Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Chocolate. It’s what’s for breakfast.

It’s even better when paired with homemade salted caramel sauce.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

This isn’t the type of breakfast you’d make every day, but it sure is a good one when you do.

It’s my birthday today and they’d make a nice birthday breakfast. But I made them last weekend and they’re long gone.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

The pancakes are light, soft, and fluffy from the buttermilk. They’re anything but lead balloons, a major gripe I have with many pancakes.

And if you can get the pancakes to look like Pac-Man, they taste even better. I loved that game and could play it for hours, but I digress.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

The pancakes appear fairly dark because I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, but they look darker and more intense than they actually taste. I love my dark chocolate, but I don’t want bitter for breakfast.

The chocolate flavor is present, but not overpowering. If you prefer to be overpowered, make these.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

The salted caramel sauce is the icing on the cake. Or the drizzle on the stack. If you’ve never made caramel sauce, it’s not a biggie.

I wrote a step-by-step tutorial with Dark Rum Caramel Sauce. Same thing here, just swapping out rum for a bit of sea salt. Or keep the rum.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

When making caramel sauce, make sure you’re organized and have everything ready to go. Read the recipe. Then read it again before you turn on the stove. Make sure you know what you’re doing, where you’re going, and what to look for. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes, but before you start playing around with boiling sugar, make sure your ducks are in a row.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce.

Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

I kept the pancakes on the smaller side, about 3 inches in diameter, and made 11 pancakes. If you’re keeping them smaller, it’s a 10 to 12 pancake recipe. Or a 6-pancake recipe for larger pancakes.

I’m not a good pancake flipper and smaller pancakes are easier and more manageable to flip.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

Feel free to double the recipe, and the extras can be frozen for up to 6 months and warmed in the micro. It’s a nice 60-second hot breakfast option for busy weekday mornings. They’re a smidge rubbery when reheated, but it’s very liveable and easy to overlook because there’s chocolate involved.

I took some of the extra pancakes and smeared peanut butter on them for chocolate-pancake-and-peanut-butter-sandwiches for lunch boxes. Chocolate pancakes trump bread.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

The soft, light, moist pancakes are the perfect sponges for the sweet and lightly salted caramel sauce. Maple syrup of course works too, but caramel and chocolate is a match made in heaven.

The caramel is thick, rich, luxurious, and I couldn’t keep my spoon out of the jar.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

When I made these over the weekend, they were met with rave reviews from my family.

You can’t go wrong with chocolate for breakfast. Or with caramel sauce.

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Recipe at

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce - Chocolate & caramel for breakfast is the best kind of breakfast! Easy recipe at

Print Recipe

Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Chocolate and caramel is a match made in heaven and makes for a special breakfast treat. The soft, light, fluffy, moist buttermilk pancakes are the perfect sponges for the sweet and lightly salted caramel sauce. Recipe may be doubled and extra pancakes can be frozen and reheated for busy mornings. Chocolate, it's what's for breakfast.

Yield: 10-12 small pancakes or 6 larger

Prep Time: 5 mins for pancakes

Cook Time: 5 mins for pancakes, 10 mins for caramel

Total Time: 20 minutes


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional
1 cup buttermilk , plus a splash more only if necessary
1 large egg
2 heaping tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
Note - If you don't want to make your own salted caramel sauce, Trader Joe's sells Fleur de Sel Salted Caramel Sauce, which I swear by. Williams-Sonoma has a Salted Caramel Sauce for four times the price of the Trader Joe's sauce.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half (I use half and half)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rum, optional
1/4 cup butter (half of 1 stick, salted or unsalted may be used)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste (or omit salt for regular caramel sauce)


  1. For the Pancakes - In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first 8 dry ingredients (through optional salt); set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together final 4 wet ingredients.
  3. Add wet to dry, and fold gently to combine. Don't overmix; batter will be lumpy. It's a thick batter, but if it's too thick for your liking, add a splash of additional buttermilk to thin it.
  4. Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium heat.
  5. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon that's been sprayed with cooking spray (helps batter to slide right off), place heaping 2-tablespoon mounds of batter in skillet. Cook pancakes on first side for about 3 minutes, flip and cook on second side for about 2 minutes, or until done. Repeat until all batter is gone, respraying both skillet and scoop with cooking spray as necessary.
  6. Serve pancakes immediately with butter, syrup, or your favorite topping. If making the salted caramel sauce, place pancakes on a baking sheet and keep them in a preheated 250F oven while making the sauce so they stay warm. Pancakes can be wrapped or kept airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 4 months.
  7. For the Salted Caramel Sauce - In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan with tall enough sides to accommodate the mixture when it starts bubbling, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
  8. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil without stirring. Using caution, use a wet pastry brush or damp paper towel to wipe down any crystals that are clinging to the sides of the saucepan. Failure to remove them could result in a grainy sauce. Boil until the mixture is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat, and using caution, whisk in the cream. The mixture will bubble up vigorously.
  10. Add the vanilla and optional rum. It will bubble again.
  11. Stir in the butter and salt to taste; or omit salt for regular caramel sauce. If using table salt rather than Kosher salt, add less because it’s finer-grained and 1 teaspoon of table salt is much saltier tasting than 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt.
  12. Transfer caramel to a glass or heatproof jar with a lid. Caramel sauce will keep airtight for many months in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

