6 chocolate toppers to level-up your Pancake Day

7 Feb 2024

Celebrations Events Food + Drink Recipes

We think pancakes and crepes make the perfect canvas for cacao-themed experimentations — how will you add chocolate to yours this Pancake Day?

With Pancake Day just around the corner, we thought now would be the perfect time to start thinking of some scrumptious chocolate pancake toppers, ideas, and inspiration. We all know how to create a simple lemon and sugar topping, but have you ever experimented with some more exciting flavour combinations for your pancakes? Well, now’s the time.

Let’s go through some wonderfully indulgent chocolate pancake ideas, tried and tested by our team. Whether you’re looking to incorporate shavings from our Hot Chocolate Sachets or nibs, create a heavenly sauce with your favourite chocolate, or just want some ingredient recommendations, you’ll soon be raring to set up your own pop-up creperie.

Chocolate pancake idea with cream and chocolate drizzle.

Six ways to make chocolate crepes

If you’re enthralled by the idea of creating fabulous chocolate crepes, you have a few options for incorporating cacao with these chocolate pancake ideas…

  • Add cacao directly to your batter
  • Create a rich, creamy chocolate sauce
  • Add melted chocolate — melt into your pancake or add as a drizzle
  • Sprinkle with cacao nibs
  • Dust with cacao shavings
  • Add real chocolate chunks

By adding cacao to your batter, you’ll create an authentic chocolate crepe and you’ll be able to taste a subtle cocoa depth throughout the whole pancake. If you opt for a chocolate sauce or melted chocolate, you’ll be in for a richer, creamier experience with that unforgettable melted chocolate texture.

On the other hand, if you don’t want chocolate to be the star of the show (don’t worry, we understand), then adding cacao nibs, cacao shavings, or some high-quality real chocolate chunks over the top of your pancakes will give you a taste of the good stuff.

1. Chocolate batter pancakes

Less of a topping, more of an all-out chocolate approach to get us started. To make a cacao batter, you’ll just need to add a few tablespoons of cacao shavings to your chosen crepe or pancake recipe.

We recommend adding two tablespoons of cacao shavings or three tablespoons if you opt for a low percentage of cacao — this will result in a chocolate taste that isn’t too overpowering. If you’re looking to create an utterly chocolatey mixture, feel free to add more powder. Just be aware that if you’re adding a lot, you might want to add slightly less flour (just a tablespoon or so) to keep your ingredient quantities balanced. You can then cook your pancakes like usual!

2. Chocolate-filled pancakes

One of the easiest ways to transform your plain crepe or pancake into a chocolate bonanza is to add a few cubes of your favourite chocolate (whether that’s white, milk, or dark) to the pancake while it’s still in the frying pan. It sounds simple, and it really is.

  • Start by cooking your pancakes like usual.
  • When it is lightly golden on both sides, add a few chocolate chunks to the centre of one side of the pancake. Because the heat from the pan will keep the pancake warm, your chocolate will start to melt.
  • After approximately 10 seconds on the heat, either fold or roll up the pancake using your spatula, and move it onto a plate. As the chocolate is essentially wrapped in a ‘pancake parcel’, it will continue melting off the heat.

When you cut into your crepe to take a bite, gorgeous melted chocolate will come oozing out. We adore this method of adding chocolate to our crepes as it skips out the need to separately melt the chocolate — the hot pancake does all the work for you! It’s difficult to burn your chocolate by melting it this way and you’ll cut down on the amount of washing up to do — a win in our books.

3. Cacao nib topped pancakes

If you like the bitter, earthy tones in pure, unsweetened chocolate, then you’ll adore the taste of cacao nibs. Sprinkle a teaspoon of raw cacao nibs over your crepes for some extra depth and crunch. This is a great less-sweet alternative to chocolate drops if you’re hoping to make some healthier pancakes.

If you can’t get your hands on any cacao nibs, why not try our 100% Dark Chocolate Batons instead?

4. Chocolate sauce-coated pancakes

Fancy going down the chocolate sauce route? Simply add 50g dark chocolate to a bowl and melt — you can see our tips on the best way to melt chocolate here.

Then add 25g butter, 120ml double cream, and 1-2 tbsp sugar to a small saucepan and heat until everything is evenly combined. Add the melted chocolate to your saucepan mixture and there you go — a quick and easy chocolate sauce!

Drizzle your homemade chocolate sauce over your pancakes in artful swirls or a fine-dining lattice. We think a rich, sumptuous chocolate sauce pairs delightfully with fresh raspberries and blueberries with a light sprinkling of cinnamon.

5. Pancakes with cacao shavings

If you like the idea of adding some pure chocolate to your crepes but don’t like the intense burst of cacao and crunch you get with cacao nibs, then why not dust your pancakes with cacao powder? This will give you the same rich, cacao flavour, just in a lighter, more evenly distributed form. Plus, it makes your crepes look rather aesthetic.

6. Chocolate chunk-topped pancakes

Want to add some real chocolate to your crepes? Go ahead. Instead of using high-sugar chocolate drops, use high-quality chocolate that will bring deep flavours and nuanced tones. Just take the chocolate you’d like to use and chop it up into small pieces to sprinkle on your crepes. Feel free to stick with your go-to white, milk, or dark chocolate or go for something more adventurous — like our mellow and nutty praline chocolate, luxurious and vibrant raspberry chocolate, or oozingly soft caramel chocolate

Folded panacake with chocolate drizzle.

What’s the best chocolate to use for chocolate pancakes?

The ideal chocolate for making your crepes or pancakes will depend on how you’re using it. If you’re creating a chocolate batter, you’ll need either cacao or cacao shavings. However, if you’re melting chocolate into your pancake as a filling or making a chocolate sauce, you can use real chocolate chunks of your choice.

If you enjoy an intensely indulgent crepe, opt for rich dark chocolate — like our 70% or 85% Dark Chocolate Batons. We think our batons are perfectly suited for snapping into meltable pieces. Plain dark chocolate is also great if you’re going to be adding lots of other toppings to your crepe. For instance, sweet syrups (maple or golden) or fresh fruit (berries, apples and bananas all work well). The deep bitter notes of high-quality chocolate will add a contrasting edge to your sweeter elements.

What makes chocolate pancakes a great choice for pancake day?

Our top-notch chocolate is made from the best cacao beans, bringing a rich and delicious flavour to your pancakes. This way, they’re sure to be a hit with everyone. But it’s not just about taste. Our pure chocolate is also good for you, not just for the tastebuds.

It’s packed with antioxidants which are great for your heart, and when enjoyed in moderation, it can be a part of a healthy diet. The cacao in chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidant properties. It’s also a mood booster, thanks to compounds like theobromine and phenylethylamine, which can uplift your spirits and improve focus.

Chocolate contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. These contribute to overall health, supporting everything from muscle function to immune system strength. The more you know, right?

Stacked pancakes with chocolate drizzle.

Make your Pancake Day delicious with Hotel Chocolat

Have a wonderful Pancake Day and don’t forget to share your chocolate pancake ideas far and wide! At Hotel Chocolat, we love the thought of our chocolate helping you take your pancake creations to the next level. 

Get creative, don’t be afraid to experiment, and create something delightful this Pancake Day.