancakes. You can either buy a chai spice mix pre-made, or you can make one yourself.
- Cocoa Powder: Dutch process cocoa powder is the best type of cocoa powder for these pancakes. It adds a rich, deeply chocolate flavor.
- Flour: Use regular, all-purpose flour. For gluten-free pancakes, use a 1:1 gluten-free flour instead.
- Baking Powder: Baking powder helps the batter rise, making these pancakes light and fluffy. Baking powder can not be substituted with baking soda.
- Brown Sugar: A small amount of brown sugar adds richness and sweetness. Use light, golden or dark brown sugar.
- Maple Syrup: For the best quality, use authentic maple syrup. Avoid artificial pancake syrup.
- Chocolate Chips: Dark chocolate chips taste especially good with these pancakes. However, you can use semisweet or milk chocolate chips instead.
- Milk: Use either regular (2%) milk or whole (3.25%) milk. You can also use dairy-free milk, such as almond milk or oat milk.
- Egg: An egg acts as the binding agent, holding the pancakes together and giving them shape.
- Butter: Butter adds richness and moisture to the pancakes. You can substitute this with a vegan butter or a plant-based margarine.
- Vanilla Extract: A dash of vanilla extract complements the chai flavor well. You could substitute this with maple extract or hazelnut extract.
- Salt: A dash of salt brings out the other flavors.
- A set of mixing bowls to make the pancakes in.
- A rubber spatula to mix the batter.
- A nonstick skillet or griddle to cook the pancakes on.
Step 1: Sift the flour, cocoa powder, chai spice mix, baking powder and salt together.
Step 2: Beat the egg, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract together.
Step 3: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, alternating with adding the milk. Mix only until just combined.
Step 4: Fold in the chocolate chips.
Step 5: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt half a tablespoon of butter. Use a ⅓ cup measuring cup to scoop the pancake batter onto the skillet.
Step 6: Once bubbles start appearing in the pancake batter, flip the pancakes. Cook until golden brown.
Storage & Reheating
- In the fridge: Store leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. Don’t store pancakes with toppings, such as maple syrup or chocolate sauce on them. This will make them soggy.
- In the freezer: Let pancakes fully cool to room temperature. Then, store the pancakes in a Ziploc bag, separated by pieces of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together. Store in the freezer for up to 1 to 2 months. Let them thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- Reheating: Reheat pancakes in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat the pancakes on a nonstick skillet for 5 minutes until they are warm.
- Let the pancake batter rest for 5 minutes before cooking the pancakes. This gives the gluten time to start working, thickening the batter and resulting in fluffier pancakes.
- When cooking the pancakes, keep the stove set to “medium” heat. Increasing the temperature won’t make the pancakes cook faster. Rather, it will burn the outside of the pancake without cooking the inside.
- Preheat the nonstick skillet before adding the pancake batter. Making sure the skillet is an even temperature before adding the pancake batter ensures the pancakes cook evenly.
- Don’t press on the pancakes with the spatula after flipping them. This will cause the pancakes to be flatter and denser, resulting in less soft and fluffy pancakes.
Pancakes are ready to be flipped when bubbles start appearing in the batter and the edges of the pancake look dry and cooked through.
If your pancakes are gummy or chewy, this is likely because the batter was overmixed. Overmixing the batter causes too much gluten to form. Mix the batter only until just combined.