 Related Recipes:

Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes

The Ultimate Fudgy Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce (gluten-free) – A step-by-step guide for easy at-home caramel sauce that can be used on everything from ice cream to apples. Can be made with or without rum, although I recommend the rum. Add salt to taste

Marshmallow Caramel Oreo Cookie S’Mores Bars

Seven Minute Microwave Caramels (gluten free) – Almost too good to be true. The best caramels I’ve ever had and will be the only recipe I’ll ever use or need again

Chocolate-Covered 7-Minute Microwave Caramels

Caramel and Chocolate Gooey Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation) – Caramels, more caramels, and plenty of chocolate and oats are combined in these gooey, sticky, sweet, and texture-rich bars

Nutella Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Homemade Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies

Thanks for the entries in the $500 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

What’s your favorite pancake recipe?




  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Averie!!!! I hope you had a wonderful day and enjoyed something extra sweet! Your pancakes look delicious. Can’t wait to try them!


    You gave a gift to us! So sweet! The gift of these crazy good chocolate pancakes.

    And ummm now I wish that I was a kid and you were my mom and would pack me chocolate pancake pb sandwiches…YUM

  3. Happy Birthday to You! What a great way you gave us to start YOUR special day! Hope it was a great one!

  4. I just showed my husband this and he said he would love these for breakfast. So yummy Averie!

  5. I just showed my husband this and he said he would love these for breakfast. So yummy Averie!
    Happy birthday, hope your day was fantastic!

  6. Chocolate pancakes with caramel sauce- I think I’m in love. Happy Birthday, Averie!

  7. I can’t imagine breakfast getting any better than this! :)

  8. Happy Birthday!!! :) Best wishes!
    This is my kind of breakfast!

  9. Happy Birthday Averie! Hope you had a fantastic day!
    Now this what I call birthday breakfast! Indeed, you can’t go wrong with chocolate and caramel!

  10. Happy Happy Happy (Belated) Birthday Averie!!!
    This is a gorgeous way to celebrate– even if you did make them a week early. I hope your day was super- filled with family, friends, and FOOD!
    All the best :)

  11. Hope you had a great Birthday Averie!! What a great idea…love chocolate for breakfast, or anytime for that matter! And also love the caramel! These look absolutely scrumptious!

  12. Happy Birthday! I can’t believe these pancakes with all the goodness of chocolate and caramel sauce, yum!

  13. That looks like cake for breakfast! Happy birthday!

  14. I need these! Now! :) These are so pretty, I love love your photos! Salted caramel and chocolate for breakfast, I’m in!

  15. And Happy Birthday last week! It was my birthday last week too – June 5th. I didn’t know our birthdays were so close – if we lived closer we could celebrate together :).

    • June 12 for me and we totally should have been going out for drinks (and sweets!) and leaving the kids and husband’s at home! If only we lived closer :)

      Happy belated bday to you!

  16. Hold me! omg I want to jump into that stack.

  17. Happy Birthday Averie! Hope you had a nice birthday. :) Oh yeah these pancakes will make everyone happy in the morning!

  18. Oh my gosh, I wish it was my birthday (oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) so I had a good excuse to make these right now. These are insane, but in the best kind of way. :)

  19. My mouth is watering!!!!!

  20. God, Averie, there is just so much amazingness happening in this post. First of all, again, happy birthday to you! I hope it was an fantastic day, although how could they not be when you’re starting it with chocolate pancakes and caramel sauce?! Everyday should start with these. I love keeping pancakes in the fridge all week and popping them into the toaster oven/toaster. It gets them all warm ‘n crunchy = perfection. And major props for using these pancakes as “bread” in a PB sammich.

