Chocolate Pancakes for Pancake Day

Chocolate Banana Pancakes

Just in case anyone’s missed it, today is Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day or in French, Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is an important day in the Christian calendar, being the last day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.  Traditionally, it is a day of celebration and feasting when all of the good things in the house are eaten up to make way for the long Lenten fast, including butter, eggs and milk. As we know, butter eggs and milk (with a little flour) make pancakes. So it’s easy to see how a tradition of making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday came about – reckoned to be at some point in the Middle Ages.

Tossing pancakes is all part of the fun. If you’re feeling energetic as a result of all those carbs, you can burn them off in a traditional pancake race: pancakes are carried in a frying pan and tossed at the start and finish of the race, with points given for the best flip. I was surprised to learn that the first one recorded was as far back as 1445 in Olney, Buckinghamshire.

The day cannot go unmarked and in time honoured tradition, I made pancakes for breakfast. In a slightly less traditional approach, I added cocoa and banana to my batter – more Mardi Gras in sunny Rio than in grey rainy Cornwall. The recipe for cocoa Scotch pancakes I’ve adapted from a new arrival on my bookshelf, Chocolate by Jennifer Donovan. A review will follow. As usual, I decided to go my own way: due to a surfeit of bananas, I substituted one for the sugar and also added a little cinnamon.

For a vegetarian savoury pancake idea, take a look at the Welsh pancakes I made for St David’s Day last weekend. Other pancake ideas I’ve tried can be found by clicking on the link.

This is how I made:

Chocolate Banana Scotch Pancakes

  • Whizzed a banana into 250ml milk with a hand held blender.
  • Sifted 250g flour (half wholemeal, half white) into a bowl together with 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp maca powder (for a mini health kick) and 1 tbsp cocoa powder.
  • Made a well in the centre and added a duck egg (can use large hen’s egg).
  • Stirred from the centre outward gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour until all is well mixed.
  • Heated a frying pan over medium heat and added a small knob of butter.
  • Placed spoonfuls of batter on the frying pan and left to cook for a a couple of minutes or so, until bubbles started to appear on the surface of the batter.
  • Flipped the pancakes over and cooked for a further minute.
  • Kept warm in the oven until the batter was finished.
  • Served with nectarines and maple syrup.
Chocolate Scotch Pancakes

It’s not often we manage pancakes for breakfast on Shrove Tuesday, but fate was with us today. CT reckoned the pancakes were robust and hearty and not too sweet, just what was needed to set him up for the day. They had a real taste of the tropics with the chocolate and cinnamon flavours coming through loud and strong and the banana a faint undertow. I was really pleased I didn’t add any sugar to the mix as the pancakes were quite sweet enough from the banana and we were able to add maple syrup to suit individual preferences. The nectarines made for a surprisingly good combination and were a perfect foil for the carbohydrate laden pancakes giving freshness, acidity and added flavour.

There is still time to join in the pancake fun with Sainsbury’s who are offering four prizes for the best Twitter Pancake Selfie. Just tweet a photo of your pancake to @SainsburyPR and @Sainsburys including the hashtag #SainsbosPelfie by midnight on Tuesday 4th March. You will need to follow them both on Twitter too.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    4th March 2014

    I quite fancy some chocolate pancakes – though your welsh pancakes look delicious too. We have had a bad year for getting into shrove tuesday but I am planning to make some sort of pancakes soon to make some sort of amends

  2. Leave a Reply

    Kate D
    4th March 2014

    Nice!!!! Chocolate pancakes are my sort of pancake……..Yummy….

  3. Leave a Reply

    fiona maclean
    4th March 2014

    I haven’t made pancakes OR doughnuts. I like chocolate on top of pancakes so perhaps I’d like it in the batter:)

  4. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    4th March 2014

    We stuffed our faces with pancakes tonight. Mushroom and cheese followed by lemon and sugar. Classic but soooo tasty. Your chocolate ones look so luscious!!

  5. Leave a Reply

    5th March 2014

    I love your twist on chocolate banana pancakes, especially since chocolate and banana is usually my favourite pancake filling. I didn’t make any pancakes today (although I ate two at my brother’s!) but I might make some tomorrow.

  6. Leave a Reply

    5th March 2014

    We make Scotch pancakes all the time, although for some reason we call them drop scones. But for some bizarre reason have never added chocolate. That’s about to change right now!

  7. Leave a Reply

    5th March 2014

    These sound delicious, a great breakfast treat. Ive recently discovered that cinnamon and chocolate go well together, will have to try this. Bet the banana keeps them nicely soft and moist too

  8. Leave a Reply

    Sylvia F.
    5th March 2014

    These sound fabolous! Love pancakes in any form and after all these delicious crepes yesterday I’m suffering from pancake withdrawal 😀

  9. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    5th March 2014

    I knew you would make chocolate pancakes Choclette and these look delicious and the topping is wonderful!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Tina Anand
    5th March 2014

    These look delicious Choclette. I will be making pancakes tonight as we don’t eat meat, fish or eggs on Tuesday 🙁 You can imagine how jealous I was getting seeing everyone’s lovely pancake photos. Will be keeping it simple with a drizzle of lemon and sprinkle of sugar.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Trivuncic
    5th March 2014

    I prefer scotch pancakes to crepes – they’re easier to flip over! Loving the peach and chocolate combo 🙂

  12. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    5th March 2014

    I like the sound of chocolate and banana pancakes. I think you can guess what I’d like to add to it – peanut butter!

  13. Leave a Reply

    Maya Russell
    7th March 2014

    I’ve never thought of putting chocolate powder into a pancake mixture. I’ll do that next time I make pancakes.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Jacqueline Meldrum
    9th March 2014

    I love that you added banana to the pancakes Choclette. Chocolate and banana is a winning combo in my books.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Jane Sarchet
    10th March 2014

    Love the idea of chucking the banana into the batter mix, and of course the addition of chocolate is always going to be a crowd pleaser!
    Janie x

  16. Leave a Reply

    Lou, Eat Your Veg
    10th March 2014

    What’s not to love with choccie banana pancakes, I must admit to having not thought of adding choc to the pancake batter, but would be a sure hit with the monsters. Maybe next weekend!

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