Tall and fluffy carb stacks with warm, melty bites of gooey chocolate for breakfast? Yep- vegan chocolate chip pancakes are on the menu today! These are great for a quick weekday breakfast, a meal prep for the week, or a fun treat to make for weekend brunch.
Serve these vegan chocolate chip pancakes with vegan honey, vegan whipped cream, or just maple syrup and butter. Pancakes go great with breakfast potatoes, vegan scrambled eggs, or chia pudding on the side.
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Ingredients For Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Whipping up a batch of vegan chocolate chip pancakes is easy because they use common ingredients that you probably already have. You can even prep pancakes the night before you want them. Measure wet and dry ingredients separately but wait until just before cooking to combine them.
Here’s what you need:
- All-purpose flour: We have tested this recipe with all-purpose flour and we’ve used bread flour in a pinch.
- Chocolate chips: You can use regular-size chips, mini chips, or chopped bar chocolate. For a hint of chocolate, use only 1/2-3/4 cup of chocolate chips; for chocolate chips in every bite use 1 full cup.
- Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the pancakes and helps pancakes take on a golden color. Any sugar works!
- Baking Powder: This is the main leavening agent that creates the fluffy stuff.
- Non-dairy milk: We’ve tried this recipe with soy, almond, oat, and coconut milk with great results!
- Oil: A neutral-flavored oil like avocado or canola is ideal. Extra virgin olive oil will work as well! Oil in the batter helps keep pancakes moist & soft and prevents sticking while cooking. Oil also helps to add a bit of fat– traditional pancakes have eggs and the yolk contains fat. Adding oil to vegan pancakes assists in replacing that fat. You can substitute melted vegan butter 1:1 for the oil or omit the oil entirely.
- Baking soda & lemon juice: While not required, this ingredient duo helps with creating fluffy pancakes. Baking soda also assists in the browning of pancakes!
Vegan Pancake Batter Tips
To achieve the fluffiest pancakes you have to start with great pancake batter! When you combine the wet and dry ingredients you’ll instantly see the batter begin to bubble up and thicken. This is why pancake recipes all state ‘not to overmix the batter’. As the baking powder and baking soda start fluffing up the batter, we want to keep that light and airy texture. Continued stirring releases all the trapped CO2 and deflates the batter.
Baking powder is activated in two phases- first when it’s mixed with a liquid, and second when it’s heated!
Baking soda is activated when it comes in contact with an acid, in this case, it’s the lemon juice in the batter.
Pancake batter with a 1:1 ratio of milk to flour creates a thin, pourable batter. This makes thinner, more circular pancakes that are softer.
Pancake batter with about a .75:1 ratio of milk to flour creates a thicker batter that doesn’t spread as much. This makes very tall pancakes with more of a ‘biscuit’ interior.
When To Flip Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Knowing when to flip a pancake is another part of the subtle art of the pancake 🙂 The standard rule of pancakes is to flip when the edges are cooked.
Visual cues of the edges being cooked are:
- A dry or matte (not-shiny) appearance around the perimeter of the pancake.
- It will be easy to slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake. You can also peek and see if the underside is golden brown.
- Bubbles & holes: Bubbles are exactly that- the surface of the pancake may have a few bubbles that appear on the batter. Holes are popped bubbles: they are flat and leave a little ‘hole’. Usually, when you see 1-2 holes on the top of the pancake it’s ready to flip!
If you are using a thicker pancake batter to make extra tall pancakes, you may not see holes or bubbles form. Relying on the cooked edges is a better sign to use for thick pancake batter.
How To Store & Reheat
Vegan chocolate chip pancakes are a great make-ahead breakfast for the week, with just one simple trick to keep them as fresh as day 1. After cooking each round of pancakes, place them on a wire rack instead of a plate. This will prevent condensation from forming on the underside which leads to soft bottoms.
Pancakes can be stacked in between layers of parchment paper after cooling to room temperature and stored in an airtight container. In the fridge, they’ll keep for 4-5 days or freezer for several months. The parchment paper is optional but pancakes do stick together a bit without it.
To reheat refrigerated or frozen pancakes, try one of the following methods:
In the toaster: Place one chocolate chip pancake in each bread slot and toast on low setting 1-2 times until pancakes are heated thoroughly.
In the oven: Arrange on a sheet pan in a single layer and cover with aluminum foil or another sheet pan inverted. Bake in a 325* oven for 5-7 minutes or until warm.
In the microwave: Line a plate with a paper towel and place chocolate chip pancakes on a single layer, microwave in 30-second intervals until sufficiently warm.
What Type Of Chocolate Chips Are Best?
Most chocolate chip brands are not vegan! They contain milk fat, milk powder, or some form of milk derivative. Think of the term ‘milk chocolate’, yep- milk chocolate usually contains dairy and isn’t vegan.
These semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips are vegan and organic. They contain 45% coca and are a great price- far better than what we can get at our local grocery stores.
This is another brand of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, that are fully plant-based, and work perfectly in baking.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancake FAQs
- Why are my pancakes domed- high in the center and thin on the edges? Uneven-rising in cooked pancakes can be due to several factors. Too much liquid in the batter can cause pancake batter to run or spread too far on the griddle, leading to less rise. Too low of cooking temperature can also be to blame as the heat is necessary to fully activate the baking powder and get pancakes to puff up again while cooking.
- Do chocolate chips burn while cooking? Pancakes are a ‘quickbread’ and cook up very quickly- it’s just a few minutes on each side. This usually isn’t enough time to burn the chocolate chips. If you are tasting or seeing burnt chocolate, try wiping the griddle in between batches of pancakes to remove any excess chocolate from the skillet.
- Should I use a whisk or a spatula to combine the batter? To avoid overmixing the batter a whisk is the most efficient method to combine the wet and dry ingredients. A whisk makes quick work of combining a batter in just a few turns around the mixing bowl.
- Why does the first pancake always turn out wrong? The first pancake you make may not turn out as well as the others as you figure out the heat of your pan. Likely, the pan isn’t fully pre-heated or set to the correct temperature for the first pancake. The first pancake is the chef’s snack 😉
This recipe for vegan chocolate chip pancakes is light and fluffy with the perfect amount of melty chocolate chips spread throughout each bite! The batter comes together in about 5 minutes and they cook up quickly in a skillet or on a griddle.
- 1.25–1.5 cups non-dairy milk (less for tall, thick pancakes & more for pourable, ‘soft’ pancakes. See notes)
- 1 tablespoon oil or 1T melted vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (sub white or apple cider vinegar)
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (scooped & leveled)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Combine all wet ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly.
- Add the dry ingredients to a sieve and sift into the wet ingredients. If you don’t have a sieve you can sprinkle & spread all dry ingredients on top of the wet.
- Add the chocolate chips to the bowl.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until the batter is JUST mixed– small lumps are okay.
- Let the batter rest and thicken for 5 minutes as you pre-heat your skillet or griddle to medium heat.
- Coat the skillet well with vegan butter or oil then pour the batter into the skillet using a measuring cup and spatula.
- 1/4 cup makes 8-9 silver dollar-sized pancakes.
- 1/3 cup makes 5-6 adult-sized pancakes that are easy to flip.
- 1/2 cup makes 3-4 big, restaurant-style pancakes that may be more challenging to cook & flip.
- Cook the pancake on the first side for 2-4 minutes. When ready to flip you’ll notice a few small ‘holes’ on the surface and the edges will appear cooked, taking on a dry, matte appearance.
- Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Or place pancakes on a wire rack until ready to serve as this prevents condensation and soft undersides. Pancakes can be kept warm in a preheated 150* oven.
- See detailed notes on batter & pancake consistency, & cooking tips below! Some folks like soft, melt-in-your-mouth pancakes while others prefer tall, thick biscuity pancakes.
For Ultra Soft & Fluffy Pancakes: We recommend a 1:1 ratio of flour to milk! This yields a thin, pourable batter that will spread into a circle on its own and cook up soft and thin.
For Thick, Tall Pancakes: For thick and tall pancakes, dial the milk back to 1.25 cups. This batter won’t quickly spread out on the pan into perfect circle but it will give you TALL and THICK pancakes!
You can add chocolate chips to the batter to the dry ingredients, just after mixing the wet and dry ingredients, or dot some chocolate chips straight onto the pancake batter after you’ve poured each pancake on the griddle!
Tips for Cooking:
Cooking pancakes in vegan butter resulted in more even browning and those delectable crispy brown rings around the pancakes in comparison to oil. You can use either.
To get crispy pancakes and crispy brown rings around the edges you need a lot of butter swimming around on the skillet or griddle. The edges of the pancakes will fry in the butter. Nom nom nom.
If your batter is extremely thick, thus your pancakes very tall– cook them on medium-low heat so the center cooks through. IE if you need to use a spatula or spoon to spread your pancake around in the pan, cook on medium-low heat.
If your batter is a pourable consistency and spreads in the pan without you needing to assist it, cook on medium heat.
Our general rule for cooking pancakes is 3 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second. That first pancake doesn’t always have to be a flop– adjust the cooking temperature based on the consistency of your batter and set a timer for the first few pancakes.
If you are using a cast iron skillet, you may need to lower the heat after your first couple of pancakes if your pancakes are cooking too fast.
Keywords: Vegan chocolate chip pancakes