Chocolate Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
This post may contain affiliate links.
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.
Chocolate. It’s what’s for breakfast.
It’s even better when paired with homemade salted caramel sauce.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used
- Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons 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 1 cup)
- 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)
- For the Pancakes – In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first 8 dry ingredients (through optional salt); set aside.
- In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together final 4 wet ingredients.
- 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.
- Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, and place over medium heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and using caution, whisk in the cream. The mixture will bubble up vigorously.
- Add the vanilla and optional rum. It will bubble again.
- 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.
- Transfer caramel to a glass or heatproof jar with a lid. Caramel sauce will keep airtight for many months in the refrigerator.
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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 434mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 4g
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
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
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
Thanks for the entries in the $500 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
What’s your favorite pancake recipe?
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.