    • I love your comments, thank you :)

      And I almost wrote that about putting them in the toaster but then I would have that one person who would write to say how they got…so I didnt. But yes, a major fan!

  21. Happy birthday! And I want a plate full of these bad boys tomorrow morning!! YUM!!

  22. Holy omg yum heaven. Need these in my life!

  23. Sorry I am a little late, but HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AVERIE!! I hope you had a wonderful day. It certainly looks like it started out on the right note !

  24. Happy belated Birthday Averie! These pancakes are AMAZING! And now that I’ve seen them of course I need to eat them :) So pretty!

  25. awww happy birthday, Averie! Or happy belated birthday, anyway. Those pancakes look insane!

  26. Happy happy happy belated birthday! Chocolate pancakes are SUCH a love of mine. Can’t get enough. And I want these.

  27. I hope you had a lively, colorful birthday – filled with happiness and food! These pancakes look heavenly! *lol* Yes, I see Pac-man! :D

  28. Happy Birthday Averie….what a way to start your birthday :-)

  29. I just found your blog via Pinterest… YUM! Happy belated Birthday Averie! The pancakes look divine! <3

  30. oh my goodness! This looks divine, I love it :)

  31. Chocolate and caramel for breakfast?! Yeah, I’m totally coming over your house for breakfast.

  32. Another perfect, elegantly-designed recipe, Averie. I added chocolate chips and topped these with whipped cream, and they cooked up so light and fluffy, even my husband like them!

    • So glad you liked them! Chocolate chips AND whipped cream AND caramel AND chocolate pancakes…If your husband DIDN’T like them (or anyone for that matter!) we should go have their head or their tastebuds examined :)

      Seriously – thanks for trying them & LMK they were a big success!

  33. Oh my lord. I fell in love the moment I saw these just this morning and I would have made them right then and there if I hadn’t been out of town! I am definitely going to make this with my cooking camp made up of a bunch of little kids tomorrow they are going to die of pure joy, I am almost positive. Thank you for this!!

  34. I just made this sauce and it is amazing! I wanted my caramel thicker because I am going to swirl it into brownies so I omitted 1/4 cup of cream. This was my first time making caramel and your directions were so easy to follow. Thank you!

    • That is awesome, Rhea! Thanks for writing to say the directions were easy to follow and that you were able to keep it thicker by omitting the cream and that this was the first time you made caramel and had great luck. AWESOME!

  35. I love dark chocolate. Any dark chocolate! yummmmmm

  36. I made these today and they were fantastic! I made a few changes: I used half whole wheat flour and subbed yogurt for the oil and they were a great breakfast. I just came across your blog and can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Your photography is amazing!

    • Thanks for the compliments on my recipe and photography and so glad you like what you see! And that you enjoyed the pancakes with the w.w. flour and yogurt for oil <– nice job :)

  37. Hey! Could I substitute the butter milk for regular milk and butter for the vegetable oil??? I’m going to make these for my brothers B-day! =]

  38. Thanks for the recipe; I enjoyed the pancakes! I doubled the brown sugar and had some sans sauce. Yum!

    Is it weird to say that my favorite part of making this was the scent of the dry ingredient mixture? I don’t know, it just smelled amazing!

  39. Mmmm these look delicious! I’ll definitely have to try them! You said in the directions to spray your non-stick pan with cooking spray, but I’ve heard (from my friend who works at Williams-Sonoma) that you’re not supposed to use cooking spray on non-stick because it ruins the coating of the pan. Do you know anything about that?

    • I’ve been spraying my nonstick cookware with nonstick spray my entire life despite what fancy kitchen store people say…when I don’t spray things, they stick! So I spray. Do what is best for you!

  40. These were amazing! Just made them for Valentine ‘s Day breakfast. After scouring Pinterest for chocolate pancake recipes, I decided on this one. I didn’t make the caramel sauce since my husband doesn’t like caramel (I know, crazy!). I knew I wanted to use strawberries instead. I decided to drizzle some melted Nutella between the cakes and then add the sliced strawberries on top and then real maple syrup. It was crazy good!!! Oh, and I added 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter as well just for a bit more chocolate. Can never have enough! Thanks for a great breakfast treat! Love your recipes!

  41. Made these tonight for “brinner”. HUGE hit. I skipped the caramel sauce–we really liked putting whipped topping on them. ;) They would also be fantastic with cherry sauce (chocolate and cherry is one of my absolute favorite combos).

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! An oldie but a goodie! I think chocolate for dinner sounds excellent :) And whipped topping rather than caramel sauce, you won’t hear me complaining!

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