These Chocolate Heart-Shaped Pancakes are a deliciously light, dessert-inspired breakfast for Valentine's Day!
Looking for other Valentine's Day recipes? Try these easy No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Mason Jar Cheesecakes or these Strawberry Swirl Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream!
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Valentine's Day is just around the corner and since having our daughters it's always been a fun holiday to celebrate. I'll never forget the Valentine's Day after our first daughter was born - we were new parents and I was feeling a bit deflated by how reality had taken any romance out of this holiday. My husband came home from work that day with flowers for me and a beautiful little bouquet for our baby girl too! It melted my heart and since then we've always included the kids in our Valentine's Day plans!
This year, we wanted to do something special at home. My kids love to be in the kitchen with me, and this is usually one of the ways we celebrate upcoming holidays together. They love homemade holiday-themed treats and so I knew I had to get to work and come up with something that would be both fun AND delicious for us to enjoy together!
Since my oldest daughter discovered chocolate (still not sure how that happened...I blame my husband and his sweet tooth!) she asks for it every time we even breathe the word 'treat', so I've had to get pretty creative with ways to include the chocolate flavour she loves so much in healthier dishes. And since chocolate is pretty much the official food of Valentine's Day, I knew a kid-friendly chocolate treat was in order! These chocolate pancakes are made with an easy homemade buttermilk pancake batter that's low in fat and sugar, and the addition of Hershey's Natural 100% Cocoa Powder to the mixture is what gives them their chocolate flavour! I felt like super mom when my daughter inhaled these in the same way she would have if I'd given her a candy bar. Creative parenting for the win!!
Most cocoa powders available these days are Dutch processed, making them darker in colour and milder in flavour. I enjoy using natural cocoa powder for recipes like this because it creates a really bold chocolate flavour, so I was glad that the baking aisle at my local Sobey's store was well-stocked with my favourite Hershey's Natural 100% Cocoa Powder!
Naturally, my kids were glad too because it meant they got to enjoy these!
Chocolate Heart-Shaped Pancakes (makes 10-12 pancakes)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp Hershey's Natural 100% Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Canola oil spray for frying
fresh strawberries and whipped topping for serving (your choice!)
You'll also need a heart-shaped pancake mold or a large metal heart-shaped cookie cutter.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Use a wire whisk to combine all the dry ingredients until they're evenly mixed.
Into a large liquid measuring cup (I like to use my 4-cup measure for this), measure the buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add the egg and whisk the wet ingredients with a fork until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine them with a wooden spoon or a spatula until there are no streaks of the flour mixture remaining.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lightly spray the cooking surface with some canola oil spray and place your metal pancake mold onto the greased cooking surface. Spray the inside of the pancake mold and measure out just enough pancake batter to cover the bottom of the mold. Since the batter contains buttermilk, it will rise quite a lot so don't be tempted to over-fill the mold.
Once the pancake has cooked on the first side for about 3 minutes, remove the mold and flip the pancake to fry on the other side for another 2-3 minutes. If you have more than one mold, feel free to make fry than one at a time.
Fry the pancakes in batches, making sure to spray the cooking surface and the inside of the pancake mold each time you use it to prevent sticking.
Once they're all done, serve them warm with some of your favourite whipped topping and some fresh strawberries!
These pancakes are delicious! They're fluffy and tender with a beautifully deep chocolate flavour. They're not overly sweet on their own but with the addition of some whipped topping and as much fresh fruit as you can handle, they're the perfect dessert-worthy breakfast the whole family will love!
Especially your chocolate-loving three-year-old.
Oh wait, I meant MY chocolate-loving three-year-old...
These Chocolate Heart-Shaped Pancakes are a nice light breakfast at only 2 Weight Watchers SmartPoints per pancake, so you can enjoy a little Valentine's Day chocolate in a healthier way!
Like this recipe? Try my Healthy Buttermilk Pancakes or these delicious Pomegranate Granola Parfaits!
Click HERE for even more light breakfast recipes!